Learn how to make vegan pozole rojo. My recipe is quick, easy and has the authentic flavors for a traditional Mexican pozole.
Pozole one of Mexico’s most iconic dish gets a vegan makeover!
Hola amigos! I’m super excited to be sharing one of my favourite Mexican dishes: pozole!
This is ultimate comfort food and it’s so perfect for cold weather, special occasions, and for the holiday season.
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Vegan Pozole Rojo Tastes Good
This veganized pozole recipe makes a great substitute for the traditional meat versions. Of course, because there’s no meat in this, it’s not going to taste exactly like chicken or pork pozole.
But in the 5 years that I’ve been making it this way, I’m fully satisfied every time the pozole craving strikes.
The authentic flavors of the soup broth are here. You’re simply swapping out the meat for a meat substitute.
I promise, you’re going to love it!
Pozole or Posole
Traditionally in Mexico we call it pozole.
In the border towns of the American Southwest, many will spell it posole.
Though the traditional recipes tend to be quite similar, some differences may exist.
Not to mention that different regions in Mexico may also have varitions in their recipes.
Meat Substitutes for Pozole
The traditional meat for making Mexican pozole is pork. Though some people will also use chicken.
What are some vegan substitutes for meatless pozole?
Mushrooms make a fantastic meat substitute! They can be used in just about any meat dish that you want to make meatless.
Their texture and natural umami flavor makes them perfect.
I use mushrooms to make both my pozole and menudo. For the pozole I like using cremini mushrooms, but portobello work well too.
Jackfruit has become all the rage in the past few years. The reason being that it shreds just like meat, making it give the dish that “shredded meat” look.
Typically canned jackfruit is what’s used. You don’t want to use fresh jackfruit. The fresh is quite sweet and won’t work like the brined cans.
I’ll share my jackfruit pozole with you soon. Stay tuned!
Ingredients Needed to Make Posole Rojo
Pozole is a hearty stew with some very basic Mexican ingredients. But don’t worry you can find them pretty much anywhere nowadays. Do check out the suggested links below.
Below are the basic and authentic ingredients Mexican pozole rojo needs to have!
- dried chiles
- protein (in this case mushrooms)
- onion and garlic
- oregano and bay leaf
See, super simple and short ingredients list.
Steps Involved in Making Authentic Vegan Pozole Rojo at Home
Making vegan pozole is so much quicker than making meat based one.
Prepping the Chiles
Boil the Sauce Ingredients
Next you boil the prepped dried chiles with the onion and garlic. Simply put in a pot with enough water to cover them. Boil until soft.
Blend the Sauce Ingredients
Then you place the boiled chiles, onion and garlic into the blender. You pour in enough of the boiling broth to the blender. Add enough so that you can achieve a smooth sauce.
Cook the Mushrooms for the Pozole
In a large pot where you’ll be cooking the pozole, you heat some olive oil or regular oil is fine. Then add the mushrooms.
Saute until they have released their liquid and softened. You can cook them a few minutes more after this.
Strain the Sauce Ingredients into the Pot
Next place a colander over the pot and strain the chile sauce over the mushrooms.
Discard any little bits left over. Then add the seasonings and give the ingredients a stir.
Add the Hominy and Broth
Next you add the drained and rinsed hominy to the pot. Give it a good stir.
Then very carefully pour in the vegetable broth and give the ingredients a good stir
Simmer and Cook the Vegan Menudo Rojo
Lastly, you turn the heat down and cover your pot. Then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
You want to cook until the hominy is soft. But also allow the ingredients to really come together to create a flavorful pozole.
Taste and Serve
The last step is to taste the pozole after it’s simmered for 30 to 40 minutes. At this time you can add more salt if needed.
The best and very last step is to serve and enjoy!
How to Serve Posole and Pozole
The traditionally way to serve pozole is super delicious!
You can top with either shredded cabbage or lettuce. Some sliced radishes, some lightly sauteed chiles (see recipe below), a good drizzle of lime juice.
Also with some freshly crushed dried Mexican oregano.
Many people also like to add a little dollop of sour cream and some salsa.
On the side you can serve tostadas. These are enjoyed in between spoonfuls of the yummy pozole.
How to Store Pozole Rojo
You can store leftover pozole in the refrigerator. Vegan pozole will keep for about a week.
Or you could also freeze it and it will keep fresh for a couple of months.
To reheat leftover pozole just put it on the stove until warm. For frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight then put in a pot and simmer until warm.
Recipe For How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo
Pozole, like so many other dishes, is something that every family adds their special touch to.
The ingredients will often vary from family to family.
This is how I make my pozole, but feel free to adjust to your own personal taste. You can find the ingredients in the Hispanic food isle of most grocery stores, and if not there’s always Amazon — check the links below.
Sorry amigos but this is not Rachel Ray’s posole recipe! This one though it doesn’t have meat, is a very close to the authentic posole recipe.
How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo
- 31 oz or 900gm hominy drained and rinsed
- 3 whole dried guajillos chiles
- 2 whole dried ancho chiles
- 2 whole dried pasilla chiles optional
- 3 whole dried chiles de arbol optional
- 8.5 cups 2 lt. of vegetable broth
- 16 oz container of crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 2 whole large garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano adjust to taste
- 1 large dried bay leaf or 2 small ones
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 8 oz shredded iceberg lettuce or cabbage
- 6 whole radishes
- pinch dried Mexican oregano
- 4 Tablespoons Sour cream optional
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, while we wait for that we can deseed and devein the chiles. You can use scissors to cut open the chilies to remove the hard stems, seeds and veins. Once the water has boiled, place the deseeded chiles, the onion and garlic into the pot. Allow to simmer under low heat until the chiles have rehydrated and the onion and garlic have softened.
- Once softened, carefully place boiled ingredients into the blender, then add about half a cup of the boiling broth, or plain water. Blend until you have a smooth, thickish sauce — if needed add more of the boiling broth to help achieve the smooth consistency. Strain the sauce now or do so in the next step. Set aside.
- In a large soup pot, and over medium heat, drizzle in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, then add the mushrooms and sauté for about 8 minutes or until soft. Next, place a colander over the pot and carefully strain the chile sauce into it. Then add 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt and stir, then add 1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano and stir. Next we add the hominy and mix until well combined. Lastly pour in the vegetable broth and bay leaves, stir until well combined.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the hominy is very tender. After about 30 minutes, taste the pozole to see if it can use more salt or a little more oregano — but don’t overdo it on the oregano because if there’s too much, it can turn the pozole sour.
- While we wait for the pozole to cook, we can prepare the toppings. Slice and chop the toppings you'd like to include.
- Once the pozole is ready, allow to cool slightly before serving. Top with any or all of the mentioned topping choice, or you can let everyone choose how they’d like to eat their pozole. Enjoy!
Pozole is a Special Occasions Meal
Pozole has always been a special occasion meal in Mexico. People will serve it for birthdays, any an all sorts of parties.
It’s very popular during the holiday season. It’s quite common to see pozole on offer at the Christmas dinner table.
Wether you make it for Christmas or just to enjoy on a chilly day, I hope you warm your belly with a big pot of pozole.
Like we say in Mexico, “Barriga llena, corazón contento”, or a full belly and a happy heart.
Thanks for stopping by, happy cooking and adios amigos!
Disclosure: Purchasing your ingredients through our Amazon product affiliate links helps support this website. Thanks so much!
This post was updated in December 2020
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…