Green Chili (AKA Chile Verde) never looked so good! This easy green chicken chili is made with roasted poblano peppers, your favorite salsa verde, a can of green chiles, chicken breast, and white beans.
We decided to take classic Chile Verde flavors but make our recipe a little bit healthier (hello chicken breast) and more accessible (oh, hi salsa verde!).
What is Green Chili (Chile Verde)?
Chile Verde, also known as Green Chili, is a classic Mexican pork chili made with tomatillos and hot green peppers. In Minnesota, we call Chile Verde…green chili because not only does it translate to that in English, but this chili is also GREEN.
Green chili is a savory meal with so many delicious flavors added in, one being green chiles. Canned green chilis are actually pretty milk in spice, so don’t worry about this chili being too spicy!
Is this green chili recipe spicy?
This particular green chili recipe is not super spicy, which makes it a family-friendly meal. If you keep reading, we’re sharing how to make it spicy and one of the ways is by using a jar of SPICY salsa verde.
How to Make Green Chili (Healthier!)
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Fit Foodie recipe if we didn’t try and make it a little bit better for you and a little bit easier to make than the classic Chile Verde recipe. What I love about Chile Verde in general, is that it’s already made with tons of veggies and fresh flavors so it wasn’t really that hard to make it even better for you.
There are 3 different parts to this recipe and we’ll take you step by step how to make it!
- Green Veggies
What makes green chili green? No, it’s not slime, it’s the veggies you use! In our green chili recipe, we used 3 different kinds of peppers: 1. poblano, 2. jalapeño, and 3. green chiles. Spoiler alert, we took some of the green legwork out and decided to use a jar of salsa verde. Not only does this add more “green,” but it also adds amazing flavor.
How to cut peppers (seeds vs no seeds):
There really is no right or wrong way to cut your hot peppers mostly because you will be eventually blending it all together into a puree. However, we do suggest removing the cores and seeds of your peppers to tame the heat down.
In order to do this, slice the top of your pepper off and then cut them long ways down the middle. Remove the innards and seeds and discard.
How to roast peppers:
Once you’ve chopped your peppers and onion, place them on the bottom of a stockpot. Drizzle on some olive oil and season with salt. Toss and roast at 400ºF 25 minutes.
how to make this green chili more or less spicy:
If you’re worried about spice here are a few ways to make them more and less spicy!
- More: add one or two more jalapeños to this recipe OR don’t discard all of the seeds. The seeds pack in a lot of heat. Also, you can use a spicier salsa verde instead of milk to add more heat.
- Less: Replace the jalapeño with another poblano pepper and use a mild salsa verde.
Why blend the peppers? One of the most essential parts about this recipe is actually blending your green peppers, onions, and salsa verde with a handheld blender (or normal blender). We do this because it 1. brings the flavors full circle and 2. thickens up this chili!
Thickening agent: You’ll notice that the recipe does NOT call for a thickening agent like flour or cornmeal and that’s because you don’t need one when you blend all of this goodness together! Saves you a step and an ingredient.
While the classic Chile Verde recipe calls for pork shoulder, we’re actually using chicken breasts instead. That’s why this is similar to a green chicken chili recipe.
The nice thing is that you can totally swap the chicken breast out for pork if you’d like, but we’re choosing chicken breasts today to lighten up the fat content of this recipe, while still adding a ton of protein.
Don’t have chicken breast? No problem! Try using any of the following cuts of meat in your Chile Verde recipe instead.
- pork shoulder
- chicken thighs
- beef roast
a note on pork shoulder:
If you do want to use a pork shoulder for this recipe, the cooking time will increase significantly. Just make sure that the pork cooks to at least 145ºF to be safe to consume.
Not only do beans add extra fiber to this recipe, but they also stretch out the number of meals you can get out of this recipe! Most traditional Chile Verde recipes don’t call for beans, but guys, we’re going nontraditional! Here’s what we used:
- Pinto: a delicious, mild bean that adds a little color to this green chili.
- White Cannellini: don’t have white cannellini beans on hand? Use any other kind of white bean in your cupboard.
- Hominy: while technically not a bean, hominy adds great texture and flavor to this recipe!
Don’t have pinto or white beans? Use any beans that you have! That is the beauty of Fit Foodie recipes. Use what you have to make it work.
Stove vs. Crockpot
While this particular green chili recipe calls for making it in a stockpot on the stove, you can totally make it in the slow cooker too! Here are directions for both:
- Roast peppers: Roast onions and diced peppers in olive oil at 400ºF for around 25 minutes. This is going to bring out all of the delicious green chilli flavors.
- Add broth, salsa, and chicken: Next, add in chicken broth, salsa verde, and chicken breast. Make sure that your chicken breasts are fully submerged. Turn the burner to medium high and let simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken breast fully cooks.
- Shred and blend: Remove the chicken breast from the stockpot and use 2 forks to shred the chicken. Before adding it back in, use an immersion blender to blend everything else in the pot together. This is going to create a thick, delicious base for your green chili. Add the shredded chicken back in and mix.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: Finally, add the beans and hominy and mix.
Lucky for you this recipe can easily be made in the slow cooker. Place everything BUT the beans and hominy in your slow cooker and cover. Cook on high for around 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove and shred with 2 forks. Then, use a handheld immersion blender to blend the contents of the slow cooker. Place the shredded chicken back in and add the beans and hominy. Mix and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes.
Chili isn’t chili without the toppings! Here are some of my favs:
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Fresh cilantro
- Raw red onion
- Fresh lime juice
- Tortilla chips
If you’re planning to meal prep this chili for a healthy option all week long, we recommend storing this in a glass, airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to reheat: To reheat, place green chili in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 60-90 seconds. Alternatively, you can plan the entire batch of chili back into a stockpot and reheat on the stovetop.
Can you freeze this chili? To freeze this chili, place into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag or container and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Have leftover chili? Here are some great ideas for repurposing your chili into leftovers!
- Top a baked potato with leftover chili.
- Use the chili as the meat of enchiladas or burritos. It will thicken overnight in the fridge and become the perfect filling!
- Ever heard of breakfast chili? Serve some green chili with a fried egg.
Green Chili Recipe (Chili Verde)
- 1 medium white onion chopped
- 2 poblano peppers diced
- 1 jalepeño seeded and diced
- 1 shallot minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 4-oz. can green chiles
- 16 oz. salsa verde any heat works
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 15-oz. can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 oz.15-oz. can white cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz. can white hominy drained
- First, preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Add onion, poblano peppers, jalepeño, shallot, and garlic to a large, oven-safe stockpot.
- Then, drizzle on olive oil and salt and toss. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 400ºF, stirring halfway.
- Remove stockpot from oven and add green chiles, salsa verde, chicken broth, and chicken breast to the stockpot.
- Bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Once boiling, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Once the chicken has cooked, remove from the pot and use 2 forks to shred. Set aside.
- Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the contents of the pot just until there are small chunks.
- Then, add the shredded chicken back into the pot along with the beans and hominy.
- Stir and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes.