Pozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew)


Traditional Mexican pozole (posole) is a rich, brothy soup made with pork, hominy, and red chiles. Pile your bowl with toppings like shredded cabbage, radishes, cilantro, lime, and avocado!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Years ago when I spent a summer studying Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico, my Mexican teacher told me that it was much easier to pronounce the language properly if you smiled as you spoke it.

She was right! Good thing Mexican food is so delicioso, because just thinking about dishes like this pozole makes me smile.

It’s somewhat of a feast, pozole. I guess you could make smaller batches, but since you have to cook it for several hours, it just makes sense to make a large amount, and then have lots of friends over with whom to enjoy it.

Pozole (or posole) is a traditional soup in Mexico, often served Christmas eve, and in many parts of the country on Thursdays and Saturdays all year round.

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Preparing & Serving Pozole

This pozole rojo, or “red” pozole, is made with pork shoulder or shanks, red chiles, and lots of hominy corn.

I made this for my parents, and they loved it. Mom told me she hadn’t had pozole since she was a kid in Tucson. Lots of smiley faces around the table tonight.

Typically just the simple soup with pork and hominy is served, and the add-ins, or garnishes are set at the table for all to pick and put in their soup as they wish.

You make pozole with hominy

You make pozole with canned hominy

How to Serve Pozole

The soup itself should be rather thin, or brothy, because you are going to load it up quickly with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, chopped avocados, cilantro, onions, and wedges of lime.

More hot sauce or chiles can be added for more heat. Pozole is all about the garnishes. So good! Many thanks to my good friend Arturo from Guerrero Mexico for showing me how to make this wonderful soup.

Posole Rojo Fixings

How to Store or Freeze Pozole

This recipe makes enough for a large crowd with plenty of leftovers! The leftovers will keep, refrigerated, for about a week or can be frozen for up to three months.

To freeze, transfer the pozole to freezer containers or bags with as little air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm over low heat on the stovetop.

Want More Ways to Enjoy Pozole?

How to make red pork pozole

Pozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew) Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 12, plus plenty for leftovers

We haven't made this in a slow cooker, but I'm guessing that step 6 could easily be done in a slow cooker.

Tostadas are crispy fried corn tortillas. They are sold packaged and can often be found in the same section of your grocery store as fresh tortillas, or can be found at Mexican markets. You can make your own by frying stale corn tortillas (or tortillas that have dried out a bit in a warm oven), in hot vegetable oil until stiff.


  • 4 ounces dried guajillo, ancho, or a combination of both, chili pods
  • Salt
  • 1 large (108 ounce, 6 lb 12 oz, 3 kg) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (preferably with bone), cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes (can also use pork shanks), make sure to use a cut well marbled with fat
  • 8 cloves garlic, 4 cloves roughly chopped, and 4 whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp of dry oregano (Mexican oregano if available)

Garnishes (can prep while pozole is cooking):

  • Half a small cabbage, thinly sliced
  • One bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 4 limes, quartered
  • A bunch of red radishes, sliced thin
  • A couple dozen tostada shells (see Recipe Note)


1 Boil 5 quarts water: Fill a large 10-12 quart stockpot with 5 quarts of water. Set on heat to bring to a boil while you proceed with the next steps.

2 Lightly roast chiles, cover with 3 cups hot water. Remove and discard the stems, seeds, and large veins from the chili pods. Heat a cast iron pan on medium high and lightly roast the chili pods for a couple minutes, until they begin to soften. Do not let them burn.

Roast the dried red chilies until fragrant and softened for the red chili pozole soak the red chilis in hot water for the best pozole

While the chilies are heating, bring a medium pot with 3 cups of water to a boil. Once the chiles have softened, remove the pot of boiling water from the heat, add the chiles to the pot and cover.

Let the chiles soak in the hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.

3 Brown the pork, add garlic: Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Pat the pork pieces dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them generously with salt.

Working in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan or stir the meat much, brown the meat on all sides.

Brown the pork chunks for the pozole Brown the pork on all sides for the pork pozole

Right at the end of browning the meat, add 4 cloves of roughly chopped garlic to the pan with the meat, let cook with the meat for about a minute.

4 Add pork and spices to large pot of boiling water: Once the meat has browned, transfer it to the large stockpot of boiling water. Scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and any garlic, and add those to the pot as well. Add the rinsed hominy.

Add bay leaves, cumin, and oregano. When you put the oregano in, smoosh together with your hands so that the oregano breaks up more as it goes in. Add a tablespoons of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.

5 Prepare the red sauce by puréeing in a blender the chilies, 2 1/2 cups or so of their soaking liquid, a teaspoon of salt, and 4 cloves of garlic. (To prevent the blender from creating too much pressure, it's probably best to start with the chiles and garlic and only a cup of the liquid in the blender, and then adding the rest of the liquid.)

Strain the red sauce through a sieve, discarding the tough bits of the sauce.

6 Add the red chili sauce to the pot with the pork and hominy. Add another couple teaspoons of salt. Return to a simmer, lower the heat to just high enough to maintain a simmer, partially covered.

7 Cook for 2 to 3 hours until the pork is completely tender. Skim away excess fat. Taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste (you will likely need more than you expect, perhaps a tablespoon or more.)

The resulting soup should be rather brothy, as you will be adding a lot garnishes. Add more water if necessary.

8 Assemble garnishes: When getting ready to serve the pozole, you can prep the garnishes (slice the cabbage, chop the cilantro, etc.)

To serve, arrange the garnishes in bowls on the table and serve the pozole soup into bowls. Let your guests pick and choose which garnishes they would like on their pozole.

Serve with tostada shells (or tortilla chips if you can't find tostada shells).

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Chicken Pozole here on Simply Recipes

Red posole for New Year's Day from Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan

Vegetarian posole from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Posole with roasted green chiles from Use Real Butter

Bowl of ungarnished Posole Rojo

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.

More from Elise

232 Comments / Reviews

No ImagePozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew)

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Justine

    The instructions were very well laid out, made the whole process quick and easy. I added some chicken broth to water it down and minimize the amount of salt I added. I also skipped/ forgot (ha!) to put the chili through a sieve. Still turned out delicious!


  2. Jazmine

    No no no NO, you do not BOIL to soften the red peppers, you take the flavor out that way. Rather, (and you really don’t have to ROAST them lol, they’re peppers, they have a naturally smoky and zesty taste), you take a big enough bowl, fill it with warm water and then just soak the peppers that way, and this is best done first before anything else. Then you take a huge soup pot, fill it with water, put the chopped pork SHOULDER in that pot of water, drop a couple whole Bay Leaves in it and let the meat cook. Then when the meat is about 80% of the way done, you put the hominy in to let that tenderize and blend those sweet hominy flavors (even after draining the hominy there’s still lots of its flavor left), then you put the peppers in a blender pour the water into the blender, along with a clove of garlic, just one, then blend blend BLEND until TOTALLY liquefied, then pour all of that into the pork and hominy along with a little cumin and black pepper, then let it cook and simmer for another hour-hour and a half…however long you choose to cook it depends on how you like your pork, I like it FALL APART TENDER done lol my husband not only used to cook in restaurants but he’s also Mexican (to the fullest lmao), and I showed this recipe here to him plus a few others that are here right now hanging out and they all shook their heads and said “Look what they’re doing to our food,” lol and Mexicans, especially from Guadalajara, don’t mess around when it comes to their culture, the food is the biggest one for us.

    Show Replies (2)
  3. Eli

    First time making it the family just loves it !


  4. Ashley

    I’m halving this recipe. Should I halve the 3 cups of water that the chilies are going to soak in?

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Lea

    Wow! It was my first time making it and I must say, it was darn good. My Mexican BFF even joked with me if I bought it from the restaurant we used to order pozole because it’s almost the same taste. He was so impressed, even told me to bring some for his parents. I followed step by step instructions and it’s amazing!!!


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Pozole Rojo (Pork and Hominy Stew)Pozole Rojo (Mexican Pork and Hominy Stew)