How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo

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!

How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo

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.

Recipe for Mexican Posole Rojo

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.

Ingredients for making Mexican Vegan Pozole Rojo

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
  • hominy
  • broth
  • protein (in this case mushrooms)
  • onion and garlic
  • oregano and bay leaf
  • salt

See, super simple and short ingredients list.

How to make easy mushroom red pozole

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

To start you remove the stems from the dried guajillo, ancho, pasilla and arbol chilies. Then remove the seeds and rinse.

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!

Recipe and how to serve Mexican posole soup made vegan

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.

A bowl of vegan pozole rojo, check out the easy recipe!
A big bowl of vegan Mexican pozole rojo topped with sliced radishes, chopped cabbage, crispy chiles, and lime wedge.

How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo

Nancy Lopez &
Learn how to make vegan pozole rojo. My recipe is quick, easy and has the authentic flavors for a traditional Mexican pozole.
5 from 26 votes
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, vegan
Servings 4 servings
Calories 315 kcal


Pozole Ingredients:

  • 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

Topping Choices:

  • 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!


Links to Ingredients on Amazon:
canned hominy
dried guajillo chiles
dried ancho chiles
dried pasilla chiles
chiles de arbol
dried Mexican oregano


Serving: 4servingsCalories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 3362mgPotassium: 682mgFiber: 8gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1953IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo

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!

How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo

Disclosure: Purchasing your ingredients through our Amazon product affiliate links helps support this website. Thanks so much!

This post was updated in December 2020

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Recipe Rating


  1. This recipe was amazing. We’ve recently transitioned to a vegan diet and wow I am not disappointed. I will definitely try more of these recipes. I doubled this recipe and it was amazing.

  2. 5 stars
    This pozole was phenomenal!! I can’t wait to make it again. So glad I’m able to indulge in all the goodness that is pozole without any meat. Thank you!!! I can’t wait to check out more recipes on your blog

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and well worth the effort. I am a vegan so I ate it as is; cooked a little pork separately to add to. my husband’s bowl. I garnished with a little bit of avocado for richness.

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe a few times now and it is so delicious! People are surprised at how rich and satisfying it is without meat. It also freezes well as a make ahead dish.

  5. 5 stars
    Hello, I have a question… I ended up with a 12 oz bag of dried posole corn kernels (?) and I put them in to soak (as suggested by the bag’s instructions) but I am not sure what to do to make them be at the same stage as canned posole. The bag says to cook them the next day for two hours — but I have a pressure cooker — and not sure if, at that point, they would be in a similar state as canned. Thank you!

    1. Hi LJ,
      So sorry for the delayed response. I have not idea, to be honest, because I’ve never worked with corn kernels like that.

  6. 5 stars
    I have made this several times and LOVE it! My Mexican coworker laughed at me the first time I told her I made it with mushrooms, but she was impressed with the taste of the base. She suggested I use potato and cactus as she said that is what people use in her area of Mexico when they don’t have meat. I actually use potato and cauliflower now and love this variation. I omit the mushrooms all together.

    1. What region of Mexico is your friend from? That sounds delicious, never heard of it but now I want to try it with the potatoes and cactus. Thank you so much Carie, glad you are enjoying my recipe. Hugs!

  7. 5 stars
    Finally an authentic pozole rojo made vegan! You do a Google search and nothing as authentic as this recipe shows up. Thanks!

    1. Not all authentic pozole recipes use cumin. My family is from the state of Jalisco and we don’t use it. I think it’s mostly the Northern Mexican states that use cumin. If you’d like to add some it’s perfectly fine. Enjoy! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Nancy, this is fantastic! I wanted to try hominy and make a vegetarian pozole for a long time. Found your wonderful site and recipe and knew right away I could trust you to teach me the best way to make it. What can I say? Perfection!
    Served it along with the toppings for lunch with my family. An entire pot vanished!
    Here in the UK we have VERY limited Mexican ingredients in our local supermarkets, confined mainly to Old El Paso boxes! But I sourced everything required (hominy, Mexican oregano, guajillos and anchos) from which allows us Brits to access these an many more essentials (please take a look and see if you agree that they’re doing a good job of providing British kitchens with authentic Mexican food). Your recipe showed me how to take those ingredients and bring this beautiful dish to our table.
    Another recipe than proves to me yet again that Mexican food is magic.
    Thank you so much Nancy xxxx

    1. Hi Baz!
      Thank you so much and I’m thrilled you were able to make the pozole after wanting to for a long time.
      I lived in Europe for many years so I know exactly what you mean about the lack of authentic Mexican products. I have heard of MexGrocer and it’s wonderful that they exist and offer so many great products. Well now you can make more authentic Mexican dishes. Enjoy!:)

  9. 5 stars
    This is fantastic. I’ve made it 4 or 5 times now and I can’t stop eating it. I keep it pretty close to the recipe, though I do add a few more chilies and I double the hominy with a mix of white and yellow. I’ve tried adding other vegetables like red onions or bell pepper, I also adding pinto beans once, but I found that additions complicate the flavor. This has entered my regular rotation of staple recipes, thanks for posting it.

    1. Hi Charlie,
      Thank you so much and happy to hear you are enjoying the pozole. While I do think experimenting is fun and can yield delicious desserts, pozole is better kept without the addition of other vegetables because as you said it “will complicate the flavor” and it won’t be close to the authentic pozole flavor. Perhaps you could create another veggie soup with hominy inspired by pozole. 🙂 Enjoy!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made your recipe so many times and my family loves it. It’s so refreshing to see authentic ingredients and flavors not like the gringo versions that don’t come close.

  11. Hello,
    Can you please upload a video of how you strain the sauce? I’ve made this twice and each time, all of the “pulp” from the blended chiles and onion mixture stays in the strainer and I end up straining red liquid into the stock pot. In your video, the strained sauce looks thick like what was directly from the blender.
    Can you please give advice? Thank you!

    1. Hi Betty!
      I will work on getting a proper video to you as soon as I can. So the pulp should stay in the strainer and you want to discard all those bits. Depending on how powerful your blender is, you’ll have more or less pulp. And it’s perfectly okay for the blended sauce to be runnier than in my video, some blenders need a little more help so adding more water or boiling broth is ok, and that will yield a runnier chile sauce. Once it gets mixed into the other ingredients and more broth in the pot it will be diluted.
      How is the taste, everything ok there?
      Thank you!