Vegetarian Pozole de Frijol – Quick and Hearty Soup with Hominy and Pinto Beans – Recipe

Vegetarian pozole / posole de frijol; hearty Mexican stew with hominy and beans
Vegetarian Pozole de Frijol
Pozole (also spelled posole) is a soup or stew made all over Mexico, dating back to pre-Columbian times. Vegetarian pozole is almost a non-sequitur, because the original is heavy on the pig, but this version is delicious and filling so I don’t think you will miss the meat. It makes a terrific one pot meal on a cold day.

There are more variations of pozole than you can count, but as long as it has hominy and some kind of red chili in it, you are in the ballpark. Actually that is for pozole rojo. (There is another version, pozole verde that involves ground pumpkin seeds; I’ve never tried it but it sounds amazing).

For this particular batch I added pinto beans, which makes it pozole de frijol. I like to use tomatoes and a lot of lime juice to make a somewhat sour broth.

Much of the fun comes with the accompaniments, which you can put out on a big platter and let everyone choose for themselves. Popular options include: avocado slices, cilantro, lime wedges, tortilla chips, shredded cabbage or lettuce, onions and radishes. If you want to make a true feast, fry up some homemade tostadas and make a batch of guacamole.

The recipe below calls for canned hominy and beans for simplicity. Made this way, it can even be a weeknight supper. But if you want a more leisurely and even better soup, you can cook them both from scratch. Hominy corn is available dried, in which case you would soak it overnight and boil it for several hours, very much like with dried beans. Or if you are really motivated, you could try to find maiz para pozol and soak it yourself in lye water and then remove the end of each kernel. Sounds like fun!

Vegetarian Pozole Rojo de Frijol
Serves at least 4 as a one-pot meal
Vegetarian and gluten-free; vegan if you don’t offer cheese as a condiment

  • 1 or 2 (or more, if you are a chili head) dried chilis de Arbol, ancho, or guajillo chilis to suit your preference
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional: 6 cups mild vegetable broth
  • 1/2 15 oz. can diced tomatoes – those “fire roasted” ones would be good if you have them
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15 oz. cans hominy, drained and rinsed
  • salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • garnishes: see the list in the discussion above
  1. Soak the chilis in a bit of boiling water for 20 minutes or so, then puree in a mini food processor.
  2. In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, the oregano, and 6 cups of vegetable broth or water and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the pinto beans and hominy and bring back to a simmer. Allow to simmer for ten minutes.
  5. Add the pureed chilis, lime juice, stir, then add salt and more lime juice or more of the tomatoes as needed to produce a piquant broth. You might like to add the chilis a little at a time and taste to make sure you are’t exceeding your heat preference. You can always serve the remainder of the chili sauce on the side.
  6. Serve it forth, with a good selection of garnishes.

Pozole on Foodista

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, November 17th, 2008 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Soups, Vegan or Modifiable.

11 Responses to “Vegetarian Pozole de Frijol – Quick and Hearty Soup with Hominy and Pinto Beans – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    June 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    This is our families favorite soup! We just add way less hot chilis and use our own beans, dry corn, tomatoes and spices. Perfect in all ways and our child has a very selective palette!

    • Reply
      June 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      “Selective” – I like that!

  2. Reply
    June 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    We try to be positive…I meant to write, “discerning”!

  3. Reply
    December 11, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 8 years now and this is the best pozole recipe I’ve encountered! I’ve missed it all this time! I like to use black beans instead of pinto and I’ve never had cheese with pozole.

  4. Reply
    November 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    I made a big pot of this for my …”housemates”.. they who tasted it, ate nearly the whole pot full!! Even the kids liked it! .. the remaining broth I used in place of the water when making rice, and then I added the remaining veggies and beans… it was good! lots of hot sauce, sour cream, and cole slaw!! yummy!!

    I bought more ingredients to make another pot full, but this time just for me!!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Yeah! Nice to hear!

  5. Reply
    November 22, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    No pork, no problem!

    It all depends what you mean by traditional…pork, and all farm animals, were introduced to the Americas at contact. Posole is way older than that; it beggars belief that it was not made with whatever was available, vegetables in other words, with a flavoring of hunted meat if there was any.

  6. Reply
    December 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    According to wikipedia, posole was originally made by the Aztecs as a sort of communion-like dish for the whole community to eat together during special rituals, but was cooked with human meat from a sacrifice! So I’m very happy to be enjoying a vegetarian and human-free version of this soup. Thanks for a great recipe. 🙂

  7. Reply
    Ryan Moulton
    May 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Is this seriously calling for a tablespoon of oregano? I put in a tablespoon of powdered oregano, and all I can taste is the oregano. I don’t particularly like oregano, so this is a bit of a bummer.

  8. Reply
    Kathryn Brown
    August 1, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    I love this recipe! And I love the book. The photos are amazing!

  9. Reply
    October 20, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    @Ryan, did you use Mexican oregano (crushed leaves, not powdered, which was maybe too much)? I used the full amount and I even had it in the beans I used, and it imparts a smoky flavor.
    This is a seriously fantastic soup!

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