Instant Pot Pork and Pumpkin Stew

Bringing those awesome South-of-the-Border flavors, Instant Pot Pork and Pumpkin Stew combines tender pork, pumpkin (or other winter squash) with both chiles and hominy, in a healthy one-pot stew! Stove top instructions as well!

Instant Pot pork and pumpkin stew with hominy and green chiles on a burlap background with a carnival pumpkin.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Healthy Mexican Recipes and Pumpkin

What do you think of when you hear “Mexican food?” Tacos, enchiladas, rellenos, tamales, burritos? Born and raised in California, this was certainly my concept of Mexican food. It was a relatively inexpensive “treat” after church on Sunday, and we typically had a combo plate with rice and beans. Sound familiar?

As I begin to focus Beyond Mere Sustenance on Latin flavors, I aim to highlight the vast array of healthy and delicious options in the cuisines of Latin America, and more specifically, our neighbor to the south.

October is synonymous with “pumpkin.” As I mention in my last post (Peruvian Pumpkin Soup – Sopa de Calabaza), pumpkin isn’t just for pies and jack o’lanterns. We’ve enjoyed pumpkin wedges, posole, and risotto. Each of these savory pumpkin dishes expands my former notion of fall cooking and pumpkin!

So how did I arrive at the decision to do a Mexican pumpkin dish? Rick. Bayless.  🙂 When I first started exploring a more creative approach to Mexican cooking, he was my inspiration. Have you followed him? Check out his Kuri (Butternut or Pumpkin) Soup with Ancho and Apple.

  • oil – I use either refined coconut oil or olive oil in this pumpkin stew recipe.
  • onion
  • garlic
  • ground cumin
  • boneless pork – I choose a lean cut of pork, typically pork loin. It’s relatively lean and inexpensive. Boneless pork chops and ribs are good as well.
  • broth or stock – I have used both chicken and beef stock. Vegetable stock is fine. If you make pork stock with bones (good for you!), by all means use it.
  • chipotle with its adobo – Chipotle peppers are basically ripened jalapeño chiles that have been smoked and dried. Canned chipotles are packed in adobo sauce. If you’re sensitive to spicy heat, you may wish to skip the chipotle, and just use a little bit of the adobo sauce from the can.
  • Mexican oregano
  • pumpkin – I created this recipe for pumpkin, but you can certainly substitute butternut squash, or one of these winter squash varieties.
  • roasted chile – Hatch green chiles are my preference (always a New Mexico girl!), but roasted poblano chiles are a very good substitute. If you’re heat averse, roasted Anaheim chiles are a great option. Lastly, you could substitute roasted bell peppers (no heat) or omit them entirely.
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • canned hominy
  • garnishes – Possible choices: Avocado, lime wedges, chopped scallions, cilantro, roasted pepitas, crumbled cotija, Mexican crema.
Ingredients for the pork and pumpkin stew: Cubed pumpkin, Hatch chiles, hominy.

🎃 How to Prep a Pumpkin

Do you hate breaking down pumpkin/winter squash? I recently came across a tip that proved to be a real help… Prick the pumpkin all the way through the skin and into the flesh in several spots before microwaving for 3-5 minutes (depending on size).

When the squash is cool enough to handle, it can more easily be peeled and cubed. Cut into manageable pieces, then use the edge of a spoon to remove seeds. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the skin. Cube the pumpkin for use in your stew! It’s also great roasted and seasoned!

The process of cooking this pork and pumpkin stew is basically the same whether cooked on the stove or in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. We’re looking for super tender pork and tender-but-firm vegetables. Do you like mushy vegetables? 😝

I am not one to dump ingredients in an appliance and just “set it and forget it.” I have never used my pressure cookers for pasta because I like my pasta al dente. If all ingredients were to go  in the pot at one time, the result would be either chewy pork or mushy vegetables.

We’re going to cook this stew in two phases: 1. Sauté the pork and aromatics and tenderize under pressure (or on the stove). 2. Cook all but the hominy under pressure (or on the stove). The hominy turns mushy and absorbs the liquid really fast, and just needs to come up to temperature prior to serving…

Instant Pot/pressure cooker:

  1. Sauté aromatics and pork – With the IP/PC on saute, add the oil, onion, garlic, and cumin to the pot. Saute 3-5 minutes until fragrant and onions are softened. Remove and set aside. Lightly season pork cubes with salt and pepper. (You’ll taste for seasoning later). Add pork cubes (and a bit more oil if necessary). Saute until browned.
  2. Cook the pork mixture – Add the onion mixture back in to the pot, along with the broth/stock, chipotle, and oregano. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the knob is turned to seal the pot. Press the “meat/stew” button and adjust the timer to 25 minutes. Keep in mind the pressurization will take several minutes before it begins to count down.
  3. Prep the remaining ingredients – Meanwhile, prep the squash and other ingredients. As mentioned in the post, I prick my squash with a fork and microwave 3-5 minutes, cool, peel, remove seeds, and cut up. You’ll want to do this beforehand to allow to cool.
  4. Finish the stew – Do a quick pressure release. (Be careful!). Add the pumpkin/squash, poblano or Hatch green chile, and tomatoes. Close and lock the lid. Set for 5 minutes using “manual.” While the stew cooks, prepare whatever garnishes you prefer. Release pressure a second time. Add the rinsed and drained hominy, check for seasoning, and return to a boil using the “saute” setting.
  5. Serve – Ladle into bowls. Garnish and enjoy!

Stove Top Instructions:

  1. Sauté the aromatics and pork – Add the oil, onion, garlic, and cumin to a Dutch oven. Saute 3-5 minutes until fragrant and onions are softened. Remove and set aside. Lightly season pork cubes with salt and pepper. (You’ll taste for seasoning later). Add pork cubes (and a bit more oil if necessary). Saute until browned. Add the onion mixture back in to the pot, along with the broth/stock, chipotle, and oregano.
  2. Cook the pork mixture – Bring up to a simmer. Cover. Simmer 40 minutes.
  3. Cook the vegetables – Add the squash, poblano chiles, and tomatoes. Simmer until squash is tender (15-20 minutes). Add the hominy, check for seasoning, and return to a boil.
  4. Serve – Ladle into bowls. Garnish and enjoy!

You may have noticed I love garnishes? Choose 1 or more to complete this tasty one-dish meal!

  • lime wedges
  • sliced or diced avocado
  • toasted pepitas
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped scallions

I prefer chipotle with adobo, but in a pinch, you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons chipotle powder as per your preference. It’s hot!

About the hominy/posole – Since you’re using canned hominy, be sure to give it a really good rinse to remove the thick starch. Alternatively, you can use cooked (from dried or frozen hominy/posole), but you must start with cooked!

What kind of broth/stock should I use?

I have used both chicken and beef stock. Vegetable stock is fine. If you make pork stock with bones (good for you!), by all means use it.

How do I store the leftovers?

The pumpkin stew can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Mexican Pumpkin Stew with Pork and Hominy. Two white round bowls full of soup.

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Embasa Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
Dalstrong Paring Knife
Mexican Oregano

In conclusion, pumpkin is an under-utilized winter squash that can be used in most recipes that call for butternut squash or similar. If you love cooking with an Instant Pot, don’t miss Savory Instant Pot Pumpkin Recipes.

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes.

Mexican Pumpkin Stew with Pork and Hominy in a white circular bowl with lime wedges and cilantro.

Instant Pot Pork and Pumpkin Stew

Bringing those awesome South-of-the-Border flavors, Instant Pot Pork and Pumpkin Stew combines tender pork, hominy, pumpkin (or other winter squash) with both poblano and chipotle chiles in a healthy one-pot stew!
4.58 from 7 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Pressurize/De-pressurize 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Instant Pot and Slow Cooker
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 274 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil - or olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 pounds lean pork loin - cut in 3/4-1 inch cubes (+/-)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 cups broth or stock - see notes
  • 1 chipotle with its adobo - see notes
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 3-4 cups cubed pumpkin - or other firm winter squash, cut in chunks
  • 1-2 poblano chiles blackened - peeled, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1-30 ounce can hominy - rinsed and drained
  • Garnishes - avocado, lime wedges, chopped scallions, cilantro, pepitas

Instructions

Instant Pot/pressure cooker:

  • With the IP/PC on saute, add the oil, onion, garlic, and cumin to the pot. Saute 3-5 minutes until fragrant and onions are softened. Remove and set aside.
  • Lightly season pork cubes with salt and pepper. (You’ll taste for seasoning later). Add pork cubes (and a bit more oil if necessary). Saute until browned.
  • Add the onion mixture back in to the pot, along with the broth/stock, chipotle, and oregano.
  • Close and lock the lid. Make sure the knob is turned to seal the pot. Press the "meat/stew" button and adjust the timer to 25 minutes. Keep in mind the pressurization will take several minutes before it begins to count down.
  • Meanwhile, prep the squash and other ingredients. As mentioned in the post, I prick my squash with a fork and microwave 3-5 minutes, cool, peel, remove seeds, and cut up. You’ll want to do this beforehand to allow to cool.
  • Release the pressure. (Be careful!).
  • Add the pumpkin/squash, poblano chile, and tomatoes. Close and lock the lid. Set for 5 minutes using "manual."
  • While the stew cooks, prepare whatever garnishes you prefer.
  • Release pressure.
  • Add the hominy, check for seasoning, and return to a boil using the "saute" setting.
  • Ladle into bowls. Garnish and enjoy!

Stove Top Instructions:

  • Add the oil, onion, garlic, and cumin to a Dutch oven. Saute 3-5 minutes until fragrant and onions are softened. Remove and set aside.
  • Lightly season pork cubes with salt and pepper. (You’ll taste for seasoning later). Add pork cubes (and a bit more oil if necessary). Saute until browned.
  • Add the onion mixture back in to the pot, along with the broth/stock, chipotle, and oregano.
  • Bring up to a simmer. Cover. Simmer 30 minutes. Add the squash, poblano chiles, and tomatoes. Simmer until squash is tender (15-20 minutes).
  • Add the hominy, check for seasoning, and return to a boil.
  • Ladle into bowls. Garnish and enjoy!

Notes

I have used both chicken and beef stock. Vegetable stock is fine. If you make pork stock with bones (good for you!), by all means use it.
I prefer chipotle with adobo, but in a pinch, you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons chipotle powder.
Macronutrients are an approximation from MyFitnessPal.com using 4 cups of pumpkin, lean pork loin, and 30 ounces of pre-rinsed hominy. Garnishes are not included.

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

🎃 More Pumpkin Recipes

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3 Comments

  1. It is so cold here today that I would just love a bowl of this sitting in front of me right now! What a great recipe that I must try except that I would have to use frozen posole rather than canned hominy. Just waiting for it to hit the stores for the holidays. 🙂

    1. I heard you were expecting snow in NM. My kids in Las Cruces were bundled up on the sofa with the dogs hidden beneath the blankets. We can’t get frozen posole in south Texas. That has been a rather frustrating experience! Stay warm MJ!