BEST Authentic Homemade Vegan Chorizo (Soy Chorizo)

I have been making this homemade vegan chorizo recipe for almost 10 years and it’s as close to the traditional chorizo that you’re going to get! My homemade plant-based chorizo is easy to make, much cheaper than the store-bought kind and doesn’t have filler ingredients or artificial colors. 

A white bowl placed on top of a blue plate and the bowl is filled with homemade Mexican vegan chorizo made from soy crumbles.
Vegan Chorizo

What is Mexican Chorizo?

Mexican chorizo is a flavorful loose meat sausage that is a staple in Mexican cuisine. It’s typically made from ground pork and seasoned with a mild chile sauce, vinegar, a variety of herbs and spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, Mexican oregano, thyme and others. 

But amigos please don’t confuse Mexican chorizo with Spanish chorizo because they are quite different from one another.

To begin with, Spanish chorizo is a firm cured sausage whereas the Mexican kind is a raw loose sausage. The Spanish kind isn’t made with all the herbs and spices and it’s generally not spicy and the Mexican chorizo can occasionally be spicy.

They are also eaten differently and maybe I’m biased but tacos de chorizo beats sliced Spanish chorizo any day of the week!

Mexican chorizo has a delicious bold flavor which pairs perfectly with in tacos, combined with eggs (or tofu eggs) and cheese, and it also makes the perfect filling for quesadillas and breakfast burritos.

Some years ago when I lived abroad and couldn’t find Mexican chorizo I started to learn how to make my own homemade version. It was delicious and really satisfied those cravings. Then after moving back to Mexico and going meatless I started swapping out the pork for a plant-based protein.

Other than swapping out the meat for a plant-based protein, this is exactly how I used to make my pork chorizo.

Amigos, I’m so happy to be sharing with you my easy vegan chorizo sausage recipe that I just know you’re going to love.

It’s such a delicious plant-based twist on the classic meat version and it and will become your favorite soy chorizo recipe. Enjoy! 

A white bowl placed on top of a blue plate and the bowl is filled with homemade Mexican vegan chorizo made from soy crumbles. Additionally there's two ziploc bags filled with the chorizo.
Homemade Vegan Chorizo

Why You’ll Love Vegan Chorizo

When you make your own vegan chorizo at home you can control what ingredients go into it, something you can’t do with those brands from the grocery stores.
Homemade is budget friendly. 
This tried and true recipe is so close to the regular chorizo in flavor and texture, just cruelty-free.
Takes less than 30 minutes to put together.
Once you have your homemade vegan chorizo you can use it in all of your favorite recipes.

View from above of a countertop with the ingredients needed to make Mexican vegan chorizo. They are: dried chiles, soy crumbles, spices, apple cider vinegar, white onion and garlic.
Vegan Chorizo Ingredients

Authentic Mexican Chorizo Ingredients

The main ingredients to get that authentic Mexican flavor are a variety of spices and chiles. I know the list is long but trust the process and you’ll see just what an amazing recipe this is and so packed of flavorful.

Please try not to make substitutions so that you’ll be guaranteed that your plant-based version is as close to the real thing as possible. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

The Protein: We will be swapping out the pork for a vegetable protein. In the nearly 10 years I’ve been making vegan chorizo I’ve always used TVP or textured vegetable protein which is soy product made from defatted soy flour. (It’s also called TSP or textures soy protein.)

It makes the best ground meat substitute in any meatless recipe. It’s also what all the Mexican brands of vegan chorizo use and in the US if you’re familiar with I Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, it’s was they use too.

I have seen other vegan recipes using firm tofu or a mix of the pressed tofu with walnut meat. I’ve tested it out and feel that the TVP makes a much better substitution…plus it’s less expensive too.

The Chile Sauce:
This is made with ancho chiles and guajillo chile as well as onion, garlic. It not only adds flavor but also color to the chorizo. If you’d like to make a spicy chorizo then you can also add some chile de arbol.
In a pinch I’ve added ground cayenne pepper or chili powder for a touch of heat when I didn’t have chile de arbol.

The Mexican Spices and Herbs:
Aromatic spices and herbs are the key ingredient to get that distinct chorizo flavor. You’ll need cumin, coriander seed, clove, Mexican canela or Ceylon cinnamon, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and salt.

Additionally, to add yet more color to the vegan chorizo, I love to use Spanish paprika or occasionally when I have ancho chile powder I’ll use that.

Vinegar:
Traditional Mexican chorizo has a touch of tartness that comes from the use of vinegar. I’ve always used apple cider vinegar because it’s not as strong or aggressive in flavor profile as regular white vinegar.

Oil:
As you can see in the recipe card, I do not add oil or fat of any kind to my soyrizo recipe. This is merely a personal preference because instead I choose to add a bit more oil when I cook my chorizo.

However, if you’d like to add oil, feel free to do so. I recommend non-traditional olive oil for a healthier option or regular vegetable oil works well too. I don’t suggest coconut oil unless it’s the refined kind.


Make sure to read my article and tips on TVP to learn why it’s one of the best meat substitutes.

A small blue and white plate filled with the spices needed to make Mexican chorizo. They are: thyme, bay leaf, oregano, coriander seeds, canela, clove, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, paprika and ground cumin seed.
Spices for Mexican Chorizo

How to Make Vegan Chorizo

A wood plate with Mexican dried red chiles that have been deseeded.

Step 1:
Wipe clean the chiles, remove the stem and seeds, discard the stem and seeds, then rinse the chile pods. Measure out the spices and other ingredients have them ready to use. 

A glass baking dish filled with rehydrated soy crumbles.

Step 2:
Place the TVP in a microwave safe container then pour enough water to cover it by an inch. Make sure the container is large enough for it to expand. Microwave for two minutes then carefully remove from the microwave and allow to sit and soak up as much water as possible. If needed add more water to make sure it rehydrates properly.

The inside of a white pot boiling Mexican chiles, onion and garlic.

Step 3:
Place the seeded chiles, onion, and garlic in a medium pot then pour in plenty of water to cover the ingredients completely. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and allow to simmer until the chiles are pliable and the onion and garlic have softened.

Blender cup blending ingredients to make Mexican soy chorizo.

Step 4:
Once the chiles have softened, allow to cool a little then carefully place into the cup of a blender with one cup of the boiling broth and the apple cider vinegar. Blend until perfectly smooth, it may take a few minutes to get there. Don’t add more water as the sauce needs to be thick.

Step 5:
Add all of the spices to the blender and blend for a couple of minutes to make sure it’s well combined. Taste the sauce and make sure it has enough salt – the flavor will be strong and it’s ok, it will tone down once you cook the chorizo.

Squeezing out excess water of hydrated soy crumbles onto a glass bowl.

Step 6:
Now drain and squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can from the hydrated TVP crumbles. Then place in a large bowl – make sure it’s glass and do not use a metal bowl because the vinegar will react with it, and do not use a plastic bowl because it will stain and also be damaged from the vinegar.

A glass bowl filled with hydrated soy crumbles and red chile sauce on top of it ready for mixing and making vegan soy chorizo.

Step 7:
Use a wooden spoon, or spatula you don’t mind if it gets stained, and mix until well combined. You can also put on gloves and do the mixing. Mix until the spiced chile mixture is well incorporated into the soy crumbles.

Glass mixing bowl full of homemade Mexican vegan chorizo.
Homemade Vegan Chorizo

Step 8:
Cover the glass mixing bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour but preferably overnight. Your chorizo is going to have a strong spiced scent to it but don’t worry because it will tone done once cooked.

Step 9:
After you’ve marinated your vegan chorizo it’s now ready to use in all of your favorite Mexican dishes as well as fusion ones. Check out the suggestions below because it will depend on how you want to enjoy this delicious recipe. 

View inside vegan chorizo being cooked inside of a brown skillet.

How to Cook Vegan Chorizo:

The simplest way to cook it is to heat up oil in a large skillet and once hot add as much of the the vegan chorizo that you’d like and sauté for at least 8 minutes and to your desired texture. I like to cook until a little golden brown and crispy. Then serve on warm corn tortillas or flour tortillas, sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and onion, a drizzle of lime juice, and with a side of refried beans if you’d like. Also a homemade salsa is a must. 

View from above of a small blue and white plate filled homemade vegan chorizo made from TVP soy crumbles.
Vegan Chorizo

Nancy’s Tips for Perfect Vegan Chorizo

I highly suggest using TVP soy crumbles (sometimes also called vegan ground beef) instead of the bigger chunks. This way the texture will resemble pork chorizo more as well as better absorb the flavors.

I’m always open to different ways of cooking food, but some things just don’t belong in certain recipes. The following are ingredients that don’t belong in the authentic flavor of Mexican chorizo – be it a meat-based or vegan option.

Tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, sugar, maple syrup or sweetener of any type. I know the store-bought ones use sweetener, but trust me it doesn’t belong in Mexican chorizo. (Like why is there sugar in everything nowadays?!)

Nutritional yeast, I know it’s a common ingredient in meatless cooking but, though I love the taste, it will change the flavor of your chorizo. Instead use it when making tofu con chorizo. 

What Does Vegan Soy Chorizo Taste Like

It’s packed with robust flavor and all of the aromatic spices and herbs work perfectly with the TVP. It’s pungent just like regular meat chorizo and the texture is so similar that you could probably fool meat eaters into thinking it’s the same. 

I had two meat-eaters separately taste this vegan chorizo and asked for their honest opinions. Both said they thought it was very good and close in texture to what they’re used to with the meat one. They said the flavor combined perfectly with eggs to make chorizo con huevo and that they’d eat it again. 

Pambazos or Mexican sandwiches dipped in red salsa and filled with chorizo and potatoes.
Vegan Pambazo

How to Serve

You can cook it with potatoes to make chorizo con papas then use that for vegan chorizo tacos or to make pambazos sandwiches. You can cook it with regular egg or homemade Just Egg or as a tofu scramble, use as a filling for quesadillas or burritos, you can also make chorizo con nopales. Or combine it with cheese or with refried pinto beans to make delicious dips. You can make burrito bowls, tofu scrambles, use it on top of nachos, in a taco salad, or any other way you’d like. 

Two Ziploc bags filled with homemade vegan chorizo laying on top of a white countertop.

How to Store and Reheat

I store my uncooked vegan chorizo in a glass air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or up to one week. If I want to freeze it I put it in Ziploc bags and freeze for up 3 months. Then when I want to use it I let it defrost in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for a couple of hours.

To reheat cooked chorizo you can do so on the stove an in a pan with a little bit of oil, or the quicker way is in the microwave for 1 minute.

Closeup view of vegan chorizo inside a white bowl and topped with a sprig of cilantro.
Soy Chorizo Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can’t I just buy vegan chorizo at grocery stores? Yes you can and in fact many grocery stores now carry pre-made vegan chorizo, but the homemade version fresher, easy to customize to your spice level, and much cheaper too. 

Q: What’s the difference between vegan chorizo and traditional chorizo? Traditional chorizo is made with pork while vegan chorizo uses plant-based protein sources like TVP or soy crumbles or tofu. The spices and seasonings used are the same, though.

Q: Is vegan chorizo spicy? If you want it to, it can be. But it doesn’t have to and you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

Q: Is this vegan chorizo oil free? Yes, my recipe is oil free!

Q: Will meat-eaters eat vegan chorizo? Yes, in fact they probably don’t know that many of the meat ones at the supermarket are actually a mix of meat and soy. Let them taste it and see if they like it first.

Nancy Lopez author of Mexican Made Meatless

Gracias

I’m so happy you stopped by. If you have any questions or want to let me know how you liked this recipe, do leave a comment. Make sure to subscribe to my free newsletter so you never miss my latest recipes. Muchas gracias, I appreciate you!

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A white bowl placed on top of a blue plate and the bowl is filled with homemade Mexican vegan chorizo made from soy crumbles. Additionally there's two ziploc bags filled with the chorizo.

BEST Vegan Chorizo (Oil Free Recipe)

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
This vegan chorizo is full of authentic Mexican chorizo flavors – it’s the BEST recipe! Made with TVP, it’s oil free and so easy to make.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan Mexican Recipe
Servings 10 servings*
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

Hydrate The Soy Protein

  • Place the TVP or soy mince in a large microwave safe container and pour enough water to cover it.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes. Carefully remove from the microwave and all to cool.
  • Once cooled drain and rinse under cool water. Place in a nut milk bag or fine strainer and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. You can also wait to do this step until you're ready to mix it with the chile sauce.

Make The Chorizo Adobo Sauce

  • Rinse the seeded chiles thoroughly then place in a small pot. Cut the onion in half then place it and garlic cloves inside the pot. Pour in 4 cups of water or enough to cover the ingredients.
  • Simmer util the onion has softened and the chiles have fully hydrated and softened.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the boiling broth then strain the ingredients.

Blend

  • Place half a cup of the chile boiling broth, the chiles, onion, garlic and apple cider into the cup of a blender. Blend until completely smooth adding the remaining 1/2 cup of boiling broth slowly. This make take a few minutes.
  • Add all of the spices to the blender and blend for another couple of minutes.

Mix and Marinate

  • Add the hydrated textured vegetable protein to a large glass mixing bowl. Then pour in the blended salsa and mix until the TVP is well coated.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least one hour. Overnight would be best to fully develop the flavors.

How to Cook Vegan Chorizo

  • Heat up 1 Tablespoon or so of oil in a large frying pan. Once hot add the chorizo and cook for 8 minutes or until crispy or to your desired texture. Serve as tacos or filling for your favorite Mexican dishes or dips.

Notes

The stems and seeds from the chiles are discarded.
*This soy chorizo recipe makes a total of 2.36lbs or about 5 cups or 1.072kgs. The serving size would be half a cup. 
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Store in Ziploc bags in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 5cupsCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 20gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 718mgPotassium: 289mgFiber: 10gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 3121IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 166mgIron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!

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A white bowl placed on top of a blue plate and the bowl is filled with homemade Mexican vegan chorizo made from soy crumbles.
Vegan Chorizo

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2 Comments

  1. On your step 1, you could say, discord the seeds and stems and use the skin. Only on step 3 you see that. Is this right.
    Otherwise, you have done an excellent job of describing the whole process.
    Gracius Amiga.