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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Pozole Recipe with Pinto Beans (Posole Rojo)

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This easy Vegan Pozole with pinto beans is a delicious Mexican stew that is packed full of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with rich spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthy soup is perfect for a quick one-pot meal.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole in a white bowl with fresh toppings and garnish

My Instant Pot has been a lifesaver on busy weeknights, when I want something hearty, filling, and flavorful but do not have time to spend standing in front of a stove all day. And while traditional pozole is not typically a vegetarian or vegan friendly dish, I love the deep spices that give pozole such a satisfying and warming feel. Since the base of posole (spices + hominy) are vegetarian friendly, I figured why not replace the traditional meat with healthier beans and create a vegan pozole in my Instant Pot!

Top it with diced red onions, diced tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedges, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips (or for a non-vegan option: Plain Greek Yogurt or Shredded Cheese) – and you have got yourself an easy weeknight meal that feels like it’s been cooking all day!

The great thing about this recipe: It makes for amazing leftovers and tastes even better the next day because the flavors have more time to blend together!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy to make
  • No meat: Made with pinto beans instead of pork!
  • High in fiber and plant protein: 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein in every serving!
  • Nutritious, filling, tons of flavor
  • Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free
  • Can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stove top (we have directions for both here!)
  • The ultimate comfort food dish
  • Easy to customize!

How to Make The Best Vegan Pozole

Ingredients and Notes

This vegan version of pozole can easily be made with simple ingredients found at your local grocery store!

vegan pozole ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil, Red or white onion, and Garlic: You’ll saute onion and a few cloves of garlic in olive oil to start this recipe.

Yellow Bell Peppers: You can use any peppers you like in this vegan recipe — orange peppers, red peppers, green bell peppers, or even poblano peppers would all taste great.

Baby Spinach: For some added greens!

Spices: Cumin, Chile Powder, Ancho Chili Powder, Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt, Bay Leaves. Feel free to adjust the spices depending on how much heat you want this

Pinto Beans: I used canned pinto beans to save time. You could also use black beans or red kidney beans if you don’t have pinto!

Can of Hominy: This might be the most important ingredient in this vegan posole recipe, because hominy is what makes posole, posole!

Vegetable Broth and Tomato Paste: Combine these together to get the base of your vegan pozole rojo broth!

Equipment Needed

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Turn the Instant Pot to saute on low. Add olive oil through garlic, saute 5-10 minutes

Peppers and onions added to the instant pot

Step 2: Add the cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, coconut sugar and salt. Saute another 2-3 minutes.

Spices for the vegan posole added to the instant pot

Step 3: Add tomato paste, bay leaf, pinto beans, hominy and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.

The rest of the dry ingredients for the vegan posole added to the instant pot

Step 4: Secure lid of the instant pot. Press “pressure cook” and set timer to 15 minutes (you’ll be cooking at high pressure this whole time). Natural release. Turn off your instant pot and open the lid. Give your pozole a good stir and let it sit uncovered for about 5 minutes.

vegan posole on a ladle

Step 5: Top with anything you like! (e.g. cilantro, lime, avocado, etc)

A bowl of Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole in front of an Instant pot

How To Make on the Stove Top

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers, spinach, garlic, tomato paste and spices. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have caramelized slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, simmer for about 30 minutes until all of the flavors have combined. Serve this delicious meal with warm corn tortillas or any other toppings you like!

Recipe FAQs

What is Pozole?

Pozole, or posole is a traditional Mexican soup or stew. Typically it is made with pork, but my vegan version makes pinto beans the star of the show. Pozole is typically served during the holiday season in Mexico, and is a popular dish at New Years Eve as well as other large celebrations throughout Mexico.

Is it Pozole or Posole?

You have probably seen different ways to spell the word pozole. “Pozole” seems to be the preferred way in Mexican culture, while “posole” often shows up more in adapted or recipes originating outside of Mexico proper.

What is the difference between corn and hominy?

Hominy is whole corn kernels that have been soaked in a lye or lime solution, and are then washed to remove the hulls and excess solution. The result is a puffy, giant corn that has a meaty, chewy texture. Corn, on the other hand, is just fresh corn kernels that haven’t been soaked or processed.

Is this vegan pozole a kid-friendly dish?

This posole is a great way to get your kids to eat some extra veggies (since they are pretty hidden amidst the beans, hominy and toppings!) I recommend putting out a “toppings bar” for kids — so they can pick whatever they want to go on top of this posole. If you have kids that are particularly sensitive to spice, you can always cut the quantity of spices in half before you make this dish. And for kids who don’t even like the look of veggies, you can puree all the veggies together and add them into the “broth” — so they are completely hidden!

Top shot of Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole in a white bowl

How to Store and Keep

This recipe makes enough for a large crowd with plenty of leftovers!

To Store: Let leftovers cool completely. The leftovers will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for about a week

To Freeze: Transfer the posole to freezer-safe, airtight containers or bags with as little air as possible to prevent freezer burn. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To Reheat: thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm over low heat on the stovetop or microwave.

Serving Suggestions

A good pozole is all about the toppings! Here are our favorite toppings:

  • Fresh Herbs and Garnishes: Fresh Cilantro, Fresh lime juice, Chopped radishes, Chopped green onions, Diced tomatoes
  • Crunchy Toppings: Crushed tortilla chips, Pumpkin seeds
  • Creamy Toppings: Avocado or guacamole, vegan sour cream, or a vegan yogurt
  • Your Favorite Salsa: salsa verde or even a pico de gallo would work well
  • Non-Vegan Toppings: If you don’t need to make this recipe vegan, you can use a shredded Mexican cheese blend, sour cream, or Plain Greek Yogurt!

Expert Tips For Making This Vegan Pozole Recipe

  • If you don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker, you can make pozole on the stove top, it will just take a little longer.
  • Ready-to-eat Hominy is sold in the canned section of the supermarket. You can also cook it yourself but it takes much longer! If you choose to cook dried hominy on your own, follow the same process as you would for dried beans.
  • You can experiment with different types of beans in this recipe: black beans, kidney beans, even navy beans would all work well. Or you could do a combination of beans and make this a 4 bean pozole!
  • Feel free to mix up the veggies used in this dish. I used bell peppers and spinach primarily, but you can use anything you have in your fridge. You can even make this a vegan pozole verde by using 1/2-1 cup of salsa verde along instead of tomato paste when making your pozole.
  • Don’t forget the toppings! Our favorites include: Cilantro, Lime juice, Avocado or guacamole, Chopped radishes, Chopped green onions, Diced tomatoes, Crushed tortilla chips.
Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole served in a white bowl with a lemon wedge and cilantro

More Soup Recipes!

If you have tried this vegan pozole recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTERINSTAGRAM  and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Vegan Pozole with Pinto Beans

This easy Vegan Pozole is a delicious Mexican stew that is packed full of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with rich spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthy soup is perfect for a quick one-pot meal.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 3 yellow bell peppers diced
  • 6 oz fresh baby spinach chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • tbsp ground cumin
  • tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt more to taste – I added about 1/2 tsp more
  • ½ cup tomato paste (4 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 15oz cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15oz can hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth (4 cups)
  • optional toppings: ¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided, squeeze of lime juice, diced avocado or guacamole, chopped radishes, shredded mexican cheese blend, crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

To Make In The Instant Pot

  • Turn the Instant Pot to saute on low. Add olive oil through garlic, saute 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, coconut sugar and salt. Saute another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, bay leaf, pinto beans, hominy and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  • Secure lid of the instant pot. Press "pressure cook" and set timer to 15 minutes. Natural release.

To Make On The Stove Top

  • Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers, spinach, garlic, tomato paste and spices. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have caramelized slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, simmer for about 30 minutes until all of the flavors have combined. Serve this delicious meal with warm corn tortillas or any other toppings you like!

Notes

Expert Tips
  • If you don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker, you can make pozole on the stove top, it will just take a little longer.
  • Ready-to-eat Hominy is sold in the canned section of the supermarket. You can also cook it yourself but it takes much longer! If you choose to cook dried hominy on your own, follow the same process as you would for dried beans.
  • You can experiment with different types of beans in this recipe: black beans, kidney beans, even navy beans would all work well. Or you could do a combination of beans and make this a 4 bean pozole!
  • Feel free to mix up the veggies used in this dish. I used bell peppers and spinach primarily, but you can use anything you have in your fridge. You can even make this a vegan pozole verde by using 1/2-1 cup of salsa verde along instead of tomato paste when making your pozole.
  • Don’t forget the toppings! Our favorites include: Cilantro, Lime juice, Avocado or guacamole, Chopped radishes, Chopped green onions, Diced tomatoes, Crushed tortilla chips.
Modified from this Cookie and Kate recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1667mg | Potassium: 827mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g

Posted In…

Mexican Recipes ·

Mexican flavors are perfect for easy one-pot, kid-friendly dishes like my cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. With smart swaps, you can create a healthy version of a Mexican favorite: “guacamole” with about half the calories and 3x the protein!

Like Chipotle? You’ll love my ultimate sofritas and burrito bowls! These recipes are so easy to remix to add your own style (or use up some leftovers).

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