How To Make Chorizo

Learn how to make chorizo at home with a few ingredients and with our easy step by step recipe and video.

Enjoy this delicious chorizo not only with Mexican recipes like tacos, quesadillas or sopes but also with many other favorites such as pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta!

Mexican chorizo on a white plate.

What Is Mexican Chorizo?

Mexican chorizo ​​is a very popular and tasty sausage prepared with pork, vinegar, and spices. This preparation is based on the famous Spanish chorizo ​​that is known throughout the world.

The Spanish chorizo is a cold sausage that began to be prepared in ancient times to preserve the meat for a long time, said preparation was different from how it is known now.

Mexican chorizo on a rectangle white plate seen from above.

When it was introduced in the Aztec country, the locals adapted it to the spices that were locally available, specifically, the chili peppers; This is also a contribution to the old world because, as you already know, Spanish chorizo ​​is now prepared using paprika (which did not exist in Europe before). Paprika adds such a nice and particular flavor and color to chorizo.

Fried chorizo on an iron-cast skillet.

Frequent Questions

Can chorizo be eaten raw?

No. Contrary to Spanish chorizo, Mexican chorizo ​​must be cooked before consumption.

Can be store outside the fridge?

No. This recipe is not made to store chorizo in the traditional way (hanging at room temperature). We strongly recommend storing your chorizo in the fridge or freezer.

How long last?

After being prepared, this Mexican chorizo ​​lasts in the refrigerator for up to a week. In the freezer for up to 3 months.

I don’t have mexican chilies, can still make chorizo?

Yes! mexican peppers such as guajillo, ancho or pasilla can be replaced with sweet or hot paprika. In the recipe below we show you how to do so. Just keep in mind that the flavor will change a bit.

Chorizo Ingredients

To prepare Mexican chorizo, few ingredients are needed, perhaps the most difficult to obtain are chili peppers, but below I put a list with the traditional ingredients and with a note on how they can be substituted.

GROUND MEAT – You can use the meat you prefer, the most common is pork but without a doubt this recipe can be prepared with beef, chicken or turkey. Normally a fatty type of cut is used, but if you want to save on calories you can also use only lean cuts.

PORK BELLY: If you want, you can ask your butcher to grind it or you can also grind it yourself using a food processor or a knife. Personally, I like to add it finely chopped because it gives a better texture to chorizo. You can also replace pork belly with bacon, pancetta or with half cup of pork lard.

Minced pork and pork belly displayed on a supermarket package.

CHILIES – The Mexican chilies that are traditionally used are: pasilla, guajillo, chile de árbol and ancho chili. In some regions is also used other types, for example morita, mulato, mirasol, etc. It is not necessary to use all four types of chilies, you can use only one or two if you want.

Mexican dried chilies on a marble surface.

How to substitute: Each chili can be replaced with 1 tablespoon of hot or sweet paprika powder. Use the paprika you have available where you live, and you can also use a small red bell pepper blended with all spices, for a more tasteful seasoning.

SUPER TIP! If you want more spiciness, you can add one or two chile de árbol or any kind of hot red chilies that you can find where you live.

SPICES: Garlic, pepper, whole cloves, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, marjoram, cumin, paprika powder, ginger and cinnamon. You can adjust the amounts to your liking or leave out any spice you don’t have or like. This mix of spices will result in an amazing, aromatic, chorizo seasoning.

VINEGAR – Vinegar gives a special and particular touch to Mexican chorizo, in addition to helping to preserve the meat for longer. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

How To Make Chorizo At Home

Clean the chilies discarding the seeds and the stem, you can use scissors to cut them in half. Place the chilies in a bowl and cover them with hot (boiling) water. Let them soak for 10 minutes or until they’re very soft.

Soaking chilies on a bowl with hot water.

Drain very well the chilies and place them in a blender along with all the spices. If you are using bell pepper, you can add it in this step.

Add the vinegar and blend for 2 or 3 minutes at the highest speed that your blender has, until you achieve a paste.

Blended spices and chilies on a blender.

Place the ground meat into a bowl, add bacon or lard (or leave it out if you using only lean meat).

Add the chili paste and mix perfectly with a spoon for 3 or 4 minutes. You can also do it with your hands, but in that case I recommend wearing gloves to avoid staining and irritation.

Chorizo mixture on a bowl.

To know if the chorizo ​​is seasoned to your taste you can take a small amount and lightly fry it in a pan then taste it. If you think it need more seasoning just add more spices.

Place chorizo meat on a strainer and put it on a bowl. Cover with cling film and allow to rest overnight. This step allows the mixture to deep infuse with all flavors and also helps to release the extra juices.

Prepare the sausages (chorizos)

Next day, discard the juices the meat has released and proceed to prepare the sausages.

Place a piece of cling film on a working surface, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture on the center. Wrap into a small cylinder, like a sausage, twisting the ends to secure them well. Check the photos below or the video to know how to do this step.

Four steps showing how to wrap chorizo into sausages.

If you want, you can also distribute the preparation in zip-lock bags in small portions.

How to store it

Once you have finished with all the meat mixture, place the chorizos in the refrigerator where they can last up to a week or freeze them for up to 3 months and have them available whenever you want.

Notes

Watch Our Video

Mexican chorizo piled on a plate

How To Make Chorizo

Learn how to make chorizo at home with a few ingredients and with our simple and easy step by step recipe and VIDEO.
PREP 20 minutes
resting time 12 hours
TOTAL 12 hours 20 minutes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 10 casings
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ lb ground pork meat (about 550gr)
  • 5 oz pork belly (finely minced (150g) )
  • 2 guajillo chilies (or 2 Tbsp paprika )
  • 1 ancho chili (or 1 Tbsp paprika )
  • 1 pasilla chilies (or 2 Tbsp paprika)
  • 2 arbol chili or any red hot chili (optional)
  • ½ cup vinegar (white or cider)
  • 2 Tbsp paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 5 small garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp salt (or more to taste)

Instructions

  • Clean the chilies discarding the seeds and the stem and place them in a bowl.
  • Cover with hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the chilies and place them in a blender along with the spices.
  • Add the vinegar. Blend for 3-4 minutes on high or until you achieve a paste.
  • Place ground meat and pork belly into a large bowl and add the chilies paste.
  • Mix well for 3 or 4 minutes with a spoon or with your hands (use gloves) until you'll have a bright, red mixture.
  • Taste chorizo seasonings by frying a teaspoon of the mixture on a frying pan. If you think it needs more salt or spices, add them accordingly.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and allow to rest overnight.

Prepare the chorizos (next day)

  • Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture on the center of a rectangle of cling film.
  • Wrap into a small cylinder, like a sausage, twisting the ends to secure them well (check the video).
  • Store in the fridge for one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition
Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 814IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
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