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This Vegan Pozole Rojo is one of our favorite recipes when we’re craving something hearty and comforting. It’s jam-packed with dried chiles, hominy, and red kidney beans, then simmered in a flavorful, vibrant broth. Top with tons of delicious, fresh toppings, and dig in!
What is Pozole?
If you are new to pozole, you are in for a treat! Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup or stew that is commonly enjoyed for holidays or special occasions. It is perfectly layered with savory and spicy flavors plus has the perfect amount of texture from the toppings and the fillings.
Traditional pozole is typically made with pork. I wanted to be able to replicate the texture of the meat with 100% plant-based ingredients so I opted for mushrooms.They have a great pork-like texture and bring a really nice flavor to the vegetarian pozole dish as well!
Depending on the region, you may find varieties of red pozole, most commonly Vegan Pozole Verde (green pozole) or a Pozole Blanco (white pazole).
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Dried chile peppers: Traditional pozole is commonly made with guajillo peppers and ancho peppers (poblano peppers). They’re mild to moderately spicy and have a deep, rich, smoky broth. For this recipe, you’ll need dried peppers. We find them at our local Mexican market, but can also be found in large chain grocery stores in the international aisle. Or, if needed, order dried guajillo peppers and ancho chile peppers online.
- Vegetable broth: We used our homemade vegetable broth, but any vegetable broth of choice will work. A vegan chicken broth is also another option – use what you have available to you.
- Onion + garlic: A simple base of sautéed onions and garlic starts the foundational flavor of this soup off right! For the best flavor, fresh cloves of garlic is recommended.
- Mushrooms: We used a blend of sliced shiitake and oyster mushrooms, but feel free to use any combo or mushroom type you prefer.
- Canned hominy: You’ll need one 25 ounce can of tender hominy kernels. This ingredient is another traditional ingredient in Mexican cooking and is easy to find at your local Mexican market.
- Beans: Red kidney beans are our favorite, but you can also use pinto beans or black beans. If you’re cooking the beans from dry, make sure to cook them before adding them to the flavorful broth. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of beans.
- Tomato paste: Adds additional boldness and richness. It also helps add a vibrant red color to the vegan pozole broth.
- Spices: A simple blend of Mexican oregano, cumin, bay leaves, and salt are all you need to season this Mexican stew to taste.
How to Make Vegan Pozole Rojo
If you want to make this Vegan Pozole recipe with us, we have a very in-depth tutorial on How To Make Pozole on our Youtube Channel.
- Soak the dried chiles. In a large soup pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. While the water boils, cut the tops off of the guajillo chiles and ancho chiles and cut a slit down the sides. Discard the seeds, then place the chiles together in a large heat-safe bowl. Once boiling, pour the water over the peppers and allow the peppers to soak for 30 minutes.
- Cook the onions and garlic. While the peppers soak, prepare the remainder of the soup. In a large pot, heat oil or vegetable broth over medium heat until warm. Add in the onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Cook the mushrooms. Add in the sliced mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked down and softened. If needed, add additional broth to prevent the mushrooms from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add broth. Add in the oregano, cumin, bay leaves, tomato paste, hominy, and a can of red beans. Stir well to combine.
- Blend the chiles into a red sauce. Once the chile peppers have soaked for 30 minutes, transfer them along with the soaking liquid to a high-speed blender. Blend for 1 minute, or until really smooth.
- Add the red sauce to the soup to taste. We like to add 3/4 of the red chile puree sauce into our soup mixture and serve the remaining on the side for everyone to season their own soup to taste with. The more you add, the more spicy the red pozole will be – adjust to taste.
- Simmer the soup for 25 minutes. Once the red “pepper sauce” is added, bring the Mexican soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer the pozole for 20-25 more minutes.
- Serve. Remove the vegan pozole rojo from the heat and serve while hot with desired toppings.
Vegan pozole is one of our favorite soups because of all of the good toppings! Here are a few of our favorite toppings to load on top of our soup:
- Homemade tortilla chips or tortilla strips
- Whole Wheat Spinach Tortillas or corn tortillas
- Diced red onion or Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Diced avocado
- Vegan shredded cheese, vegan parmesan cheese or vegan queso cotija
- Shredded cabbage
- Sliced limes and fresh lime juice
- Sliced jalapeños or Quick-Pickled Jalapeños
- Thinly sliced radish
- Fresh cilantro
- Vegan sour cream
- Restaurant-Style Salsa
Pozole and posole refer to the same Mexican Hominy Stew. Depending on the region, you may find the soup spelled differently.
We haven’t tested a version of this soup cooked under high pressure, but if you don’t have a stovetop and want to make this Vegan Pozole Rojo recipe in the Instant Pot, you can do so using the “sauté” function as you would a stovetop burner. You’ll have less control over the temperature of the pot, but it will work!
Yes. This soup is gluten-free, vegan, and oil-free when the aromatics are sautéed in broth instead of a tablespoon of olive oil.
Leftover vegan pozole soup will be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. It also freezes well and can be frozen in a freezer-safe bag or jar for up to 3 months. If you are freezing this soup in a glass jar, such as a mason jar, make sure to keep the soup below the max fill line to prevent the jars from cracking.
The next day, reheat leftover pozole on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
More Vegan Mexican Recipes You May Enjoy:
- The Best Vegan Conchas – Fluffy Mexican sweet bread made 100% vegan!
- Easy Vegan Tortilla Soup – A budget-friendly vegan soup that’s packed with flavor.
- Vegan Tamales (2 Ways!) or Oil-Free Vegan Tamales – Learn how to make the BEST tamales filled with plant-based fillings!
- Vegan Chilaquiles Rojos – award-winning chilaquiles that are a must-try!
- Baked Mushroom & Potato Tacos – crispy taquitos stuffed with our walnut taco meat, mashed potatoes, and vegan cream cheese!
- Vegan Huevos Rancheros – Inspired by the classic egg-based dish, these huevos rancheros are out-of-this-world-delicious!
If you make this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below! + If you post any photos on Instagram, make sure you tag us @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris so that we don’t miss it, we love seeing your photos!Print
Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!