The 6 Pozoles of Christmas

christmas pozole

Red or green: What kind of pozole will you make for your familia holiday gathering this year?

Will it be one of the four finalists in our December 2020 Your Family’s Favorite Pozole Contest? Or might you prefer one of our earlier submitted favorite family recipes—for our total six pozoles for your celebration cooking this season.

Mexican christmas
Pozole for todos: 3 rojos, 3 verdes, 1 vegan.

To help holiday homecooks, we offer this Familia Kitchen recipe roundup of all six to help you find the pozole perfecto for your table this December. There’s something for everyone: three are red, three are green and one is vegan. (If you’re curious about this beloved dish’s culinary roots and—admittedly a bit gory and not at all Christmasy—history and role in Aztec-Meztec sacrificial ritual, stop by here after you’ve checked out our pozoles, below.)

Happy holiday pozole recipe shopping!

Los Pozoles Rojos

Carmen Pozole
Carmen’s pozole rojo with guajillo and pork backbone

Carmen’s Pozole Rojo con Pork and Guajillo

This recipe is one that has been passed down since who knows when, with each generation leaving its mark.  I asked my mom what she loved most about pozole, to which she answered: “It brings me back to my childhood, and I remember all the time spent cooking with my mom and grandma. Because Mamá Nina isn’t with us anymore, making pozole is like getting to see her again.”—Submitted by Karina Corona

What’s in It: Carmen’s red pozole uses, besides 75 ounces of hominy: espinazo de puerco or pork backbone; guajillo chile; and dried oregano.

Nata red pozole
Nata’s traditional red pozole soup with pork tenderloin and backbone and three chiles

Nata’s Pork Pozole Rojo

This is my mom’s legendary recipe for pozole rojo with pork, which my three brothers and sisters and all my cousins and I grew up eating—and loving—in Pilsen, Chicago. My mom, Nata (Natalia), came from a large family of seven kids in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and learned to cook from her grandmother. To me, pozole = PARTY! I come from a family that loves to throw parties, and this equates to great food and lots of it. Pozole is a great dish to serve a lot of people, or if you’re Mexican, your closest family.—Submitted by Isabel Reyes

What’s in It: Nata’s red pozole uses, besides 64 ounces of hominy: pork backbone and pork tenderloin; guajillo, ancho and mulato chiles; and toasted sesame and cumin seeds.

Jr. Garcia pozole
Jr. Garcia’s Mexican pride pozole with chicken

Jr.’s Chicken Pozole Rojo to Feed Your Mexican Soul

I genuinely enjoy making traditional Mexican recipes. It means the world to me. I have a passion for it, and I love sharing a part of who I am, and where I came from with my husband (who is white) and/or others who have not yet had the privilege of trying authentic Mexican meals. It makes me happy to see his reaction after taking the first bite of my work, my culture, my history, and seeing a smile on his face fills my heart with joy. Making traditional Mexican food is more to me than just eating and filling our tummies. It goes beyond that. It feeds the soul, and the spirit as well.—Submitted by Jr. Garcia

What’s in It: Jr.’s red pozole uses, besides 2 or more cans of hominy: chicken legs, thighs or “any part you like”; ancho, cascabel, guajillo and árbol chiles; cilantro, cumin and a dash or two of menudo spice.

Los Pozoles Verdes

Anjie’s New Mexican family recipe for green chile chicken pozole

Anjie’s Green Chile Chicken Pozole

I too learned to make pozole at a young age. I grew up watching my mom and my grandma Pino make it. For the most part they would make the traditional red pozole with pork, mostly around the holidays and whenever we would have big family gatherings. Over these past years, Mom started experimenting with green chicken pozole and it quickly became a family favorite. No doubt there are many different methods and variations for making it, but I find this easy and reliably delicious!—Submitted by Anjie Villalobos

What’s in It: Anjie’s family green pozole uses: besides 75 ounces of hominy: chicken breast; serrano and jalapeño chiles; tomatillos, cilantro and Mexican oregano.

mary Ochoa
Mary Ochoa’s green pozole with pork, fresh pasillas and jalepeños, tomatillos and lettuce

Mary Ochoa’s Pork, Pasilla and Tomatillo Pozole Verde

There I was last month, lurking on the Homemade Mexican Recipes Facebook group, admiring recipes and traditional cooking tips. But when I came across this recipe for pozole verde, I could lurk no longer. It had been posted by group moderator Mary Ochoa of California. I privately messaged Mary to ask for permission to repost it here as part of our December pozole showcase. She said yes! Mary, mil gracias por su receta— tan linda, original y rica.—Published with permission by Mary Ochoa

What’s in It: Mary’s green pozole uses: besides 75 ounces of hominy: pork butt; fresh pasilla and jalapeño chiles; tomatillos, blended iceberg lettuce (!), cilantro and a squeeze of lemon.

Veronica pozole verde healthy
Veronica’s pozole: verde, vegan and good for what ails you

Veronica’s Vegan Verde Pozole Party

When visiting mi familia en Mexico, I tried the pozole rojo y blanco styles—but never had the chance to try a pozole verde. Traditionally, green pozole includes pork or chicken, but a vegan approach is healthier for people working to: 1. lower cholesterol levels, 2. lower blood sugar levels, 3. improve kidney function, 4. reduce arthritis pain, 5. cool down fiery/intense emotions. Since most of my family has one or more of the above five health goals, I knew it was time to create this protein-packed vegan verde pozole recipe!—Submitted by Veronica Giolli

What’s in It: Veronica’s green pozole uses: besides 29 ounces of hominy: jackfruit and pinto beans; jalapeño and green chiles; cilantro and juice of one lime.

You’ve seen our six pozoles. Which way are you leaning: red or green this year? Still undecided? We understand. We’re torn too. Though if pressed, we must confess we’re inching our way to traditional rojo … it’s so rich, hearty, festive. And this year, don’t we all need a little extra festive?

We’d love to see what you’re cooking up this year of all years in your holiday kitchens. It would be our honor, with your permission, to share your recipes and photos with other Familia Kitchen homecooks who also love la cocina Latina. Email us at: (in email normal format, por favor: trying to sidestep spam) for festive-feast memory making.

Happy holidays and felices pozoles a todos. 🎄🌟

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