Simmered in a rich, spicy broth, this crockpot chicken pozole has an Aztec background. Loaded with hominy, shredded chicken, and chiles, this Mexican pozole recipe is a true delicacy made easy.
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Pozole
Cooked until thick and wholesome, this crockpot Mexican pozole is just as rich and flavorful as the one that was made hundreds of years ago. Packed with its traditional flavor components, this recipe has all the hominy, shredded chicken, and chile you could ask for.
Just because it has lots of poblanos and serrano peppers, though, don’t feel like it’s a giant pot of “spicy.” It’s actually not. The tomatillos add plenty of acidity and the chicken broth mellows things out to keep tears from rolling down your cheeks with every spoonful.
Topped with lots of lettuce, cilantro, and a lime wedge, this Mexican pozole keeps the green coming. However, you can just as easily make it red to switch things up. Regardless of how cook it, this easy crockpot pozole is bound to be a new favorite in your weeknight meal rotation.
If you love this easy crockpot chicken pozole, make sure to check out my favorite classic stovetop version of Pork Pozole Verde!
What Is Pozole?
Pozole is a prehispanic soup that used to be made with human flesh as an offering to the Aztec gods. It consisted of blended dried chiles used to flavor the broth, hominy, and meat. Fortunately, a couple hundred years have passed and human flesh was substituted for pork or chicken.
Different kinds of pozole have also sprung up to include red, white, and green varieties. This recipe is considered pozole verde (or green pozole) because it uses fresh green chiles, hence the name and color. It’s often prepared for special occasions and is served with lots of toppings.
Your local Mexican supermarket will have everything you need for this Mexican pozole. For the exact ingredient amounts, check the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Chicken broth – Veggie broth is okay.
- Onion – I prefer white onion, but yellow onion also works.
- Poblano chiles – Feel free to use fresh or frozen ones.
- Serrano chiles – These can be substituted for jalapeños.
- Garlic cloves – Please don’t use garlic powder for this recipe. You’ll need loads of it to make up for the flavor of fresh garlic in this soup.
- Mexican oregano
- Ground cumin
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Canned hominy – Don’t leave it out or it won’t be pozole.
- Bay leaves
Pozole Soup Topping Ideas
This is a list of the most traditional pozole toppings:
- Chopped onion – Red or white is okay.
- Sliced radishes
- Queso fresco
With these variations for Mexican pozole verde, you might as well open a restaurant.
- Use pork. Using the same amount of pork shoulder or butt will yield a different but very traditional pozole verde.
- Use rotisserie chicken. Cut down on cooking time by using leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Add salsa verde. Don’t worry if you can’t find tomatillos at your local supermarket or Mexican market. Substituting them for 3 1/2 cups of store-bought salsa verde is a quick fix.
- Make it red. Use 3 Roma tomatoes and 15 guajillo chiles instead of the tomatillos and poblano chiles in this recipe. Remove the seeds and stems from the dried guajillos and then cover them with boiling water in a bowl for 15 minutes. Blend the sauce with the tomatoes and rehydrated chiles for red pozole.
- Make it spicy. This pozole verde is pretty mild, but you can definitely make it spicier by adding 1/2-1 jalapeño to the sauce.
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Pozole
Blending and throwing everything into the crockpot for this Mexican pozole sounds easy, right?
- Blend the sauce. Add the broth, tomatillos, onion, chiles, cilantro, garlic, oregano, thyme, cumin, and salt to a blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture.
- Combine everything. Place the chicken, hominy, and sauce in the crockpot. Add the bay leaves.
- Cook it. Set it to HIGH for 4-6 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
- Serve it. Remove the chicken from the crockpot. Use two forks to shred it and return it to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Ladle the Mexican pozole into bowls and add your favorite toppings.
Tips for Success
All you need to do to make the best pot of Mexican pozole is follow these simple tips:
- Strain the sauce. If you’re not a fan of suddenly biting into tomatillo skins or feeling small seeds in your mouth, then strain the blended sauce into the crockpot.
- Char the chiles. Although it’s not necessary to char or peel the poblanos, doing so will add wonderful flavor to your pozole. You can also char the serranos, garlic, and onion too.
- Let it reduce. Letting the pozole simmer for longer thickens the soup, making it slightly more comforting.
- Make sure it’s pre-cooked. Dried hominy literally takes forever to cook, so skip the hassle and make sure it’s pre-cooked. Most canned ones are, but always read the label to make sure unless you want to spend 8 hours simmering them.
- Make it on the stove. If you don’t have a slow cooker, let everything simmer in a large pot over medium-low heat for 1-2 hours.
What to Serve with Mexican Pozole
Mexican pozole is usually the main dish, so it isn’t generally served with sides. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t snack on some tortilla chips with Avocado Salsa or Refried Beans before it hits the table.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerate any cooled Mexican pozole in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat it, microwave it for 30 seconds and then give it a stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds or until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
Can I Freeze This?
Absolutely! Pop any cooled leftovers into a freezer-friendly bag or container. Freeze the pozole for up to 3 months. Transfer it to the fridge a day before serving and reheat it as usual.
More Easy Mexican Recipes
- Chilaquiles Verdes
- Calabacitas Recipe (Mexican Squash)
- Easy Authentic Mexican Rice
- Colorado Green Chili (Chili Verde)
- Chile Rellenos in Cream Sauce (Rajas Con Crema)
- Mexican Chicken Adobo
Crockpot Chicken Pozole
For the Pozole
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 10 tomatillos, halved
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large poblano chilis, seeded and quartered
- 2 serrano chilis, seeded
- 1 bunch cilantro, plus more for serving
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 15 ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- Chopped onion
- Sliced radishes
- Queso fresco
- Place the chicken broth, tomatillos, onion, chilis, cilantro, garlic cloves, oregano, thyme, cumin, and salt into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Place the chicken thighs and hominy in the slow cooker, then pour in the green sauce and add the bay leaves.
- Set the slow cooker on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Remove the chicken and shred, then return to the slow cooker.
- Serve hot bowls of pozole with all of your favorite toppings.
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