Green Chicken Chili

Chili is one of my favorite things to eat during the fall and winter months. The main reason being the warmth and comfort that it provides, but a not-too-distant second reason is that a chili recipe comes in so many forms. I never feel like I’m eating the same chili twice! A conventional chili recipe often uses tomatoes and beans but this chili is going to be a bit different. Instead, you’ll find poblano and jalapeno peppers along with beautiful green tomatillos, hence the “green” of this chicken chili.

This particular recipe for green chicken chili has become a huge favorite in my house and the tomatillos definitely have a little something to do with why we love it so much. As in all cooking, I want to build layers of flavors, and as important as the spice drawer will be to the flavor profile, it’s the tomatillos and the poblano peppers that really make this dish pop.

Chopped onions and peppers go into a large pot or dutch oven and I’ll sauté them in a bit of oil. Garlic is next and once the garlic becomes fragrant, I can add those stunning green tomatillos and the chicken, then my seasonings and a bay leaf go into the mix. I’ll top it all with chicken broth and cover the pot. For the most part, other than the occasional stir, this just simmers and bubbles on the stove, growing more and more delicious with each minute.

Once the chicken is cooked, I can take it out and shred it. And then I can use one of my absolute favorite kitchen gadgets, the immersion blender, to puree the vegetables, but not until entirely smooth as I do like a little bit of those vegetable chunks. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a standard blender will do, just work in small batches. I can then bring the shredded chicken back into the pot and give it all a good stir. Dinner is ready!

A steaming bowl of this flavorful green chicken chili is just the right way to spice up a cool evening, and the leftovers taste even better the next day! A hearty and delicious green chicken chili is absolutely a family favorite! It’s great for a weeknight dinner or even a tailgating party, and it’s a fun way to put a different spin on the usual chili routine.

Green Chicken Chili

45 minutes to prepare serves 6-8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (11 oz) can tomatillos, drained and quartered
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. To a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
  2. Add tomatillos and stir to combine. Add uncooked chicken, followed by cumin, oregano, cloves, salt, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  3. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 25-30 minutes.
  4. Remove cooked chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Remove and discard bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, puree vegetables and broth until mostly blended but some chunks of tomatillo remain.
  5. Return chicken to the pot, stir in cilantro, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with more cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.