This Red Chicken Pozole is a comforting dream in a bowl. Filled with spicy chiles, BUSH’S® Beans White Hominy, and topped with tons of crunchy veggies. This traditional Mexican soup is fancy enough for company and easy enough to serve on a casual weeknight.

Make yourself a big batch of this delicious soup to warm your soul during these chilly months. 

red chicken pozole in a terra cotta bowl with a silver spoon and tortillas to the side           

Pozole (or posole, which is the older spelling) is a celebratory dish in Mexican cuisine, often served on New Year’s Eve to celebrate. While a soup may not seem like a fancy enough dish for a swanky celebration like New Year’s, just wait till you try this famously delicious dish.

Before you know it, I’d bet you’ll be making this pozole recipe for birthdays, anniversaries, even Christmas! With its bright color, spicy broth, and crunchy toppings, it is a meal fit for a king.

Chicken vs Pork Pozole

If you have made pozole rojo with pork in the past, you might remember it taking a long time. That’s part of why I love this chicken pozole recipe – making pozole rojo with chicken cuts down the cook time required to have a quick dinner on the table. I promise, it’s fast enough for even the busiest of weeknights!

chicken breasts poaching in water filled cast iron with onion quarters and garlic cloves

I also use BUSH’S® White Hominy, which is another huge time saver. Many pozole recipes call for dried Hominy, which can increase the cook time to an all-day process. BUSH’S White Hominy is economical enough to use regularly and takes all of the guesswork out of cooking Hominy to perfection.

Per usual, BUSH’S White Hominy is flawlessly prepared and has an excellent flavor.

can of bush's white hominy next to an earthenware bowl filled with hominy

As a bonus, this chicken pozole recipe requires just five ingredients to make! While it’s certainly more delicious gussied up with toppings, you don’t need to add them to have a hearty and healthy dinner.

Finally, this dinner can be made even faster if you have a batch of this red chile sauce on hand. I’m telling you, that sauce is magical and is not just for enchiladas…Make yourself a big batch ASAP!

What is Hominy?

Hominy is corn kernels (also known as maize) that has been dried and then soaked in an alkaline solution.

hominy, dried chiles, shredded chicken, onion and garlic laid out to make posole rojo

If you are from the South, you might already be familiar with Hominy by another name – grits are actually Hominy that has been ground into small, sand sized pieces. Hominy can also be ground down even more finely to create a flour known as masa harina, which is used to make dishes such as tamales, corn tortillas, sopes, and huaraches just to name a few.

While you can purchase whole Hominy in dried form, I highly suggest doing yourself a favor and keeping a few cans of BUSH’S White Hominy on hand for quick weeknight dinners. This red chicken pozole recipe calls for three cans of BUSH’S White Hominy so that you can get dinner on the table in record time.

How to make this easy soup

In a heavy bottomed 6-quart Dutch oven (or caldero) bring water to boil with chicken, onion, garlic, and salt, then lower heat to medium-low for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

bowl of hominy tipping into cast iron dutch oven with shredded chicken

Shred the chicken into small pieces.

soaked dried red chiles in blender pitcher

In a large bowl filled with hot water add dried chiles until the chiles have softened about 10 to 15 minutes. Discard liquid.

homemade red chile sauce being poured into cast iron dutch oven with chicken and hominy

In a blender combine cooked chicken broth with onions, garlic, and softened chiles with salt and blend. Reserve the remaining chicken broth.

overhead shot of red chicken pozole in black dutch oven

Add the shredded chicken, blended sauce, and White Hominy to the caldero with reserved broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Spoon pozole into soup bowls and let your guests add the garnishes to suit their own taste. Enjoy!

two earthenware bowls filled with chicken pozole rojo on a colorful striped fabric

Frequently Asked Questions

Posole or Pozole?

Much like the pronunciation of the word tomato (toe-MAY-toe or toe-MAW-toe) controversy, whether you spell pozole with a “z” or an “s” seems regionally specific. However, you spell it, this soup is deeee-licious.

What type of chiles should I use to make this soup?

I used New Mexico chile, but feel free to replace with guajillo or ancho or a combination of both. Learn about chile variety options here: An Introduction to Mexican Chiles.

While it is meant to be a little spicy, you can easily adjust the heat to your liking by adding more or less chile.

red chicken pozole in terra cotta bowls with small bowls filled with garnishes like sliced radish, chopped onions, sliced cabbage and lime quarters on a colorful fabric lined table

What is the best way to serve pozole?

Pozole is best served with traditional toppings such as shredded cabbage, radish slices, diced onion, and dried oregano. I also recommend that you serve your pozole rojo with tostadas or tortilla chips for some added crunch.

Can I make chicken pozole ahead of time?

This pozole rojo tastes even better the following day. Like most soups or red chile dishes, the flavors of this pozole meld over time. Make the whole soup, refrigerate, and reheat the next evening for best flavor.

This chicken pozole recipe can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to six months.

If you’re a meal planner, you can also get ahead of schedule by making a big batch of this red chile sauce. Use it as a shortcut for this soup, as well as about a gazillion other recipes like Chile Colorado or Easy Chicken Enchiladas.

This chicken pozole recipe also happens to start with easy poached chicken breast, so feel free to make a double batch on your prep day. Use half to make this yummy soup, and the rest in tacos, enchiladas, or mole Just remember to save that broth!

Can I make this soup in an Instant Pot?

I recommend cooking the chicken breast in the Instant Pot first following the Instant Pot directions in this post. Once the chicken is cooked and shredded, add the broth, red chile sauce, and the White Hominy, Stir. Set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Release the pressure manually. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings.

final overhead hero shot of red chicken pozole in terra cotta bowls with silver spoons and a can of bush's white hominy

Need more dinner inspiration?

Check out these other Delicious and Hearty Soups to Warm the Soul:

If you made this easy weeknight Chicken Pozole Rojo recipe, please comment and rate it below so I know how it turned out for you.

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Overhead on the delicious Red Chicken Pozole Bowl

Chicken Pozole Rojo

5 (3 ratings)
This Red Chicken Pozole is a comforting dream in a bowl. Filled with spicy chiles, white hominy, and topped with tons of crunchy veggies. This traditional Mexican soup is fancy enough for company and easy enough to serve on a casual weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 10 cups water
  • 2 pounds chicken breast
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 8 New Mexico or guajillo chiles, rinsed, stemmed, and seeded
  • 3 (15.5-ounce) cans BUSH’S White Hominy, rinsed and drained

Garnishes:

Equipment

Instructions 

  • In a 6-quart caldero place chicken, onion, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  • In a large bowl filled with hot water add dried chiles until the chiles have softened about 10 to 15 minutes. Discard liquid.
  • Shred the chicken into small pieces.
  • In a blender combine 1 cup of the cooked chicken broth with onions, garlic, and softened chiles with 1 teaspoon of salt and blend. Reserve the remaining chicken broth.
  • Add the shredded chicken, blended sauce, and White Hominy to the caldero with reserved broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. If necessary, season with salt.
  • Spoon pozole into soup bowls. Let your guests add the garnishes to suit their own taste. Serve with tostadas.

Notes

  • Nutrition does not include toppings/garnishes.
  • Instant Pot Directions: I recommend cooking the chicken breast in the Instant Pot first following the Instant Pot directions in this post. Once the chicken is cooked and shredded, add the broth, red chile sauce, and the White Hominy. Set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Release the pressure manually.
Calories: 97kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 488mg, Potassium: 332mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 641IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks 

This post is in partnership with BUSH’S® Beans. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.