Red Posole

Red Posole Recipe

I'm sitting there with three tubes of kraft paper, a ball of twine, two dwindling rolls of tape, and a small mountain of presents to wrap. Fat, juicy raindrops are pelting the window panes. Wind is making the bones of the house creak, and I suspect it will be dark by 3:30 this afternoon. There is a pot of day-old red posole bubbling away over a low, low flame in the kitchen. Which, by the way, is the warmest place in the house right now. I'm eager to pick through the pot to procure more than my fair share of flowered kernels. Kernels I'll then hide under thin whisps of pan-fried tortillas, a pinch of toasted Mexican oregano, and a bit of crumbled feta. It will be just the right thing to have for lunch on a day like today.

Red posole Recipe

I've had posole on my mind for weeks now. And this is just one of a series of posole-centric pots I've cooked up since my friend Gwen brought a huge pot of posole verde and all the fixings to a big family-syle dinner we had at Lori's house in Napa - you might remember Lori from the posts I've done about her cabin. Hi Lori, hi Lisa, hi Gwen :) The posole that night? It really hit the spot.

Red Posole Recipe

Gwen mentioned using the posole verde recipe on the Rancho Gordo site, but tomatillos are scarce right now, so for this pot I went the red route. I started with Deborah Madison's posole recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which essentially gives you a base recipe for cooking posole/hominy. You then add her chile colorado style red sauce (to taste), which takes the posole into the red realm. I've adapted the recipe to combine the two components, and incorporated a few personal tweaks as well. You'll find posole is quite adaptable, so really, just season and make changes based on what tastes good to you.

It is worth mentioning, you'll end up with plenty of extra red sauce. Not a bad thing because it actually freezes well, as does drained pozole/hominy. So, while I don't normally think of pozole as an on-the-fly weeknight meal, if you have two of the components in the freezer, you can thaw them earlier in the day, and be ready to go, relatively quickly, later in the evening.

I'm just noticing that there aren't many popped kernels in the lead photo. There were plenty, but I must have spooned them all into my bowl! Merry Christmas & happy holidays everyone.

Red Posole Recipe

Look for ready-to-cook hominy - the kind you soak overnight, and then cook. A lot like you would beans. I used Rancho Gordo white corn posole, but there is also a thread on Chowhound on how to source ready-to-cook posole As far as the choice of chile peppers goes, I used dried red New Mexican chiles, they have mild heat and aren't overly intense. You might also try guajillo chiles, or if you don't mind a bit more heat, Aji Amarillo chiles with their fruity overtones might be nice. Or maybe try a blend of mild-ish chiles. For the sauce, be sure to buy ground red chile, not chili powder - which has other ingredients mixed in. Also, for the vegans out there, this can easily be made vegan by using something like avocado as a topping in place of the cheese.

1 pound / 16 oz / 453g dried ready-to-cook posole / hominy (see head notes)

1 small white onion, diced
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3 dried red New Mexican chile peppers, stems removed (see head notes)
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Red Sauce:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely diced white onion
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 50g ground red chile (see head notes)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
a quarter of one lime

garnishes: tortilla strips, crumbled queso fresco or feta, toasted dried Mexican oregano

Soak the dried posole overnight in a large bowl of water. The next day drain the posole and place it in your largest thick-bottomed pot along with 3 1/2 quarts/liters of water, the onion, garlic, chile peppers, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the posole is tender, and many of the kernels have flowered into popcorn shapes. This can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours. Season with a couple teaspoons of salt roughly halfway through the cooking process. Season again once the posole is fully cooked.

In the meantime, make the red sauce by combining the olive oil, onion, garlic, and oregano in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the onion takes on a bit of color, a few minutes. Add the flour and cumin, and stir for a minute or two or until the flour browns a bit. Whisk the chile into 2 1/2 cups / 600ml water and pour it into the saucepan, whisking all the while. Stir until the sauce thickens a bit, dial down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or so. Stir in a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and season with the salt, adding more to taste if necessary. Set aside until the posole has finished cooking.

Stir 1/2 cup / 120ml of the red sauce into the pot of posole. You can add more red sauce, a bit at a time, until it is to your liking. Spoon the posole into bowls and top with tortilla strips, cheese, and oregano.

Serves 8.

This recipe was adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Prep time: 240 min - Cook time: 20 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Love the colour palette on this post. Have a great Holiday Heidi. Hope to see you in 2010. I need to start another round of those urban hikes...

HS: Thanks Sam, count me in. I hope to see more of you in 2010 - this year seems to have flown by so fast :/

Sam Breach

I've never had posole - and confess I've never even seen red posole for sale. That would be a perfect dish for the horrible weather we're having...

I am wondering if posole is always served as a soup, or if it would also work with less liquid, or maybe even pureed?

Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones!

HS: You can do all sorts of things once the posole is cooked, it is particularly nice swimming around in a bit of broth though.


Hello Heidi,

I don't think I've ever had posole, but this looks great - it would be a kind of dish that I'd eat in a huge bowlful :) Not sure if I can get my hand on hominy in Japan, but I'd at least like to try the sauce over something like barley maybe.

A very Merry Christmas to you and Wayne! x


Posole! I haven't had that in a hundred years. That sounds great. I think I'll make that over new year's weekend. Thanks!

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Hi Heidi! Thanks for the great recipe, it does sound good on a cold day.

I just wanted to wish you and Wayne a wonderful holiday and a Very Happy new Year!!


Heidi, I made your sparkling cranberries last night and they are wonderful. I had extra so I decorated the table with them, and now I put them in a cake ! This recipe looks wonderful - makes me long for my friends in Albuquerque and a nice meal at Pasqual's community table in Santa Fe, (not that this was on the menu, last I checked). I will definitely be trying this a.s.a.p.
Happy wrapping ! Thank you for all you do !
xo Michaela

The Gardener's Eden

First, Merry Christmas. Secondly, what a lovely recipe. Perfect for all of the windy, wet weather we have been having.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

I love trying out your vegetarian recipes (on my road to reduced cholesterol). This one is very appealing and I'll be trying it soon. Thanksand Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Joan Bowers

Happy Holidays, Heidi! As the earlier comment--thanks for the sparkling cranberries recipe. I got rave reviews last night and today at work, even though I waited too long to toss on the smaller granules of sugar on the first batch and they didn't stick :(. Live and learn--I'm making more today!


Nice recipe Heidi, one that begs to be made after the holdiays when I'm back to my lazy ways of eating the same delicious dish for days on end.

Now about your rain, seems the jet stream swapped out our weather systems as it's sunny up north in Seattle...well, at least for the time being. Warm wishes.

tom | tall clover farm

Must be a posole kind of time. I twittered Rancho Gordo to thank them for their white corn posole. It made a wonderful green chile pork posole last night. It's doing the re-simmer on the stovetop as I write for a second day lunch.

Thanks, Heidi, for a delightful year of blogging and food. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday and New Year.


This is perfect for my holiday appetite!! I don't know why but I've been craving hardy mexican flavors in between the root veggies and stews. I made this Smokey Chipotle Vegetarian Chili the other day and it was so satisfying and refreshing, if still warm and comforting for the season. I can't wait for my Christmas detox with this spicy delicious soup!!


This soup looks wonderfully hearty and savory, perfect for the current cold and windy weather.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I've truly enjoyed reading your blog this year, and look forward to all of the great things that have to come. Merry Christmas!

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

I first had Posole in Costa Rica and loved it. We made a Sante Fe style Christmas dinner one year and served it. It is a beautiful Christmas soup.

Merry Christmas to you, my favorite food blog!


I had posole for the first time last week while celebrating my sister's birthday in Idaho. Her friend, Mo had a great recipe for green posole with mushrooms. When my friends Lori and Cheryl gave me a bag of Rancho Gordo posole, my Christmas Eve menu was set! I have a big pot in the refrigerator - along with sparkling cranberries to add to my cheese tray. Thanks for a year of amazing recipes!

Barbara Courtney

Oh I have never heard of anything like this but it sounds great!

Simply Life

I have Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but I never noticed the posole recipe. This seems like the perfect antidote to the ice storm we're about to experience. Happy New Year!


Hi Heidi!
I'm in the snowy Midwest, planning on a big family sleepover at Kyle's so no one misses Christmas. Aside from the kids, who can only think of presents, everyone is talking about food. And on the top of my mind is the big, delicious pot of posole we cook up for Christmas day dinner every year. I can't wait to try another twist on our favorite holiday tradition. Yours looks incredible!
Happy holidays to you, Wayne and your families! Gwen

HS: Say hi to your family for me Gwen, I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. Safe travels home, xo


I love the color of the posole against the color of the old wood. And the tortilla strips, feta, and oregano on top ties everything together and makes me want to break through the screen of my macbook to get a taste of that posole. Too bad they don't have smellovision yet...

Have a merry, merry Christmas Heidi! :)

kamran siddiqi

What a delicious recipe; this looks amazing. Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

I can't wait to make this on a cold winter's such a cozy recipe!

The Healthy Apple

my fiance makes an insane pasole every christmas. Its his family recipe. They are from Colorado and New Mexico in the mountains, and they definitely know how to make this stuff.


Looks like a great recipe...I think t his just may be my New Year's Eve recipe! Thanks! We raise our own meat goats and rabbits in our efforts to stay local and goat is GREAT in posole! That may be one addition I'll make. Happy Holidays!


Heidi, with the snow starting to blow and the temps dropping into the 20s tonight, this sounds like a perfect antecdote. Wish I had some right now! I'll have to gather together ingredients in the next few days and make some. Yum.


Great to find a nice and simple dish after all the sweet stuff that is around the blog scene these days.

tobias cooks!

Gosh, this sounds lovely!

Happy Christmas, Heide!


Delicious! That looks so comforting. We're experiencing some snow here and this would be lovely to enjoy in this weather.


I've never heard of posole but this looks really heart and tasty. A great combination of flavors and spices. Yum!

nithya at hungrydesi

I made tamales for Xmas, but will probably make posole later this week. Yours looks so delicious!

kailua girl

Heidi, you are the bomb.

The only thing more awesome than Gwen herself is her posole. I live for it! I can't wait to try your version. Merry Xmas!

HS: Thanks for including me in your festivities Lori! And for all the books :) Hope to see you soon.


Happy Christmas, Heide! to you and all your fans and family .
I´m am Mexican and love your site, made a lot of your recipes and some I have to repeated as I have problems with the altitude but even with all those little problems I have to congratulate you, as everything I have tasted it is just incredible delicious and easy to make love it !
Now about the posole, there are many different ways to make it, instead of flour you can put more chilies deveined so they should not be so hot and I use 1/2 (50g.)of Chile Ancho and 1/2 (50g.)of Guajillo Ancho, first I roast them direct over the fire and then I soak them in hot water for 30 min. and to the blender together with your other ingredients .
When you serve the pozole here in Mexico you take a little of everything on top: shred some lettuce, diced raw onion, thin sliced radishes, some more hot chili in powder and the oregano leaves, I have never had it with cheese but I will tasted.
.Thank you for all what you do for us in this wonderful site.
Please excuse my English.


I have thought about posole off and on, but never far enough to actually try and make it... now I totally will! This looks delicious :)

Coriander Alya

What an interesting sounding recipe! Hominy was always a childhood favorite, and I haven't had it in years!


I think it would help to have some history on posole and chilies. I am also not familiar, at all, with chilies. For example, I have no idea what a aji amarillo chili is. The first time I made posole, I bought chilies recommended for posole at a local Hispanic market here in Baltimore. It was so hot, I could barely eat it. I haven't ventured into posole since, because I really don't know how to choose chilies for heat or flavor. Just a thought. Felice Navidad!


I have a soft spot for posole. And this one looks stellar - can't wait to try it. Thank you!
p.s. The shot of the ground chile is stunning.


I have never had posole before but this looks and sounds delicious!

Christie @ Honoring Health

This looks so good. It's making me miss Southern California right now. Posole is such comfort food - also great hangover food! I like pork in mine but I know you are veg.

Happy Holidays. Cheers.

Amber @ Native Food and Wine

This sounds incredible. I recently learned to love posole, and the red sauce sounds like the sauce we use for tamales. Actually, that makes this sound like the recipe I invented for tamale soup.


I bought the rancho gordo corn a little while back and have been trying to remember to use it. and have the Deborah Madison cookbook myself. Thanks for putting two and two together!


it's christmas eve and i'm writing to you from n. nm...i live in a little town close to taos where i have a restaurant called sugar nymphs. deborarh madison and i worked at greens together. i buy my red chile in chimayo from a store that sells, among other things, religious items. the red chile they
keep for a few customers is heirloom..bright red, different from the dark red chile one usually finds in this part of the country.
this year i will be making my posole from blue corn, a local farmer gifted me last week, adding some recently harvested carrots from the llano near my house and some garlic and smoked paprika from spain.
the red chile is such a wonderful is very cold here now and the snow has blanketed most of the state....posole is a welcome dish.
new year's, of course, is favorite,
local squash - calavasita, mint and goat's cheese....
feliz navidad everyone

kai harper


Happy Christmas and happy new year to you

From: Muaz

Muaz Sabu

I'm always on the lookout for a good Posole.
Thanks! -- feel like I got a little extra present in my stocking this morning.


Looks delicious. Great comfort food. Merry Christmas!


Best Christmas present - finding your cookbook under my tree! So excited to follow all your beautiful recipes. They are exactly the type of food I like - although I was never able to work them out myself! Thanks!!

Emma Hemmingsen

What a great non-traditional holiday recipe. The fiery chilis and spices are sure to create some warmth in the colder parts of the country this month. Plus I love the deep red of the chilis, which unexpectedly is part of the holiday color spectrum.

Molly @ molly's menu

I'm from Albuquerque, and around these parts, it wouldn't be Christmas without a bowl of warm posole, a few tamales and some bizcochitos (a cinnamon cookie) ...
Happy holidays and thanks for the perfectly timed recipe.


I live in Mexico City, I have tried here some vegetarian pozoles (I use the common spanish spelling) made with mushrooms instead of meat. I'd like to try this recipe as soon as posible! With pink corn, yum :)


By the way, a bit of shredded lettuce and sliced radishes make a nice topping for a bowl of pozole.


I have lived in NM most of my life, but now reside in Memphis, TN. Posole is a NM traditional New Year's day dish, like black eyed peas are the tradition in the south. Thanks for sharing your version! Makes me long for "home!" Merry Christmas!


I seriously love this dish. I can just savor the warm notes of the chiles heating my frozen insides after shoveling the mountian of snow!

Jason Sandeman

Wow. This is great. Eating a bowl right now.

However, even at our town's Mexican Grocery, there was no dried posole, so I had to buy a can. I wasn't sure how a pound of dried posole would equate to my somewhat-shy-of-2-pounds can, but the end result was wonderful.

I fished out the New Mexico chilis from the finished product, as I hadn't sliced or diced them at all.

Wonder how my finished dish is compared to what was intended?


My husband got me Rick Bayless' Cookbook, Mexico, One Plate at a time. I spent a good part of today looking for posole, which should not be that hard to find in Texas. Made his posole with canned. Thanks for the link, and the recipe


Lovely photos of the chile & hominy. I haven't had posole for years! I remember eating it every summer vacation in Mexico as a child. This post just brought back so many delicious memories. Happy Holidays!

Erika from The Pasrry Chef At Home

MMM. You just reminded me how much I love posole! I can't wait to try this recipe, with added chopped green chiles (from the can). I use the frozen presoaked hominy, which I pick up in Colorado when I visit. I wish I could get it in New England. I like it with sour cream on it, but have given up cow's milk, so I'll try it with goat yogurt.
Love your blog! Happy New Year!


This is the first time I've heard about Posole. I'm so curious about trying it but I wonder if i can find it here in Bombay. Or maybe show this photo around to people to find out a local name... Thanks for this post.

The Purple Foodie

Mmmm, posole is my favorite Mexican food (next to tortilla soup)! The ingredients is not easy to find here in Norway, but I buy them on the internet. Mexican oregano is simply The best tasting herb I can imagine! Thanks for putting out a vegetarian take to posole, will try it for sure! :)


Hope you had a lovely Christmas Heidi!

Echoing the chorus of many others, I have also never had posole. Martha Stewart has a recipe in one of her cookbooks, but it seemed too complicated to attempt. Your recipe makes it sound easy!

I must confess that I have had a bag of dried white hominy lurking in my cupboard for almost two years now, not knowing what to do with it.

Thanks for this post; the posole is EXACTLY the right dish to prepare today - after all the Holiday indulgence.

Primordial Soup

As a Mexican, I personally have never heard of crumbled feta on Posole Soup.
I guess it's either an Americanization, a modern take, or your personal version of the soup.
I bet it's still wonderful though.


Glad to see posole on your menu! After more than 20 years, it is still one of my favorite warming, winter dishes. Given it was 2' this morning, I believe it's the perfect day for a bowl of red, white or blue posole—we get all three colors in New Mexico— with red chiile.

HS: Thank you for all your inspiration Deborah, my copy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is well-loved and being held together by sauce splatters at this point. I was in New Mexico last year after it snowed, and it was so beautiful. I look forward to my next visit there - and I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for red posole! Happy Holidays, -h

Deborah Madison

Ok, test drive #1: made, "con cabra", and it was absolutely incredible. Thanks for the recipe!


Wonderful posole, perfect for the cold days.



Thank you so much for posting this recipie. I just spent half the day preparing and cooking the red sauce, the pozole as you described it and a chicken variety (for some Tortilla soup I'm also making).

I have just finished cleaning up and have enjoyed my first sampling. Absolutely delightful! It's too late to make a meal of it now, but I can't wait to reheat it after letting it sit in the fridge overnight. I think that will let the pepper flavor get a little more robust into the sauce & soup.

Good job! Looking forward to trying out more of your recipes. Happy New Year! Matt

HS: Thanks for reporting back Matt, hope you enjoy a big bowl of it today :)

Matthew F. Reyes

It really is a great recipe...
Only thing is pozole spells with a z... ;)
Buen provecho!!

Mazatlan, Mexico


Is it possible to cook the posole portion in a slow cooker during the day? And then just make the sauce that night?


This looks wonderful. I've never cooked posole or worked with hominy in any form. I did stumble across a large can of hominy last week, though, which I'd like to try. What are the conversions from quantities of dried to canned? Also, should I expect any "popcorn" flowers as I cook it? Finally, how long should I cook it for, since it's presumably already soft? Any guidance would be most welcome. (I love your site, Heidi.)


That is the best dish I have ever prepared...Thanks a lot... I made some experiments and instead of olive oil I put Patan ghee in it and the taste really changed....

jeffrey bonasia

Huh. I've been wondering about hominy. Looks simple enough! Thanks!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I've never made posole, but this looks amazing. I love hominy. I can't wait to try this one!

Teri @ Make A Whisk

Love your blog Heidi - thanks for the inspiration!

Any suggestions for a substitution for the ground red chile?

Elizabeth Moen

Oh, posole. . . .I lived in New Mexico for 9 years, where I ate posole at many a Christmas open house, and miss it so! In fact, I miss so much of New Mexican food now that I here in North Carolina. Posole is a staple there, but here, most people don't seem to have heard of it. I should try making this recipe for friends, and introduce them to a little slice of heaven! : )


When January comes around, I turn to soups even more than normal. This one is next on the list.

Happy New Year!

The Leftoverist

Happy New Year!
Well! Although from a different part of the world I really appreciate your recipes and will hang on to read your posts often.Thanks for Sharing.
This is one of the most beautiful blogs that i have come across.

Sonam lama

I am curious about the combination oregano and cumin :-) must try, thank youfor sharing.

Do you only make recipes from cookbooks?


Alessandra Zecchini

My grandmother always makes pozole for us in the winter, though hers usually includes ox meat and /or pork. Its hearty and filling, spicy enough to warm you through the winter, but cooled by garnishes of cilantro and lime and avocado.

This looks like a great adaptation, one slightly more virtuous for the post-holiday lethargy that sets it, but still comforting enough to remind me of my Nana. Can't wait to try it!


Hello Heidi, I have been coming to your blog for well over a year now, but I don't think I've ever left a comment. This red posole is making my mouth water as I can smell the spices & chili's & the varying textural combination--I will have to make it soon, because I live in the Pacific NW and your day of making this sounds like many of our days.

I also wanted to say that I checked your cookbook out from the library and it was a breath of fresh air & very inspiring. I noticed it at our local bookstore, so I have it on my list. Happy New Year's to you:)


I'm over in SouthEast Asia, and my selection of produce and canned goods is not quite what I'd like. If I can find it, would canned hominy be usable in this? I haven't had any Mexican food in 3 months. For a native Texan, that's an eternity...

!Prospero Ano!


Nice recipe, still i think it can be perfected so it has the real mexican flavor, instead of cheese and tortilla we use white onion, and thinly diced strips of cabbage, oregano and a chile sauce mostly made with mild chiles, but there's also a variation with hot chiles toasted, another half fried in lard or oil, liquefied with a nice bunch of garlic.

By the way i'll try to gather all the info about green pozole which by the way in some parts it's made with green chiles instead of tomatillo, and with hen (note: the use of hen instead of chicken is because it has more fat and it gives a different flavor, i guess it's because of its age).

In my house we've always prepared menudo, which is like a variation of Pozole, but it doesn't has chiles, we use a head of garlic, pulverized safron to give it a yellowish colour, and we use boiled cow's stomach (tripe) cut in squares (i know... eeeew :p, but it's really good, trust me), and you serve it with choped/diced white onion, a nice buch of oregano, cilantro, lemon, and if you like, you can boil in the menudo green chiles (california/anaheim) that are not hot, and small onions, the mix of garlic (if you're lucky to have a 'teeth'/clove or two of garlic :p), boiled onion, raw onion, non hot chile and lemon... WOOOO!!

All this of course accompanied by a bitter mexican beer (Tecate, not the almost tasteless Corona).

In this holidays we usually "retain water" (LOL) thanks to pozole, menudo, tamales, buñuelos (flour tortillas but instead of the doug being grilled it goes directly to boiling oil) and later simmered on piloncillo (sugar cane extract of brown color, sweeter than brown sugar) sauce, calientitos (fruit punch)... oooh my god we eat a lot!!


JonB: Yes, canned hominy is as effective as the raw variety, with the plus that it's pre-cooked.

By the way Heidi if i happen to forget about the recipes don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail, sometimes i tend to forget some things... maybe i'll throw in a birria recipe ;-)


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