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Red Chicken Pozole

There is nothing better than curling up on the weekend with a warm, comforting bowl of soup, especially when it is spicy and warms you to the core.  You know what I am talking about, the kind of spice that warms your belly from the inside  out and makes you feel warm and fuzzy.  Maybe you don’t think a soup can do that, but this soup can.  The recipe is one that I got from a former student’s Mom – she made it with pork shoulder but I decided to make it this time with chicken breast – next time I will try it with lean pork shoulder.  It would also work great with chicken thighs. This also for most people is probably a weekend meal – it is a bit of a time consuming recipe but totally worth it – and then you can eat it all week.

Red Chicken Pozole
Servings: 10
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 4 *

Ingredients for Soup
8 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
2 oz dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 oz dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 bunch cilantro plus more for garnish
26 garlic cloves (seriously!)
1 large quartered white onion
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1.5 pounds chicken breast
1 tbsp dried oregano
45 oz canned hominy
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cups boiling water

Shredded cabbage
Queso fresco (add 1 point per tablespoon)
Baked corn tortilla (add 1 point for every 2 small corn tortillas)
Avocado (add 2 points for a quarter avocado)
Chopped onion
Chopped jalapenos (if you want more heat)


  1. Add eight cups of chicken broth to a large soup pot.  Add 3/4 of the white onion, the cilantro bunch, 2o garlic cloves, oregano, and 2 tsp salt.  Bring to a slow boil and add in the chicken breasts and cook until just cooked through and the meat can be shredded.
  2. Remove the chicken once it is cooked and set aside until it is cool enough to shred.  Then using a slotted spoon (or you could strain the entire soup) pull out the garlic, onion, and cilantro and add it to a blender.  Add 1.5 cups of the cooking broth and blend.  Add back to the broth.
  3. Meanwhile, while the chicken is cooking, toast the dried chiles in a saute pan on the stove for 30 second per side over medium heat.  They should become fragrant but not burn.  It will likely take 3-4 batches to toast all the chiles.  Once they are toasted, place them in a large bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. After the chiles have rehydrated in the boiling water for 30 minutes, add the chiles and their cooking liquid to a blender and blend with the additional 6 garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp salt.
  5. Once the chiles are blended, warm up the vegetable oil in a large saute pan.  Add the blended chiles and cook for 8-10 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently.  Then add into the broth and simmer for ten minutes to combine the flavors.
  6. Add hominy to the soup and allow to cook for 7 minutes.
  7. Add shredded chicken broth and simmer for an additional 4 minutes.
  8. Serve in bowls and add your favorite garnishes – I love mine with a crunchy baked tortilla, queso fresco, cabbage, and lots of lime juice.
  9. Enjoy!  This soup is even better the next day and keeps well!  I always make a huge batch.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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6 Response to Red Chicken Pozole

  1. DD on September 13, 2011

    My husband is Guatemalan but grew up in Mexico. I myself love the dishes south of the border. I love to cook, and I belong to WW. So I am always looking for something to satisfy our Latin tastebuds, my desire to learn new recipes and my preference of WW-friendly dishes. So first of all, allow me to say that I am THANKFUL for your site! Keep up the great work! :o)

    As for the pozole, my husband said it was pretty good. It’s not exactly authentic (and that may have more to do with my “touch” rather than the recipe), but he was very pleased. Next time I will cook the chicken soup with a couple of raw jalapeños b/c it wasn’t spicy enough for us. The flavor was great tho. And I loved toasting up those chiles b/c they were so fragrant! Also, don’t try to cook this with a whole chicken, as I did. It’s more time consuming b/c you have to remove the bones and skin. Plus, the dark meat is not as appetizing b/c it can be sinewy. As confirmation of that, I was asking all of my Mexican friends (male and female) about using the whole chicken b/c that’s how I fix customary Mexican chicken soup, and they all looked at me like I was crazy when I asked them if I could use a whole cut-up chicken. (I had it on hand and wanted to use it.) They all suggested using the breast only, as was suggested here.

    Also, we eat this with corn tostadas, which is 2 p+ per tostada (boo!). I didn’t know if that was the same as the “baked corn tortilla” that was listed in the recipe. If not, where do I find those?

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to say thank you for this site and thank you for this recipe. I will certainly be coming back for more! God bless! :o)

    • admin on September 13, 2011

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment. I am definitely going to try adding the jalapenos next time as I usually add in some fresh ones to spice it up when I eat it. In terms of the tostadas, I just bake my own by placing the whole corn tortilla on the oven rack at 450 degrees until they crisp up.

  2. Candy on December 21, 2011

    This was absolutely unbelievably delicious. I was a little intimidated at first. Make my own chili sauce? From toasted peppers? No way. How about chili powder and maybe cayenne? I would encourage anyone that likes Mexican/Spanish dishes to try this. Not hard at all and this is coming from an pretty good cook, albeit not a creative one. I can follow a recipe, and this is not nearly as hard or time consuming as on first glance. Thank you so much for making me look good!. I will be bragging about this one for quite some time!! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • Kristen on January 3, 2012

      I am so happy you enjoyed it. I LOVE this recipe and agree it is no where near as difficult as it appears at first glance. Thanks!!

  3. Jenna Melin on August 21, 2012

    Made this for a dinner party and it was a hit! People couldn’t believe how flavorful it was, not to mention healthy. I did add some fresh jalapeño to the base broth for more heat. It did take a little long the first time, but that is to be expected. Love, love, love this recipe, can’t wait to try more!

  4. Connie on July 7, 2013

    I am new to your website and so far I am loving it! I made this Pazole today and it is delicious. Really flavorful and hearty I was very full with a 1 cup serving with two small corn tortillas. I just warm my corn tortillas on a gas stove until they are soft and warm, they are delicious dipped into the warm broth. Great recipe I will be eating it at lunch all week, and look forward to it!


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