Chipotle Turkey Pozole


Serve your turkey leftovers with a Mexican flair. Turkey pozole hominy soup seasoned with smokey chipotle chiles.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Every Thanksgiving, after our grand roast turkey dinner, we fill up a huge stock pot with the turkey carcass and water, and make several quarts of turkey stock for soup.

Usually turkey soup is a pretty standard affair, but if you are looking for a soup that might pack a little more punch, I recommend this pozole.

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It’s made with turkey stock, leftover turkey, a little tomato, lots of hominy, and seasoned with smoky chipotle chile peppers in adobo.

I’ve written about pozole before. It’s hard to resist this soup, essentially “taco night” in a bowl, but not as messy!

chipotle turkey pozole

Perfect for a crowd, which can be useful if your family is like mine—lots of siblings and friends who like to stick around because they know the food is good.

Pozole is all about the toppings. Just set them out and let people add what they want to their soup.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Check out our other turkey leftover ideas!

chipotle turkey pozole

Chipotle Turkey Pozole Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12

You can prepare the toppings while the soup simmers to save prep time. This recipe serves a crowd, you can easily halve the amounts for a smaller batch.



  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup minced chipotles in adobo (to taste)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 4 to 5 cups leftover cooked turkey meat, shredded
  • 1 large (108 ounce, 6 lb 12 oz, 3 kg) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 4 quarts of turkey stock or chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano (Mexican if available)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 avocados, diced
  • 1 bunch red radishes, sliced thin
  • 8 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped (stems included)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges
  • A couple dozen tostada shells (can use tortilla chips or fried corn tortillas as well)


1 Sauté onions, garlic, add chipotle: Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large (12 quart) stockpot. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic.

Add the minced chipotles in adobo (start with 1/4 cup and add more later to desired heat). Cook for another 3 minutes.

2 Add remaining soup ingredients and simmer: Add the tomatoes and cooked turkey meat to the pot, stirring to combine. Add the rinsed and drained hominy. Add the stock.

Taste and add salt (at least a tablespoon if you are using unsalted stock) to taste. Add the bay leaves, oregano, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Add more water if the soup is too thick with hominy for your preference.

Bring to a simmer. Taste and add more salt, herbs, or chipotle to taste. You may need more salt than you expect, if you are using homemade, unsalted stock. Simmer for 45 minutes.

3 Set the table with toppings arranged in separate serving dishes. Spoon out the soup into bowls. Let people add the toppings they want to the soup.

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chipotle turkey pozole

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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14 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kendra

    Made this for dinner tonight and it turned out fantastic! I did substitute a can of tomato sauce for the diced tomatoes as my brother doesn’t care for chunks. I made the mistake of adding the chipotle peppers to the pot when it was super hot and the kitchen was filled with the aftermath–everyone within a 50-foot radius was coughing and sniffling because of the peppers-lol! It’s a good it was so well-received!


  2. Sheri

    I’ve been making this recipe for years. My family loves it and it’s our after- Thanksgiving staple! Now I can’t find the printout of it so I had to come back to hunt for it. Just out of curiosity, how long have you had this recipe on your blog? I think that’s how long I’ve been cooking it!


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  3. Sherrill

    I made this after thanksgiving with a leftover ham and people said mmmmm after every bite and went back for seconda and thirds as well. I marinated the shredded ham in 5he adobe sauce while I was prepping the other ingredients. I now use this recipe whenever I want to please a crowd. It’s always a hit!


  4. Tilla

    Love this recipe! We made it last night with frozen turkey stock we’d made from our Thanksgiving turkey. I used chicken breast instead of turkey meat – just sautéed it briefly in some of the chopped chipotle in adobo, then shredded it and put it in the soup. I also use fresh roma tomatoes instead of canned.


  5. MaryAlecia

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! I don’t eat pork, which seems to be the traditional meat this is made with. Left over turkey, look out, you’ve got a new lease on life with this one! PS: I use a whole cinnamon stick instead of ground!


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