Mexican Pozole

Mexican pozole recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 42 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
512 Calories
24g Fat
30g Carbs
43g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 512
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 1450mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 43g
Calcium 101mg 8%
*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.)

Pozole is a super easy and amazingly tasty stew made with pork, dried chiles, and hominy. This recipe for the traditional Mexican stew is a pozole rojo and features red chile peppers.

To some, this soup is at its best thanks to the garnishes, which provide balance and flavor in addition to decoration. The stew is simmered for a long time to let the flavor develop. While cooking it on the stove is common, you can cook it in an oven-proof pot (e.g., Dutch oven) in the oven to free up the stovetop.

Pozole is traditionally served with warm corn tortillas to help soak up the savory broth. It's topped with a variety of fresh, flavorful, and crunchy garnishes including cilantro, scallion, radishes, and green cabbage. Set these and other garnish options on the table and let everyone top their bowl to their liking.

1:18

Click Play to See This Traditional Pozole Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder (or butt)
  • 5 to 6 cups water (cool; or enough to cover)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 dried red New Mexico chiles (or other large, mild, dried red chiles)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
  • 6 cups cooked hominy (or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Garnish: cilantro (chopped)
  • Garnish: scallion (chopped)
  • Garnish: radishes (chopped or sliced)
  • Garnish: green cabbage (finely sliced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pozole pork and hominy stew
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Cut the pork into chunks. Fairly big pieces are traditional, but if you prefer, cut the pork it into bite-sized pieces.

    Cut pork
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Put the pork in a large pot and add enough cool water to cover it by about 2 inches (approximately 5 to 6 cups). Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that forms in the pot.

    Put pork in large pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Peel the garlic and remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Add the garlic, chiles, and salt to the pork.

    Peel the garlic
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover, and cook until the pork is fork-tender, about 90 minutes. Alternatively put the covered, oven-proof pot in a 350 F oven for the same amount of time.

    Reduce heat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. After the pork has cooked, add the hominy and the oregano. Continue cooking at a simmer until the flavors blend and the pork is very tender, for another hour. Add additional water, if necessary, to keep the moisture at a good level, return the mixture to a boil and reduce back down to a simmer when needed. Taste for salt.

    Add the canned and drained hominy
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Serve the pozole in deep bowls.

    Serve pozole in deep bowls
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Enjoy!

    Mexican pozole
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tip

  • If you are using canned hominy, make sure to drain it before adding it to the stew.
  • To cook dried hominy, place 1 cup in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring to a boil and add plenty of salt to season it. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until just tender, about 2 hours. Drain and use as directed in the recipe.
  • Oregano is not the same plant as Mexican oregano but will work as a substitute. Since it's more flavorful, use 2/3 teaspoon dried common oregano in the stew.

Recipe Variation

  • For a more flavorful broth, remove the dried peppers after the first 90-minute boiling time. Chop or purée them with a bit of the water, then add them back into the soup.
  • Another option for extra flavor is to add a pork shank or knucklebone to the pot.
  • Change up the traditional way of serving the stew by dressing the shredded cabbage with a bit of lime juice. Add toasted cumin seeds or include slices of avocado.
  • Add a dollop of sour cream or crumble queso fresco on top of the stew if you like.

Is It Pozole or Posole?

Both pozole and posole are accepted spellings for this stew. The name originates from the Nahuatl, a group that includes the Aztecs. Alternative spellings include pozolé, pozolli, and pasole, though they're not as commonly used. It's thought that pozole means "hominy," but it's also interpreted as "frothy."

What's the Difference Between Pozole Rojo and Verde?

The types of chiles and meat used in the stew distinguish pozole rojo and pozole verde. This pork recipe is for pozole rojo and the red chile peppers produce a red (rojo) broth. In pozole verde, green chiles (e.g., jalapeños) and tomatillos create a green (verde) broth and it most often uses chicken.