This vegan pozole Rojo recipe is easy, healthy, and the only one you will ever need to make an authentic Mexican pozole. This is a hearty, vibrant, flavorful main dish perfect for dinner, lunch, or feeding a crowd.
I could eat Mexican food every day, not just because I am Mexican, but because it is delicious. Mexican food is flavorful and full of textures, colors, chiles, and ingredients.
What is Pozole?
Pozole (posole) is made with hominy, cooked in a flavorful broth, and some meat, traditionally pork or chicken. Here is how to pronounce pozole, poh-sOH-lay.
The base for the broth is made with a three-chili puree that turns out so flavorful that it infuses the hominy and the meat you add—making each spoonful lightly spicy and heartwarming at the same time.
Ingredients for the Vegan Pozole Rojo
- Chiles. The chile puree for the broth is made with chile ancho, chile guajillo, and chile pasilla. Each of them has different flavor notes. I couldn’t pick one; all of them are delicious.
- Onion. I like to use white onion when cooking food from Mexico, especially this vegan pozole recipe. But I know that red or yellow onions work perfectly well in the recipe.
- Liquid. In this recipe, I use water or vegetable broth. The traditional recipe is made with chicken or any other meat broth. It is unnecessary; trust me, all of the flavors of this soup are in the chiles and the hominy. Water works just fine as your liquid. Or you could combine vegetable broth and several cups of water.
- Vegetable oil. Use a neutral-tasting oil, like avocado oil, safflower, or canola. I wouldn’t use olive oil here because it alters the flavor.
- Hominy corn. Usually, you will find it in the Latino food aisle in most supermarkets. I use canned hominy, which is very easy to find.
- Oyster mushrooms. I love to use shredded oyster mushrooms for this recipe because of the texture they give the dish. When they are shredded and cooked, they have the same chewy texture as shredded pork.
- What is chile ancho. It is a dried chile poblano (poblano peppers) and its flavor is deep and rich with a bit of fruitiness to it. - What is chile guajillo? It is a very mild chile; this guy is not spicy at all but is very flavorful. - What is chile pasilla? It is excellent for finishing soups or making sauces. They are mildly spicy, earthy, and with a touch of sweetness to them.
Why is this pozole recipe vegan?
The original posole is made with pork or chicken, but I make my posole vegan since I am 100 % plant-based. I use oyster mushrooms to prepare it, and it comes out as delicious (even more) than the original one. This posole is hearty, and you get a sense of nourishment in your body, mind, and soul.
Using oyster mushrooms and water instead of some animal-based broth are the perfect swaps from the original recipe; the richness of the Soup and overall yumminess are preserved.
How to make vegan pozole rojo
- Soak the stemmed chiles in hot water in a pot until soft and pliable. Blend them with the soaking liquid and the onion.
- Add the oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the chile puree, and let it cook for two to three minutes.
- Add your liquid. You can use water or vegetable broth. Rinse your blender with it, and then add it to the pot.
- Then add the hominy and the shredded oyster mushrooms, cover, and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir from time to time and check it is not scorching.
How to serve
Serve with a big handful of shredded lettuce (some families serve it with shredded cabbage), finely diced white onion, Mexican dried oregano, thinly sliced radishes, and a good squeeze of lime juice, not lemon juice.
Some tips to make this recipe easier
- Hominy. I use canned hominy to make this dish. It is easier to find, and it is already cooked and flavorful.
- Chiles. When choosing your chiles, choose chiles that have a similar size; this will give a balanced flavor to the soup. If you have difficulty finding one of the chili peppers, use one tablespoon of chile powder instead.
- Straining. I have to confess that I never strain things. I have a Vitamix blender, and that gets all the work done. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, strain the puree. This way, your soups will be smooth and tasty.
- Where to buy chiles? Check your local supermarket; I’m sure you’ll find some there. On Amazon, you can find Mexican dried chiles: Ole Mission is a good choice, as well as The Spice House. Both have a good selection of chiles.
- Can it be made ahead of time? Yes, leftovers taste amazing, and sometimes it tastes better the next day. If you want to meal prep, you can make the chile puree ahead of time and store it in the fridge or the freezer. It will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Substitute. If you can’t find oyster mushrooms, you can substitute them with jackfruit, chickpeas, or pinto beans. But be aware that the pinto beans may change a bit the authentic flavor of the pozole. I have seen other recipes that add carrots and potatoes instead of meat to make it vegan or vegetarian. Some even add cilantro. This would be a no for me as they will completely change the authentic pozole flavor.
When is pozole served?
Pozole is a party dish or a party in a dish, as I love to call it. We Mexicans typically serve pozole at special celebrations or during the holiday season on Christmas or New Year’s eve. It is also a ubiquitous dish at the end of a wedding before the guests return home.
How to serve posole
You usually serve this in a big bowl or a cazuela and top it with shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, fresh chopped white onion, dried oregano, a good squeeze of lime juice, and tostadas on the side.
Other Mexican Vegan recipes that you may like
So here is the recipe for my vegan posole (pozole) Rojo, and I hope you like it as much as we do. And please, when you make it share the recipe and blog on Instagram, or Facebook or save it for a special occasion or party on Pinterest.
It would be fantastic if you could rate this recipe five stars and leave your comments, questions, and ideas in the section below.
- Dutch oven or large soup pot
- Sliced lettuce
- Sliced radishes
- Dried oregano
- Chopped onion
- Lime juice
- Corn toastadas
- Clean the peppers with a dried kitchen cloth and remove the stem.
- Soak them in hot water for 10-15 min. Just add enough water to cover the peppers. Soak them until soft and pliable.
- Meanwhile, shred the oyster mushrooms.
- Add the peppers and the soaking-chile liquid in the blender with the onion and blend well. Strain if needed.
- In a large soup pot, add the oil over medium heat and pour the chili paste. Leave for about three minutes or until it begins to change color, and the peppers release their aroma.
- Add to the blender container about 4 cups of water and get all the chili puree stuck in there. Pour this water into the soup pot.
- Add the salt, hominy corn, and oyster mushrooms. Cover and leave simmering for 15 minutes or until it starts to release a boil.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, add more water if the chili flavor is too strong.
- Serve in large bowls and top with sliced lettuce, chopped onion, radishes, oregano, and lime juice. Eat with corn tostadas.
Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.