What To Serve With Pozole? [Toppings, Sides, & More]

Many people go crazy for Mexican food. With rich, vibrant flavors and a fun variety of toppings, it’s no wonder why!

You may already love the internationally known tacos or enchiladas, but have you heard of the tasty traditional recipe called pozole?  

Pozole is a classic Mexican dish somewhere in between a soup and a stew. Pozole comes in three distinct types– rojo, verde, y blanco– resembling the colors of the Mexican flag.

It has a hearty hominy base, and from there, it’s the chef’s choice of meat, vegetables, and herbs. 

With so many options, you really can’t go wrong with pozole! Since no two bowls of pozole are ever the same, you might wonder what the best toppings and sides are.

The ideal toppings to put in pozole are cabbage, lettuce, radishes, and sour cream to balance the flavors and add crunchy textures. The perfect sides to serve with pozole are Mexican rice, baked potatoes, and tortilla chips because they can soak up all the tasty flavors. Cornbread and pasta salad also make excellent accompaniments.       

With so many choices, it can feel overwhelming for a pozole chef!

But don’t worry- I’ve collected the best toppings, sides, and salads to pair with delicious versions of this stew. Read on to find out which ones suit your taste buds best.    

What To Serve With Pork Pozole

1. Chopped Red Onions

The pork in pozole is often slow-roasted. Thus, the sharpness and crunch of raw, chopped onions pairs well with the melt-in-your-mouth softness of the meat.

The combo explodes with contrasting but complementary textures and tastes.  

Regardless of the base being red, green, or white, the onion’s purple exterior adds a splash of unexpected color to the mix. Yet another reason to chop up those onions! 

2. Chopped Lettuce

Chopped lettuce is an easy, agreeable option that can go with almost any Mexican dish. It’s fresh, crispy, and mild– adding more texture than anything else. 

Chopped lettuce

Chopped lettuce has a calming effect on spicy ingredients, creating the perfect balance of hot and cool.

This can come in handy with pozole on the spicier side. Chop some up and serve it as a topping option. Guests can decide just how much they’d like to toss in! 

3. Sour Cream

Regardless of where it’s made, pozole has that homecooked heartiness we love. However, it lacks the creaminess of some other comfort foods.

But fear not! Sour cream can remedy this problem instantly to add that milky richness you desire.

It adds a soothing, soft texture that goes well with meat and hominy bases. Plop a dollop on top, or mix it straight into the dish itself to thicken the stew.

The chef may create the base, but guests choose how to use their toppings.  

What To Serve With Chicken Pozole

4. Guacamole

Who doesn’t love guacamole? This nutty, creamy spread is all the rage these days– and for a good reason. It goes well with so many savory dishes, including pozole.

Guacamole is packed with healthy fats, yet still tastes light on the palate. This balances the heavier elements of a good pozole. 

Guacamole can be made a few ways, but the base is always ripe mashed avocados. I like to leave them slightly chunky to get that full avocado flavor.

Add chopped fresh onions, lime, and cilantro– but only if your guests are fans. Salt and pepper to taste, and voila! You’ve got homemade guac.   

5. Tomato Salsa

Salsa is great as a dip, but it can also be added to Mexican soups and stews to give it more substance– and a kick if desired. 

Tomato salsa adds bulk, nutrition, and flavor to pozole. The salsa gives the hominy base the burst of flavor and veggies it needs to be a well-rounded stew.

Salsa, or sauce in Spanish, can be made with almost anything. It can also be store-bought if you’re short on time.

However, I recommend a simple tomato salsa with chopped tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.  If you don’t like your salsa spicy, find out how to make salsa less spicy.

salsa

6. Shredded Cheese

Shredded cheese is the perfect topping for piping hot pozole. The heat of the soup will melt the cheese, creating a thicker sauce.

Melted cheese binds the solid ingredients to the gravy so you can get a fuller flavor with each bite. As a dairy product, cheese also helps calm the spice of pozole

I prefer a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese for variety in flavor and color.. Sprinkle as much or as little to get the creamy saltiness you crave. 

  What To Serve With Pozole Rojo

7. Ancho Chilis

Ancho chilis, or anchos, are ripened on the plant to produce a dark red color, contributing to pozole rojo’s rich hue.

These chilis go well in pozole because they have a smokiness that adds depth and thickness to the stew. Anchos come with mild to medium spiciness, so it’s up to you how spicy you’d like to go.  

8. Cilantro

Cilantro is a controversial herb. People either love or hate it— but for those of us who love it, I highly recommend adding it to pozole rojo!

Cilantro is so often used in Mexican cuisine because it adds a cooling sensation and a kick of flavor. 

It’s often referred to as tangier, stronger-tasting parsley. For those who detest cilantro, parsley makes for a great substitute! 

The pungent, citrusy herb also works beautifully as a green garnish atop the contrasting red stew. 

9. Sliced Avocado

Avocados are served with many Mexican dishes, and pozole is no exception. Teh texture is different than any of the other ingredients in pozole which adds a nice variety. 

Sliced Avocado

This creamy, savory fruit should be served firm but still ripe. Slice it into long sections or chop it into cubes.

You can mix them into your soup or let them sit on top. They are also a soothing ingredient if those spicy peppers are too much!  

What To Serve With Pozole Verde

10. Sliced Radishes

Radishes have a strong, zesty taste. However, when cut super thin, they give just the right hint of flavor and crispness to pozole.

They’re consumed fresh which balances the warm, cooked ingredients that make up the base of this dish. It gives the dish lightness and crunch.

The bright pink edges and soft white flesh of radishes make it an excellent garnish. Slice thinly and spread over the top of pozole bowls for extra presentation points. 

11. Shredded Cabbage

Red and green cabbage both have the same slightly peppery taste. They are easy to find and prep, making them a great choice topping choice when in a pinch.

Serve them shredded and raw to get that crunchy texture that complements pozole so well. 

I recommend serving red cabbage to contrast the green broth. The purple tones of both cabbage and radish make green pozole come alive.  

12. Jalapeños

What better to give your green pozole a kick than this spicy green pepper? 

Jalapeños are my favorite Mexican topping, and I tend to get carried away. The intense flavor is addictive, so it’ll leave you wanting more spice and more pozole!

Which makes sense since jalapeños do increase your dopamine, adding a fun element to the dining experience. 

Remove the seeds for a milder topping and chop them in circles or lengthwise to serve. You can also toss them straight in to add dark green notes to your pozole’s color.

What Bread To Serve With Pozole

Bread isn’t something you typically see with Mexican food. However, pozole is a hearty stew– and what goes better with stews than some tasty bread?

Pozole’s gravy-like base is so yummy you’ll want to mop it all with something, and these are the best breads to pair it with.  

13. Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls were designed to go with your main meal! They pair perfectly with pozole because the soft, pillowy bread can quickly be dipped into the stew and soak up the broth.

Use them to push bites onto your spoon or get that lingering soup at the bottom of your bowl.  

14. Cornbread

This slightly sweet, crumbly bread goes well with rich, hearty pozole. Break off bits to mix into the stew, or dip it in quickly for just a hint of the flavor. 

Cornbread can be sweet or sour— and gritty or soft– depending on your ingredients. I opt for a sweet, gritty bread with chunks of corn in every bite.  The texture goals well with soup-based meals.

15. Garlic Bread

Although not originally Mexican, garlic bread goes well with many cuisines. In this case, pozole! 

Many pozoles use garlic as an ingredient, and garlic bread complements this dish by enhancing that warm, earthy flavor.

If you’re a fan of buttery, garlicky flavors, you can’t go wrong with this side dish. 

What Sides To Serve With Pozole

Pozole is a satisfying meal all on its own. However, side dishes can diversify a meal, enhance the existing flavors, and soak up all the rich sauces.

Pozole can be served with a variety of complementary sides– and these four are my personal favorites.   

16. Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is not your average rice! This soft, red rice comes with extras such as tomato, garlic, and onion– and any other seasonings you wish to add. 

Mexican rice is an excellent base for pozole because it absorbs sauces so well.

This particular rice style has a melt-in-your-mouth quality that soaks up all the delicious flavors of the soup. You’ll be sure not to waste a single drop with this side dish!   If you don’t like Mexican rice then califlower rice could work well too.

17. Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are a satisfying starch to eat alongside pozole. They provide a change of pace from the usual corn products you often see with Mexican food. 

To create a Mexican-style jacket potato, pour pozole over the potato and garnish with extra toppings. Enjoy!

18. Tortilla Chips

Tortilla chips are a party favorite. They are easy, affordable, and require zero prep–just a trip to your local store! 

Tortilla chips are a great addition because they create a fun, classic experience to a pozole meal.

They can be used to scoop up bites or as a crunchy topping. The salty snacks go perfectly with spicy, hearty stews of pozole.  

Fill up the bowl and let your guests munch away.

19. Mac and Cheese

If you love comfort food, mac and cheese is the way to go! It adds that creamy, cheesy element to pozole. 

You can easily find boxed mac and cheese at the local store. However, making your own allows you to add all your favorite cheese and seasonings.

Cayenne pepper and truffle salt are two interesting, but delicious additions.

For a less traditional twist, try mixing the pozole into the mac and cheese. It creates a saucy, starchy dish that is enhances both dishes and is quite simply irresistible.  

What Salad To Serve With Pozole

Pozole can be hot, meaty, and spicy! Sometimes your taste buds need a contrasting element.

Salads work well to tame that heat and provide variety in textures and taste. Choose from one of these crunchy, cold salads to balance out your next pozole meal.   

20. Mexican Tortilla Salad

Soup and salad make an excellent duo, and this one is absolutely winning! 

Tortilla salad combines fresh ingredients typical of Tex-Mex cuisine: fresh lettuce, corn, tomatoes, red peppers, and avocado.

Crumbled tortilla chips give a tasty crunch while lime and cilantro brighten the palate.  

The cold, crispy elements of the salad pair perfectly with the hot, soupy pozole. As an added bonus, with many overlapping ingredients, you can easily pull this salad together while the pozole is cooking.

21. Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is as easy to make as it is versatile. Plus, a cold pasta salad balances pozole’s hot and heavy elements. 

This salad can be made with different types of pasta and goodies. Still, my recommendation is farfalle with mayonnaise, lime, and olive oil dressing.  

The veggies are up to you, but you could try this pasta salad with a Mexican twist! Add some black beans, corn, tomato, and cilantro to bring out the similar flavors in the pozole stew.  

22. Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

This salad is light and fresh–and simple to make. Chop all three ingredients and mix with a bit of vinaigrette. A squeeze of lemon will add a tasty citrus touch.

The cooling elements of cucumber and avocado give you a reprieve from the spicy flavors of pozole. It’s the perfect combination for a hot summer’s day. 

Final Thoughts

While pozole is a lesser-known dish outside Mexico, it is a staple within the country. Consumed during holidays and casual dinners, this stew is a family favorite. 

While the foundation of hominy remains steady, the variations of toppings are endless.

Keep it classic with shredded lettuce, cabbage, chilis, and cilantro. If you want to be more adventurous, try adding cheese or some extra spicy jalapenos. 

Pozole is a filling soup on its own, but it’s always nice to have some complementary sides. Bread, salads, baked potatoes, and tortilla chips make excellent additions.   

The options are endless. So however you choose to make your pozole, be sure to make it with that home-cooked love. And don’t forget to tell your guests, buen provecho! 

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