Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly}

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Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

I have really come to love my slow cooker over the years. Crock Pot cooking is one of my favorite ways to make easy dinners, especially recipes that make multiple meals. I have said it before and I will say it again – a meal made in a slow cooker is just about the closest I may ever come to a personal chef. I load it up in the morning and by dinnertime the house is filled with incredible aromas and all I have to do is set the table and serve. It is amazing.

I have shared many plant-based slow cooker recipes here on Tasty Yummies, over the years. Like this Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry or this Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew, which is a reader favorite. I also have a simple recipe for Slow-Cooked Black Beans, that are great for vegan tacos or it can just be pureed into an amazing soup. Speaking of soup, this comforting Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup can be made with or without ham, to be vegan. Or for a really different Crock Pot experience, try my Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

Since I have shared so many plant-based Crock Pot recipes, I thought it was time to share a meat-based recipe since, I know many of you are like me and do eat meat from time-to-time. Plus, when I asked on my Facebook page, a good majority of you were lookin’ for a “meaty” recipe. I had tons of ideas I was working on, but I had a beautiful locally-raised whole organic chicken that I thought would be perfect to create something different with. I thought about making my Chicken and White Bean Chili again with the whole chicken, but then I saw the beautiful tomatillos at the market and came up with the idea for this Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

This post is extra special – because it’s actually a two-part recipe. Besides the amazing chile verde, first – I have a super simple salsa verde/sauce that can just be used as-is, a salsa perfect for dipping your favorite corn tortilla chips into, or even better, served warm in this amazing chile verde or it’d also be great as a topping for homemade veggie enchiladas. So many possibilities. This salsa verde is just loaded with amazing fresh flavors, so bright and unique. You could certainly use the tomatillos raw if you wish, but I have found that roasting the tomatillos first really brings out their incredibly bright flavor. I have a feeling I will be making homemade salsa verde way more often now. It was so easy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly


This Chicken Chile Verde is just amazing as-is, served hot in a bowl as a stew. Top it with some fresh cilantro and green onions, a dollop of cultured sour cream and you are good to go. It would also be incredible served over rice with a side of beans. Or maybe inside your favorite flour or corn tortillas for a burrito, tacos or enchiladas. Oh and guys, one word… NACHOS!! We used some of the leftovers and spooned it over tortilla chips with some melted cheese over them, I added some chopped tomatoes, an avocado, green onions and cilantro and it made the most amazing nachos ever. It was decadent and amazing, to say the least. My husband may never eat another dinner at our house again, now that he knows that nachos are possible.

To me, no matter how you eat this chicken chile verde – this is comfort food at it’s finest. Plus, any recipe that produces multiple meals, that is one you can be sure will be made time and time again in our house. Oh and in the event you don’t want to eat leftovers throughout the week, this would also freeze very nicely.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde - Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly

[print_this]Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde – Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly
makes 6-8 servings – this is the slow cooker that I use

Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe
makes about 3 cups

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatillos
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños, stems removed and deseeded (for extra heat use serranos instead)
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat your broiler to high.

Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse them well. Cut the tomatillos in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves. Place the pan under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes, to lightly blacken the skin on the tomatillos. (You can also roast them in a 450ºF oven for about 10 minutes). Allow to cool for a couple minutes.

Put the tomatillos, garlic, onion, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice and zest, cumin, honey and salt into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Store in refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde – Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly

  • approx 3 cups salsa verde (see above or use your favorite store bought)
  • 2 cups water, chicken broth or vegetable broth ( I used 1 cup of vegetable broth and 1 cup water)
  • 4-5lb organic pasture-raised whole chicken*
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste

extras for serving: limes, fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream, corn tortillas or tortilla chips, rice, beans hot sauce

Place the chicken on a work surface or cutting board and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the chicken into 6 parts – 2 legs, 2 breasts and 2 wings, excluding the back**. Cut off and discard as much of the skin as you can and any extra fat.

Add the salsa verde and two cups of liquid (water, broth or combo of the two) to the slow cooker. Place the chicken parts in and add the onion, bell pepper, bay leaf, ground coriander and fresh cilantro. Give it all a stir. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is cooked (at least 165 degrees in center of meat). Remove the chicken from the crock pot, remove the meat from the bones, shred it with two forks, discard the bones and add the meat back to the crock pot just before serving.

Serve it as-is ladled into a bowl as a stew, topped with fresh cilantro and green onions, a squeeze of lime and maybe a dollop of sour cream and some crispy corn tortillas. It would also be delicious served over rice, or a salad or in lettuce wraps. It’s also a super great filling for tacos, burritos or enchiladas or overtop a big ‘ol plate of nachos!

* you could also choose 2lbs of bone-in or boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts.

** save the neck and back whenever you cut up a whole chicken. They are great for stock. [/print_this]



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28 Responses

  1. This is the best reminder ever that I need to start using my slow cooker again! What a great dinner!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Kelli. Yeh I forget about mine too, from time to time, but it’s soo fun to pull it out and get creative. They are so amazing.

  2. Great recipe! I’m in SoCal too – Huntington Beach – and glad I found you on the WWW!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Awesome! Just up the road. I am in Long Beach! So happy you found me, Priscilla. I am off to check out your blog now 😉

  3. Stunning recipe and gorgeous photos Beth!! That salsa verde is making its way to my table ASAP.

  4. Brandon says:

    The salsa verde has a great taste and simple to prepare. The chicken chili verde is so good. The whole family loved it. I used boneless skinless chicken breast and it turned out really well.

  5. Margaret says:

    I made this last night and my husband and I loved it! I didn’t have the time/ingredients to make my own salsa verde, but I bet it’s even better that way and can’t wait to try it sometime. I wanted it soupy so I only used two boneless skinless chicken breasts, and I added some hominy. One of my new favorite meals!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hey Margaret, I am glad to hear that it still came out really good, even without the homemade version of the salsa verde. Ooh and the addition of the hominy is brilliant!! Thanks for the comment 😉

  6. I can’t seem to find tomatillos anywhere! Would regular tomatoes suffice as a substitute?


    • tastyyummies says:

      I would suggest that you just purchase a good quality jar of salsa verde instead of using the fresh tomatillos to make your own. Regular tomatoes would completely change the entire recipe and I cannot say for sure if it would be any good. Tomatoes and tomatillos are very different.

  7. […] Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde {Gluten Free, Dairy Free Paleo Friendly} from Tasty Yummies […]

  8. Beth, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog! You’re a blessing! I made this in my crock pot yesterday for my family and dinner guests. Yumtastico! Everyone enjoyed it alongside quinoa, black beans and sliced avocado. 🙂 I’m gradually weeding out wheat and trying to eat more paleo-ish, and your blog is making this possible. Thank you!

  9. Amanda Paa says:

    Definitely going to be making this! I canned tomatillo salsa during the summer, one of my favorites.

  10. Love these fresh ingredients! Pinning this now to add to future meal plans. Thanks!

  11. Noelle says:

    Could you add a print friendly version to your recipes PLEASE!

  12. PCSkima says:

    I love this. I have never used tomatilos, fresh cilantro or fresh jalapenos. my house smells like dinner! made the verde and using in the crock pot right now with 4 pounds of organic, skinless, boneless chicken breast. A word to the wise for those like me — DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE AFTER CUTTING JALAPENOS!!! OMG my face burns and it’s been 2 hours!! haha

  13. Dana Cruikshank says:

    WOW! I planted tomatillos last year, and several plants came up on their own this year. We had our first hard frost here last week, so I finally harvested the volunteers, and found this recipe. Even my picky kid eaters loved it. I stretched it out by adding white and red beans and corn right at the end, still worked out great. Thanks!

  14. Stacia says:

    I used hatch chillis instead and it seems to be turning out great! Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Sara says:

      I was just about to leave a comment asking if anyone had used hatch chiles! How did yours turn out?

      • Stacia says:

        The hatch chilies turned out great, I roasted them in the oven before hand & cooked them as in the instructions for the other chilies. It’s wasn’t very spicy(could have been my chilies) but it was flavorful & everyone loved the enchiladas I made with it.

  15. Ann says:

    Any chance of adding nutritional information to the recipes. I am brand new to this type of cooking and eating.

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      Ann, I don’t usually track this information, so I don’t plan on adding this feature to my website. I would suggest you use one of the many websites online to track nutritional information by plugging in the ingredients and serving sizes.

  16. Charmie says:

    Thanks for this great recipe! Love that you use the whole chicken with the bones. Really gives a better depth of flavor. I serve this with a side of beans, mostly pinto, but, I have served it with other beans as well. Often top it with avocado, green or sweet onions, as well as a dollop of Crema Oaxaquena, a family favorite sour cream. Absolutely, hands down, you have the best recipes out there.

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