My Quick and Easy Chicken Pozole Rojo Soup is full of traditional flavors with a few shortcuts to save on cooking time. Full of tender chicken, hominy and a red chile broth and topped with crunchy cabbage, radishes and a squeeze of lime.
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup that can be made with chicken or pork. This is the kind of soup that Mexican households will have simmering on the stove all day long, cooking the hominy and meat until they’re nice and tender. It’s perfect for big family get-togethers, and comforting on a cold night, just like Caldo de Pollo and Albondigas Soup.
Serve with sliced radishes, shredded cabbage of lettuce, and slices of lime for squeezing. For a spicy chicken pozole, use a medium or hot variety of enchilada sauce.
What are the Three Varieties of Pozole?
White Pozole is basically hominy cooked in a clear broth and topped with various garnishes like cabbage and radishes.
Green Pozole (Verde) is the white pozole soup with green elements added, like tomatillos, jalapenos or cilantro.
Pozole Rojo, which is the variation that my family makes, includes some type of red sauce, often from steeping chiles all day long.
Traditional Pozole is served at celebrations such as Christmas, New Year’s and Mexican Independence Day.
Main ingredients for Chicken Pozole
Our shortcut version of pozole uses a canned enchilada sauce to keep it simple and easy (and fast!).
Chicken Broth – I always use low sodium so I can control the salt level.
Hominy – Found in the canned vegetable or Hispanic aisle of your market. hominy is corn that’s been soaked in lime juice to soften them.
Red Enchilada Sauce – I prefer Hatch brand but any brand will work. My family prefers their pozole on the mild side, but a medium or hot enchilada sauce will spice things up.
Garlic – fresh or jarred.
How to Make It
My recipe is super simple, and surprisingly under 200 calories a bowl! It has chicken broth and enchilada sauce along with lots onion, garlic and other seasonings. Use a rotisserie chicken or boil chicken in the broth you plan to use for your soup.
Prep. Shred some chicken, chop an onion and mince some garlic. Open all of your cans and drain the hominy.
Cook. Saute onion and garlic in a large soup pot or dutch oven, then add the chicken, hominy, Caldo de Tomat and seasoning. Finally stir in chicken broth, and enchilada sauce.
Simmer. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer on the stove 30 minutes. The longer you can leave this soup to simmer, the better the flavor, but 20-30 minutes still be fine.
Garnish. While the soup is simmering, chop the garnishes. We like sliced radishes, green cabbage, cilantro and lots of lime juice, and Homemade Flour Tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.
Don’t omit the toppings. The crunchy cabbage and radishes add a beautiful contrast to the soup, plus they give some relief from the heat if you go with a spicier pozole.
More toppings to try: My kids love to add sour cream, my hubby adds shredded cheese. It does taste a little like my Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup so it makes sense that they want to put the same things in it.
Storage: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or simmer in a pot on the stove.
Freezing: This soup is an excellent freezer option! Let it cool completely then pour into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
In a large soup pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until beginning to soften. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in oregeno, cumin and Caldo de tomat. Cook, stirring often, for one minute.
Add the hominy and the chicken to the pot. Stir to coat and cook for a couple of minutes to flavor the chicken and hominy.
Pour in enchilada sauce and chicken stock. Stir to combine, then turn heat up to medium-high bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Serve hot with garnishes like sliced radishes, chopped green cabbage, cilantro, lime wedges and tortilla chips.
Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for 3-4 months.
This recipe make A LOT of soup. If you’re feeding a lot of people, this is perfect. If not, you can cut the recipe in half, or freeze the leftovers.
To freeze, cool the soup to room temperature and portion into freezer safe containers or bags. Freeze for up to 3-4 months.
If you don’t have Caldo de Tomat on hand, you can add a teaspoon of tomato paste.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.