Pozole soup is one of those easy Mexican recipes I can count on to elicit joy at the dinner table and for as many times as I’ve made my “verde” version at home I realized I’ve never actually written it down. Usually I make it with chicken but this vegan Pozole recipe might be in the running for my new favorite.
Which is why when my partners at Rio Luna Organics asked me to create an authentic Hispanic recipe to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, I knew exactly what I wanted to share with you.
What is a Vegan Pozole Recipe and What Do I Need To Make It?
Pozole is one of the most popular and ancient stews in Mexican food. You will find large pots filled with onions and garlic, dried chiles, bay leaves, and hominy all over Mexico.
This recipe is similar to the one I learned from my Mother-in-Law. She typically uses pork shoulder or chicken to make her Pozole Verde recipe and I make it that way too, but I also love this vegan version made with fluffy pinto beans. This lighter soup is also stellar for showing off Rio Luna Organics Green Chiles and Jalapeños; it gives them room to shine.
To make it you’ll need:
- Dried pinto beans, or make this recipe even easier and use canned. No need to soak them and it will cut the cooking time down from 1 hour to 15 minutes.
- Canned green chiles AND canned diced jalapeños. Just use canned green chiles if you are sensitive to heat.
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Canned white hominy. This is in the Latin section of your grocery store or with the other canned vegetables.
- Salt and Pepper
- Lime Juice
- Diced onion
The Hominy Is What Makes Pozole
The word pozole literally means hominy, the toothsome pieces of field corn that make up the heart of this soup. In the United States we grind dry hominy into grits but in Mexico, they soak the dry hominy in a calcium hydroxide, or lime mixture to make it tender enough to eat whole.
In this recipe I call for canned hominy because it is super quick and easy to use but if you want to try your hand at dry hominy you can find that at many Latin markets. Using canned hominy also frees up some time to make a batch of frosty margaritas to go with, right?!
Yes, I said it. And yes, it’s a thing.
You know when you’re doing a workout and the instructor says, “if you are new to working out, make sure to watch the modifier!” I see cooking in the exact same way. There are the intense versions of making Pozole and then there’s the modifier. This recipe falls somewhere in-between.
You do have to make the sauce; a rich mixture of charred vegetables and pumpkin seeds which then gets fried for a few brief moments to cook and meld all the flavors, but that only takes about 30 minutes. But after that, simply add a few more ingredients and let simmer for about 15 minutes more.
My secret to making flavorful posole, is using Rio Luna Organics Chiles AND Jalapeños. They are the highest quality organic peppers and chiles that have been used by professional chefs for years. Certified organic and GMO-free they are the best peppers and chiles out there which making them super flavorful. They really do all the work in the recipe.
My Best Tips
If you’re new to making Pozole, it is essentially a two-step process or sometimes three if you are adding meat, but in this case it is only two.
Step #1: Make the sauce base that will flavor the soup. This is a mixture of charred vegetables, chiles, and in this case, pumpkin seeds that will thicken the stew. Blend everything together until you have a smooth puree. It looks similar to a pesto if you’ve ever made that before.
Step #2: Fry the sauce base in a bit of oil to really bring out all the flavors. You can do this in a large pot because after the sauce has cooked for a minute, all the other Pozole ingredients go right in the pot. Then simply let it simmer for a while until all the flavors have melded together.
Tools You’ll Need
Luckily you don’t need anything too fancy to make this delicious, soul-warming soup happen but it would be helpful if you had:
How Spicy Is This Vegan Pozole Recipe?
So, this Vegan Pozole recipe is fairly spicy. For reference, my husband and I LOVE it, my kids say it’s too hot (and they aren’t super sensitive to heat). If you are, I suggest to look on the Rio Luna Organic label. Their cans now feature new labels with a special heat index meter.
If you are fairly sensitive to spice, maybe start with the green chiles and 1/4 or 1/2 can of the jalapeños and go from there, depending on your tastes.
Love Pozole? Me too!
There are so many variations on Pozole, there literally is a rainbow of options. In Mexico you can find red, white, even purple Pozole. Color usually has to do with either the hue of the broth or the shade of hominy used. Here are two of my other favorite recipes:
One Last Thing
That big pot you cooked the posole in need some love come clean up time? Here’s my best cleaning hack for getting it sparkling again.Print
Green Chile Vegan Pozole Recipe
A spicy Pozole Verde that just so happens to be vegan! Made with green chiles, jalapeños, pinto beans and hominy. If you are sensitive to spice, start with half a can of the jalapeños and add more to taste.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: soup
- Method: simmer
- Cuisine: Mexican
8 ounces dried pinto beans, about 1 heaping cup
1 white onion, quartered
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
6 cups water or vegetable broth
1 small bunch cilantro, tough stems removed
2 (7-ounce) cans large chopped Rio Luna Organic Green Chiles, drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced Rio Luna Organic Jalapeños, drained
1 (25-ounce) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
Diced white onion
Pick through the pinto beans and remove any rocks if you see them. Rinse beans well then cover with water and let soak overnight. If you don’t have time to do this, you can cook beans from dry, but it will take longer.
Heat broiler to high. Arrange onion, tomatillos, and garlic on a baking sheet. Broil until charred on all sides, turning occasionally. Keep a close eye on the garlic, it will toast faster than the others. Remove it as it gets golden brown, but not burnt.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and fry in the oil until toasted and starting to pop. Season with salt and transfer to a blender.
Once vegetables are charred, add them to the blender as well along with 1/2 cup of the water or vegetable broth (if using) and the cilantro. Blend on high until very smooth.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add pureed vegetable mixture (careful, it will spatter), and stir constantly, frying the sauce until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 5 1/5 cups of water or broth, soaked pinto beans, chiles, and jalapeños.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour (this will take longer if you didn’t pre-soak the beans).
Add hominy and season with salt (start with 2 teaspoons and go from there). Serve with as many garnishes as you can stand.
Keywords: vegan pozole, green posole,
This post was created in partnership with Rio Luna Organic Peppers and Chiles. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.
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