Chicken Pozole Soup

01.23.2019

Chicken Pozole – This is one of my all time favorite soup recipes! It’s a simple, flavorful Mexican soup that’s loaded with fresh ingredients. It’s also hearty, healthy and incredibly easy to make. Try it once and you’ll be hooked!

Chicken Pozole in a single serve bowl set over a plate.

What is Pozole (or Posole)?

Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew that’s made with hominy and meat (either pork or chicken) and its commonly garnished with cabbage, chile peppers, radishes, avocado, cilantro or limes.

Pozole (posole) is a Spanish word, pronounced Po-ZO-leh.

This soup isn’t your traditional Pozole Rojo, that is much different. That is made with pork and is cooked in a dried chile pepper based broth and it is more of a stew. This version is actually very similar to chicken tortilla soup but with added cabbage and hominy (and it’s brothier than the rojo).

You can adjust the spices of this soup to suit your taste. If you like a strong chile powder flavor you can double or even triple the amount. If you want it spicy add lots of jalapeños, that’s my favorite way but my kids don’t care for it.

I’ve even used to make this soup with fresh tomatoes. If doing so just add 4 – 5 roma tomatoes (diced) in place of the canned.

This might not be the first thing you’d think to make but I’m telling you everyone I’ve served this soup to loves it! It’s one of the most satisfying soups and it’s perfect for chilly days, or even summer days to use up fresh veggies.

Ingredients for chicken pozole.

What Ingredients do I Need for Pozole Soup?

  • Olive oil
  • Produce – yellow onion, jalapeños, garlic, green cabbage, avocado, cilantro, lime
  • Spices – chili powder, cumin, S&P
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Rotisserie chicken (or leftover cooked chicken)
  • Hominy
  • Toppings  cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream

What is Hominy?

Hominy is a food produced from dried maize kernels that have been treated with an alkali. It’s basically dried corn that has been soaked in a mineral lime bath, and it’s actually what is used to make masa – which makes corn tortillas.

Here it is added whole. I love it’s chewy, unique texture and simple flavor.

Where Can I Find Hominy?

You can usually find hominy in the latin food section at the grocery store, sometimes I’ll even find it by the canned vegetables.

Showing how to make chicken posole. Sauteing veggies, adding broth and tomatoes.

How do You Make Chicken Pozole?

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes then add jalapeños, garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute 1 minute longer.
  • Pour in chicken broth, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Showing how to make chicken posole. Adding chicken and hominy to pot of soup.

  • Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken and hominy and heat through, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

To serve: place a handful of chopped cabbage in serving bowl laddle soup over cabbage, top with grated cheese, diced avocados, sour cream and serve warm with tortilla chips.Chicken posole in a pot.

Can I Cook Raw Chicken in the Soup?

This soup can also be made with raw chicken breasts vs. using cooked rotisserie chicken. If doing so add raw chicken breasts in along with the broth.

Note that you may need to cook them a little longer than 10 minutes once it reaches a simmer, it will be about 8 – 12 minutes of simmering. As always test temperature to 165 degrees and let rest about 5 minutes before shredding.

Can I Use Grilled Chicken?

In the summer I almost always use grilled chicken breasts in this recipe. I love the light charred flavor it adds. If doing so you’ll want to use about 1 lb chicken.

Overhead image of chicken posole in a white pot.

So You Add the Cabbage in Raw?

It may seem strange not to cook the cabbage but you’ll love it this way! What you’ll do is add the cabbage to the bottom of each bowl then add the hot soup. That way it barely cooks it and you still get a delicious satisfying crunch.

Don’t Omit the Toppings!

The soup wouldn’t be the same without all the added toppings. The cilantro, avocado, cheese, lime and sour cream make this soup sing. And the tortilla chip are perfect for dunking or crushing into the soup.

Two servings of chicken posole in serving bowls.

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Chicken Pozole Soup

4.86 from 7 votes

This soup is hearty, healthy, loaded with fresh goodness and full of exciting flavors. It's very similar to chicken tortilla soup but with added cabbage and hominy. If you like Mexican food you will love this soup! Makes about 12 cups.

Servings: 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1-5 jalapeños (to taste*), seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken (or left over chicken)
  • 1 (29 oz) can Mexican Style hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Serve with

  • 1/2 small cabbage, chopped (cut into pieces about 3/4-inch)
  • 3/4 cup shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
  • 6 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 oz tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes then add jalapeños, garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute 1 minute longer.

  2. Pour in chicken broth, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.

  4. Stir in chicken and hominy and heat through, about 1 - 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

  5. To serve: place a handful of chopped cabbage in serving bowl laddle soup over cabbage, top with grated cheese, diced avocados, sour cream and serve warm with tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

*Add jalapeños according to desired heat preference. 1 is more mild while 5 will give a really spicy soup.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Pozole Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 522 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 1072mg 45%
Potassium 991mg 28%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 10g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 15.9%
Vitamin C 55.3%
Calcium 25%
Iron 23.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Posole, Pozole
Calories: 522 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe updated Jan. 2019 to include pre-cooked chicken and canned tomatoes, and other minor changes.

22 comments

  • Mary Ann Brandt: Awesome soup! I have always loved pozole, but I never tried making it. When searching for a recipe, this one looked tasty and uncomplicated. I used Anaheim peppers from my garden in place of jalapenas. The results were fabulous!!! This soup now has a permanent spot on my recipe rotation. SOUPER YUMMY!! May 26, 2019 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Brenda: Thank you! This is a winner. Nicely balanced soup with a great flavors and textures. I used canned jalapenos (much hotter than fresh) so only used about 1.5 tsp. The toppings are a must as is the cabbage. I might add another 15-oz can hominy next time because i really like it. I also used homemade chicken stock so added some ‘Better Than Boullion’ instead of salt — it made it richer and more flavorful. May 1, 2019 at 7:06pm Reply

  • AggressiveStatement: This was Great!! Thanks for sharing. March 30, 2019 at 8:04pm Reply

  • Kristin: Jaclyn, I wanted to report back after I asked you last week about the cabbage you used. You’ve done it again… you’ve produced another winner! I made this for dinner tonight, and my husband and I loved it! It has a really great flavor! And I love the variety of textures in the soup. This is delicious! Oh, BTW, I will say that my Walmart only sells gigantic-sized cans of hominy, so I tried looking for smaller cans at my local grocery store. I found 25-oz cans there thankfully! Also, every rotisserie chicken I’ve gotten seems to always have 4 cups of meat exactly, so I only put in 2 cups of chicken. SO, with less chicken and hominy than the recipe called for, I only put in 5 cups of chicken broth. I will make this again and again. Thanks for sharing your recipes, Jaclyn! February 6, 2019 at 7:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you and your husband liked it Kristen! Thanks for reporting back, I appreciate it! February 6, 2019 at 11:02pm Reply

    • Kristin: I just wanted to add one more comment. After eating the leftovers, I decided it was foolish to not add all the broth the recipe called for (even though I didn’t have quite enough of the chicken or hominy that was indicated in the recipe). When you add the cabbage to the bottom of your bowl, you need a brothier soup. I actually ended up pouring a little chicken broth into our bowls before warming it up, because it really needed more liquid. March 4, 2019 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Connie: This is such a beautiful and delicious soup! We only garnished with cilantro, cabbage, and some lime, and it was wonderful. I have been cooking for a long time, and I don’t always have this reaction to things I find online. I did use my homemade chicken broth, which I have found to provide superior flavor over boxed broths when chicken and broth are the main ingredients. I just use three chicken carcasses from rotisserie chicken and some onion, carrots, celery, and maybe some wine and other herbs I have on hand. Simmer for several hours until a rich broth is created. This is going into my recipe box for sure! February 5, 2019 at 6:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I agree homemade broth is the best. Glad you enjoyed this soup Connie, thanks for your review! February 5, 2019 at 9:47am Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: A cozy bowl of this soup sounds just perfect – gorgeous!! February 4, 2019 at 7:12pm Reply

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