Shredded Salsa Verde Chicken for tacos, chicken enchiladas, flautas, and lots of other easy recipes. Tender poached chicken breasts (or thighs) tossed in a tangy charred tomatillo salsa makes the best chicken tacos!
How many days a week do you make dinner from scratch?
I cook dinner five to six nights a week, which I’ll admit, can be a real drag. Continuing to come up with ideas that are easy, quick, and something everyone will eat is not that simple night after night.
Welcome this Salsa Verde Chicken recipe! Gently poached chicken, shredded and tossed with homemade charred tomatillo salsa (or even store bought if you’re in a real rush) makes a flavorful taco filling or protein-packed burrito bowl with black beans, jack cheese, and sour cream.
Keep reading for the recipe and let me know in the comments how it turned out!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Quick and easy. Make the salsa while the chicken cooks. After you’ve shredded the chicken, simply add to the salsa and voilá—dinner is done!
Healthy! Loads of protein, gluten-free, dairy-free and low in calories, this is a dinner that fits almost every dietary need.
Meal Prep Friendly. Make a batch (or two) over the weekend and have on hand all week for a couple of different meals—tacos one night and burrito bowl a couple nights later, for example. Salsa Verde Chicken keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I love a short ingredient list, don’t you? If you are making tacos with this, you’ll need to add tortillas of course. And any toppings you might want on top like avocado, Pico de Gallo, or more cilantro.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Use whichever one you like best.
- White onion. White onion has that bright flavor you are looking for when making Mexican recipes but yellow onion would also work.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic is always best but if you only have garlic powder, you can add that to the recipe instead. Add 1 teaspoon to the poaching liquid and 1/2 teaspoon to the salsa when blending.
- Tomatillos. Look for tomatillos that are firm and not bruised or cracked. The papery husks should be bright green and flexible.
- Jalapeños. If you are sensitive to spice, remove the seeds after you char the jalapeños before putting in the blender.
- Fresh cilantro. Use the leaves and the tender stems. Get a bit extra to use as garnish.
- Kosher salt. I always use Morton kosher salt unless otherwise noted.
How To Make Salsa Verde Chicken
This stovetop method is simple and is ready in about an hour. If you are really short on cook time, check out this Instant Pot version from Cookies and Cups.
Make the poaching liquid. Cut the onion in half and thinly slice one half of the onion. Set the other half aside for the salsa. Peel and thinly slice three of the garlic cloves. Place onion and garlic slices in a large saucepan. Add 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of the salt and bring to a boil.
Poach the chicken. Add the chicken and return liquid to a simmer. Lower the heat and gently simmer chicken until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Char veggies for salsa. While the chicken is cooking, start the salsa. Heat broiler to high and arrange an oven rack at the top. Cut the leftover half of onion into half again and place on a baking sheet. Add tomatillos, jalapeños, and remaining garlic cloves and place under the broiler.
Broil, turning a few times until the vegetables are charred on all sides, about 20 minutes. Remove the garlic when it is golden which will happen much sooner than the other vegetables.
Blend salsa. Let vegetables cool slightly, then transfer them to a blender along with the remaining salt and cilantro. Blend on high until smooth.
Strain and shred chicken. Once chicken is cooked through, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl. Keep chicken broth for a soup recipe later in the week. Let chicken cool then shred into bite-sized pieces.
Combine and serve. Return shredded chicken back to the saucepan along with the onions and garlic it cooked with. Add salsa verde and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, until flavors have melded, about 5-10 minutes. Taste and season with salt or a squeeze of lime juice as needed.
Serve as tacos or choose one of the other options below!
Salsa Verde Chicken is fantastic for meal prep. Make the chicken start to finish and store in a covered baking dish or resealable container. Reheat as needed in the microwave or in a frying pan on the stove top. Add a little bit of the leftover chicken broth if it looks dry.
What To Make With It
These obviously make amazing tacos. Just warm a few tortillas, add the chicken, then top with your favorite toppings like sliced avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro, Mexican crema, and/or Pico de Gallo.
- Make a low-carb burrito bowl with these Best Ever Canned Black Beans as a base, the Salsa Verde Chicken and steamed broccoli. Top with cheese if you’d like.
- Follow this step-by-step Huarache recipe and then top with the Salsa Verde Chicken.
- Serve with Instant Pot Mexican Rice and a green salad.
- Make Flautas Mexicanas! Roll the filling in corn tortillas and fry. Serve with shredded lettuce, Mexican crema, and queso fresco.
More Chicken Tacos To Try!
- Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas Tacos with Peach Salsa
- Chicken Street Tacos
- Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Pesto
- Citrus Chicken Fajitas
- Smoky Chicken Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo
- Honey-Lime Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- Grilled Chicken Fajitas
Found a new favorite?
I’d love to know! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- Prepare poaching liquid. Cut onion in half. Thinly slice half of the onion, set the other half aside. Peel and thinly slice 3 of the garlic cloves. Place sliced onion and sliced garlic in a large (4 quart) saucepan along with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Poach chicken. Add chicken and return to a simmer. Lower heat so liquid is gently simmering. Cook, uncovered, until cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
- Char veggies for salsa. Heat broiler to high and arrange rack to the top. Cut other onion half into half again. Place onion, remaining 2 garlic cloves (unpeeled), tomatillos, and jalapeños on a baking sheet. Place under broiler and broil, turning once or twice, until charred on all sides, about 20 minutes. Remove garlic once it is golden and continue broiling the other vegetables until charred.
- Blend sauce. Peel garlic and remove stems from jalapeños. Also remove jalapeño seeds if you are sensitive to heat. Let vegetables cool slightly then place charred tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, and onion in a blender. Add cilantro and salt and blend on high until smooth.
- Shred chicken. Once chicken is cooked through, drain through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Save cooking liquid to use as chicken broth in a soup or sauce. Let chicken cool then shred into bite-sized pieces.
- Toss with sauce. Add chicken and the onions and garlic it cooked with back in the saucepan. Add salsa verde and heat over medium until the flavors have melded and it is warmed through, about 5-10 minutes. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- Serve. Serve in warm tortillas as tacos topped with avocado slices or in a burrito bowl or flautas.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 562mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 38g
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