Chicken Chile Verde (in the Instant Pot)

Medley of Chile Peppers - Chile Peppers

When I make sour cream enchiladas (my picky husband’s favorite dish) I use canned green chile enchilada sauce. I had the impression that homemade green sauce would be difficult to replicate. Boy was I wrong! I will never buy the canned or jarred stuff again. This homemade green sauce (chile verde) is amazing and incredibly flavorful. And you guessed it … I used the Instant Pot to create this insanely good sauce and tender and juicy shredded chicken.

I headed to my local grocery store and picked the freshest chile peppers available (poblano, Anaheim, tomatillo, and jalapeno).  The vibrant green peppers are fresh and gorgeous. The meal is a cinch to put together. The only leg work is removing the seeds and stems from the peppers. I kept the jalapeno seeds since we love a kick to our food. I didn’t do much chopping other than halving and/or quartering the peppers and onions. Once you chop all of veggies you throw them in the Instant Pot, along with the boneless chicken breast, garlic cloves, salt, and spices.

Pile the ingredients in the IP

The peppers are very juicy and will produce a lot of liquid so I only added ½ cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. I manually set the time to 25 minutes on high pressure and couldn’t wait to taste my first homemade green sauce with shredded chicken. The aromatic smells permeated throughout the house. I was salivating waiting for the timer to beep.

After patiently waiting the timer beeped and I transferred the cooked chicken breast to a plate for shredding (I used two forks to easily shred the tender chicken). I poured the liquid and cooked chile peppers into the blender. I added a tablespoon of Red Boat fish sauce and then pulsed the ingredients for 10-15 seconds. Everything quickly came together. If you have an immersion blender you can keep the liquid and chilies in the Instant Pot and blend. This recipe makes a lot of sauce. I reserve two cups to make sour cream enchiladas. You can also use the extra sauce for the Pioneer Woman’s Green Chile Queso or to go with your eggs in the morning.

PicMonkey Collage

Now’s the time to reserve any green sauce you plan to use before you add back in the chicken. I add the shredded chicken and pureed green sauce back to the Instant Pot and stir everything together. The chicken chile verde tastes even better than it smells.

I heat up some tortillas and make tacos with the shredded chicken chile verde. I add crunchy shredded cabbage and creamy sliced avocado. Delicioso!!

Chicken Chile Verde Taco and Avocado

Chicken Chile Verde Taco with shredded cabbage and avocado
My picky husband enthusiastically approved this dish. I will definitely make this for friends and family! It’s a sure-fire way to impress them with your homemade chicken chile verde. This is a must make if you have an Instant Pot! Seriously you really must run out and make this dish! This has been unanimously (by my picky husband and me) the BEST meal I’ve made in the Instant Pot.

Chicken Chile Verde Taco


  • ½ cup water
  • 3 pounds skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • ¾ pound tomatillos (3-4 large tomatillos), quartered, husks discarded
  • ¾ pound poblano peppers, halved with seeds and stemmed removed
  • ½ pound Anaheim peppers, halved with seeds and stemmed removed
  • 4-5 jalapeño peppers, halved with stemmed removed (you can remove the seeds if you don’t want the heat – make sure you wear gloves or thoroughly wash your hands after cutting)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 – 6 medium whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ tablespoon paprika (smoked or fancy will do)
  • 1 tablespoon Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce


  1. Add water, tomatillos, poblano peppers, Anaheim peppers, jalapeño pepppers, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and chicken to the Instant Pot.
  2. Cover and lock the lid.
  3. Select “Manual” mode and press the “-” button until it reads 25 minutes. Also make sure to set the top knob to “Sealing” and not “Venting”.
  4. The Instant Pot will beep at you when it finishes cooking the chicken.
  5. Once the timer beeps immediately move the top knob from “Sealing” to “Venting” to manually release the pressure.
  6. Once all of the pressure releases, open the lid and using tongs transfer the chicken to a plate.
  7. Pour the chile mixture and Red Boat fish sauce in a blender to puree the chile peppers (pulse for 10-15 seconds or until desired consistency is reached). If you have an immersion blender keep the chile mixture in the Instant Pot and puree until the desired consistency is reached.
  8. Shred chicken and return the chicken and pureed chile peppers to the Instant Pot to keep warm.
  9. Serve wrapped in a tortilla with sour cream and shredded cheese or  over rice. The first time I made this we didn’t have tortillas so I combined the spicy green chile chicken with a King’s Hawaiian Honey Wheat roll. The sweetness of the roll with the spicy green chile chicken was  a perfect combination.

In a pinch you can skip the fresh chile peppers and use a 16 ounce jar of green chile sauce. You can also skip the pureeing since the pre-made green chile sauce is already pureed. But why would you now that you know just how easy homemade green sauce is to make?

Adapted from Serious Eats

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13 thoughts on “Chicken Chile Verde (in the Instant Pot)

  1. thestripedcoyote says:

    This looks delicious – and that’s coming from a vegetarian!!! I love cooking with poblano peppers. I remember the first time I tried to use them I was SO scared because I’d never tasted them or used them but a recipe called for them… It was not as hard as I thought at all! I love to roast a few in the oven and chop them up and blend them into stuff to add a little kick 🙂
    Great post!

    • Tanya Finley says:

      That is a HUGE compliment! I still get a little intimidated with new ingredients but it doesn’t stop me from using them. You never know what new ingredients you will fall in love with. 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Kim Yee says:

    Yippee ! success with an Instant pot recipe- Knowing that we don’t like spicy, I did 1.5 pds. of tomatillos, 2 jalapeños. The amount of sauce was a ton !! but we all loved it ! I also used 1/2 thighs and 1/2 breasts as I hate it when the breast meat turns out too dry. Thanks for sharing !

    • Tanya says:

      Kim, I’m so happy it was a success for you! This is my husband’s favorite and I loved how you tailored it to your family’s taste. I’ll have to try using half chicken thigh and half chicken breast the next time we make it. Great idea!

  3. Sarah says:

    This sounds delish! I’ll be making it this weekend. Can you omit the fish sauce? I can’t stand anything fishy.

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Sarah! Yes, you can omit the fish sauce (I’ve made this dish numerous times and have left it out because I ran out). But you’d be surprised that you can’t taste it. Fish sauce is added for umami (an added savory element to your dishes). I hope you like the Chicken Chile Verde with or without the fish sauce. 🙂

  4. nita says:

    The recipe didn’t say to add the paprika and I wondered if it was added with the fish sauce after cooking but I guessed and added it with all the other ingredients. Is that right?

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Nita! Thanks for letting me know. You’ll add the paprika in step 1 with the other spices. This is one of our favorite meals. I hope you enjoy!

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