This Vegan Green Chile Verde is comfort food at its finest. Tender chunks of meaty jackfruit and protein-packed chickpeas slow-cooked to perfection in a flavorful hatch chile sauce made with vibrant tomatillos and cilantro. Infused with aromatic garlic, onions, and the bold flavors of hatch chiles, this green chili Verde with jackfruit and chickpeas is insanely delicious. Quick and easy to make, this Veganized Mexican food classic is a soul-warming dinner on a chilly winter night. Serve it over cilantro lime rice alongside warm tortillas and call it a wholesome meal. Fancy some crunch and flavor depth? Try pairing it with tortilla chips, mashed avocado and nopal salad.
What is Chile Verde?
Translated as "green chili" in Spanish, Chile Verde is a fusion of Mexican and Southwestern American cuisine. Chile Verde uses green chili peppers, typically mild varieties like Anaheim or hatch chiles, to create a zesty sauce.
The dish often involves slow-cooking meat, such as pork or chicken, in a green chili sauce, along with other aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, and tomatillos. Slow cooking results in a savory, slightly spicy, and deeply flavorful stew with fall-off-the-bone tender meat and tons of flavor from the green sauce.
This Green Chile Verde recipe adopts a plant-based approach by replacing meat with young jackfruit and incorporating chickpeas. The chewy and stringy texture of jackfruit mimics chicken in this Vegetarian Green Chili Stew making it a meatless meal. At the same time, jackfruit provides a substantial dose of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
And let's not forget about the chickpeas - these little beans are packed with protein and fiber, making this meal both satisfying and filling. The green sauce, crafted from tomatillos and hatch chiles add bold Mexican flavors.
Vegan Green Chile Verde Ingredients
Jackfruit – Canned jackfruit works best for this Vegan Chile Verde for its meaty texture. Ensure thorough draining and shredding with your fingers for a pulled or shredded meat-like consistency.
Garbanzo Beans – Packed with protein and fiber, these highly nutritious legumes add a creamy texture and satisfying element to the dish. These tiny nutritional powerhouses contribute to a fuller feeling, ultimately aiding in weight management. Ensure they are drained before adding them to the recipe.
Garlic and Onions – Aromatic and flavorful, chopped garlic adds a savory base to the dish. Similarly, onion contributes sweetness and depth to the flavor profile.
Tomatillos – These green, tangy fruits form the base of the vibrant green sauce, providing a refreshing and citrusy note. You can use canned tomatillos instead of fresh, but remember, it will not taste the same. Canned tomatillos have a slightly more acidic flavor than fresh, and you can cut the acid by adding ½ tsp sugar.
Cilantro – Cilantro leaves and stems offer a bright and herbaceous flavor to the sauce.
Hatch Chiles – Mild and flavorful, hatch chiles add heat and smokiness to the dish. If hatch chiles are not available, substitute jalapeños if you like spicy food or poblanos if you have a milder palette.
Salt – Enhances the overall flavors of the dish, balancing the sweetness of jackfruit and the tanginess of tomatillos.
How to make Vegan Green Chili Verde
You can use an Instant Pot or a regular stovetop to make this vegan Chile Verde. Obviously, the instant pot will make the preparation much faster.
Sauté the Aromatics
Sauté garlic and onion in an instant pot on medium or in a pot on the stove until fragrant and browning 3-5 min.
Toss in the Jackfruit.
Add a rustic chop of a hatch chile and the shredded jackfruit to the pot. Lightly salt and cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
Blend the Hatch Sauce
Blend tomatillos, 1 hatch chile, and the bottom stems of the cilantro blended with ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt in a high-speed blender until smooth. Then add to an instant pot or regular pot.
Add drained garbanzo beans and another pinch of salt to the pot. If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook for 7 minutes. However, if using a regular pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Taste for salt and add a generous handful of roughly chopped cilantro. Serve your green Chile Verde with rice and/or tortillas.
Recipe Tips for Vegan Green Chile Verde
Rinse the Jackfruit – The brine flavor in which the jackfruit is soaked is strong and can linger in your dish if not thoroughly rinsed before using it in the recipe.
Meal-Prep – Whip up a bigger batch of this vegan green chili Verde recipe and freeze it in portions for hassle-free meals for the whole week. It's a brilliant hack for those hectic days when you crave a home-cooked meal but don't have the energy to cook from scratch.
More Delicious Vegan Mexican Inspired Recipes
Vegan Green Chile Verde with Jackfruit and Garbanzos
- 20 oz young jackfruit canned, drained and shredded with fingers
- 15 oz garbanzo beans drained
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 small onion diced
- 6 tomatillos peeled
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 2 hatch chiles seeded and stemmed
- ½ tsp salt
- Saute garlic and onion in instapot on medium or in big pot on stove until fragrant and browning 3-5 min.
- Add 1 hatch chile rustic chop and shredded jackfruit and salt lightly, cook for 2 minutes.
- Blend tomatillos, 1 hatch chile and the bottom stems of the cilantro with ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt in high speed blender until smooth then add to instapot or regular pot.
- Add garbanzos and another pinch of salt. If using instapot- pressure cook for 7 minutes. If using a pot bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Taste for salt, add more roughly chopped cilantro and serve with rice or tortillas.