Homemade Mexican-Style Chorizo

Chorizo tacos with sour cream and lime wedges
The Spruce
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yields: 2 pounds
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
309 Calories
16g Fat
8g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 309
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 32g
Calcium 84mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chorizo sausages originated in Spain and Portugal, and versions of them exist throughout Latin America. Unlike most varieties of Spanish or Iberian chorizo (which is cured and dried in a way somewhat similar to salami or pepperoni), Mexican chorizo is a raw, ground sausage that must be cooked before eating.

In its commercial form, Mexican chorizo generally comes in casings that are just broken open and discarded when frying the sausage, so we have dispensed with the casings here. While you can add pork fat to this recipe for a richer result, this recipe produces a leaner, less greasy chorizo.

Although most Mexican chorizo is red in color due to the dried chile pepper and paprika used in the recipe, the area around the city of Toluca (in central Mexico) is famous for the green chorizo it produces, which is made with tomatillos, cilantro, and/or green chiles. Chorizo is usually employed in relatively small quantities to add a great flavor boost to countless Mexican dishes like eggs and tacos.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork (finely ground)
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder (ground dried chile pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons ground paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making Mexican-style chorizo
    The Spruce
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the ground pork, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, salt, garlic, and vinegar, until well combined.

    Ground pork is mixed with vinegar and seasonings
    The Spruce
  3. Use immediately in your favorite recipe calling for Mexican chorizo, or refrigerate or freeze the sausage in an airtight container for later use.

    The chorizo is fried in a large skillet, and a spatula is used to break up the sausage
    The Spruce
  4. To cook, fry the chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat. Break up the sausage with a spatula or fork as you go so that the finished product is loose and not chunky. Drain off any excess fat.

  5. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variation

  • Pork is traditional for chorizo, but you can substitute ground beef if you like. Higher fat content will yield a juicier, richer mixture, while leaner beef mixtures will be drier.
  • Adjust the spices to meet your desired level of spice—more chile powder for spice lovers, less for milder chorizo.

How to Use

It would be virtually impossible to make a complete list of how chorizo is employed in Mexican cuisine. Some of the most common uses:

  • Scrambled eggs: Fry chorizo in a skillet, drain off excess fat, then add lightly beaten eggs and cook and stir until eggs are set. Eat as is (with tortillas and sliced avocado) or use to fill burritos or tacos.
  • Taco filling: Combine with diced, cooked, or sautéed potatoes as a filling for tacos, enchiladas, empanadas, or pambazos.
  • Queso Fundido: Mix with melted cheese to make queso fundido (also called choriqueso). Use as a dip or spread on tortillas, tostadas, or bread.
  • Topping: Top sopes, tostadas, nachos, or Mexican pizza.
  • Refried beans: Stir into refried beans to eat as a side dish or as a spread for molletes or tortas.
  • Stuffing: Combine with other ground meats and use to stuff a roasted turkey or other fowl
  • Tinga: Add to shredded beef to make tinga.
  • Frijoles Charros: Combine with cooked beans, tomatoes, onions, and seasonings.
  • Soup: Used sparingly as a flavorful ingredient in certain hearty cream soups such as bean soup.

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