Homemade Mexican Chorizo

This Chorizo recipe is made with lean ground beef marinated in a perfect blend of chiles and spices. Making a flavorful & fragrant Mexican chorizo at home is easier than you think!  It has less calories but the same authentic flavors.

This recipe is gluten-free and low-fat.

Two tacos with chorizo and potatoes.

You can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and not see Chorizo on the menu. Even grocery stores carry a version of Pork or Beef Chorizo, but you never know what kind of meat is used. Have you seen all those extra preservatives & processed ingredients on the label? Yikes!  

I don’t know about you, but I like to know what I’m eating! Making homemade chorizo is the best way to use good quality meat that is low in fat without any extra chemicals.

If you’re looking for a meat alternative recipe, check out my Soy Chorizo recipe. The flavor is not compromised!

A metal bowl with chorizo and a wooden spoon.

What is Mexican Chorizo made of?

Traditional chorizo is originally made with ground pork along with fat from the pork. A lot of people say that the flavor comes from the fat but I disagree! The real flavor comes from the spices and chiles used to marinate the meat.

This version is made with lean beef to keep it healthy and less greasy. It can be made with lean ground pork or turkey as well. But as mentioned before, the authentic flavors come from the marinade made with spices, vinegar, dried chile guajillo & pasilla.

All ingredients for this recipe on a gray board.

How to make Beef Chorizo

  1. In a medium bowl, soak guajillo & pasilla chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes or until they become soft. 
  2. In a blender, add the chiles, spices, garlic, 1/2 cup of the cooked water & vinegar.

3. Blend well until it forms a paste consistency. 

4. Add the chile paste to the ground beef and mix everything well with a spatula or knead with your hands as if making dough for bread. Make sure all the beef is completely covered with the chile paste.

5. Place the beef chorizo over a strainer, then place the strainer over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Note: placing the beef over a strainer, allows for the extra juices to be released. Discard juices. 

6. Allow the mixture to stand refrigerated for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days so the chorizo can ripen. Time allows the spices to infuse their flavors into the ground beef and for the chorizos overall flavor to develop.

Beef chorizo placed in a colander.

Storing and freezing

When I make chorizo I like to double the recipe in order to have some handy when needed. Luckily storing and freezing it is very easy!

Storing – The acidity of the vinegar helps to conserve the meat in the refrigerator longer than if it didn’t contain any. Just place in an airtight container and it’ll last between 15 to 20 days in the refrigerator.

Freezing – Place in quart sized freezer bags and remove excess air before closing the bag. Keeps up to 6 months.

Two tacos with chorizo and potatoes.

Chorizo Recipes For Dinner and other meals:

What’s for dinner tonight? How about these delicious and easy Mexican recipes that use chorizo. You’ll want to bookmark these recipes for simple (yet tasty) meals.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out! leave a comment and a rating below? thank you!

Chorizo and potato tacos.

Easy Chorizo Recipe

Servings 4 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
This Chorizo recipe is made with lean ground beef marinated in a perfect blend of chiles and spices. Making a flavorful & fragrant Mexican chorizo at home is easier than you think!  It has less calories but same authentic flavors.
4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large Guajillo (california) dried peppers seeds and veins removed
  • 2 dried pasilla peppers seeds and veins removed (see note)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt if using table salt, use about 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lb 96% ground beef Optional to use a ground turkey, pork, or even a beef with higher fat percentage.

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, soak guajillo & pasilla chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes or until they become soft. Reserve 1/2 cup of this water.
  • In a blender, add the chiles and the 1/2 cup of chile water, spices, garlic & vinegar.
  • Blend well until it forms a paste consistency.
  • Add the chile paste to the ground beef and mix everything well with a spatula or knead with your hands as if making dough for bread.
  • Place the beef chorizo over a strainer, then place the strainer over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Note: placing the beef over a strainer, allows for the extra juices to be released. Discard juices.
  • Allow the mixture to stand refrigerated for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days so the chorizo can ripen. Time allows the spices to infuse their flavors into the ground beef and for the chorizo's overall flavor to develop.
  • Once the chorizo has cured you can freeze it in smaller portions and use as needed.

*Ana’s Notes:

The chiles should be about 55 grams of both chiles combined. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 4ounces | Sodium: 187mg | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 446mg | Cholesterol: 70mg | Calories: 153kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 5g | Protein: 25g | Carbohydrates: 2g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

This recipe was originally published in Sept 2013. It has been updated to revise the content and photographs. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

This note below is from the original blog post in 2013. I’m so proud of this moment that I won’t delete it!

Speaking of “Mexican” food… I want to announce that I’m so excited for this Friday.  I’m about to become a U.S. Citizen!! I passed the test/interview about a month ago and now it’s time for the official swearing in. I can’t wait! I’ll give you more details later but I wanted to give you  a heads up on what’s coming my way.

My Mexican roots will never be erased but I’ll be very proud to say “I’m a United States Citizen” 😀

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22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have always loved store-bought chorizo, but this is a whole other level! The dried chiles give it such a deep, complex flavor — we absolutely loved it.

  2. 5 stars
    We cook with chorizo a lot in my house, and I never thought of making my own until this recipe. It’s so much easier than I thought – and so delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I have never tried to make my own chorizo before! I totally want to try this recipe soon. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought to make my own chorizo until I came across this recipe. It sounds so flavorful and delicious. Can’t wait to make it.

  5. This is definitely not the same as the original recipe posted with this title. Why did you change it? And why did you write that you hadn’t changed it? I spent hours trying to match a recipe online to my memory of what I’d used before and couldn’t find it, although your website looked very familiar. Eventually I located a screenshot in my photos of your website and the original recipe, which proves to me you did change it. Unfortunately the screenshot is only a partial, so I’m still left guessing to fill in the details of the exact recipe I used before.

    1. Hi Sarah, I have not changed the recipe so I’m a little confused about your comment. Could you please email me the screenshot you have? Thank you and sorry you’re having trouble finding the original website!
      Warmly, Ana

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made beef chorizo multiple times now based off this recipe. First time I added 1 Tbsp Paprika plus 1 Tbsp Cayenne instead of 2 Tbsp Paprika. It was pretty spicy and I liked it but my wife and friend, not so much. Second time I lowered these two spices but screwed up and used Tbsp instead of tsp for the ground clove! But it was still very good.

    Chicken Tinga next!

  7. En Sonora no fermenta la carne en vinaagre antes de echarle el chile molino? Nunca habia escuchado de chorizo mexicano y que no se fermenter la carne primero en vinagre. Wow!!

    1. Hola Juanita! La fermentación se hace ya despues de mezclar todo y se deja reposar por horas en el refrigerador. Asi lo hacia mi mama y toda la familia en Sonora! Gracias por su visita!

  8. 5 stars
    Healthy chorizo? I didn’t know such a thing existed. Now I’m going to eat a lot more of it especially this recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Hi, I was poking around on google and came across your blog, specifically the entry about healthy chorizo. Although this particular blog is a few years old, I’m wondering if I could send you some of our Miners Mix Gourmet Chorizo mix that is designed to be used with ground beef? This particular mix is what started my business, Miners Mix. I love chorizo as well, but all the garbage and the fat in the commercial stuff is pretty disgusting. I’m pretty sure you’ll like ours a lot! It’s based on a rare and difficult to source heritage chile.

    There is a link on our web site pointing to my blog as well. It’s more of a BBQ blog with a little oddball stuff tossed in.

    Congrats on becoming a citizen the right way! I like to read these kinds of stories! A belated welcome!

    Hope to hear back from you.

    Dave

  10. 5 stars
    Oh yum! I like to make up big batches of ground beef at once, for different meals, for the freezer. This is definitely being added to that list!! Pinning so I don’t forget! Also, congratulations and hope you’re enjoying being a citizen of our fabulous country! 🙂

    1. Hi Theresa! Thanks so much for the congrats! It feels no different than before I became a citizen but and the only time is when I travel out of the country and show my shinny and beautiful US Passport! LOL! Yes chorizo is a great meal to freeze. It’s all about saving time right? Have a wonderful day!

  11. 5 stars
    I was just browsing through this site (I found it through a link to a breakfast recipe from Huffington Post), but upon reading this post, I just found I had to comment and say, happy to have you as a fellow citizen! 😀 Congratulations!

    I love many of the recipes here, so I may drop by the comments again since I will probably subscribe. 😛 But just wanted to not lurk for a moment to say congrats.

    1. Hi Amy!! Thanks so much for your comment! It means the world! I appreciate you taking the time to look around. Stay in touch and I hope you have a great day!!!