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Salsa verde chicken chilaquiles in a bowl, topped with sour cream, avocado slices and hot sauce.
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Salsa Verde Chicken Chilaquiles Stew (Easy & Quick!)

My good friend Jess came up with a dead simple but utterly crave-able version of chilaquiles using tomatillo salsa and tortilla chips. Chicken breasts are poached in store-bought salsa verde (also labeled tomatillo salsa), then are shredded and added back into the salsa mixture, along with sautéed onion and garlic. Just before serving, tortilla chips are folded in, creating a delicious textural tango—it’s warm and spicy yet bright and crunchy. The chilaquiles get topped with all the fixings (I go big with cilantro, scallions, avocado slices, cheese and sour cream). This version is more stew-like than traditional chilaquiles, making it a satisfying meal any time of day. Don’t season the chicken or onion with salt, as there’s plenty of salt in the salsa (I also prefer to use low-salt or salt-free tortilla chips). To take the chilaquiles over the top, add a fried egg on top!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken chilaquiles, chicken chilaquiles recipe, salsa verde chilaquiles
Servings: 3 -4 people

Equipment

  • Saucepan

Ingredients

  • 16- ounces (2 cups) salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 heaping cups yellow corn tortilla chips (preferably low salt or no salt)

Toppings (for serving), optional

  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sliced scallions
  • Avocado slices
  • Sour cream
  • Crumbled or shredded cheese (such as cotija, feta, cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the salsa verde and chicken broth. Nestle the chicken breasts into the salsa mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through (if a lot of foam rises to the surface, skim it off and discard).
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or plate and let cool. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken and stir it back into the salsa verde sauce. Remove the pot from the heat and keep warm.
  • In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and oregano. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds longer.
  • Scrape the onion mixture into the pot with the chicken. Do Ahead: The chicken in its sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat before proceeding.
  • When you’re ready to serve, reheat the chicken and sauce. Add the tortilla chips, and toss gently in the sauce (alternatively, for a less saucy version, place the chips in a skillet and add just enough chicken and sauce to lightly coat; cook over medium heat until warmed through).
  • Divide the chilaquiles between shallow bowls (it will thicken as it sits). Add the toppings of your choice, and devour!

Notes

Tips:
  • You can use homemade or store-bought salsa verde (also called tomatillo salsa) in this recipe. 
  • I prefer to use low-sodium or no sodium thicker cut tortilla chips in this recipe so that I can better control the amount of salt.
  • You can swap out the chicken breasts for boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • For a less stew-like, more traditional version of chilaquiles, place the chips in a skillet and add just enough of the chicken and salsa verde sauce to lightly coat; cook until warmed through. 
  • To take the chilaquiles over the top, add a fried egg before serving! (p.s. Best brunch EVER.)