This simple vegan pozole (posole rojo) recipe is a 30 minute weeknight dinner that is full of plant-protein, vitamins, and nutrients, while also being ultra tasty and comforting!
I’m always on the lookout for comforting and quick soups to make for the family.
I generally love making vegan soups and chilis because most of the time they’re a one pot meal and make for an easy vegan dinner! Add a little side salad, and some whole grain bread, and you have a simple dinner that’s not only easy and filling, but full of protein, vitamins and nutrients. This soup is also a great recipe to add to your vegan prep meals!
Not too long ago I was browsing through the international aisle at the grocery store. I came across hominy. I wasn’t too familiar with the ingredient, and always curious about food, had to know more.
What is hominy?
Hominy is made from corn kernels. The kernels are soaked in an alkali solution that removes the hull and germ. The result is that the kernels puff up to twice their size.
It is most often used in Mexican cuisine, hence the reason I found it in the international aisle. It is used to make soups, stews, and casseroles.
What is pozole?
Traditional pozole is a Mexican soup made with hominy, beans, pork, and chilis. Sometimes also called posole.
Often a chili paste is made and added to onions and garlic. Then the beans and hominy are added to thicken the soup.
It can be a rather spicy dish with the added chilis, but it’s very comforting, and delicious!
My variation of pozole cuts pack on the chili pepper paste, eliminates the pork, adds some additional beans, but leaves in the hominy of course!
It’s the perfect amount of spice, with loads of plant-protein and fiber.
It’s a thick soup or stew, that tastes amazing with a variety of toppings.
Why you’ll love this vegan pozole…
- One pot recipe
- 30 minute meal
- Full of rich flavor
- High in protein
- High in fiber
- Comforting and delicious
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
Hominy: I used one 25 oz can of hominy. Sometimes hominy comes in 15 oz cans. If you can only find 15 oz cans, you can opt for two cans, or 1 depending on how thick you like your soup.
Pinto and Kidney Beans: The pinto and kidney beans add color and protein to this soup. Pinto beans are lighter in color and have a creamy texture and rich flavor. Kidney beans are red in color. They are a bit more dense than the pinto bean and together add a nice combination of textures.
Garlic and Onion: You’ll need at least two cloves of garlic finely minced, and one yellow or white onion, diced.
Poblano Pepper: These popular Mexican chili peppers are larger than the typical jalapeño pepper, at about 4 inches long, and are dark green in color. They have a mild flavor.
Spices: A combination of smoky spices like smoked paprika, chili powder, chipotle chili pepper, and cumin, with a bit of herbal flavor from oregano creates a rich and flavorful broth.
Tools and Equipment
How to Make Vegan Pozole
Start by adding about a quarter cup of vegetable stock to your large pot on medium-high heat. Add the mined garlic cloves, and diced onions. Stir to combine, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
Finely dice the poblano peppers, and throw those in the pot with the onions and garlic. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Add all of the spices including the chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and chipotle peppers. Stir to coat the peppers and onions in the spices and cook for an addition 2 minutes.
Add the drained and rinsed, hominy, pinto beans, and kidney beans. Stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes to thicken.
Pour in the lime juice, stir to combine.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed, I recommend about ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with finely sliced radishes, cilantro, and a wedge of lime.
Top Tips for Making Vegan Pozole
- Prepare and chop all your vegetables before you’re ready to make the soup. this makes it easy to ensure you don’t burn anything on the stove while you’re chopping.
- Be sure to rinse and drain the pinto, and kidney beans, as well as the hominy before adding it to your pot.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed. All the spices in this soup create a rich broth, and not a lot of salt is needed.
- Use sodium free beans to reduce overall sodium content.
What makes this vegan pozole healthy?
- High in Plant Protein-This soup has 15 grams of protein per serving. The protein comes from the combination of pinto and kidney beans.
- High in Fiber-Hominy is a great source of fiber, along with the beans. One bowl of this soup has 16 grams of fiber. That’s more than half of your daily recommendation.
- Low in Fat and Calories-This soup is only 309 calories and 2 grams of fat. It’s a low calorie, heart healthy meal that’s also low in cholesterol and will fill you up!
- Rich in Vitamins and Minerals-Hominy is an excellent source of B vitamins. Vitamin B helps your body produce energy and red blood cells.
Variations and Substitutions
Different Beans: Feel free to use two cans of pinto beans, two cans of kidney beans, or even substitute with black beans if you prefer.
Seasoning: If you don’t have smoked paprika, go ahead and use regular paprika. If you don’t have chipotle pepper, you can add a bit more chili powder. The chipotle pepper does add a nice depth of flavor.
I serve my pozole topped with thinly sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, and a wedge of lime.
Other suggestions for toppings include:
- Sliced avocado
- Crispy tortilla strips
- Shredded green cabbage
- Jalapeño pepper slices
How to Serve
This is a hearty soup, and a big bowl will certainly fill you up.
However, if you want to round out the meal here are a few serving suggestions.
- Whole grain baguette
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Mexican Green Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado
- Mango Cucumber Salad
How to Store and Keep
Store: Allow the soup to cool completely. Transfer to an air tight glass container. Keep in the refrigerator for up 3-5 days.
Freeze: This soup will freeze well. Transfer to a freezer safe container. Label with the date and contents. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Reheat: When ready to reheat from the refrigerator, transfer to a small saucepan on the stove on medium heat. Warm until soup comes to a simmer, then transfer to a bowl and enjoy.
Reheating from Frozen: If reheating from frozen, transfer the contents to the refrigerator the night before to thaw. When ready to enjoy transfer the soup to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the soup to a simmer, then transfer to bowls and enjoy!
If you like this vegan pozole recipe, you may be interested in these other vegan soups and chilis!
Vegan Pozole Recipe
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow or white onion diced
- 1 poblano pepper diced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp chipotle pepper powder
- 15 oz can of pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 15 oz can of red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 25 oz can of hominy drained and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- radishes thinly sliced
- avocado sliced
- tortila strips
- wedge of lime
- shredded cabbage
- jalapeño pepper slices
- Add ¼ cup of vegetable stock to a large pot on medium-high heat. Add minced garlic, and diced onions. Stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions soften and turn translucent.
- Finely dice poblano pepper add to the pot with the onions. Cook for another 3 minutes or until browned.
- Add all of the spices including the chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and chipotle peppers. Stir to coat the peppers and onions in the spices and cook for an addition 2 minutes.
- Add the drained and rinsed, hominy, pinto beans, and kidney beans. Stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking prepare your optional toppings. Thinly slice radishes, chop cilantro, and avocado into slices.
- Pour in the lime juice, stir to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls, and add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Nutrition facts are calculated based on recipe without added toppings.
- Soup will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Freeze soup for 2-3 minutes.
- When ready to reheat transfer to a pot on the stove and bring to a simmer, stirring off and on.