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Homemade Fresh Chorizo Recipe

Homemade Fresh Chorizo Recipe

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  • 6 dried New Mexico chiles
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat a large dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles; toast, turning often, until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and let cool.

  • Using kitchen scissors and working over a medium bowl, cut chiles into 1" rings, reserving seeds and discarding stems. Cover with 1/2 cup hot water; let soak, stirring occasionally, until chiles are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.

  • Transfer chiles with seeds and soaking liquid to a blender. Add garlic, paprika, 1 Tbsp. salt, and pepper; pulse until a paste forms.

  • Combine pork and chile paste in a large bowl. Gently mix until just blended (do not overwork the meat).

  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook chorizo until cooked through, 7–8 minutes. (Be sure to let meat brown before turning and breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula.) Season with salt. DO AHEAD: Chorizo can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.

,Photos by Christopher Testani

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 460 Fat (g) 34 Saturated Fat (g) 12 Cholesterol (mg) 110 Carbohydrates (g) 12 Dietary Fiber (g) 5 Total Sugars (g) 0 Protein (g) 28 Sodium (mg) 1050Reviews SectionThis was honestly amazing - I had to use dried guajillo chillis (the only ones I could find) instead, but the meat smelt incredible and tasted just like cafe style home-made chorizo. So easy and made the house smell like a Spanish tapas bar, will definitely make again.camamurrayPerth, Australia02/28/19

Homemade Spanish Chorizo Sausage Recipe

True Spanish chorizo is dry cured and fermented in carefully controlled temperature and humidity. Traditionally this would have been done in mountain caves but we don't all have a mountain next door to us.

I've called this a Spanish style chorizo sausage recipe because it's going to be a semi-dry cured sausage with the tangy fermented taste coming from what sausage makers call "Fermento".

You will need to prepare approximately 2m (7 feet) of small diameter hog casing. Read my section on making homemade sausage to see how this is done.



Alternatively do the full weight in pork shoulder as this will have pretty much the right ratio of meat to fat. 


  • 60ml or ¼ cup Fermento
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mild chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup (corn syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Prague Powder #1


Dice up the meat and fat into cubes and grind using an 5mm plate or smaller, place the ground meat in a mixing bowl and return to the refrigerator.

Mix the dry seasoning ingredients together and then add the water and corn syrup to make a paste and place this in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

When everything is well chilled, mix the ground meat and seasoning together and knead the mix for a good 5 minutes to ensure that the seasoning is well dispersed.

Pack the sausage meat into your stuffer barrel, full your hog casings and make 12" links (approx). Tie the links together with twine to make a "horseshoe". Take one link and record the weight and use a market pen to colour the twine so you can identify which sausage you weighed at the end of the smoking.

When finished, place your sausages in the refrigerator on a bed of paper towel and allow the seasonings to be fully absorbed by the meat overnight.

The next day, set up your smoker with no smoke and a small amount of heat (about 60°C or 140°F), hang your sausage horseshoes and dry them until skin is dry to the touch. Next cold smoke for about 2 hours with the vents fully open and at the lowest possible temperature - you're looking to achieve between 15% - 25% weight loss and keeping the air flowing as much as possible will help.

Take a third hour to slowly raise your smoker temperature to between 77°C - 79°C (170°F - 175°F) and continue cooking (and smoking if you wish) until the core temperature of the thickest link reaches 71°C (160°F). When done, take out the link that you marked with the pen and check for weight reduction. If you have achieved a weight loss of between 15% - 25% then you can stop smoking, if not, continue cooking and checking for weight loss every hour until you reach the desired weight loss. 

When you have achieved the desired weight loss take the sausage links out of the smoker and hand them out to dry in a cool ventilated area for an hour or so before returning them to the refrigerator. Your chorizo is now ready to eat, you can either slice it and eat it as is, use it to the recipes that I've listed above or simply add it to any stew for a different flavour dimension.

Recipe Summary

  • 15 dried red chile peppers, seeded
  • 2 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless pork butt, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 7 ounces pork fat, cut into 1/2-inc cubes
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 hog casing

Place chile peppers in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak until softened, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place pork butt and pork fat in the freezer for 30 minutes. Chill meat grinder in the freezer to make grinding the meat easier.

Grind allspice berries and cloves using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Set aside.

Drain chile peppers and place in a food processor or blender. Add vinegar and puree until smooth.

Fit the chilled meat grinder with a medium plate. Pass the partially frozen pork and fat through the grinder. Combine ground meat with pureed chile peppers, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and cumin in a bowl. Mix well with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour, or overnight.

Meanwhile, soak casing in cold water for about 30 minutes. Place the wide end of a small sausage-stuffing funnel up against the sink tap and run cold water through the inside of the casing.

Use the medium sausage-stuffing funnel attachment and place casing on the outside of the tube. Start passing meat mixture through the funnel, stopping just as it starts to come out the other end. Tie the casing into a knot at the end, then continue passing the meat mixture through the funnel, supporting the sausage with your other hand. Once the meat mixture is finished, tie the other end of the casing into a knot.

Twist the casing at regular intervals to create individual links, alternating between twisting in opposite directions. Poke 2 to 3 small holes into each sausage with a metal skewer to allow air to escape during cooking.

Authentic Homemade Mexican Chorizo

Today I will be sharing one of my favorite Mexican recipes with you, Chorizo. When Europeans hear this word they think of a fermented cured red sausage (Spanish chorizo). But when North Americans hear chorizo they think of a spicy, crumbly meat, red sausage (Mexican chorizo). Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are very different from each other in looks, texture and taste. Since the Spanish chorizo is cured it can just be sliced and eaten. Mexican chorizo must first be removed from its casings then cooked before eating. No matter what you may find on the Internet the two are not interchangeable. I love both types of chorizo but for very different reasons and to eat or cook with in different ways. This recipe is my own trusted recipe, one I’ve been using for a long time, one I love so much that I included it in my cookbook.

The key ingredient that gives Mexican chorizo its red color and spiciness is the Ancho chile powder. But depending on where you live Ancho chile may or may not be available. Below I have listed a way of substituting the Ancho chile with other chile powders. Using the substitute will yield a slightly different tasting chorizo but it will still be very close in taste and can be used just the same. Another great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t use sausage casings, you only need to cook it before enjoying it.

Homemade Mexican-Style Chorizo

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 because of the dried chile pepper and paprika in the recipe, the area around the city of Toluca (in central Mexico) is famous for its green chorizo, 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.

How To Make Chorizo

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • 1 D, 3 H
  • Serves 18 | Makes about 4 1/2 pounds (2 kg)

Special Equipment: Meat grinder with 3/16 die (medium) or meat grinder attachment for your KitchenAid sausage stuffer

Ingredients US Metric

  • 5 pounds fatty pork shoulder or other well-marbled cut of pork
  • 1 1/2 ounces salt
  • 1/2 ounce ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 ounce paprika
  • 1/4 ounce cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 ounce ground cumin
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 5/8 ounce garlic (about 5 smallish cloves), minced
  • 1/4 ounce fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inch hog casings* (about 2 1/2 casings)


Dice the pork into smallish 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes.

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the pork, salt, ancho, paprika, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, garlic, and oregano until everything is equally distributed. Cover and refrigerate the chorizo mixture until you’re ready to grind.

Meanwhile, place your meat grinder in the freezer until chilled through, at least 30 minutes. (By way of explanation, this helps keep the meat cold as you process it. If the grinder isn’t cold, the meat will become too warm and it won’t grind properly, which will ruin the texture and result in a dry, crumbly, less flavorful chorizo sausage, which ultimately leads to sadness.)

Set up the grinder with a 3/16 (medium) die or, if you’re using a KitchenAid grinder attachment, start with the larger of the two dies for the first grind and then switch out to the second, smaller die for the second grind. Turn the grinder on and slowly add the pork through the feed tube. Be careful not to overload or overfill the grinder. Add the pork slowly, piece by piece, so the elbow doesn’t get overfilled or clogged. If you notice any smearing or clogging on the die, turn off the grinder and clean out the die. Also check your pork to make certain it’s still cold. If at any point the grinder is no longer cold, return it to the freezer until it’s thoroughly chilled and refrigerate the pork rather than leave it at room temperature.

After the first pass through the grinder, use your hands to completely combine all of the ingredients. Then pass it through the grinder a second time. (The more you grind the meat, the finer the texture will become and the firmer the resulting chorizo sausage will be.) After the second grind, use your hands to once again thoroughly mix the ingredients until the mixture becomes sticky and fully combined. (The sausage should stick to your hand when you turn it upside down.) Cover and refrigerate the chorizo mixture until chilled through, about 1 hour.

If you’re using natural casings, they’ll need to be soaked in room-temperature water for at least 1 hour before using. You’ll want to change the water several times and we’ve found that running water through them a few times before trying to put them on the extruder tube makes everything way easier. This also results
in a softer and more pliable casing, which makes it easier to slide the casing onto the extruder and less likely to split when being filled.

Prepare your stuffer or stuffing attachment according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add the loose sausage mixture to the stuffer or stuffing attachment and pack it down to remove all air pockets. Lubricate the feeder tube with water and slide the casing onto the tube.

Once the casing is entirely scrunched onto the feeder tube, pull 2 inches (5 cm) of casing off the tip of the tube. Grasp the casing end with one hand and begin cranking with the other hand. Once you can see meat begin to make its way out of the tube, pinch off the end of the casing so the meat is forced to expand inside the casing as you slowly pull away, keeping a grip on the casing. Be sure both the casing and the counter on which the sausage will fall are very wet and lubricated to prevent any ripping or sticking. (You may find it handy to keep a squeeze bottle of water nearby for this). When about 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) of chorizo sausage mixture has made its way into the casing, let go of the end and use one hand to feed the casing off of the tube while the sausage is being cranked out with your other hand. As you are doing this, be mindful about filling the casing. You want to find that sweet spot where the casing is filled with meat and a little amount of air remains but not so full that it will bust when you begin twisting. Once all the meat has been stuffed into the casing, leave 6 inches (15 cm) empty casing on the end and cut off any excess to reserve for future use.

Tie off one end of the sausage and twist, making a simple knot. Measure the desired length of the sausage and mark your workspace with either a piece of tape or line it with parchment and mark it with a pen or pencil to help ensure consistency in the length of all your links. You want to twist the links so that you get about 3 links to 1 pound (455 grams). In general, each sausage should be 5 to 6 inches [13 to 15 cm] long. Starting from the tied-off end of your sausage, use one hand to pinch it at the appropriate length. Then, keeping a hold on the pinched spot, slide your other hand down and pinch off the next length. Now, twist by picking up the sausage, holding onto the 2 pinched spots, and swinging it like a jump rope. Repeat until no sausage remains. When you get to the end, tie it off with a simple knot. You should have 15 to 20 links of homemade chorizo, each 4 to 6 inches in length.

Lightly poke each sausage link with a fork no more than 2 or 3 times where air bubbles are visible. These tiny holes will allow some liquid to release while the sausages cook and prevent them from exploding. (No need to go wild here with the poking. The more you poke the sausage, the more likely it is to dry out during cooking. Do not poke holes in the casing if you’re planning to smoke the sausage.)

Place the twisted links in a single layer on a baking sheet or plates, being careful that the links don’t touch one another. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight to dry out the casings.

Snip the sausages at the seams to separate them into links (or, if desired, leave them as a whole rope of links like those you might have seen in cartoons!). Cover and refrigerate for up to several days until ready to cook.

To cook your homemade chorizo, you have a decision. You can grill the links over a charcoal or gas flame, sizzle them in a skillet, braise them in beer, toss them in the smoker, or cook them according to pretty much any recipe that calls for raw chorizo. Whatever approach you decide to take, you want the chorizo to be thoroughly cooked. We’d love to hear what you did with your chorizo so let us know in a comment below! Originally published January 22, 2017.

*How to Select and Prepare Casings

Hog casings are available in both natural and synthetic form. Natural hog casings need to be soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour prior to use and the water should be changed often during this time. Synthetic, or collagen, casings should not be soaked prior to use. They have less elasticity than natural casings, so care should be taken to not overstuff them.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This homemade chorizo recipe is a fantastic, spicier take on traditional Spanish chorizo! The instructions for how to make chorizo provided ample results, which means you'll have plenty to share with friends, and the 24-hour chill time left the refrigerator smelling amazing. Sausage making requires more time and additional pieces of kitchen gear than the average home cook may have. However, if all of those boxes are checked, this recipe is FANTASTIC! Spicy, garlicky, delicious, and great for first-time sausage makers. I will definitely add this one to my sausage-making arsenal. (That's a thing, right?) Be warned: This is a very time-intensive project, and stuffing sausage is WAY easier with 2 people. But this recipe is totally worth the work!

I used a KitchenAid mixer with the meat grinder attachment for mincing the pork and the KitchenAid extruder attachment for stuffing the sausage. For Kitchen Aid users, I used the larger of the two dies for the first grind, then switched out to the second, smaller die for the second grind. When extruding, I used the larger of the two extruder tube attachments. Having 2 people for this process makes it SO MUCH EASIER! One person can pack the meat in the grinding tube, and the other can guide the casing and the sausage. An average home cook may not want to attempt this on their own. And rinsing the natural casings is a process that’s both disgusting and cool (coogusting? disgustool?) because the shape of the intestine is very apparent when the casing is filled with a bit of water.

I was so excited to taste the final product that I had it twice the next day. At lunch I braised a link in a hoppy beer before serving it sliced with some grainy mustard, and for dinner I removed the casings and served small patties of chorizo over buttered brown rice with vinegared Swiss chard. In both meals, the chorizo was the star!

There's nothing like homemade sausage and this homemade chorizo was snappy and picante! Like my husband said, "The Goldilocks of chorizo—not too hot, not too mild, just right."

Remember to keep your meat cold as you work through the recipe and poke holes sparingly or the sausage could become dry when grilled. I used 5 pounds pork shoulder—2 kg pork shoulder plus .8 kg pork back fat. I put several pokes in the chorizo. Next time, I would only poke it once or maybe not at all. Don’t forget to lubricate the feeder tube with water. This is crucial when you learn how to make chorizo because you don't want the casings to dry out and tear. I keep a squeeze bottle handy and give a squirt every so often. I also squirt the surface where the stuffed sausage lays as it comes out of the feeder.

I served them with marinated eggplant to balance the heat. Our neighbors enjoyed theirs with eggs for breakfast and loved them.


#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Great recipe. My husband loved it and used it in scrambled eggs and I made links. Best he had so thank you.

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons ancho Chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Break up the bay leaf into small pieces and add it to your mortar. Use the pestle and grind it up a bit.
  2. Next add in the oregano and thyme and ground until finely ground.
  3. Measure and combine all spices, along with the bay, oregano and thyme in a container and stir to combine.
  4. Store in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid and store in dry, dark place for up to 6 months or longer.

Watch me make Spanish chorizo at home:

How to dry cure the homemade chorizo?

All of the recipes for homemade chorizo and other sausages simply tell you to hang your meats in a cool, dry place to let them dry out on their own over time.

Being somebody who likes to spend a lot of time studying things before I go about making them, I did some investigating in meat curing forums and threads online. There seems to be a lot more general fear and precautions in the English speaking forums than the European counterparts.

In the English speaking forums, a lot of people caution about making sure that the sausages have enough humidity to avoid getting &ldquocase hardening&rdquo (more about that in a sec&hellip). The idea is that if the outer casings and outer portions of the meat dry out too quickly, that it will prevent the center part of the meat to dry completely, making the center part unsafe to eat.

So, for my first batch of cured chorizos, I decided to follow the advice of many. I had originally hung my chorizo in the shower stall of a dark, cool bathroom than no longer gets used, but decided to switch it to an unused wine fridge instead. The nice thing about the wine fridge was that I could make sure the temperature was low enough if needed, and the idea was that there would be enough humidity inside to avoid the case hardening problem. (Most seemed to think that by opening the fridge once or twice a day to check on the curing sausages, that they would get enough airflow to keep everything working well.)

In the end, after weeks upon weeks of slowly drying my homemade chorizo in the wine fridge, I&rsquod accumulated thick layers of white molds. My chorizo, while safe to eat, tasted musty from all of the outer mold layers. Plus, the entire drying time took way too long.

I decided to try again, using the much more lax Spanish was of doing things, and dried my next batch in the shower stall where I had originally wanted to hang the first batch.

Guess what? The batch of chorizo that I just left doing its thing turned out perfectly, and I&rsquod definitely make it again. I actually liked my homemade chorizo better than what I usually buy in the stores, and love that I can choose the exact amount of spiciness and the quality of the meats being used.

So, yes, I do think it&rsquos worthwhile making your own chorizo, even here in Spain where you can find many varieties inexpensively!

What about mold?

The mold in my first batch of chorizo ended up forming a white casing around some of the chorizo, not unlike the rind of a Brie or Camembert cheese. I didn&rsquot remove any of the white mold because it appeared to be a safe culture of mold, and I had been reading that safe molds can help keep bad molds from taking over.

The problem with the safe white mold had nothing to do with whether the chorizo was safe to eat or not, but that it totally changed the flavor of the meat inside.

Chorizo, unike salami, salchichón, or fuet, doesn&rsquot normally come incrusted in a white mold culture. Normally, the outside layer of the chorizo is the same color as the meat inside.

Some people choose to ward off bad mold formation by using a mold culture to actually cover the sausages with a good mold. In the case of chorizo, I decided against doing that after my prior mold-covered batch tasted quite different from the chorizo I&rsquom used to.

Instead, when a light, white mold did start to form on my homemade chorizo, a couple of weeks into the drying process, I wiped it off with a vinegar solution. (I added a little bit of water to some apple cider vinegar, and used a clean cloth dipped in the solution to rub off the mold from the skin.) I ended up repeating the process a few weeks later when the mold began to form again.

What about mold? Is it safe?

White molds

The formation of a white, powdery mold (penicillin species) on the outside of the chorizo is completely harmless and can be expected.

White, hairy molds, on the other hand, are &ldquobad molds&rdquo that can push their &ldquohairs&rdquo through to the meat below. If the hairy mold is white, and not green, usually wiping it down right away with a vinegar solution should be enough to save your batch.

Green and Blue molds

The formation of powdery green and blue molds is a lot more contraversial. Some people say that it&rsquos fine, others worry about it. It is often said to indicate an airflow/humidity problem.

Most seemed to think that if you had green/blue mold forming, that as long as your wiped it off and didn&rsquot let it accumulate in large quantities, that you would be fine. Let&rsquos be honest, most people who have been on a visit to a place that cures sausages in a cellar here in Europe will attest to the fact that many of the ready to be eaten meats will have a bit of powdery green/blue mold that will be wiped off before serving the sausages.

There is a lot more fear when it comes to hairy green and blue molds. Some are brave enough to wipe them off as soon as they form and hope for the best. Others, are more cautious, and throw the affected sausages away. My chorizo was never affected with hairy green mold, so I never had to make the call myself. 😉

Black Mold

The general consensus is that black mold is bad! I wouldn&rsquot mess around with this one, and would personally throw any sausage affected with black mold away.

Black mold is said to form in sausages that are curing in areas with too much humidity and not enough air flow.

Humidity and Case Hardening

The general consensus is that the best environment for curing meats is to have temperatures in the range of 50-60ºF/10-15ºC and humidity in the 65-80% range. Too much humidity can lead to possibly toxic molds, but too little humidity can also be bad.

As I hinted earlier, &ldquocase hardening&rdquo is one of the problems you can have when curing meats in too dry of an environment. If they cure too quickly on the outside, the inner meat won&rsquot have a chance to cure properly.

In my area, the humidity is quite high, and I didn&rsquot have that problem. I also suspect that with thinner sausages like chorizo, which usually use a thinner diameter casing, that you are less likely to have this problem than when curing thicker meats and sausages.

In any case, if you were to end up with a chorizo that was very dry on the outside, and quite a bit softer on the inside, you can normally fix the problem by wrapping the sausages in wax paper or plastic, and leaving in the refrigerator for a few days. While I haven&rsquot had the problem, so I haven&rsquot tried this solution, it&rsquos said that the humidity left in the sausages will even out, leaving a much more balanced sausage.

When is my dry cured homemade Spanish chorizo ready?

After it has lost around 35% of its initial weight, it should be safe to eat. That&rsquos why it&rsquos a good idea to weight your chorizo before hanging it up to dry. I like mine in the later, dryer stages, so I rarely weigh it anymore. I check on the chorizo by squeezing it, waiting for it to feel firm to the touch before cutting into it.

In this first picture, you can see my chorizo at an earlier curing stage. It&rsquos a brighter red, and slight softer to cut. It still should feel firm when you press on it and cut into it.

A week or two later, it has hardened more, and is a bit darker in color.

After another week or two, it&rsquos the way we really like to eat it. All three of these pictures were taken of chorizo in the same batch over a matter of weeks, just to show how the curing time affect the final sausages.

Making a cured Spanish chorizo isn&rsquot as scary as it sounds! (But fresh chorizo is super easy to make!)

Hopefully I haven&rsquot scared you off by now, because it really is rewarding to make your own Spanish chorizo at home, especially if it isn&rsquot readily available where you live.

That said, if I&rsquove intimidated you with all of the things that could go wrong, why not try making the fresh Spanish chorizo first. You don&rsquot need any special curing salts, and you can cook them in a frying pan or on a grill. You could always hang an extra leftover chorizo or two just to see how the curing process goes. You may surprise yourself! 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions About Chorizo Mexicano

Before I share my chorizo recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked about homemade chorizo. Believe me, you will love this recipe, is the traditional way to make it in Mexico. This recipe is great if you want to make Chorizo for sale.

What is chorizo?

Chorizo (also known as Spanish sausage or Mexican sausage) is a delicious and unique type of sausage that was brought to Latin America from Europe. It has its origins in what today are the countries of Spain and Portugal.

What is Mexican chorizo made of?

Mexican chorizo is commonly made with fresh ground pork, pork fat, a mix of herbs and/or spices, chile peppers (for both flavor and color), and vinegar. The finished product is usually stuffed into short links or casings. This type of chorizo is usually “aged”, anywhere from one day to a week.

Even though pork and beef are the meats typically used to prepare chorizo, chicken versions exist in México as well. There also used to be some exotic versions made from iguana or even ostrich meat.

It's worth mentioning the importance that the casing has when making chorizo. Some chorizo recipes only mix the meat with the rest of the ingredients, but in order for the flavors to reach their full potential, it's preferable that the chorizo be cured in its casing for 1 or 2 days.

Is Chorizo Easy to Make?

Making a truly authentic chorizo requires time and preparation. I have seen many recipes online that claim to be easy, but that is only because they use powdered spices and store-bought mixes to make it. While those recipes might still taste ok, nothing can compare to making chorizo the proper way, using dried peppers and freshly-ground spices. I promise it will be worth your time and effort!

Is Mexican chorizo spicy?

It really comes down to what you think is spicy. Between the white vinegar and the guajillo and ancho peppers added to the mix, I will say it does have a nice kick to it, but I think it just adds to the flavor of the chorizo. If you really want it to be spicy you will need to add a couple of Arbol peppers to the mix.

What is the difference between Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo?

Although Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo share a name, and both are sausages, there are many distinct differences between the two.

I will say that both the Mexican and Spanish versions of chorizo are made in a wide array of regional and cultural varieties–all of them delicious. Since Chorizo is a vast culinary topic, we attempt to provide a basic description here that applies to the most common types of chorizo.

However, when it comes down to the differences, Mexican chorizo includes dried peppers, as well as other spices like Mexican oregano. It is soft in texture, and is usually not smoked like some of the chorizos from Spain.

Chorizo from Spain and Portugal is commonly made with pork meat, though beef is not unusual as well. Its ingredients include:

The mix is stuffed into natural or artificial casings (ranging from short to really long links), fermented, and slowly smoked. The smoking helps to preserve the meat, and contributes greatly to the chorizo’s aroma and flavor. The final product is then air cured for several, if not many, weeks.

So, not too different from Mexican chorizo, but just enough to have distinct flavors and textures.

What Can I Use To Stuff The Sausage Casings?

I started using a small funnel, and then found a large one and trimmed the tip (to widen the opening to about ½ inch) to make it easier to work it. I will say that the stuffing process is faster if you have a Kitchen Aid with the sausage stuffer attachment.


  • Do not over mix your burger
  • If you can, leave it in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavours marry
  • Cook chorizo until a little bit of brown starts to appear.

This recipe is as easy to make as assembling and cooking ground beef for tacos. Use chorizo in tacos, quesadillas, breakfast hash or casseroles, pasta dishes, in dips and even stuffed into vegetables.

Chorizo used in tacos

Looking for more Mexican recipe inspiration?! Here’s a few popular ones on the blog!

If you made this recipe tag Wanda Baker on Instagram and hashtag it #bakersbeans or #wandabaker