This Chicken Pozole recipe is made with chicken, hominy and red chilies (red pozle) and can be made in an Instant Pot or on your stovetop. Healthy, delicious Mexican comfort food, this Pozole can be made in 30 minutes! Includes a Video.

This Chicken Pozole recipe is made with chicken, hominy and red chilies, and can be made in an Instant Pot or on your stovetop. Healthy, delicious, Mexican comfort food, this Pozole Rojo can be made in 30 minutes! Includes a Video.

This hearty Mexican soup called Chicken Pozole Rojo (or Red Pozole) is simple to make and super delicious! In this recipe, we’ve substituted chicken instead of traditional pork for a lighter version of the classic.

Looking for Green Pozole? Our Chicken Pozole Verde is incredibly flavorful too – made with tomatillos and green chilies! Vegans, please see our Vegan Pozole!

What is Pozole?

Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew or soup, typically made with hominy, braised pork and chilies. There are many versions through Mexico! Pozole Rojo (red pozole) like you see here, is typically made with dried red chilies, and green pozole, called Pozole Verde is made with tomatillos and fresh green chilies.

Why You’ll Love This!

  1. Quick & easy to make! This simple recipe can be made in just 30 minutes. Use an instant pot for easy cooking if you have one, or make it on the stovetop.
  2. Delicious leftovers. Leftover pozole tastes even better the next day… and the day after that! Prep a large batch to be enjoyed throughout the week.
  3. Healthy & lightened up. We use chicken instead of braised pork in this recipe for a lighter variation. It’s a brothy soup with fresh ingredients that makes for a nutrient-rich, wholesome meal.
  4. Warm & comforting. On a chilly day, this warm soup is unbelievably comforting! Made with garlic, onion, chilies, and spices, pozole has the perfect amount of spice and fragrance to nourish the soul.

Chicken Pozole Ingredients

  • Olive oil: The base that sautés the garlic and onion. Adds richness and depth to the flavor of the dish.
  • Onion and Garlic: Provide a savory and aromatic base for the pozole.
  • Diced green chilies: Contribute a mild level of heat and a subtle hint of smokiness.
  • Tomato paste: Adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the pozole.
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, salt, chipotle powder, and bay leaf. Add a vibrant and spicy kick, earthiness and warmth, herbal notes, and smoky flavor. Salt enhances the flavor of each ingredient in the dish.
  • Chicken thighs: Make the pozole rich and tender while adding a meaty texture.
  • Chicken broth: Serves as the flavorful base of the soup, enhancing the taste and providing a comforting element.
  • Hominy: Gives the pozole its characteristic chewy texture and adds a subtle corn flavor.
  • Dried Mexican Guajillo Pepper: Imparts a fruity and mildly spicy taste, adding complexity to the pozole.
  • Lime juice: Adds a refreshing citrusy flavor to the pozole, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Optional toppings: Avocado, lime wedges, jalapeño, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onion, radish, grated cheese of Mexican sour cream
pozole rojo in a bowl with avocado

Chicken Pozole Instructions

  1. Saute. Set instant pot to “Saute” function. Be sure to read the notes section if using a stovetop method!
  2. Add aromatics and spices. Heat oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic, stirring. Once tender and fragrant, add green chilies and tomato paste. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano and ground chipotle.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Add chicken, broth and cooked hominy.
  4. If adding the dried chilies, break them in half and shake out the seeds. Either crumble/tear into small pieces or cut into small strips with kitchen scissors. If you have time, toast them in a dry skillet first to release their oils- or if not just add them in like that.
  5. Pressure cook. Give a good stir and set instant pot to high pressure, for 14 minutes.
  6. Release pressure and shred the chicken. Naturally, release the pressure, and using two forks, shred the chicken.
  7. Add lime and taste and adjust for salt. Add the lime juice. Adjust spice level and salt. If your hominy was not salted, you will most likely need more. As this sits on “warm”, flavors will meld and get better. Leftovers taste even better!
  8. Serve with fresh garnishes! Serve in a bowl with avocado, lime, jalapeño, shredded cabbage or radish, warm corn tortillas or tortilla chips, and sour cream.

How to Serve Chicken Pozole:

Fresh toppings give pozole such a great texture- they are a must! Pick any or all of the following.

  • Avocado
  • Jalapeño
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce
  • Tortilla chips
A simple easy recipe for Chicken Pozole that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stove top. A healthy, delicious, Mexican-inspired weeknight dinner that can be made in 30 minutes! Gluten-free! #instapot #instantpot #pozole #chickenpozole #rojo #weeknightdinner #mexican #healthy

Expert Tips

  1. Make the soup even more brothy. If you love a delicious brothy soup like me, you can add 2 additional cups of chicken stock. Just be sure to taste and adjust for salt.
  2. Make the soup thick and creamy. If you prefer a thick and creamier soup, you can place some hominy in the blender with some broth.
  3. Use dried hominy. This provides a hearty and toothsome texture that is simply amazing. Make sure you drain the cooking liquid before using in this soup.
  4. Use chicken thighs. Chicken thighs provide the best flavor here!

FAQs

Where does pozole originate from?

Pozole (also called posole) originated from the Aztecs and other indigenous tribes in Mesoamerica. The word comes from the Nahuatl pozolli or posolli. It is translated to a stew of maíz kernels.

What is hominy?

Hominy is made from dried maize (dried corn kernels) that have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization. The alkali is typically lye or slaked lime.

What type of hominy to use?

In this recipe, use canned hominy or dried hominy that has been pre-cooked. You don’t want to use the cooking liquid of dried hominy in the soup itself – so if using dried hominy, drain this off and be sure to read the recipe notes. I will say, I’m partial to dried hominy because I love the toothsome texture. But the canned hominy is just fine too. We do it both ways at home! Using canned is obviously faster and more easily accessible.

Is chicken pozole healthy?

Yes! This wholesome, protein-rich soup is made with hominy, which is a great source of fiber, iron, and vitamin B3. Chicken broth is also packed with essential nutrients, collagen, and amino acids.

What does chicken pozole rojo taste like?

This savory soup is subtly spicy and smoky with fresh, aromatic flavor from the garlic, onion, spices, and chiles. Tender shredded chicken offers a slight umami taste.

How do I store pozole?

Pozole will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator (if properly cooled), or you can freeze it for up to 6 months! To store in the freezer, let the soup cool completely then place in an airtight container or freezer bags.

More recipes you may like!

On the homefront: Have I ever told you that September is my favorite month of the year? I love how cool and delicious the night air feels. And I especially love the transition into cooking warmer things like soups and stews. There is something so cozy about it, so soothing in a way.  Not just the eating… but the cooking itself.  Cooking can be so comforting. So grounding, especially this time of year.

It’s a lovely thing to feel, simply being present with the task at hand, just being with the onions, when you are chopping them. Just being with cooking itself. Like a meditation, relaxing, mind-clearing. A gift.

Take the moments when you can…

xoxo

Sylvia

How to make Chicken PozolE|60-sec video

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the best pozole recipe

Pozole Rojo (Red Pozole)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 79 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: soup, stew, main
  • Method: instant pot, stove-top
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

A delicious, authentic recipe for Pozole Rojo made with chicken that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop. A healthy, delicious, Mexican-inspired weeknight dinner that can be made in 30 minutes! Gluten-free!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 46 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, more to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 lbs chicken whole thighs (skinless, boneless)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 34 cups cooked hominy -2 to 3 cans drained, or use pre-cooked dried hominy, see notes
  • 1 dried Mexican Guajillo Pepper ( feel free to experiment with other Mexican dried chilies)
  • juice from one lime ( 23 tablespoons)

Optional Toppings:  avocado, lime wedges, jalapeño, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onion, radish, grated cheese or Mexican sour cream.


Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Set instant pot to “Saute” function ( If cooking on the stovetop see notes)
  2. Heat oil and add onion and garlic, stirring. Once tender and fragrant, add green chilies and tomato paste.  Add chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano and ground chipotle.
  3. Add chicken, broth and cooked hominy.
  4. If adding the dried chilies, break them in half and shake out the seeds. Either crumble/tear into small pieces or cut into small strips with kitchen scissors. If you have time, toast them in a dry skillet first to release their oils- or if not just add them in like that.
  5. Give a good stir and set instant pot to high pressure, for 14 minutes.
  6. Naturally, release the pressure, and using two forks, shred the chicken.
  7. Add the lime juice. Adjust spice level and salt. If your hominy was not salted, you will most likely need more. As this sits on “warm”, flavors will meld and get better. Leftovers, even better!
  8. Serve with avocado, lime, jalapeño, shredded cabbage or radish, and sour cream.

Notes

Stovetop Instructions: To cook on the stovetop, just follow the same instructions above using a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven. Then simmer the soup (covered)  for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken thighs pull apart easily with a fork. After shredding the chicken, simmer for a few more minutes, adding lime juice, and adjusting salt to taste.

Originally I tried making this with dried hominy and it didn’t cook all the way through. Then I read that you should discard the water that dried hominy cooks in or soaks in. So I ended up using dried hominy that I cooked earlier (draining the cooking liquid). I loved the texture of the dried hominy best –  a little heartier and toothsome.

For a thicker soup, you could blend half or a third of the hominy with some broth. I prefer brothy soups, but I know, not everyone does. 😉

For a brothier soup, feel free to add 2 more cups of chicken stock, adjusting salt to taste.

Chicken thighs offer the best flavor here but if you prefer chicken breasts, lower pressure cooking time to 8-9 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 319
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 566.8 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.8 g
  • Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 32.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 142 mg

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Comments

  1. I’m excited to try this!!! I was wondering if you could use rotisserie chicken instead of raw? Or would it not work with cooking times and such?

  2. Perfect recipe… excellent, simple and so easy! I’ve been cooking for quite some time and this recipe does not fail. I used my Ninja pressure cooker, using the exact same recipe (just changed the proportions of spices to my liking) and it turned out delicious. Perfect recipe for first time cooks… who want to impress their family and friends.

  3. How do u set the setting to high??? After the saute setting what do i hit? Do i let it cook on the saute setting or what?

  4. This recipe is AMAZING and versatile; I used boneless pork loin chops and it came out perfect. I will likely be canning some since my husband liked it so much. Thank you for sharing!






  5. Excited to try this! I’ll definitely make as intended but I’m also bulk cooking for a film a crowd and the reviews are so great that I’m really wanting to add this to the list! We’ll have vegetarians – do you think jackfruit would be a good a good option here? Appreciate it!

    1. Havent tried it with jackfruit- it sounds good though. I think you should probably test a small batch ahead thought to be sure. 🙂

  6. I like very few soups, so this is the first soup I’ve ever made … But I’m writing this in such RIDICULOUS HEAVEN! I had to stop myself from running over to the neighbors’ with a bowl to share in my excitement. … Obviously that would be very strange and I shouldn’t do that. … Right? 😉 Hahaha thank you!






  7. Delicious and super fast/easy! I doubled chipotle powder and used a dried chipotle pepper (cuz that’s what I had on hand…plus we like SPICY!). It was great! Topped w avocado and sour cream. Will definitely make again.






  8. This is my second time making this recipe and I really quite enjoy it! Flavors are great and the prep time is minimal. My husband, who lived in New Mexico for a few years, also approves!






  9. I’ve made this many times before and it’s always a hit! My question for this round is, can I use frozen chicken thighs so I don’t have to venture out into Oregon’s hazardous air right now? Would I need to adjust the cook time?
    Thanks in advance! 😊






      1. I’ve made this a bunch and my family loves it. But just to confirm: I don’t need to increase the cooking time if I use frozen chicken?

        1. Technically you shouldn’t have to according to Instant Pot’s website but if it makes you nervous, increase by 1-2 minutes. 🙂

          1. Haven’t tried the recipe yet, but will do so very soon. Response to Tamara…The instant pot (or any pressure cooker) spends a while heating to pressure cooker temperature (>212 deg F). Your chicken will be thoroughly thawed (and safe) by the time the cycle starts.

  10. This looks awesome! Do you think I could sub pork loin for the chicken? If so, should I adjust the cooking time?

    1. I think it would work fine! Keep cooking time the same – but cut up the loin into chunks. Hopefully it will shred easily.

  11. This is my first time commenting on a recipe…this Pozole was amazing!!! I’m currently batch cooking for postpartum and I thought I’d give this a try. I put away 2/3 and ate the other third 🙂 I’ll be making another batch so I’ll have more stocked up and will add this recipe to my dinner rotation moving forward. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!!!






  12. First time making this and doing it right now…. How many cups of hominy if using canned? I will drain. Thank you!

  13. Wonderful, full of flavor. I was worried that my kids were not going to be able to eat it as maybe it would have too much of a kick, but they went back for seconds! I did find the pepper you suggested it was great! Adding it to a regular rotation in our home! Thank you!






  14. This looks AMAZING! I am going to try this recipe today. I noticed that in the video you said 14 mins but the directions say 16. Can you please clarify. Thank you!






  15. Thanks for this recipe and video! Mine turned out great, I have a picky eater and he loved it! I was unable to find Guajilo chiles, but instead found dried Pasilla Ancho chile and they worked great. The spice blend was perfect!

    Muchas Gracias!






  16. i’m
    making this right now. a bit confused re hominy water. is it, leave out hominy water from dried hominy AND canned hominy? or only the dried? not sure if you recommend draining the can first. i have no dried chili’s in my pantry (that’s about to change 🙂 so am putting in half can off adobo chili per another commenter’s recommendation. looking forward to this. thank you!

  17. Looking forward to making this meal. Question? I have a 3 at. Duo Mini do you think these ingredients will fit in it?

  18. This was absolutely delicious! I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and also added 1/2 can of chipotle in adobo. Turned out great!






  19. This pozole is SO good! We have leftovers and I have eaten it three days in a row for lunch. I can’t quit exclaiming how damned good it is! So happy I found this recipe!






  20. I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious and very savory and flavorful!!! I followed the recipe using an Instant Pot but I also added in 3-4 bay leaves to the broth. This recipe will definitely be part of my monthly rotation. So so good!






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