Learn how to make Mexican Instant Pot Chili Verde (Pressure Cooker Chili Verde) with homemade Roasted Green Chili Sauce. Juicy tender chicken infused in a tangy-hot-savory-umami burst of deliciousness that lingers on your tastebuds. You’ll fall in love with this tasty chicken chile verde!
We’ve been eager to share more Instant Pot Mexican Recipes (my happy food!), so we’re thrilled to finally share our Instant Pot Chicken Chili Verde with you!
As we were testing & tasting the recipe, we both felt we were transported back to Mexico with this flavor-bursting chicken chile verde.
One spoonful after another, we simply couldn’t stop eating!! 😀
What is Chili Verde?
Chili Verde (aka Chile Verde): “Verde” in Spanish means “Green”, thus Chili Verde is also known as Green Chili – as opposed to the usual Chili (aka Red Chili).
[Side Note: I think you’ll love our Instant Pot Umami Chili 😉 ]
Chili Verde is a meat stew made with hot green chile peppers (i.e. Jalapeño, Poblano, Serrano, Anaheim peppers) and tomatillos.
This addictive Green Chile Sauce has so much fresh, vibrant, & complex depth of flavors from savory to acidic to hot & spicy. So yes! This Green Sauce is the soul of a Chili Verde. It gives life to the dish!
Chili Verde is most commonly made with pork, but since the Green Sauce is the essence, you may opt for beef, chicken, or even vegetarian options.
You can serve Chili Verde over rice & beans, made into Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Tostadas, Enchiladas…or more! 😀
What we look for in an awesome Chicken Chili Verde?
Since the Chile Sauce is the soul of Chili Verde, it’s best to make your own green chili sauce from scratch with fresh & high quality ingredients. And it’s really easy to make!
- Green Chile Sauce:
- A punch of well-balanced layers of flavors (not just heated but lack flavors; avoid one flavor overpowering other flavors)
- Moderately spicy & has the right level of heat, so it doesn’t overpower the flavor complexity
- Has a full body, depth & texture (not thin, runny, shallow & watery)
- Tastes fresh & refreshing
- Tender, juicy, flavorful
- Chicken shredded into good mouthful chunks (rather than thin strands of chicken) for more satisfying mouthfeel. This also allows the chicken to soak up the right amount of the yummy green chili sauce for you to enjoy (unless you’re aiming for a chili verde chicken soup). 🙂
Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot Chili Verde
Let’s prepare the ingredients for cooking Chili Verde in Instant Pot. 🙂
*Fish Sauce & Regular Soy Sauce: These are not traditional ingredients in a Mexican Chili Verde. However, we love adding them because they boost the flavor complexity by adding another layer of umami flavor to the final dish.
*Unsalted Chicken Stock – Different brands or even different boxes of the same brand of salted chicken stock can differ in levels of sodium, so we prefer to develop recipes using unsalted chicken stock for more control & consistency on the dish’s flavor profile.
First, peel away tomatillo’s husk and rinse the tomatillos under cold tap water.
Then, cut the tomatillos into halves and place them on a baking sheet with the rest of the peppers.
Tools for Instant Pot Green Chili
Optional Step – Roast Tomatillos & Peppers
*Pro Tip: This step is optional, but roasting the tomatillos and peppers will bring out their full flavors & aroma, thus increasing the flavor complexity of the overall chile verde.
First, set your oven to “Broil” function, then preheat for 5 minutes.
Then, place the baking sheet with tomatillos & peppers on top rack, and broil for 5 – 8 minutes.
Allow the peppers to cool down, then peel away the outer brown skins of the Poblano and Anaheim peppers.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove the stems & membranes from the peppers, then chop them up roughly.
*Pro Tip: You can keep the seeds if you like spicy green chili, or discard the seeds if you prefer a more mild chili verde.
Brown Chicken in Instant Pot
First, press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up Instant Pot. It will switch to “ON” on the screen.
Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen (takes roughly 8 minutes).
*Pro Tip: Make sure Instant Pot is as hot as it can be in order to induce a Maillard reaction.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil (15ml) in the Instant Pot’s inner pot, and ensure the whole bottom is coated with olive oil.
Pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towel, then lightly season one side with kosher salt.
Place 6 of the chicken thighs in Instant Pot.
*Note: We are overcrowding the chicken in Instant Pot, but it will work fine for this chili verde recipe. 🙂
First, brown the first side of chicken for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and brown the other side of the chicken for 3 minutes, then set aside the browned chicken thighs.
*Note: You don’t have to brown the remaining chicken thighs.
Saute Onion and Garlic
Then, add sliced onions in Instant Pot, and saute for 3 minutes.
Add 2 tsp (1.2g) dried oregano, 2 tsp (6g) ground cumin seeds, 2 cloves, and minced garlic in Instant Pot. Saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
Deglaze Instant Pot
Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix.
Pressure Cook Chili Verde
Add 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce and 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce in Instant Pot.
*Note: If you don’t have fish sauce, substitute with another tablespoon of regular soy sauce.
Add the roughly chopped peppers and halved tomatillos in Instant Pot, then give it a quick mix.
Finally, add all the chicken thighs in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
*Note: Make sure the chicken thighs are partially submerged in the cooking liquid.
Close lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing position.
- Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 7 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release
*Note: It will take roughly 16 minutes for the Instant Pot to get up to pressure to begin the pressure cooking cycle.
After 10 minutes of Natural Releasing, carefully turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure.
Once the Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.
*Note: Be prepared for the delicious aroma to fill the air as the Instant Pot releases pressure. It smells SO good!
Shred Chicken & Make Green Sauce
First, set aside the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Then, shred the chicken thighs slightly into chunks with two forks, and discard the skins & bones.
*Pro Tip: For better mouthfeel, don’t over-shred the chicken into thin strands or small strips of chicken.
Here is the fun part – find and discard the two tiny cloves in the Instant Pot.
Add 28g roughly chopped cilantro leaves in Instant Pot, then blend the green sauce in Instant Pot with an immersion blender.
*Note: You can also blend everything with a stand blender.
Taste the yummy green sauce, then adjust the seasoning with more salt.
*Pro Tip: You will need more salt for this green chili recipe. For reference, we added 4 – 5 large pinches of salt to further enhance & balance the flavors.
Serve Instant Pot Chili Verde
Now, mix the shredded chicken thighs into the green sauce in Instant Pot.
Taste test the chile verde one last time, then add more salt if necessary.
Garnish your tasty Instant Pot Chili Verde with chopped cilantro.
Lastly, serve this gorgeous Instant Pot Chili Verde with your favorite side dishes. Dig in & enjoy~
*Note: We like to serve our Instant Pot Chili Verde over rice & beans. What do you like to serve it with? Leave a comment below and let us know. 🙂
Time to make chili verde in Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Chili Verde
- 2.5 - 3.5 pounds (1440g) bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
- ~10 (1lb) tomatillos , halved
- 2 (114g) Jalapeño , chopped
- 2 (280g) Poblano peppers
- 1 (6.5g) Serrano pepper , chopped (optional)
- 2 (121g) Anaheim peppers or 1 green bell pepper (optional)
- 6 (26g) garlic cloves , minced
- 1 (288g) onion , sliced
- 2 teaspoons (1.2g) dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons (6g) cumin seeds , ground
- 2 cloves
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
- ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock
- 28 grams cilantro leaves , roughly chopped
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- Optional Flavor Boosting - Roast Tomatillos & Peppers: Set oven to "Broil" function, preheat for 5 minutes. Place the baking sheet with tomatillos & peppers on the top rack, broil for 5 - 8 minutes. Allow peppers to cool down, then peel away Poblano and Anaheim peppers' outer brown skins. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove stems & membranes, then roughly chop them up. *Pro Tip: Keep the seeds if you like a more spicy chili verde, or discard the seeds if you prefer a more mild chili verde.
- Brown Chicken in Instant Pot: Press "Saute" button to "Sauté More" to heat up Instant Pot. Wait until it says "HOT" on the screen (~8 mins). *Pro Tip: Make sure Instant Pot is as hot as it can be to induce a Maillard reaction. Add 1 tbsp olive oil (15ml) in Instant Pot's inner pot. Ensure the whole bottom is coated with olive oil. Pat dry chicken thighs with a paper towel, then lightly season one side with kosher salt. Place 6 chicken thighs in Instant Pot. Brown the first side of chicken for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, brown the other side for 3 minutes, then set aside. *Pro Tip: Normally, we don’t recommend overcrowding when browning chicken in Instant Pot, but it will work fine for this recipe. To save time, you don't have to brown all the chicken.
- Saute Onion and Garlic: Add in sliced onions, then saute for 3 minutes. Add in 2 tsp (1.2g) dried oregano, 2 tsp (6g) ground cumin seeds, 2 cloves, minced garlic, then saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix.
- Pressure Cook Chili Verde: Add in 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce and 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce. Add in chopped peppers and halved tomatillos, then give it a quick mix. Add in all the chicken. *Pro Tip: Make sure the chicken thighs are partially submerged in the cooking liquid. Close lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 7 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
- Shred Chicken & Make Green Sauce: Set aside the chicken in a large mixing bowl, shred chicken with two forks, and discard the skins & bones. Find and discard the cloves in Instant Pot. Add in 28g roughly chopped cilantro leaves, then blend the green sauce with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. *Pro Tip: For reference, we added 4 - 5 large pinches of salt to further enhance & balance the flavors.
- Serve: Mix the shredded chicken thighs into the green sauce in Instant Pot. Taste the chile verde, then add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve & enjoy~
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