Flavorful, easy to make, this Vegan Chorizo is packed with plant-based protein. Make it in just 10 minutes and use it for burritos, tacos, bowls, and more.
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Hey Internet, I recently discovered a vegan chorizo at Trader Joe’s and while I loved it, it kinda made my stomach (and wallet) upset. I don’t tolerate oil too well and while I make exceptions when eating out, I loved this soy chorizo stuff enough to eat it on a daily basis.
So, I decided to make my own. This is also because I wanted to create a vegan chorizo recipe for those who don’t have access to Trader Joe’s.
I once lived in a small town in Ohio which was at least an hour and a half away from a Trader Joe’s. No fun.
Anyway, turns out we both liked my homemade chorizo way better, and it didn’t make us sick. It’s even easy to batch prep and freeze some, and it’s just so dang versatile.
We’ve been eating it in our breakfast burritos a lot lately, but I definitely finally decided to publish this because we made a vegan taco salad recipe and I needed to finally share my vegan chorizo.
What You’ll Need
So, this plant based chorizo is only 3 ingredients plus some spices (and an optional fourth, but let’s talk about that later). To be fair, it’s a decent number of spices but you probably already have most of them in your pantry.
Let’s talk about those 2 main ingredients first.
I can find TVP at local health food stores and online.
You could substitute lentils (with mushrooms would be tasty) or a store-bought vegan ground beef, if you’d like.
TVP comes dehydrated, which is nice because that makes it shelf-stable and you can use just a little at a time if you’d like. I try to keep some on hand at all times.
To rehydrate it, I just add a little less than double the amount of vegetable broth. So if I have 1 cup of TVP, I rehydrate it with around 1 ¾ to 1 ⅞ cups vegetable broth.
I also add a little apple cider vinegar to balance out the spice with a little acidity. Any neutral vinegar would work here (I wouldn’t use muscat or balsamic vinegar), or you could use lime juice.
The optional fourth ingredient is coconut milk or any kind of neutral flavored oil. Chorizo is usually pork-based so it’s relatively fatty.
The fat in the coconut milk (or oil) makes up for that and gives it that rich and fatty mouthfeel, but it’s not required. I’ve tried it with and without, and it’s delicious either way.
And if you do use coconut milk like I did, I promise you can’t taste the coconut!
Alright, now let’s talk spice.
You can also just buy a pre-made chorizo spice blend to make it REALLY easy on yourself.
But I prefer to mix it myself since I can customize it and the only spice I didn’t have was the defining spice--ancho chili powder. However, I was able to find it at my regional chain grocery store. I’ve also seen it at Walmart, Hispanic grocery stores, and even some local only grocery stores.
You can use other chili powders, but it won’t be exactly the same flavor, though it will probably still be pretty good.
Like I said, I like to make it myself so I can decide how spicy I want it that day. Most days I like a fair amount of spice. But the recipe I’ve given you here today is a very modest amount, so feel free to increase if you like your spice.
I also added some smoked paprika since chorizo seasoning is typically added to meat, and I wanted to infuse that flavor into the TVP.
The spices you’ll need are as follows:
Ancho chili powder
Mexican oregano (any is fine, but Mexican oregano is more pungent and authentic)
Cloves (optional--I didn’t use these because I have a strong aversion to them)
So it might be more worth your time to use a store-bought chorizo spice blend, or you can batch prep your chorizo, I like to do that personally.
I actually order all my spices from The Spice House. You can get your spices cheaper if you order a flat pack (cheaper to ship as well) and refill your existing spice jars and honestly these are the best tasting spices I've used!
Tips for Making Vegan Chorizo
Making this stuff is super easy.
- First, rehydrate your TVP by adding it to a bowl with the broth. Stir and let it sit for 5-8 minutes, and drain if there’s a LOT of liquid left, but not if there’s only a little.
- In the meantime, add all your spices to a bowl--it works best when everything is prepared beforehand. You can stir them or not, it doesn’t matter much.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the TVP and just a little of the remaining liquid to the pan and spread it out. Let it cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally.
- Add the spices and stir well until totally combined. Let it cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it starts to stick, add a bit of the broth leftover or a bit of water, and stir to deglaze.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, stir, then the coconut milk or oil (if using, but not necessary). Let it heat through. Now, you can choose to brown it even further by letting the pan get a little drier, turning up the heat slightly to get the chorizo to brown, or you can remove it from heat and serve. Let cool before storing.
- Store leftover vegan chorizo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. This stuff keeps quite well!
Suggestions for Use
There’s all kinds of ways to use my vegan chorizo recipe. You could use it in a taco salad, burrito (we often have it in breakfast burritos; recipe coming soon!), with tofu scramble, in a buddha bowl, with breakfast potatoes, in lettuce cups, etc.
Oh and I have to tell you about this really weird combo, but I tried it one morning after I was ravenous from a heavy lifting session at the gym: baked beans, vegan chorizo, and nutritional yeast.
I really just wanted starch and protein, and the blender was dirty (just being real with you here lol)… I didn’t know if this combo would work but it was SOOO good.
I plan on developing my own baked beans recipe eventually, but I just used canned vegetarian baked beans, added about half a cup of the chorizo, and sprinkled a tablespoon or two of nooch (nutritional yeast) on top and it was so good!
It freezes really well, so I highly recommend cooking up a big batch and portioning it out. I really like these reusable freezer bags.
Keep in mind the chorizo may stain your bags or containers, so you may want to use a glass container instead. Or just dedicate one of your bags to being a chorizo bag. That’s ideal.
I have cookware I only use for things like turmeric, tofu scramble, chorizo, etc. because it’s already stained, hah!
More Vegan Meat Alternatives
I don’t really miss meat much, and neither does Mr. Zardyplants. But sometimes you want something that resembles something you used to eat. It may or may not taste exactly the same, but it can definitely satisfy that craving.
I hope you’ll check out some of these recipes, they’re actually some of the most popular on my blog!
Vegan Shredded Chicken (Gluten-Free)
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak (my most popular recipe!)
Meatless Crumbles (Gluten-Free)
Lentil Mushroom Loaf (Gluten-Free)
Vegan Meatballs (Gluten-Free)
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants, who is vegan but occasionally misses the flavor of meat (but not the cruelty–he insisted I add that line).
This Vegan Chorizo is:
- Spicy (can be adjusted)
- “Meaty” (hold the cruelty)
- Packed with FLAVOR and plant based protein
- Chewy yet tender
- Low calorie
- and great for any dish, but especially breakfasts. Mmm, I’m such a savory breakfast gal.
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!