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.
**This post was originally published on Sept 2013. It has been updated to be more helpful.
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!
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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Traditional chorizo is originally made with ground pork along with fat from the pork.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.
How to make Beef Chorizo
- In a medium bowl, soak guajillo & pasilla chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes or until they become soft.
- 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.
Spicy or not spicy?
The marinade/paste is not spicy (as in hot) since it’s made with mild chiles: guajillo and pasilla. However, if you like it spicy, you can add a few dried chile de arbol to add some heat!
How To Store
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!
- Fridge – 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 10 to 15 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer – Place in quart sized freezer bags and remove excess air before closing the bag. Keeps up to 6 months.
What can I make with Chorizo?
I hope you like this recipe! Share it, or leave a rating and comment below. For questions that need an answer right away, please contact me and I’ll get back to you asap. Gracias!!!! xx, Ana
Easy Chorizo Recipe
- 6 large Guajillo (california) dried peppers seeds and veins removed
- 2 dried pasilla peppers seeds and veins removed (see note)
- 2 cups very hot 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.
- In a medium bowl, soak guajillo & pasilla chiles in hot water for about 10 minutes or until they become soft. Reserve ½ cup of this water.
- In a blender, add the chiles and the ½ 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.
Muy Delish Notes:
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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.
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” 😀