This vegan twist on pozole uses pinto beans instead of pork for a flavorful, meatless soup! This recipe is packed with spicy flavor, plus plenty of plant-based protein from the beans!

vegan posole in instant pot
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I have to admit that I’ve never had traditional pozole (or Posole) since it’s made with pork and I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years. But I liked the sound of the hominy and spices and decided to try a vegetarian twist, using pinto beans instead of meat. Obviously, this is not a traditional pozole recipe in any sense, but I think you’ll enjoy it!

vegan posole ingredients

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Olive oil– A little olive oil helps soften the onion and enhances the flavors of the spices.
  • Onion– I used a small yellow onion but a white onion would be fine, too.
  • Garlic– Fresh garlic adds a deeper flavor to the broth.
  • Chili Powder, Cumin, & Oregano– These spices add heat and spicy flavor to the broth.
  • Pinto Beans– These are used in place of pork to add protein and heartiness to the soup.
  • Hominy Hominy is yellow or white maize. The dried kernels are soaked in an alkali solution of lye or slaked lime. It has a unique flavor and texture that is essential to the soup.
  • Enchilada Sauce– I used a mild red enchilada sauce.
  • Vegetable Broth– I used a chicken-style vegetable broth for flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best enchilada sauce for this recipe? I recommend using a mild, red enchilada sauce. I like the Frontera brand sauce, which has a nice flavor. You can also make your own using my enchilada sauce recipe if you like!

Can I freeze the leftovers? Yes! You can freeze this soup for up to 1 month. To reheat, microwave on 50% power until heated through, stirring every 2 minutes. Just wait to add any toppings until you’re ready to serve it.

Isn’t pozole made with pork? Traditionally, yes! This recipe certainly isn’t traditional, but the pinto beans add plenty of protein and flavor.

How do I lower the sodium? Soups can be high in sodium, so if that’s something you’re watching, here are a few tips. Look for a low-sodium vegetable broth and a low-sodium enchilada sauce. For the beans, rinse them under water before adding them to the soup. This helps remove added salt.

How to Make Vegan Pozole on the Stovetop

This recipe can be made on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. On the stovetop, you’ll sauté the onion, garlic, and spices in a little olive oil until softened. Then you’ll add the hominy, beans, enchilada sauce, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. You’ll want to simmer it for about 40 minutes until the hominy is tender.