Pozole, a Mexican dish somewhere between a soup and a stew, is light enough to enjoy in a cup at lunchtime, yet hearty enough to make a meal out of a big bowl for dinner.
I especially love the green variety, with its mix of pork and bright, zippy ingredients. Cilantro, pumpkin seeds, jalapeños, and tomatillos add layers of flavor and a beautiful green color, too. Hominy adds heartiness (and I love its chewy texture), and each bowl has a generous amount of bite-sized, tender pieces of pork.
I like to make pozole in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot because it's a lot faster than on the stovetop. Also, the beauty of the pressure cooker is that the pozole tastes like it simmered all day, but takes about an hour to make, from start to finish.
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
The Most Important Ingredient for Pozole
This most important ingredient in green pozole is the tangy tomatillo, pictured above. They look like green tomatoes, except they come in a papery husk.
To prep them for slicing, peel off the husks, then give them a quick rinse to wash off the slightly sticky residue that clings to the fruit.
How to Make Pozole
Making pozole is a little different from other soups because rather than sautéing the vegetables first, you start by blending them up with the herbs and spices, then cooking them in a little oil before adding the broth and meat.
You’ll see the color of the vegetables change from bright green to a richer, Army green color as they cook, which is exactly what you want. This tells you that you’re developing some deep, savory flavor, and it’ll start to smell really good, too.
What to Serve With Pozole
My favorite part about serving pozole is the big pile of fresh vegetables that go on top. Pick and choose from traditional diced onions, shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, and avocados. You can also add crispy toppings such as tostadas, tortilla chips, or chicharrón. Oh, and definitely serve some lime wedges and red pepper flakes on the side so everyone can season their own bowl. For another traditional touch, you can serve a little bowl of dried oregano flakes, to be sprinkled over the hot pozole.
The mix of long-cooked and crunchy textures is unique and wonderful. I hope you give it a try!
More Mexican Soups to Try
Pressure Cooker Green Pork Pozole
Stovetop Pressure Cookers:
- Do step 1 as written, then do step 2 on the stovetop, over medium heat.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, bring up to high pressure, then turn down the heat and let the pozole cook for 25 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally completely, or allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes before performing a quick pressure release.
- Serve the pozole with toppings.
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced into wedges
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 jalapeños, seeded
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and cut into quarters
- 1/2 bunch (1 to 1 1/2 ounces) cilantro, bottom 4 inches of stems trimmed and discarded
- 1/4 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted (can also use roasted pepitas)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (25 to 30-ounce) can hominy, drained
- 1 1/2 pounds pork stew meat or boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- For serving:
- 3 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Crushed red pepper flakes
Puree the veggies:
In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, jalapeños, tomatillos, cilantro, pepitas, spices, and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Sauté the veggie blend:
Heat the oil in the pressure cooker on its Sauté setting for 2 minutes. Add the blended mixture and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until a bit darkened in color.
Pressure cook the pozole:
Stir in the hominy, pork, and remaining 2 cups of broth. Secure the lid in its sealed position. Cancel the Sauté program, then select your pressure cooker’s Manual setting for 30 minutes at high pressure.
(It will take about 15 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
Prep the toppings:
If you haven’t yet prepared your toppings, go ahead and shred the cabbage, slice the radishes, and cut the limes into wedges while the pozole is cooking.
Release the pressure naturally for 15 minutes:
When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, then move the lid to its Venting position to release the rest of the steam.
Open the pot. If there is a lot of fat on top of the pozole, use a ladle to skim it off. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed.
Serve the pozole:
Ladle the pozole into bowls. Top each bowl with the shredded cabbage and radishes. Serve with lime wedges and red pepper flakes on the side.