A healthy, hearty stew using all natural ingredients.
You might be familiar with posole from your favorite Mexican restaurant. This hearty stew is usually made with large chunks of fatty pork swimming in a thick red sauce. It’s not exactly unhealthy, but it’s not necessarily healthy, either. We wanted to take all the flavors we love from posole and turn them into a healthier version that still retains its hearty backbone. So, instead of using pork, we chose lean chicken breasts and swapped in a tangy tomatillo sauce instead of the traditionally rich, red sauce. The result is this Instant Pot Chicken Posole Verde recipe, and we think you’re going to love it.
The backbone of posole is hominy, a hulled corn treated with lye. This ingredient can be hard to find in parts of the country, and the canned version is usually too heavy with sodium for our liking. Because of that, we swapped in sweet corn for this recipe. If you have access to fresh hominy or you have time to cook dried hominy from scratch, you could absolutely use that instead.
Rich and Hearty in Flavor, Yet Leaves You Feeling Light
One of the things we don’t like about traditional posole is how heavy it is. Between the pork and the red sauce, we often feel weighed down after eating a bowl. It makes us ready for a nap! That’s why we decided to use tomatillos instead of using red chiles. Tomatillos are used in salsa verde, and they pair exceptionally well with chicken.
Tomatillos aren’t just small, unripe tomatoes. These little, green fruits are wrapped in a papery husk and have a super-bright, acidic flavor. They’re harder and more dense than a tomato, so they’re better cooked than raw. In addition to adding texture to the dish, they also give this Instant Pot Chicken Posole Verde a bold amount of flavor that finishes nice and light. Exactly what we were going for!
When you remove the tomatillo from the husk, you’ll notice that the skin is slightly sticky. Don’t worry: This is normal! Rinse them under warm, running water to remove most of the sticky residue and you’ll be good to go.
So Many Reasons to Love The Instant Pot!
There are so many reasons to love the Instant Pot, and this Instant Pot Chicken Posole Verde is just one of them. If you made this on the stovetop, you’d have to simmer it for hours to get the right depth of flavor. By using the Instant Pot, you can cut the cooking time down to only 20 minutes! Even if you account for the searing time and the time it takes for the pressure to build, that’s still dinner in less than 45 minutes.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet and you’re trying to decide whether or not to buy one, check out our article comparing the Instant Pot to the Slow Cooker. They both have their pros and cons, but we love how the Instant Pot turns our favorite recipes into quick-and-easy weeknight dinners.
Instant Pot Chicken Posole Verde
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts 6 to 8 ounces each
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed and minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 4 cups chicken broth low-sodium
- 6 tomatillos husks removed, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 cups cilantro fresh, chopped
- 1/2 cup avocado diced
- Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot in saute mode. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken breasts in the hot olive oil on each side until golden brown. About 4 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken and add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the onions being to turn translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeno, oregano, cumin, cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the corn, chicken broth and tomatillos and return the chicken to the pot.
- Change the Instant Pot mode to manual with high pressure. Place the lid on the pot and seal. Set the timer for 20 minutes. When time is up, manually vent the Instant Pot and carefully remove the lid. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred. Place the shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot, add the lime juice and stir.
- Ladle into serving bowls and top with cilantro and avocado. Enjoy!
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How would you cook this w/o an instant pot?
Hi Megan, you can cook this in a slow cooker if you wish. Follow the directions as listed until the cook time. Instead of the 20 minutes, you will cook on high for 4 hours or low for about 6 hours. You can follow the remaining directs as listed, too.
What about on the stove in a pot? I need to double it.
Rachel, The stove will be fine if you’d like to double the recipe. 🙂
This is one of my all-time favorite go-to recipes! I’ve made it my own but this template has seriously brought so much joy to my family’s tastebuds! Thank you!
Awesome, Tay! We’re happy we could help! Thanks for sharing! 😀
This is so yummy!! My husband is very picky with soup but he loved this one. I made changes to fit the flavor that I had while living in Mexico. I swapped the jalapeno for poblano pepper and corn for canned hominy (if sodium is an issue just rinse it!). I omitted the lime because the tomatillos add enough acidity to the soup. This one is keeper!
Sonia, Great! Thanks so much for adding the tips.
Hi there really looking forward to trying this out. Quick question can I freeze leftovers?
Sure you can freeze leftovers. Be sure to allow leftovers to cool down before freezing then defrost in the fridge before reheating.
Can I substitute hominy instead of corn?
Vicky, Hominy should work fine!
Just saw this recipe and thank you for a posole that doesn’t call for hominy. I have a texture issue with it, as well as whole garbanzo beans.