SHEET PAN POLLO VERDE!!! Zippy, zesty, bright salsa verde chicken made from scratch in 30 minutes or less with just 10 ingredients. There are so many reasons you’re going to be absolutely obsessed with this chicken sheet pan dinner: it is EASY, takes 10 minutes to prep, is packed with fresh flavor, & it’s super versatile – once you make your sheet pan chicken verde, the sky’s the limit: tacos, burritos, nachos…it works with just about anything. A weeknight dinner dream!
I first fell in love with pollo verde way back in my early 20s at my faaavorite taco spot in Milwaukee.
I’d never had Mexican-style chicken with such bright flavors before (most of the chicken tacos I’d had up to that point were either spiced with straight-outta-the-packet taco seasoning or tinga-style spicy tomatoes), so my mind was absolutely blown by how bright, fresh & zippy salsa verde chicken is. I’ve been hooked on pollo verde ever since!
…& as always, once I’m hooked on something, I pretty much make it my life’s mission to figure out how to make it even better myself. Enter: the easiest weeknight-friendly salsa verde chicken, made entirely from scratch in 30 minutes or less thanks to some chicken sheet pan dinner magic. ✨Get ready to kiss boring chicken sheet pan meals goodbye for good.
I’m pretty sure you’re gonna be obsessed with this pollo verde recipe. It’s…
- SO, SO SIMPLE. 10 super straightforward real-food ingredients: chicken, tomatillos, peppers, onion, cilantro, some spices & plenty-o-lime juice.
- SO, SO EASY. 30 minute sheet pan dinner magic at it’s finest! ✨
- SO, SO GOOD. Seriously. Because you’re making it from scratch, the pollo verde ends up tasting super fresh, & you can control just how spicy or zippy you like it (?????? heavy on both fronts for me!).
- & SO, SO VERSATILE. You can use this easy salsa verde chicken in just about anything – tacos, taco salad, burritos, burrito bowls, nachos…you name it!
& if you ask me, that’s exactly what weeknight dinner dreeeeams are made of! ?
What is pollo verde?
Pollo verde translates to green salsa chicken, or chicken cooked in salsa verde. Salsa verde is a spicy green sauce made from tomatillos and green chili peppers. You can buy salsa verde pretty readily at most grocery stores, but it’s also super easy to make at home with minimal ingredients. I make my salsa verde with tomatillos, red onion, both poblano & jalapeno peppers, cilantro & tons of lime juice for extra bright freshness.
Many of the easy pollo en salsa verde recipes out there get their ease from using jarred salsa verde. I’m definitely not against a good store-bought shortcut…but honestly, if you have to cook the chicken anyway, why not make yourself fresh salsa with minimal added effort?
That’s exactly where the ✨magic✨comes into the equation for this chicken verde recipe: you prep the chicken & the salsa verde ingredients on one single sheet pan, resulting in freshly roasted pulled chicken and fresh salsa, all made from scratch with with minimal added effort. ?
Salsa verde chicken ingredients:
One of my favorite parts of this salsa verde chicken recipe is that you simply need 10 real-food ingredients to make it from scratch.
The key players (Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below):
- red onion
- poblano pepper
- jalapeno pepper
- lime juice
- olive oil
- & some spices (think: garlic powder, ground cumin, salt & pepper)
I’m a huge fan of chicken thighs, since they have so much flavor & stay so much juicier than breasts, but you could also use chicken breasts in this recipe! I have some tips for swapping in chicken breasts in the Recipe Notes, below.
How to make this chicken sheet pan dinner:
My other favorite part of this salsa verde chicken recipe? It is seriously easy! Between roasting up the chicken & prepping homemade fresh salsa verde, everything happens on one sheet pan!
Here’s the quick recipe run down (Note: full directions provided in the Recipe Card, below):
- Prep the chicken and veggies: Arrange the chicken on one half of a sheet pan, & the salsa verde veggies on the other half. Drizzle the whole shebang with some olive oil, then give the chicken some extra love with a little ground cumin & a generous squeeze of fresh lime.
- Roast the chicken and veggies: Pop the pan in the oven & bake the chicken salsa verde for 15-20 minutes – just until the chicken is cooked through.
- Shred the chicken: Use your hands, a couple of forks or a pair of tongs, or my favorite trick – pop it in the bowl of a stand mixer & use the paddle attachment to shred the chicken.
- Blend the salsa verde: Toss the roasted salsa verde veggies in a food processor or blender with some cilantro & lime juice, & blend away.
- Mix it up!: Pour the salsa verde over the shredded chicken. Mix it together til you’ve got gorgeously green pollo verde!
- & serve your salsa verde chicken: More ideas on that below!
So easy, right? This salsa verde chicken is absolutely perfect for weeknight dinners – it’s an easy 30-minute sheet pan chicken dinner with just 10 minutes of active prep!
How to serve pollo verde-style sheet pan chicken:
The beauty of this salsa verde chicken recipe is its versatility. You can serve it up pretty much however you want:
- burrito bowls
- …you name it!
My favorite (other than tacos, OBV! ????) is a hybrid kind of taco salad-meets-burrito bowl situation. I pile thinly sliced cabbage & lettuce with brown rice or quinoa, pollo verde, & basically whatever else is in my fridge (avocado, tomatoes, sweet corn, pickled red onion, queso fresco…you name it). Shower the whole shebang with plenty of fresh lime & finely chopped cilantro. SO GOOD. ?
I seriously hope you give this easy Sheet Pan Salsa Verde Chicken recipe a try very soon – I know you’ll love it just as much as I do! If you make it, be sure to snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. One of my favorite things is seeing your pwwb creations! ?
Super zippy, bright, & fresh salsa verde chicken (pollo verde) made with just 10 ingredients on 1 sheet pan! A versatile sheet pan chicken dinner that can be transformed into any of your favorite Mexican meals.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6, see Recipe Notes)
- 1/2 pound husked tomatillos, rinsed & quartered
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- 1 poblano pepper, roughly chopped (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, roughly chopped (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 limes, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- for serving, as desired: brown rice or quinoa, shredded cabbage or lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment, as desired, for easy cleanup.
- Prep the chicken & veggies: Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer on half of the prepared baking sheet. Arrange the tomatillos, red onion, poblano & jalapeno on the other half of the baking sheet. Season the veggies with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Drizzle the olive oil & squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken thighs. Season the chicken with the cumin, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Use your hands to toss the chicken, ensuring it’s coated in the seasoning.
- Roast the chicken & veggies for 15-20 minutes, until the veggies have softened and the chicken is cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Carefully remove from the oven (there will be juices in the pan!) & set aside.
- Shred the chicken: Allow the chicken to cool slightly, to handle, then transfer to a large plate. Using two forks or a pair of tongs, shred the chicken to your desired level (chunky vs fine – up to you!). Set aside.
- Blend the salsa verde: Carefully transfer the roasted tomatillos, onions, & peppers to a blender or food processor. Squeeze in the juice of the remaining 2 limes and add the cilantro. If there are any juices leftover in the pan you can add those to the mixture as well – they’re full of flavor! Blend until pureed. Taste and season with additional salt as needed.
- Mix the pollo verde: Pour the salsa verde over the shredded chicken, reserving any as desired for serving. Toss to combine.
- Serve! Serve up the pollo verde as desired – tacos, nachos, burrito bowls, taco salads – you name it! Pictured here is a burrito bowl-meets-salad, with shredded cabbage & lettuce, some quinoa, avocado, tomatoes, & tons of extra salsa verde, lime juice, & cilantro. YUM. Enjoy!
- Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Sure! I prefer thighs since they’re flavorful & stay really nice & juicy through roasting, but you can swap them out with breasts. I would suggest either pounding the breasts out flat, cutting the breasts half lengthwise (butterflied), or dicing into bite sized pieces to ensure they roast up evenly & don’t dry out.
- Make it creamy pollo verde: Take your pollo verde to the next level by blending an avocado into the salsa verde. Creamy salsa verde is dreeeeamy!
- Freezer instructions: Leftover pollo verde is a great freezer staple. You can easily thaw it out and use it on tacos, nachos, taco salads, burrito bowls, etc. for an easy dinner down the road. To freeze, transfer cooled pollo verde to a freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost by placing in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, or by submerging the freezer bag/container in room temp water for 20-25 minutes.
- 5-minute meal prep: You guessed it – sheet pan pollo verde is super meal prep friendly. To get a jump start on dinner, I suggest chopping up the tomatillos, onion, poblano & jalapeno whenever you have some extra time in the kitchen at the beginning of the week. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. At dinnertime all you have to do is toss the veggies on the baking sheet with the chicken & in the oven they go. Easy!
Keywords: salsa verde chicken, pollo verde, chicken sheet pan dinner, sheet pan chicken
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