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Mexican Pozole Recipe: A Hearty and Flavorful Classic

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homemade mexican Pozole

Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup that’s loved for its rich flavors and hearty ingredients. This recipe shows you how to make authentic pozole rojo with tender pork, hominy, and a delicious red chile broth.

You’ll learn how to cook the meat until it’s just right and combine it with the perfect mix of spices and chiles. Plus, we’ll share some tips on the best toppings and sides to serve, making this a meal everyone will enjoy.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need to make a delicious Mexican pozole:

Main Ingredients

  • Pork Shoulder: About 2 pounds, cut into chunks. Substitute: Chicken thighs or beef.
  • Hominy: One large can, drained. Substitute: Fresh or frozen corn kernels.
  • Onion: One large, chopped.
  • Garlic: 4-5 cloves, minced.


  • Guajillo Chilies: 3-4, seeds and stems removed, boiled until soft. Substitute: Ancho chilies or any mild dried red chili.
  • Ancho Chilies: 3-4, seeds and stems removed, boiled until soft. Substitute: Pasilla chilies.

Spices and Herbs

  • Bay Leaves: Two whole leaves.
  • Ground Cumin: One tablespoon.
  • Oregano: One tablespoon.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.

Broth and Liquid

  • Chicken Broth: 8 cups. Substitute: Vegetable broth or a mix of water and bouillon cubes.
  • Chili Paste: From the boiled chilies, blended.

Toppings (Optional but Recommended)

  • Shredded Lettuce or Cabbage
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Diced Onion
  • Lime Wedges
  • Avocado Slices

Extra Flavor Boost

  • Olive Oil: A tablespoon for sautéing.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed over the top before serving.

These ingredients together make a hearty, traditional pozole, but you can always mix and match to suit your taste or what you have on hand. Happy cooking!


  1. Prepare the Meat:

    • Cut the pork shoulder into chunks about 1 to 1.5 inches.
    • In a large pot, brown the pork in a bit of oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cooking the Broth:

    • Add water to the pot and bring to a boil.
    • Include an onion, garlic clove, and bay leaves.
    • Simmer until the pork is tender, approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
  3. Prepare the Chiles:

    • Guajillo and Ancho chiles work well.
    • Remove the seeds and stems, then boil in water for 5-7 minutes.
    • Let them soak until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Blend the Chiles:

    • Once softened, blend the chiles with some water to make a smooth puree.
    • Strain the puree to remove any bits of skin or seeds.
  5. Combine Ingredients:

    • Add the chile puree to the pot with the broth and pork.
    • Stir in hominy, cumin, oregano, and salt to taste.
    • Bring it all to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
  6. Simmer and Serve:

    • Let the pozole simmer for another 25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
    • Serve hot with optional toppings like radishes, lime wedges, cilantro, and shredded cabbage.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Mexican Pozole!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

When making Mexican pozole, prep your ingredients ahead of time. This will make the cooking process smoother and faster.

Slow cooking the pork is key. You can use a slow cooker on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 6-7 hours. This makes the pork tender and flavorful.

For even more flavor, roast your chiles before blending them into the sauce. This adds a smoky richness to your pozole.

If you prefer less spicy pozole, remove the seeds from the chiles before adding them to your dish.

To add a richer texture, blend some of the hominy with broth before adding it back into the soup.

You can make pozole a day in advance. It’s often better the next day as flavors meld. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze leftovers in portions. Pozole freezes well for up to 3 months and can be thawed and reheated for a quick meal. Store in airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.

Top with fresh ingredients like shredded cabbage, radishes, lime wedges, and avocado just before serving for added crunch and flavor.

A good tip for reheating: Add a splash of broth or water to help bring back the soup’s consistency. Reheat on the stove over medium heat until it’s hot.

Storing condiments separately, such as chopped onions and cilantro, will keep them fresh and vibrant when you’re ready to eat.

Remember to skim off fat from the top of the soup after it’s cooled in the fridge. This helps in making the pozole less greasy.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Pozole Rojo, Verde, Blanco
Pozole comes in three main variations: rojo (red), verde (green), and blanco (white). The different colors come from the types of chilies and other ingredients used. Red pozole uses guajillo or ancho chilies, green uses tomatillos and green chilies, and white is the simplest, often without any added chilies.

Traditional toppings add extra flavor and texture to your pozole. Popular choices include:

  • Shredded cabbage or lettuce
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Diced onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado slices
  • Oregano
  • Chopped cilantro

Protein Substitutes
While pork is the most common meat used, you can substitute it with chicken or turkey. This is especially helpful if you prefer a leaner option or need to accommodate dietary restrictions. Simply follow the same cooking steps but adjust the cooking time for the different protein.

Vegetarian Pozole
For a vegetarian version, replace the meat with hearty vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms. You’ll also need to use vegetable broth instead of chicken or pork broth. The rest of the recipe remains the same, giving you a flavorful and filling dish.

Spice Levels
The heat level in your pozole can be adjusted to suit your taste. If you like it mild, remove the seeds from the chilies before blending them into the sauce. For a spicier dish, add more chilies or even a dash of chili powder.

Serving Suggestions
Pozole is often served with warm, freshly made corn tortillas or crusty bread. You can also pair it with Mexican rice for a more filling meal. A side of refried beans can add a nice touch, making your meal even more satisfying.

Make your pozole experience unique by trying different toppings and sides. It’s a versatile dish that’s delicious no matter how you serve it.