Caitlin Bensel
Active Time
45 MIN
Total Time
45 MIN
Yield
Serves : 8

I’m usually pretty good about knowing which of my social media posts will create more excitement, but every once in a while I’ll post something and be totally surprised at the response. Case in point—this vegetable-packed pozole. I didn’t even post the recipe for it—just the mention of a healthy version of this Mexican classic got people all crazy-excited and sending me messages asking for—demanding!—the recipe. Turns out we’re all pretty much desperate to get healthier and hold on to our traditions and flavor; if we can make all that happen in the same dish, well, that ends up being a home run.

Traditional pozole is made by creating a rich broth by cooking a whole pig head with some neck bones along with dried hominy and then adding either a red or green salsa for color and flavor. Here I use mushrooms to give us that earthy heartiness that you expect from pozole, no meat needed. Listen—it’s not going to taste like pork because it isn’t pork, but this is darn close in terms of comfort and satisfaction.

This pozole has become a staple in my sometimes-annoyingly healthy family. My sister has been known to go back for thirds. My teen, whose favorite dishes include pigs’ feet and beef tongue (kid KNOWS Mexican food!), also asks (begs, really) for it often. So here you go, familia. After countless messages and requests for me to put this recipe on the blog, it’s finally making its way to you.

Guajillo, ancho, and árbol chiles are soaked and pureed for a perfectly balanced sauce that punches up the savory mushroom broth; the chickpeas are a yummy twist in place of the dried hominy. So go ahead and enjoy, guilt-free, and let the piggies run free!

How to Make It

Step 1    

Add dried chiles and 3 cups water to a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high until water boils; reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chiles from water, and place in a blender. Discard water. Add garlic, onion, and tomatoes to blender. Process until mixture reaches a paste-like consistency, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl; season with cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.

Step 2    

Heat broth in Dutch oven over medium-high. Add chile mixture and mushrooms; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chickpeas and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 3    

Top servings of pozole with cabbage, red onion, radishes, oregano, and chile oil. Serve with lime wedges.

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