This Mexican-style vegan seitan chorizo is easy to prepare, with no special equipment required! It's loaded with flavorful spices, low in fat (unlike traditional chorizo), and made entirely with pantry-friendly ingredients. Use it for everything from tacos to snack boards!
Oil-free with nut-free and soy-free options.
Why You'll Love It
We're huge fans of store-bought soyrizo and vegan chorizo, like the ones from Trader Joe's and No Evil Foods. While those two products are very different, they're both delicious in their own ways.
I like to create simple, beginner-friendly seitan recipes, like this pepperoni and our favorite vegan breakfast sausage. Because for new vegans, I think it's empowering to realize how easy it is to make affordable meat substitutes at home. So that was my goal with this chorizo recipe.
I wanted a Mexican-inspired spice profile similar to the one by No Evil Foods, AND I wanted it to be oil-free for those of you who avoid added oils.
On the other hand, if you want a greasier, more authentic chorizo all you need to do is pan-sear it in your preferred cooking oil.
I think you'll love the versatility and punch of flavor this vegan chorizo brings to the table. Enjoy it sliced, crumbled, chopped, or ground...
- on sandwiches
- crumbled and pan-fried for tacos and bowls
- piled on top of salads
- with your favorite vegan cheeses and crackers on a cruelty-free, vegan charcuterie board!
- on top of nachos, french fries, and baked potatoes
- tucked inside quesadillas and taquitos
- and straight from the fridge as a savory, high-protein snack!
First, don't be overwhelmed by the length of the ingredient list. Half of the sixteen items are spices!
- vital wheat gluten - this is the base for our seitan chorizo and can't be substituted. I use this one by Anthony's.
- nutritional yeast - adds flavor and also tenderizes the chorizo by disrupting the formation of gluten strands. I'm a big fan of this non-fortified nutritional yeast by Sari, but other brands are fine, too.
- chickpea flour - just a few tablespoons helps soften the seitan. Feel free to use a different type of flour if needed.
- spices - come on down to flavor town! This is where all of the magic happens.
- nut or seed butter - adds a small amount of fat and subtle roasty flavor. Choose from peanut butter, almond butter, sunbutter, or tahini.
- soy sauce - adds saltiness and umami. Replace with coconut aminos to make this recipe soy-free.
- tomato paste - gives our vegan chorizo a reddish hue and more authentic flavor.
See the recipe card below for amounts and full recipe.
I told you it's easy, right? Here's how to do it...
First, locate a steamer pot or figure out how to create one using a small colander or other heat-proof "basket" that will fit inside a large pot.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and combine the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- Pour wet into dry, and combine to form a dough. Knead the dough for about 2 minutes or until it has firmed up a bit.
- Divide the dough in half, and form each piece into a log about 6 inches long. Cut a piece of heavy duty foil about 12 inches long, and a piece of parchment paper just large enough to wrap around the pieces of chorizo. Wrap VERY tightly.
- Excuse the Instant Pot in photo 4. That photo is actually from my pepperoni post because I forgot to snap a photo of the chorizo inside my steamer pot.
Add a few inches of water to the steamer and bring to a boil. Place the seitan chorizo in the steamer basket, cover, and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the foil pouches feel firm when pressed.
Ways to Use Vegan Chorizo
As I mentioned above, the ways you can enjoy this vegan chorizo are limited only by your imagination! Slice it, chop it, tear it into chunks, or pulse it in a food processor.
Enjoy it straight from the fridge as a snack or in hot recipes like these Warm Vegan Taco Bowls.
It's perfect for tacos and burritos. You can also layer it into sandwiches and wraps.
For a richer chorizo, as shown in the first photo, pulse in a food processor. Then pan fry in oil over medium to medium-high heat until browned and beginning to crisp on the edges.
Compared to traditional chorizo which is very fatty and contains animal proteins, yes, this plant-based chorizo is significantly healthier. But keep in mind that "healthy" is a subjective term. This recipe may not meet your particular dietary needs or restrictions.
Since this particular recipe is seitan-based, it is not gluten-free. Feel free to use these same spices on tofu, tempeh, or soy curls for a gluten-free vegan chorizo. See this easy tofu chorizo recipe.
Almost! Simply replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos, and this vegan chorizo is entirely soy-free.
With ½ teaspoon cayenne and the other spices, the chorizo has a mild heat, but I wouldn't describe it as spicy. Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your palate.
How to Store and Reheat
Once completely cool, store vegan chorizo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
It also freezes well. Thaw the seitan chorizo in the fridge overnight before using.
For seitan recipes like this that are wrapped in aluminum foil, it's VERY helpful to use heavy duty foil.
I also like to include a small piece of parchment paper between the chorizo and the foil. This prevents sticking and makes the foil wrapper even stronger.
This is important so you can wrap the seitan dough nice and snug and tight!
I hope you love this easy vegan chorizo and find tons of delicious ways to use it. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
Vegan Chorizo Recipe
- 160 grams vital wheat gluten (1 ¼ cups - adjust if altering batch size) - *see Notes for tips
- 22 grams nutritional yeast (¼ cup - adjust if altering batch size)
- 22 grams chickpea flour (3 Tbsp - adjust if altering batch size) - or other flour such as oat or all-purpose
- 2 ½ teaspoons ancho chili powder - or a chili powder blend
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt or mineral salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 rounded tablespoon smooth peanut butter or other nut/seed butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce - or coconut aminos for soy-free
- ¾ cup water
- Cut two, 12-inch pieces of aluminum foil, preferably heavy duty. Also cut two small pieces of parchment paper just large enough to wrap around each log of chorizo. The parchment prevents sticking and makes the foil package even stronger so you can tightly wrap the chorizo.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a medium-size bowl combine the tomato paste, vinegar, nut butter, and soy sauce. Stir until smooth. Add the water and stir to incorporate.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry, and stir to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough for about 2 minutes. It will become more firm as you knead. Form into a ball and divide the dough in half. Shape each one into a log about 6 inches long. It's okay if they look a bit rough; they'll snap into shape inside the foil.
- Place a piece of foil on a work surface, and place a piece of parchment on top, near the edge closest to you. Place one log of chorizo on the parchment. Optional step: for appearance and extra spice, lightly coat the outside of each log with freshly cracked black pepper. Wrap the chorizo as tightly as possible. Twist the ends closed like a candy wrapper. Do the same with the other piece and set both aside.
- On the stovetop set up a steamer with a lid. If you don't have a designated steamer pot, there are other ways to build/create one. (Try a colander inside a large pot. Just make sure the water level is below the colander/basket.) Bring the water to a boil. Set the foil packages in the steamer, cover, and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 40 to 43 minutes. To check for doneness, press the foil with tongs. They should feel very firm.
- Remove the chorizo from the steamer and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully unwrap the foil. Serve now, or let cool completely then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Note: if you prefer firmer seitan, the chorizo will firm up overnight in the refrigerator.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.