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Chicken Pozole Rojo Recipe

by Capri Lilly

Chicken Pozole Rojo is a traditional Mexican stew made with an assortment of red chile peppers, hominy, and meat. It’s a rich, flavorsome stew topped with cabbage, radishes, lime, and cilantro, giving you a hearty, cozy, delightful meal!

If you love pozole as much as I do, you’ll definitely want to try my Pozole Verde recipe next!

Chicken Pozole Rojo in a large bowl with toppings of lime, radish, avocado, cilantro, and green onion

It’s that time of year again where I have the relentless craving and a deep need for a huge warm bowl of pozole piled high with toppings! Pozole is a wintertime must for me. I love to serve it at holiday gatherings because it is ultra-filling, incredibly delicious, and gives everyone the opportunity to customize with the toppings they choose!

This year, instead of doing my usual Pork Pozole Verde, I decided to make Chicken Pozole Rojo! The flavors are out of this world and the entire dish is super easy to make!

chicken pozole rojo | pozole rojo con pollo

Why You’ll Love This Pozole Recipe

  • It’s a rich & flavor-packed, hearty stew
  • It’s Super Easy To Make! (Less than 30 minutes of actual hands on cooking!)
  • Naturally Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free
  • A Filling Dish That Easily Feeds A Crowd
  • You Can Pile On As Many Toppings As You Like!
image of ingredients needed to make pozole rojo with chicken

Chicken Pozole Rojo Ingredients

  • Chicken + Broth: Made using boneless chicken breast, bone-in chicken thighs, onion, garlic, water, chicken broth (for a richer flavor), and bay leaves.
  • Hominy: Be sure to rinse it before using.
  • Rojo Sauce (Red Chile Sauce): Made using a blend of chile peppers, broth, seasonings, onion, and garlic.

Peppers Needed To Make The Red Chile Sauce

  • Guajillo Chiles
  • Ancho Chiles
  • Chiles de Arbol
  • Chile Pasilla (optional, but recommended)
image of ancho chile peppers, guajillo chiles, chiles de arbol, chile passila. Peppers needed to make rojo sauce

How To Make Red Chile Sauce For Pozole

The red chile sauce for pozole is made of dried chiles, broth, onion, garlic, and seasonings. The dried chiles have to rehydrate first. The easiest way to rehydrate the chiles is to remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles, and then place them in a bowl and cover them with boiled water. Let the chiles soak for at least 30 minutes. When ready to make the sauce, simply blend the soaked chiles with the broth from the boiled meat, onion, garlic, and seasonings.

Red chile sauce for pozole in a blender

How To Make This Easy Chicken Pozole Rojo Recipe

Preparing the chicken and broth.

  1. Season the chicken breast and thighs with salt on each side. In a large 6-quart Dutch Oven or large stockpot, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp cooking oil. Pan-sear the chicken breast and thighs, cooking it on both sides for 1-2 minutes. 
  2. Add the chicken broth, water, garlic, onions, and bay leaves to the pot. 
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  4.  Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a plate or cutting board. Shred the chicken and discard the bones. Add the shredded chicken back into the broth. 
  5. Reserve 1.25 cups of the broth and set aside.
  6. Rinse the hominy, then add it to the pot. Allow the mixture to continue to simmer as you prepare the sauce.  
image steps to show how to prepare chicken and broth to make pozole. image of chicken being seared in a large dutch oven, broth and onions added, the cooked chicken on plate for shredding, then shredded, and finally added back to the dutch oven with hominy.

Preparing the Red Chile Sauce (Rojo Sauce)

  1. Bring a medium-sized saucepan filled with water to a boil.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile peppers. 
  3. Place the chile peppers in a large bowl and cover peppers with the boiled water. Soak the chiles for at least 30 minutes. 
  4. Next, add the softened chilies to a blender with broth from the simmering chicken, the liquid from the softened chiles, garlic, onion, and seasonings. Blend until smooth.
image steps to show how to make red chile sauce for pozole. images show peppers without seeds, then being soaked in boiled water, peppers expanded, ingredients in a blender, and finally the blended rojo sauce.

Bringing It All Together

  1. Add the red chile sauce to the pot. Mix well and cover. Let the stew simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. 
  2. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking, adding more salt, pepper, or dried oregano as desired. 
  3. Serve the pozole in large bowls and pile on your favorite toppings!
image steps to show rojo sauce (red chile sauce) being poured into chicken stew with hominy. overhead image of pozole simmering. and final image of chicken rojo pozole done cooking.

Tips To Making The Best Pozole Rojo & Common Questions

  • Use Skinless Bone-In Chicken Thighs and Boneless Chicken Breast For The Best Flavor. Using bone-in chicken helps to create a more flavorful broth. Remember to remove the bones before adding the red chile sauce.
  • Lightly Brown The Chicken First. Many people do not do this, but I DO. Browning chicken before cooking helps the chicken to lock in flavor, retain moisture, and reduces the cooking time. It only takes a few minutes and drastically improves the tastes of the stew!
  • Use A Variety Of Dried Chile Peppers. You will need to use árbol, ancho, and guajillo peppers. I like to also add pasilla peppers. If You like your pozole rojo spicy, feel free to add habaneros or jalapenos, and more (soaked) arbol chiles when making the sauce.
  • Soak The Chile Peppers While The Chicken Is Cooking. To save time and work efficiently, soak the chile peppers while the chicken is simmering in the broth. When the chicken is fully cooked, you can quickly prepare the rojo sauce to add to the stew.
  • Rinse The Hominy Before Adding It To The Stew. Because the hominy is soaked in an alkali solution, it. isimportant to rinse it first before using. Otherwise, it will add extra starch to the soup, potentially ruining the texture and flavor.
  • Don’t skimp on the toppings. Lime, cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and radishes are a must when serving traditional pozole. The toppings truly elevate the soup and give it a whole new flavor!
large dutch oven of rojo pozole with chicken. ladle in soup with portion closer to the camera to show the texture of the soup

What Is Hominy?

Hominy is dried corn kernels (aka maize) that have been soaked in a lye or lime solution, which helps soften the kernels, release their nutrients, and make them easier to digest.

Is Hominy Gluten-Free?

Yes. Hominy is a product of corn and is naturally gluten-free.

How To Store Leftover Pozole?

Store any leftover pozole with the toppings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat the pozole without the toppings in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl).

You can also freeze the pozole to enjoy later! Once the pozole is completely cooked, transfer the pozole to a freezer-safe bag or container. You can freeze the Posole for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, place the pozole in the fridge overnight to thaw. Reheat the pozole in the microwave or stovetop.

Chicken Pozole Rojo in a large bowl with toppings of lime, radish, avocado, cilantro, and green onion

What To Eat With Pozole Rojo | Toppings To Add

Serve your pozole in a large bowl with a side of tortilla chips (optional) and pile it on the toppings! Traditional toppings are:

  • Lime Wedges
  • Shredde Cabbage
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Chopped Green Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sliced Radishes
Chicken Pozole Rojo in a large bowl with toppings of lime, radish, avocado, cilantro, and green onion

I hope you enjoy this Chicken Pozole Rojo Recipe


If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

More Hearty Soups And Stews!

Chicken Pozole Rojo in a large bowl with toppings of lime, radish, avocado, cilantro, and green onion
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

Chicken Pozole Rojo

Chicken Pozole Rojo is a traditional Mexican stew made with an assortment of red chile peppers, hominy, and meat. It's a rich, flavorsome stew topped with cabbage, radishes, lime, and cilantro, giving you a hearty, cozy, delightful meal!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: hominy stew, posole, pozole rojo, pozole rojo con pollo, red pozole
Servings: 8
Calories: 303kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Equipment

  • 6-Quart Dutch Oven or Large Stockpot

Ingredients

  • 2 15 oz can Hominy

For The Stock

  • 2 lb Boneless Chicken Breasts and Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 Large Garlic Bulb
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Water

For The Rojo Sauce (Red Chile Sauce)

  • 1.25 cup Reserved Broth
  • 1.5 cup Liquid From Soaked Chiles
  • 8 Guajillo Chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 6 Ancho Chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 5 Chiles de Arbol, seeds and stems removed (use less to make less spicy)
  • 2 Chile Pasilla (optional), seeds and stems removed
  • 8 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 2 tbsp Dried Mexican Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt, plus more to taste

Toppings For Pozole

  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Lime Wedges
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Diced Green Onion
  • Chopped Cilantro

Instructions

Preparing the chicken and broth.  

  • Season the chicken breast and thighs with salt on each side. In a large 6-quart Dutch Oven or large stockpot, over medium heat, add 1 tbsp cooking oil. Pan-sear the chicken breast and thighs, cooking it on both sides for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add the chicken broth, water, garlic, onions, and bay leaves to the pot. 
  • Bring the liquid to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  • Remove the bay leaves. Remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a plate or cutting board. Shred the chicken and discard the bones. Add the shredded chicken back into the broth. 
  • Reserve 1.25 cups of broth and set aside.
  • Rinse the hominy, then add it to the pot. Allow the mixture to continue to simmer as you prepare the sauce.  

Preparing the Red Chile Sauce (Rojo Sauce)  

  • Bring a medium-sized saucepan filled with water to a boil.
  • Remove the stems and seeds from the chile peppers. 
  • Place the chile peppers in a large bowl and cover peppers with the boiled water. Soak the chiles for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Next, add the softened chilies to a blender with broth from the simmering chicken, the liquid from the softened chiles, garlic, onion, and seasonings. Blend until smooth.

Bringing It All Together  

  • Add the red chile sauce to the pot. Mix well and cover. Let the stew simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. 
  • Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking, adding more salt, pepper, or dried oregano as desired. 
  • Serve the pozole in large bowls and pile on your favorite toppings!

Video

Notes

How To Store Leftover Pozole?

Store any leftover pozole with the toppings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat the pozole without the toppings in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl).
You can also freeze the pozole to enjoy later! Once the pozole is completely cooked, transfer the pozole to a freezer-safe bag or container. You can freeze the Posole for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, place the pozole in the fridge overnight to thaw. Reheat the pozole in the microwave or stovetop.
nutrition facts for good food baddie chicken pozole rojo recipe (without toppings): servings 8, calories 303, total fat 9.4g, cholesterol 101mg, Sodium 322mg, Total Carbohydrate 17.7g, Protein 34.7g

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23 comments

Freya Freya January 5, 2022 - 6:48 am

5 stars
This recipe was so good! I used vegan chicken pieces instead and it worked perfectly, full of flavour and spice!

Reply
Capri Lilly January 5, 2022 - 5:50 pm

WHat a great idea! I am glad to hear you enjoyed it with vegan chicken!

Reply
Andréa Janssen January 5, 2022 - 9:01 am

5 stars
I love the Mexican kitchen and this recipe was great. Full of flavor and really tender chicken, Delicious!

Reply
anna January 5, 2022 - 11:20 am

5 stars
Such a comforting and satisfying recipe! Absolutely ideal in this freezing weather we are currently having over here, this will warm you up to your core! Yum!

Reply
Capri Lilly January 5, 2022 - 5:51 pm

THank you, Anna! I am glad you like! I hope you stay warm 🙂

Reply
Lucy January 5, 2022 - 7:34 pm

5 stars
This pozole dish is such a warm and comforting meal that’s packed full of flavour.

Reply
Capri Lilly January 5, 2022 - 8:10 pm

Hi Lucy, I am glad you think so. It is my go-to comfort food during these cold winter months. Thanks for leaving a review!

Reply
Stephanie January 6, 2022 - 11:01 pm

5 stars
This recipe was amazing! So hearty and the depth of flavor was incredible. I replaced the chicken with vegan chicken and the recipe didn’t skip a beat. The whole family loved it and we still have the amazing aroma lingering in the house.

Reply
Crystal January 6, 2022 - 11:21 pm

5 stars
This is exactly what I needed with the colder temps in DC. Warmed me right up, and is soooo comforting!

Reply
Capri Lilly January 7, 2022 - 3:23 am

Hi Crystal! Glad you enjoyed it! It’s perfect for cold days! 🙂

Reply
Britney Brown-Chamberlain January 8, 2022 - 2:35 am

5 stars
This recipe is so good! It’s the perfect blend of smoky, hot, and savory flavors!! I had leftovers for lunch and it was even better on day two! Definitely making this again!

Reply
Jen January 12, 2022 - 11:48 am

5 stars
This bowl looked beautiful and tasted even better! It was so warming and comforting which is just what I need right now as it is freezing in the UK.

Reply
Capri Lilly January 12, 2022 - 6:23 pm

Hi Jen! I am so glad the pozole could warm you up! I love a hot hearty dish in the cold! Stay warm, my friend!

Reply
Jessica January 13, 2022 - 6:23 pm

5 stars
I love pozole and always wanted to try making it. This did not disappoint! The step by step instructions were easy to follow and it came out perfect. The flavors were unbelievable. Thank you for a great recipe!

Reply
Capri Lilly January 13, 2022 - 7:21 pm

I am so happy to hear it and glad you liked the recipe! Thanks for giving it a try!!

Reply
nancy January 15, 2022 - 1:51 am

5 stars
this hearty stew is so flavourful our whole family loved it!

Reply
Oscar January 15, 2022 - 2:03 pm

5 stars
This looks so good, can’t wait to try this recipe.

Reply
Capri Lilly January 15, 2022 - 4:48 pm

Hi Oscar! I hope you enjoy!

Reply
Jessica January 15, 2022 - 3:44 pm

5 stars
So flavorful and delicious!

Reply
Sara January 15, 2022 - 4:04 pm

5 stars
The whole family loved this chicken pozole.

Reply
Capri Lilly January 15, 2022 - 4:48 pm

I am glad to hear it!

Reply
Melinda January 15, 2022 - 9:36 pm

5 stars
Tastes as delicious as it looks, a wonderful pozole recipe!

Reply
Addie January 16, 2022 - 3:47 am

5 stars
Perfect amount of spice and flavorful!

Reply

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