Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

I don’t know when the thought popped in my mind to refashion my turkey leftovers into Pozole, but I’m glad it did. And this is not just any old Pozole but a Green (Verde) Pozole with Turkey. Pozole Verde de Pavo.

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)


If you haven’t had a Pozole, you’ve been missing out. And if you have on;y had a Red Pozole, but not a Green Pozole, you’ve still been missing out. Think of it like Enchiladas Verde filled with turkey but in a soup form. Pozole is hearty and warming and absolutely fun with all the garnishes and add-ins.

About Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo):

Yeah, while the soup portion of this Pozole is wonderful, just chock full of everything good (it’s made with a Verde or green sauce, full of tomatillos, serrano or jalapeno and cilantro), and chewy hominy, just like my Vietnamese Pho, the fun is in the garnishes.

Cilantro, lime, thinly sliced radishes, cabbage, and onion are the usual suspects, placed on a platter so everyone can garnish to their heart’s content. You might want to add some corn tortillas or chips, and maybe thinly sliced serrano or jalapeno for the heat lovers, and no, it’s not traditional, but a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco can never be wrong, imho.

What really makes pozole a pozole, as opposed to just a turkey soup is the Hominy; the hominy in pozole is puffy, soft, chewy corn. It’s corn that has been dried, treated with lye and then thoroughly washed so it’s safe to eat. Ground up, it’s what corn tortillas are made from, which is part of the reason that pozole tastes like enchiladas.

While hominy can be cooked just like dried beans, most people just pick it up in canned. And that hominy combined with the ingredients that make the green (or Verde) sauce along with the turkey and stock is truly like eating enchiladas in a bowl.

Pozole Garnishes

Pozole Garnishes

Making Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo):

Pozole is best when made with a wonderful stock, and the stock from a Thanksgiving turkey is just the thing. I simmer up a huge pot (recipe here) with my Thanksgiving turkey carcass, and use about half of the rich broth (7 cups) for this recipe and save half of the stock for something else. (By the way, this recipe is great with chicken, too and if you don’t have turkey stock, just use chicken stock.)

Next, you’ll want to make the green sauce by cooking up and blending wonderfully acidic tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, and peppers. You’ll make it as hot or as mild as you’d like. That green or Verde sauce is then cooked in a bit of oil (or if you’ve made your own stock, a little of the fat that rises to the top) just until it loses it’s bright green color.

I love almost any Verde sauce and this sauce is so good I usually double it & half goes in the pozole and half is saved for enchiladas another day. It’ll be fine in the fridge for a few days or can be frozen until you’re ready for it.

Then add in your stock, a few herbs and a can or two of hominy & simmer away for a few minutes, about 20 or so, to blend the flavors. Toss in your leftover turkey to warm through, set out your garnishes and dinner is on the table. Quick, easy, outstanding – and healthy. The perfect meal for after holiday indulgences.

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

Saving Money on Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo):

When made with leftover turkey, especially when that turkey was bought on sale for a holiday, and especially when the broth is made with the carcass from that sales priced turkey, pozole is really reasonable, actually downright cheap to put on the table. Now tomatillos are usually least expensive in the fall after the harvest; in most stores, they’re usually not too expensive even out of season. If they are, and you have one nearby, try to visit a Mexican or Latin market. You’ll probably be shocked by how inexpensive the prices for so many things are.

If you’re into pozole, and I hope you will be after trying this recipe, shop for the hominy and many of your Mexican food staples around Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) where it may very well be discounted, often unadvertised. If shopping around a holiday, don’t wait until the last minute to pick up your hominy. My store is often sold out.

As far as the tortillas, I rarely see them on sale. Look for them in endcaps, in the refrigerator section, and in the Mexican food aisle and compare the prices.

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)


Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

A pozole made with leftover turkey – maybe your Thanksgiving turkey. It starts with broth & turkey made from the turkey carcass, but if you need to use store-bought chicken broth, or substitute chicken, that’s fine, too.

  • Author: mollie
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Mexican or Mexican American



Verde Sauce:

  • 1 pound of tomatillos, husks, and stems removed
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half pole to pole
  • 7 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 to 3 jalapeno or serrano peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (stems are fine to use)
  • 1 tablespoon oil or fat from the turkey broth


  • 7 cups turkey broth
  • 1 recipe Verde Sauce
  • 2 cans of hominy, drained & rinsed well
  • 2 corn tortillas sliced very thinly (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) marjoram
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups of cooked shredded turkey
  • a little water, if needed
  • Garnishes:  Thinly sliced cabbage, red onion, & radish, along with lime wedges, sliced avocado, and chopped cilantro


Verde Sauce:

Add tomatillos, onion, garlic, and hot peppers to a pot. Cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a lively simmer. Continue to simmer for several minutes until tomatillos have softened but not burst.

Remove the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and peppers to a blender, reserving the water they were boiled in. Work in batches if needed. Add the cilantro and add about a half cup of the reserved water to start the blending process and process until a smooth, cohesive sauce comes together.

Be careful blending hot liquids. Slightly loosen the pour spout of the blender and hold the lid down with a kitchen towel or hot pad.

Heat oil or fat over medium-high heat in a large frying pan with high sides. Add the green sauce and cook for several minutes until the sauce turns from bright green into a dull army green color.


Bring 7 cups of turkey broth to a simmer. Add in Verde Sauce, hominy and marjoram along with the sliced corn tortillas if using. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Taste for salt and pepper, add turkey and a little water if needed to bring to desired consistency.

Serve with garnishes.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Corn, hominy, leftover turkey, Mexican or Southwestern, Pozole, Soup, tortillas, Turkey.

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Today I’ll be sharing this recipe at our very own Throwback Thursday Link Party. You might want to bookmark this special two week extravaganza – they’re all lots of links to both Thanksgiving & Thanksgiving leftovers, Thanksgiving Crafts & Holiday Decorating.

I’ll also be sharing at Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Julianna @ Foodie On Board and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine, and Saucy Saturdays. Saucy Saturdays is hosted by four incredible bloggers: Dina, Jennifer, Christine & Swayum.

While any Pozole is good, this Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo) is really something special - and it's great made with leftover turkey! #GreenPozole #GreenTurkeyPozole #PozoleVerdeDePavo

Helpful Links:

If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use leftover turkey or chicken, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Turkey. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Ham, too.


25 thoughts on “Green Turkey Pozole (Pozole Verde de Pavo)

  1. Coach Chip

    Wow! So great! Made with chicken rotisserie carcass broth and leftover chicken and it was fantastic!! Once I found the right salt balance, all the flavors popped!

    • Hi, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and it just made my day that you stopped by to say so! I tend to use less salt than most, but I know exactly what you mean when it’s at your perfect level everything is elevated! 🙂

  2. Love it Mollie! my favorite soup is a vegetarian puzzle– using salsa verde. I need thought of using turkey, but what a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers. Sounds like you’ve been cooking for family non stop since Thanksgiving– hope you’re having a great time (and they wash the dishes for you!). xo

    • Thanks, Jasmine! The kids (adult kids) finished the last of it last night and I’m sooo sad! I wanted it for lunch today! I need a lock on my fridge, lol! (And they ate my Rum Raisin Ice-Cream!)

  3. A good way to use up that leftover turkey and put the turkey carcass to good use. I thought the meal actually looked pretty substantial … not light fare at all. I’ve never tried pozole though I’ve heard of it, of course.

    • Thanks! And I wish we still had some stuffing left! I love this pozole because it doesn’t feel like leftovers – and it’s a welcome change from the more normal TG sandwiches & casseroles.

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