Tangy tomatillos, green chiles, and cilantro are featured in the broth of this vegan pozole verde (green pozole). Each bite is filled with tender hominy and shredded jackfruit, making a healthy and delicious Mexican stew!
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If you've ever visited Mexico, you've most likely heard of pozole before. If not, today is your lucky day! With all kinds of ways to customize it, this recipe is perfect for the whole family.
What is pozole verde?
Pozole is a sort of soup-stew hybrid, and it generally comes in three different preparations — pozole rojo (red), pozole blanco (white), and pozole verde (green).
The color of the broth (or lack thereof) is imparted by the salsa used in each particular recipe.
The word pozole comes from the Nahuatl word "pozilli", meaning "foam." This seems to be in reference to the foam created when hominy is cooking.
So, what's hominy?
We're glad you asked! Hominy is a type of field corn that has undergone processing known as nixtamalization.
Every pozole recipe is full of tender pieces of hominy. But in pozole verde, you'll also find shredded chicken and salsa verde.
For more information, check out our detailed guide on hominy.
Is pozole verde vegan?
Since pozole verde is made with chicken stock and often has shredded chicken added in, it's not typically a vegan-friendly dish.
But, the rest of the dish is too flavorful not to enjoy plant-based! So we made some simple substitutions to make this classic dish suitable for all dietary needs.
Swap chicken out for shredded jackfruit, and use vegetable broth to achieve similar flavors and textures.
Of course, this will never be the exact same as a traditional chicken pozole verde recipe, but it's delicious nonetheless!
The Aztecs are said to have been the creators of this dish, and it carried quite a religious and holy significance.
As the legend goes, Aztec priests would sometimes make human sacrifices and add the carne humana (human flesh) to ceremonial pozole recipes.
But, as Spanish conquistadors moved into the area, cannibalism was outlawed and pork eventually replaced human flesh as the protein of choice.
And now we are taking this one step further by switching to jackfruit. You'll be amazed at how delicious and versatile this fruit is. It's shocking!
Serve your pozole verde right out of the pot with all kinds of garnishes for the ultimate bowl. Some common toppings include:
- Lettuce or cabbage
- White onion
- Mexican oregano
We also really enjoy this with a side of freshly made corn tortillas, tostadas, or tortilla chips (totopos) for more flavors and textures.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: no pozole is complete without the slightly sweet and earthy flavors of hominy. Canned hominy is not traditionally used in pozole recipes, but it will save you time and it still tastes delicious.
Health: hominy is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed to maintain a healthy body. More specifically, your brain and eyes require DHA to function properly.
Taste: to emulate the shredded chicken in this recipe, we used dehydrated jackfruit. Since the fruit is young (not yet ripe), it has a meatier taste, making it the perfect choice for a savoury soup! You can also use canned or fresh jackfruit — see our FAQ section for ratios and tips.
Health: jackfruit is high in carotenoids, a specific class of antioxidants that help our bodies make vitamin A. These carotenoids also help fight off free radicals, which are responsible for a multitude of diseases.
Taste: making up the base of the salsa are the sweet, tart, and fruity flavors of tomatillos. This popular ingredient is used extensively throughout Mexican cooking for recipes like salsa verde and more.
Health: due to their high potassium content, tomatillos play a role in heart and blood pressure regulation. They also contain vitamins A and C, which are important nutrients in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Taste: spicy green chiles are used to add depth and warmth to the pozole verde broth. We use serrano peppers to increase the heat, but try jalapeños or even roasted poblano peppers to create unique flavors.
Health: spicy chiles don't just make you sweat, they're also a good source of vitamin B6! This vitamin (also known as pyridoxine) is used to help transport oxygen through your bloodstream.
If you have questions about this vegan pozole verde recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post
Step 1: simmer the vegetable broth, jackfruit, hominy, garlic, and onion in a large stockpot while you prep the salsa verde.
Step 2: boil the tomatillos, onion, jalapeños or serranos, and pumpkin seeds in another pot. Once the tomatillos soften and turn slightly darker, drain the water and blend the veggies along with cilantro, garlic, Mexican oregano, and salt.
Step 3: remove garlic and onion from the large stockpot and pour in salsa verde from the blender. Add 1-2 sprigs of epazote and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
Step 4: to serve, ladle some soup into a bowl and garnish with diced onions, shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, jalapeños, lime, avocado, or tostadas. Happy eating!
Not only does pozole verde taste delicious, but it makes for great leftovers. Follow these storage instructions for the week ahead!
Keep this vegan pozole recipe fresh by using airtight glass containers and it should last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Pozole verde will store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use an airtight container, freezer-safe bag, or mason jar (leaving some room at the top for expansion).
Make a double or triple batch of vegan pozole and freeze it in single-serve containers to heat up for busy weekday lunches and dinners.
If frozen, thaw your pozole overnight in the fridge and reheat it over low-medium until warm, which takes approximately 5-10 minutes.
💭 Tips & variations
We'd like to share some tips and variations we learned while experimenting with this vegan pozole verde recipe:
- Skip the jackfruit. If you don't have jackfruit or want to make a cheaper meal, just leave it out!
- Swap in mushrooms. You can also use mushrooms for a meat replacement instead of jackfruit for alternative flavors and textures.
- Adjust the spice. If you prefer a spicier broth, add an extra serrano or try using habaneros instead. Alternatively, if you are sensitive to heat, use a poblano or Anaheim pepper.
- Make a thicker broth. If you want more of a stew consistency, blend a few cups of broth and hominy.
- Make hominy from scratch. For a more authentic and traditional flavor, try making hominy from scratch. It will take longer than using canned, but it's worth it!
🍴 Tasting notes
Cooler winter months call for warming soups like this pozole verde. It's:
If you try this vegan green pozole recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Vegan Pozole Verde
- Knife & cutting board
- 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.19)
- 0.88 ounces dehydrated jackfruit, soaked overnight ($2.47)
- 1 30-ounce can hominy, drained & rinsed ($1.30)
- 1-2 cloves garlic ($0.04)
- ½ small white onion ($0.12)
- 1-2 fresh epazote sprigs ($0.02)
- 1 pound (~8-10) tomatillos ($0.45)
- 1 small white onion ($0.24)
- 2 jalapeños or serranos ($0.08)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds ($0.14)
- ½ cup cilantro ($0.14)
- 4 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.03)
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste ($0.01)
To serve optional
- Diced onions
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage
- Sliced radishes
- Lime wedges
- Sliced chiles
- In a large stockpot, add soaked and shredded jackfruit, vegetable broth, hominy, garlic, and onion. Bring to a simmer while you prep the salsa verde.
- Add tomatillos, onion, jalapeños or serranos, and pumpkin seeds to another pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Once tomatillos soften and turn slightly darker, drain the water.
- Add cooked vegetables to a blender along with cilantro, garlic, Mexican oregano, and salt. Blend on high until smooth.
- Remove garlic and onion from the large stockpot and pour in salsa verde from the blender. Add 1-2 sprigs of epazote and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
- To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and garnish with diced onions, shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, jalapeños, lime, avocado, or tostadas. Happy eating!
- If you don’t like spicy food, use poblanos instead or omit the chiles altogether.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more hearty Mexican soups made meat-free, check out our:
- Pozole rojo to try another pozole recipe filled with juicy tomatoes, spicy red chiles, and meaty oyster mushrooms.
- Sopa de tortilla for crispy corn tortilla strips drowned in a tomato-chile broth and topped with flavorful garnishes like vegan cheese, avocado, and cilantro.
- Sopa de habas for a soup filled with hearty fava beans, Mexican spices, and fresh vegetables.
- Sopa de lentejas if you want a meal that's packed with protein and fresh vegetables like celery, carrots, garlic and onion.
- Pinto bean soup for creamy and delicious pinto beans infused with spices like cumin and Mexican oregano.
Unless you have an extremely underpowered blender, we don't find it necessary to strain the salsa in this pozole verde recipe.
Yes, the ingredients in this green pozole recipe are gluten-free. Just make sure to check any additional ingredients you use.
Yes, you can use canned jackfruit in this green pozole recipe. Just make sure it's young jackfruit in water. The weight of the rehydrated jackfruit is equal to 175 grams for reference.
You can use fresh jackfruit, but make sure it is not ripe as it will be too sweet. For more information on preparing this fruit, check out our jackfruit carnitas post.