Mexican Green Chile Baked Chicken (Pollo Verde)

Mexican Green Chile Baked Chicken (Pollo Verde)

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
426 Calories
16g Fat
16g Carbs
54g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 426
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 600mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 371mg 1,853%
Calcium 210mg 16%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 950mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Mexican-inspired chicken recipe combines the best of American cooking with a delicious traditional Mexican green chile sauce and cheese. Not only is it easy to prepare; it's also healthy: low-carb, low-fat, and low-calorie—yet bursting with flavor. A recipe for homemade green chile sauce is given, but 3 1/2 cups/830 ml canned can be used instead.

While the chicken breast in this dish is baked in the oven, ​most cooks in Mexico do not use their ovens often. Oven-baked dishes are usually considered a special party or holiday fare. In fact, stove ovens are frequently used as storage space for pots and pans.


For the Green Chile Sauce:

  • 2 pounds chile peppers, Anaheim or Poblano

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional

  • 2 jalapeños, optional

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 4 ounces cotija cheeseor queso fresca, crumbled

Steps to Make It

Make the Chile Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Green Chile Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Roast the peppers, peel, and remove and discard stems and seeds.

    Roast the peppers, peel, and remove and discard stems and seeds

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Blend chile flesh in a food processor or blender until chunky. Add water, garlic, oil, lime juice, salt, and cumin, if using. Process until smooth. If you would like a spicier sauce, include 1 or 2 seeded jalapeño peppers

    water, garlic, oil, lime juice, salt, and cumin with the peppers in the food processor

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Make the Pollo Verde

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pollo Verde ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place in a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish.

    chicken in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until center of the thickest part of chicken breast has reached 165 F.

    green chile sauce poured over the raw chicken in the baking dish

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Remove dish from oven and crumble cheese over chicken. Serve immediately, with hot corn tortillas and Mexican rice and/or beans, if desired.

    Mexican Green Chile Baked Chicken (Pollo Verde)

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Recipe Variations

  • For a change of pace, use chunks of pork in place of the chicken. 
  • To add eye appeal as well as flavor and texture, garnish your chicken with a mixture of diced raw onion and finely chopped cilantro.
  • Add a drizzle of liquid cream (Mexican crema).
  • Sprinkle it with shredded cheese (a kind that melts nicely, such as Mexican manchego, Oaxaca, or Chihuahua cheese) instead of the grated/crumbled cheese mentioned in the main recipe. Put your cheese-topped chicken under the broiler briefly, until cheese has melted and is just starting to brown.

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