• Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • Time: 1 hour (does not include cooking the hominy) total

Recipe provided by chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo's, Caracol Restaurant, and Backstreet Cafe. Good for any time of year, but especially satisfying when you've got a lot of leftover Thanksgiving turkey but you're tired of turkey sandwiches.


For the Pozole Soup Base

  • 12 cups (3 quarts) turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade)

  • 4 cups Scratch-Made Hominy or rinsed and drained canned hominy

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves

  • 1 serrano pepper

  • 2 cups chopped tomatillos (about 5 tomatillos)

  • 2 cups seeded and chopped poblano peppers (2 large poblanos)

  • 1 cup chopped white onion (1/2 large onion)

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 4 cups leftover turkey (cubed or shredded)

For the Colorant

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

  • 4 epazote leaves, chopped

  • 3 hoja santa leaves, chopped

For Serving

  • Diced onion

  • Sliced radishes

  • Cubed avocados

  • Lime wedges

  • Tostadas


Make the soup base: In a large pot, bring 12 cups of the turkey broth and the cooked (homemade or canned) hominy to a simmer with 1 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat then add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes; transfer to a blender. Increase the heat under the skillet to medium high and add the vegetable oil, heating until almost smoking. Add the garlic cloves and the serrano pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until charred and slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly; peel the garlic and remove the stem from the serrano.

Add the garlic, serrano, 1/2 cup of water, the tomatillos, poblanos, onion, cloves, peppercorns, and cumin to the blender with the pumpkin seeds and blend very well.  Add it to the pozole soup pot and stir to incorporate. Return the broth to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Stir in the turkey.

Make the colorant: Add 1/2 cup of water to the blender along with the cilantro, parsley, epazote and hoja santa; blend until smooth.  Stir it into the pozole and simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt to taste.

Serve the pozole topped with onion, radish, avocado, and with lime wedges and tostadas on the side.  Enjoy hot.

Scratch-Made Hominy

Makes about 4 cups of cooked hominy
Active Time: 1 1/2 hours
Total Time:  3 1/2 hours, plus an overnight soak


  • 3 cups (14-ounces) giant dried white corn, available online or in specialty Mexican groceries

  • 1/4 cup slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), available online or in specialty Mexican groceries

  • 1 tablespoon lard, optional

  • Kosher salt


Put the dried corn in a large pot with the slaked lime and cover with about 6 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat and keep at a gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the corn has softened enough to be able to break easily, but is not fully tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Transfer the corn and the liquid to a large non-reactive bowl and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight (8 to about 16 hours.)

Drain the hominy in a large colander, then rinse very thoroughly with water, rubbing the kernels gently between your pals to remove as much of the slaked lime solution as possible. Then, remove the hard, little kernel from the top of each piece of hominy.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a strong boil. Add the corn and lard (if using) to the water and cook at a rapid boil, stirring often, until the hominy is tender and starts to burst open, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. You may need to add more hot water to the pot as you cook the hominy if too much boils off.

Drain the hominy and use immediately or cool and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use (up to 3 days.)