Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Chorizo

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

This homemade vegan chorizo recipe is the best! It is super flavorful, full of protein, and made with crumbled firm tofu, tomato paste, paprika, and chili powder. Plant-based chorizo has never been easier to make! Naturally gluten-free, perfect for taco night, breakfast burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more!

An overhead shot of a grey skillet of vegan chorizo with a wooden spoon.

A great addition to any weekly rotation, this tofu chorizo recipe is one for the books. Tender, zesty, and filled with warm spices, this spicy “sausage” is loaded with yummy flavors and is the perfect way to squeeze in a plant-based meal.

🙋🏽‍♀️ What Is Chorizo?

Traditional chorizo is a pork-based sausage that originated in Spain and Portugal. Over the years, it has grown in popularity in the United States and has become fairly easy to purchase in major grocery stores.

If you are wondering “What does chorizo taste like?”, this sausage is savory, moderately spicy, and smoky. It is often served on its own for tapas and appetizers but also makes many appearances in other dishes like wraps, burritos, bowls, and more.

✔️ What Is Plant-Based Chorizo?

Unlike traditional chorizo, plant-based chorizo is made with 100% plant-based ingredients and is safe for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free eaters to enjoy.

I created this vegetarian chorizo substitute after trying Chipotle’s popular vegan chorizo. Though Chipotle makes their chorizo with pea protein, I accomplished a similar hearty texture with ground-up tofu.

Aside from tofu, the main chorizo ingredients are tomato paste, vinegar spices, and a handful of other easy-to-find ingredients. I also added chopped pecans or walnuts for an extra level of delicious umami flavor. With just a few steps and a handful of easy-to-find ingredients, this soy chorizo recipe is versatile, filling, and so delicious that even meat eaters will love it!

A small bowl of vegan chorizo on the counter with seasonings and olive oil.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love This Vegan Chorizo Recipe

  • Meat-Free: Because who said you need to eat meat in order to enjoy chorizo? This meatless chorizo is a fantastic option for those of us who don’t eat meat or simply like to enjoy meatless Mondays. It really is the best vegan chorizo recipe you’ll find!
  • Versatile: There are so many different ways to enjoy veggie chorizo! Try them in recipes such as soups, burritos, breakfast bowls, or even taco boats.
  • Heart-Healthy: Made with pecans or walnuts, olive oil, and tofu, your heart will thank you for diving into a recipe made with this Spanish chorizo substitute. It also happens to taste just as good as Chipotle plant based chorizo or Trader Joe’s soy chorizo but is less processed and much healthier for you!
  • Kid-Friendly: With a variable spice level, every member of your family will love this vegan chorizo sausage.
  • High in Plant-Based Protein: If you are looking for more ways to enjoy plant-based protein, this chorizo is a great recipe to try! Every 4 ounces of this chorizo has approximately 12 grams of protein, making it satisfying and nutritious!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

Though vegan chorizo protein may seem like an exotic food, the ingredients to make it are actually pretty easy to find at your local grocery store! All you need are the following pantry staples:

ingredients for vegan chorizo
  • Extra Firm Tofu: This soy product is the key ingredient to this recipe. For the best texture, use extra firm tofu. If you can’t find that, use firm tofu and press it thoroughly before cooking to drain excess water.
  • Olive Oil: Adds savory flavor and richness and helps prevent the tofu from sticking to the pan.
  • Tomato Paste: This paste recipe gives this dish its rich and tangy flavors. You can find it in the canned food section of your local grocery store.
  • Pecans: Adds umami flavor and extra staying power to this chorizo tofu recipe.
  • Distilled White Vinegar: The acid in this pantry staple enhances the flavor of the other ingredients, tying the whole dish together.
  • Spices: In particular, chili powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper (optional), and chili flakes (optional). You’ll also want to use salt and black pepper to taste. Not a spicy food lover? No problem: you can adjust these seasonings to your desired preference.

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Tofu: Though this soy-based ingredient is the star of the show, you can substitute chopped mushrooms, smashed pinto beans, lentils, tempeh, or plant-based ground beef crumbles for tofu in a pinch!
  • Oil: Any type of neutral-flavored oil can also work in this recipe. Some of my favorites are avocado oil and refined coconut oil!
  • Nuts: Don’t have pecans? No problem! Walnuts and cashews can also work in this plant based chorizo recipe. If using cashews, the flavor profile will be slightly sweeter, but still delicious!
  • Vinegar: If you do not have white vinegar, a great substitute is apple cider vinegar.
  • Spices: If you don’t have ancho chili powder, you can use diced whole ancho chiles (but start with a very small amount and add more as needed since these chiles are powerful!). Alternatively, if you want to reduce the heat, omit the cayenne, chili flakes and ancho chili powder.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Chorizo

Making homemade vegetarian chorizo was never simpler! Read on to learn how to cook soy chorizo at home!

Note: Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full ingredients list and complete recipe directions.

Dry the Tofu: First, wipe the excess water from the tofu. If using firm tofu, you may want to also press it to remove any additional water.

Chop the Tofu: Next, chop the tofu into crumbles and place them in a medium or large bowl.

crumbled tofu in a bowl

Chop the Nuts: Place the nuts in a food processor and chop until they are like a “meat-like” consistency.

Add Spices: Next, add the spices, oil, vinegar, chopped nuts, and tomato paste to the tofu crumbles. Stir the mixture well until combined.

spices and tomato paste added to tofu

Heat the Skillet: Next, sautè the meatless chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat to medium-high heat, until golden brown and all the water has evaporated, or for five to seven minutes. Stir once it has cooked, to scrape up the browned part that may stick to the bottom of the pan.

finished vegan chorizo in a skillet - closeup

Serve. Enjoy vegan Mexican chorizo immediately in as a vegan taco filling, on top of nachos, as a topping for tostadas or taco salad, or however you like!

finished vegan chorizo in a soft taco shell with lime

💭 Expert Tips

  • Patting the Tofu Dry: Extra water from the tofu can mean longer cooking times and/or a diluted final flavor. Remove the excess water from the tofu with a clean tea cloth. You may also want to press your tofu before crumbling it up.
  • Cook Until the Water Has Evaporated: You want the crumbled tofu to get mostly dehydrated while cooking in the pan. This will give it that classic crumbled sausage texture! Cook the chorizo tofu on low heat, stirring every couple of minutes, until the water from the tofu has evaporated.
  • Save Time: Lightly chop the tofu in a food processor to save on time and make clean-up a breeze.
  • Meal Prep: I like to make this plant-based chorizo for weekly meal prep because the leftovers are so yummy throughout the week. You can make the recipe up to 7 days ahead of time.
  • To Make Kid-Friendly: Just reduce the amount of overall spices in the recipe, and omit any “hot” spices. Do not skimp on the tomato paste and vinegar, however! Without them, this vegetarian chorizo recipe will be lifeless and bland.

📖 Variations

  • Deeper Flavor: To enhance the flavors of this chorizo vegan sausage, add more tomato paste or ancho chili pepper.
  • Spicier Flavor: Feel free to add more heat if you like extra spice! Extra cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes or stirring in your favorite hot sauce or chipotle chili powder would all take this spicy vegan chorizo to the next level. You can also add in some diced red onion and garlic to the mixture.
  • Change The Protein: Instead of tofu, try making tempeh chorizo, seitan chorizo or even mushroom chorizo! All you have to do is finely dice and saute the tempeh, seitan or mushrooms before following the rest of the instructions in this Chipotle chorizo recipe copycat.
  • Chorizo Stir-Fry: Make a vegetable and chorizo stir-fry by stir-frying 2 or 3 cups of your favorite veggies in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the veg chorizo to the pan once the veggies just turn tender and cook until the liquid has evaporated, according to the recipe directions.
  • Papas Con Chorizo: The traditional version of this dish literally translates to potatoes and sausage, so create a vegan version by adding roasted potatoes into the tofu mixture to make vegan papas con chorizo! Then, you can just add that to a tortilla to make chorizo potato tacos!

🍽 Serving Suggestions

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy this veggie chorizo recipe! Here are a few of my top vegan chorizo recipe ideas:

  • Vegan Chorizo Tacos: Make vegan tacos with chorizo by taking warm corn tortillas, flour tortillas, or for a gluten free option, these almond flour tortillas, topping them with a healthy helping of this spicy chorizo, and then adding your favorite fresh ingredients like fresh cilantro, salsa, this homemade healthy guacamole recipe, vegan sour cream, diced tomato, lime wedges, and white onion.
  • As A Topping For Mexican Cuisine Recipes: Try this recipe as a topping for these loaded veggie nachos, taco stuffed peppers, in this veggie burrito bowl, or even in this silken tofu scramble!
  • Chorizo Fajitas: Saute up some veggies, warm some tortillas, and serve this healthy chorizo as a filling for your fajitas with some mango salsa and vegan shredded cheese!
  • Vegan Chorizo Breakfast Burritos: Wrap this plant based chorizo sausage up in a large flour burrito with vegan roasted potatoes, vegan cheese, and salsa for a satisfying vegan breakfast! For a twist on traditional salsa you can also load up your burritos with this Chipotle corn salsa or pineapple pico de gallo!

🫙 Storage And Freezing Directions

  • Refrigeration: Let the chorizo leftovers cool completely. Transfer mixture to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze the cooked chorizo in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Warm up this vegan ground beef substitute in the microwave on medium heat for 1-minute intervals, or until warmed through.

❓Recipe FAQs

What is vegan chorizo made of?

Meatless chorizo can be made of a variety of things! Mainly, vegan chorizo is made from soy products like tofu, tempeh, etc., but you could even use coarse chunks of garbanzo beans.

Is vegan chorizo healthy?

Absolutely! Veggie chorizo is made with heart-healthy plant protein (instead of red meat), is low in calories, high in protein, and isn’t made with any artificial preservatives, TVP (highly processed textured vegetable protein), sweeteners, or additives like store-bought soyrizo often is.

What is a vegetarian substitute for chorizo sausage?

This vegan chorizo recipe is a fantastic substitute for chorizo sausage. But any vegetable proteins can be a replacement for chorizo. I prefer plant proteins such as nuts, tempeh, and seitan – since you can achieve that chorizo like texture. But ingredients like coarsely chopped garbanzo beans, beans or even jackfruit, would all work if crisped up slightly and spiced.

What vegetable goes best with chorizo?

Many vegetables go best with chorizo. Some of the more popular options are roasted potatoes, black beans, roasted poblano peppers, stir-fried carrots, and mushrooms.

best easy healthy gluten free vegan chorizo recipe (plant based, meatless) in a cast iron skillet

🍲 More Easy Vegan Recipes!

Love this plant based mexican recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help!

📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/HXqIdugtc8k
An overhead shot of a grey skillet of vegan chorizo with a wooden spoon.
Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

Vegan Chorizo

This vegan chorizo recipe is the best! It is super flavorful, full of protein, and made with crumbled firm tofu, tomato paste, paprika, and chili powder. Plant-based chorizo has never been easier to make! Naturally gluten-free, perfect for taco night, breakfast burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time27 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Spanish, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 132kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Release excess water off the tofu with a clean tea cloth and press the tofu to remove any remaining water.
  • Next, chop tofu into crumbles and place them in a medium bowl. Place the nuts in a food processor and chop until they are like a "meat-like" consistency.
  • Add all the spices, olive oil, vinegar, nuts, and tomato paste to the tofu. Stir well.
  • Sautè the mixture in a large skillet until golden. This will take five to seven minutes and the result will be a delicious spiced vegan chorizo.
  • Serve the chorizo hot.

Notes

  • Patting the Tofu Dry: Extra water from the tofu can mean longer cooking times and/or a diluted final flavor. Remove the excess water from the tofu with a clean tea cloth. You may also want to press your tofu before crumbling it up.
  • Cook Until the Water Has Evaporated: You want the crumbled tofu to get mostly dehydrated while cooking in the pan. This will give it that classic crumbled sausage texture! Cook the chorizo tofu on low heat, stirring every couple of minutes, until the water from the tofu has evaporated.
  • Save Time: Lightly chop the tofu in a food processor to save on time and make clean-up a breeze.
  • Refrigeration: Store chorizo leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • Freezing: You can also freeze the cooked chorizo in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Warm up the chorizo in the microwave on medium heat for 1-minute intervals, or until warmed through.
  •  

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g

28 responses to “Vegan Chorizo”

  1. This was such a unique and unexpected recipe that does not disappoint! So hearty and bold; easily, a new favorite recipe!5 stars

  2. I was looking for a vegan chorizo recipe and was so happy I found yours. I didn’t want to use vegan meat, so tofu was a perfect solution. The end result is fantastic! Great texture and amazing flavor, thank you so much for sharing!5 stars

  3. Excellent texture and flavor, and so easy to make, too! Chorizo is a favorite, and this healthier version of it is a great option.5 stars

  4. Looks easy to make, and I love all the flavors you add to it. What a great idea to make vegan chorizo!5 stars

  5. This looks amazing and perfect for my son! Excited to make this soon! Definitely going to be a huge hit!5 stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2024 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.