top view of a bowl of pork pozole

Substitute For Hominy In Pozole

Are you making homemade pozole but you’re all out of hominy? No need to worry, there are a number of great substitutes you can use instead of hominy no matter what pozole recipe you are using.

Pozole is a wonderful, traditional soup (or stew) originating from Pre-Hispanic Mexico. And it is a popular dish still served today. While there are a number of versions you can make, both containing meat and vegetarian versions, almost every recipe calls for hominy.

Hominy is an important part of the flavor and texture of traditional pozole, so it’s important to use an alternative that provides the right flavor notes as well as texture for your soup.

So what are the best substitutes for hominy when making pozole?

The top hominy alternatives for pozole are chickpeas, beans, samp, buckwheat grits, barley grits, corn, and polenta meal.

Each of these ingredients will pair well with any type of pozole, but make sure to read on for how to incorporate each of them in your particular recipe.

Hominy Alternatives when making Pozole

bowl of vegetarian pozole

Pozole is a delicious soup with a long history of being served throughout regions of Mexico, and it is still a popular Mexican soup.

It was originally made using hominy and chicken, with other herbs and spices. And today it is also made using pork as well as vegetarian versions.

Pozole is usually topped with lime, lettuce, radishes, and chilis. Hominy provides an earthy flavor that pairs well with all of these ingredients, and many others.

Each of the following substitutes will provide your pozole with a similar flavor, and texture. Read on for how to use each of them in your recipe.

Note: I’ve been asked if rice can be substituted for hominy in pozole. You can use rice instead of hominy, but I have found the alternatives below to be a better choice. If you do use rice in place of hominy, use a 1:1 ratio.


top view of a bowl of cooked chickpeas

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are a great substitute for hominy when making homemade pozole. It offers a subtle, earthy flavor that compliments the other flavors in pozole Verde.

The texture of chickpea is less chewy than hominy, and has a subtle grainy texture. It is similar to the texture of a potato when cooked. While not exactly the same as hominy, it isn’t that noticeable when incorporated into the rest of your soup ingredients.


1 cup of cooked chickpeas equals 1 cup of hominy


top view of a bowl and a can of pinto beans

There are a number of beans that can be used instead of hominy for pozole. I’ve used pinto beans, butter beans, and even chili and kidney beans.

While they all offer an earthy flavor, the type you use depends on your personal flavor preference as well as what you have on hand. If using dried bean, be sure to cook them prior to adding them to your pozole.


1 cup of cooked beans equals 1 cup of hominy


bowl of samp or crushed corn kernels

A friend recommended samp as a hominy substitute, and it is a great one if you have the time to prepare it. Samp is a corn based cuisine originating from Africa where dry corn is crushed into medium sized pieces and cooked. Here is a good recipe.

While it does add some prep time, samp offers a similar flavor and texture to hominy and will work wonderfully in your pozole.


3/4 cup of samp equals 1 cup of hominy

Buckwheat Grits

closeup of buckwheat grits

Buckwheat grits are a great way to replace hominy in pozole. It offers an earthy, almost nutty flavor that pairs well with any savory ingredient in your soup.

It has a pleasing texture too, though not chewy like hominy. Buckwheat grits are not a wheat at, so if you are looking for a gluten-free hominy substitute for your pozole, buckwheat grits are an excellent choice.


1 cup of buckwheat grits are equal to 1 cup of hominy

Barley Grits

closeup of barley grits

Quite similar to buckwheat grits, barley grits are another great hominy alternative. More popular in the US, in my area barley grits are easier to locate at the local grocery store.

They offer a nice earthy flavor that pairs well with meat or vegetarian pozole. The texture, like buckwheat grits, is grittier than hominy but it works well in pozole.


1 cup of barley grits equals 1 cup of hominy


top view of baking dish of cooked corn

Because hominy is made from corn, it makes sense that corn is a great substitute for it when making pozole. While the texture isn’t chewy like hominy, the flavor is right on target.

You can use fresh, canned, or even frozen corn instead of hominy. I prefer fresh or frozen, but you really can’t go wrong no matter which type of corn you use.


1 cup of corn equals 1 cup of hominy

Polenta Meal

bowl of polenta meal

Another great corn based substitution for hominy, polenta is a porridge like cereal made out of ground cornmeal. It offers a wonderful flavor that is quite similar to hominy. And it works in any type of pozole recipe.

The texture is grainy and not chewy, but it still works. Add your polenta meal to your other ingredients while dry.


1 cup of polenta meal equals 1 cup of hominy

Bottom Line

There are a number of types of hominy your recipe may call for. The most popular types of hominy are listed here.

  • Canned
  • Pearl
  • White
  • Yellow
  • Dried
  • Lye

No matter what type of pozole you are making, you can use the substitutes found above. While it is difficult to capture the texture of hominy, they will provide you with a wonderful, earthy flavor perfect for making pozole.

Sticklers may want to point out that it isn’t traditional pozole without hominy, but once they taste your pozole I’m certain there won’t be any complaints.