Learn the basics of Mexican chorizo (and how to cook it) in under 15 minutes
Mexican chorizo is a popular ingredient among many home chefs. Learn how to cook chorizo on the stove with the help of a video tutorial. Plus, I'm giving you the basics of what chorizo is, different varieties of chorizo (there are hundreds), recipes to make with Mexican chorizo, and so much more! This is the best resource to learn how to make authentic Mexican chorizo in your home kitchen. Your tacos will never be the same!
Chorizo is a staple among many diets around the world, including many with Latino and Hispanic decent. With the help of knowledge sharing, chorizo has become known in much of the world, and has quickly grown to have hundreds of variations and flavors.
Since you've come here to learn more about chorizo, I'm going to give you a rundown of all things chorizo related. We're talking specifically about Mexico chorizo - what it is, different variations of chorizo, where to buy it, and so much more!
Plus, stick around with me, and I'll show you an exact how-to video for the perfect way to cook Mexican chorizo at home!
What is chorizo?
Simply put, chorizo is a type of pork sausage seasoned with various spices. There are two main types of chorizo:
- A cured/smoked sausage that can be eaten without any cooking. This is generally referred to as Spanish or European chorizo.
- A raw, ground sausage that should be cooked before consuming. This is generally referred to as Mexican or Latin American chorizo.
Depending on the variety of chorizo, it will be seasoned with various spices, vinegar, and chile peppers.
Types of Mexican/Latin American chorizo
While most traditional chorizo is made with pork, you can also find varieties made with beef, chicken, turkey, or even tofu/vegan-friendly options. Today, we are mainly going to dive deeper into Mexican/Latin American chorizo. However, a wide variety of cured Eurpoean-style chorizo exists if you're interested in diving deeper into that.
Mexican chorizo is traditionally made with ground pork, chile pepper, spices, and vinegar. It is usually hotter than Spanish chorizo. However, depending on where the chorizo is made (and the amount of chile peppers that are used) determines the amount of spice and heat.
Much of the chorizo available in the U.S. is Tex-Mex chorizo made with vinegar, pork and beef "byproducts" (sometimes even salivary glands), and lots of fat. This type of chorizo cooks up very differently than other types of chorizo. It often results in a crumbly mixture with lots of grease.
Most countries (and even some regions) have their own variety and traditions for making chorizo. However, the difference between the varieties all comes down to the ingredients and additives to the pork. Here are some common spices that are used:
Chile peppers: ají, guajillo, ancho, pasilla, chipotle, etc.
Spices: Garlic, cumin, paprika, cloves, coriander, etc.
And occasionally an additive for coloring such as annatto, an orange-red condiment and food coloring from tropical fruits.
There is also a green variety of chorizo, which is a specialty in Toluca, Mexico, made with tomatillo and cilantro in place of the typical chiles or paprika.
If you want to keep learning more, here's a great resource to check out!
Where can I buy chorizo?
Chorizo is widely available around the U.S. and is sold in most local grocery stores. Make sure you're purchasing fresh chorizo, meaning the chorizo is still raw. The chorizo usually comes with a casing around it that will need to be removed prior to cooking.
If available, I would suggest purchasing chorizo from a local Mexican market or international grocer. Many of these options will provide the freshest and most authentic form of chorizo.
However, if that option is not available to you, try a local grocery store. Depending on where you are located in the country, will determine the brands and options available to you. Some common brands to look for are Cacique, Supremo, Andy Garcia foods, El Mexicano, and Chorizo de San Manuel (they even offer online shipping options).
If all else fails, you can always try making homemade chorizo.
What pan do I cook chorizo in?
The best type of pan to cook chorizo in is a nonstick frying pan or a cast iron skillet. Both of these pans have a wide variety of uses in the kitchen. If you don't yet have these types of pans, they are a great investment in any kitchen. They would also make a fabulous gift for someone who's new to cooking.
How do I cook chorizo?
Chorizo may seem like a daunting protein to cook, however, it's easier than you would imagine, and cooks in under 10 minutes.
Chorizo is cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat using a nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet. For many recipes, you'll want to break up the chorizo in small, bite-sized pieces using a spatula. Typically, chorizo takes around 6-9 minutes to cook through.
Now, depending on the chorizo you purchase, how to tell when the chorizo is cooked through can vary. If you have homemade or very authentic chorizo, it will start to brown (similar to other ground meat you've likely cooked).
With Tex-Mex chorizo (much of the chorizo that's available in local grocery stores), it's a little harder to tell when the meat is cooked through. Many of these Tex-Mex chorizo tends to have a deep red color and you can't tell when it starts to brown. So, look for a slightly darker red, and the fat beginning to render from the pork.
Recipes with Mexican chorizo
There are many delicious recipes that use chorizo! Whether you're looking for a fast weeknight dinner, healthy breakfast, or fancy dinner party, chorizo can be incorporated with many flavors and dishes. Here are a few of my favorite Mexican chorizo recipes:
Simple Chorizo Street Tacos: These tacos come together in 30 minutes and, with the addition of fun toppings, can be customized to almost anyone's liking!
Mexican Breakfast Tacos: Chorizo, bell peppers, and potatoes cooked together is a match made in heaven! Add in some fluffy scrambled eggs and a few slices of avocado and you've got yourself a delicious breakfast!
Papas Con Chorizo: Isabel Eats is a great resource for easy recipes with a Mexican Twist. Try out her papas con chorizo best served with fresh tortillas and topped with cilantro. Great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Choriqueso (Queso Fundido with Chorizo): Muy Bueno Cookbook shares delicious Mexican recipes to celebrate culture through food. You have to try her choriqueso with melted Mexican cheese loaded with chorizo, caramelized onions, and bell peppers for your next party!
Pork Chorizo & Cheese Empanadas: My Big Fat Cuban Family cooks up some delicious empanadas with panela cheese, onions, peppers, and white wine. This would be a great dish to serve as an appetizer, or even as a meal for lunch.
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P.S. If you make chorizo using these tips and tricks, share a picture with me on Instagram using #HomebodyEats. I love seeing your creations!!