Chorizo is not just sausage. It's a spicy, savory pork sausage that encases your pallet with a tantalizing flavor gifted to you by the meat gods. That's chorizo. And when you add chorizo to a recipe, it's a beautiful thing.
When it comes to cooking with chorizo, there are two types you'll come across: fresh or dried. Fresh chorizo is the raw stuff. It will look like Italian sausage in a casing. Dry chorizo, on the other hand, is cured and will look more like salami.
Oh, we should also mention for anyone new to this delicacy there's Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo. Kind of like dialect, they're similar but have completely different flavors. If you have a perceptive pallet, you'll realize the two are not interchangeable in recipes.
For starters, Mexican chorizo is spiced with dried Mexican chile peppers and vinegar. It has a deep, tangy, spicy flavor. Meanwhile, Spanish chorizo is made with garlic and Spanish smoked paprika. This stuff also has a deep flavor, but is more smoky thanks to the paprika. Both are as sensational as their red hue, but the right one should be used accordingly.
And chorizo is always made with pork. Chicken chorizo, soyrizo, and anything else with -rizo at the end not made with 100 percent pork isn't real chorizo. Tasty as it may be, it's not true chorizo.
In order for you to get the full effect of the greatness that is chorizo, you're going to need a stellar recipe. Anything subpar will simply not suffice. So here are 14 phenomenal chorizo recipes to get you started.
1. Chorizo and Fried Egg Breakfast Tacos
Scrambled eggs and chorizo are great, but this recipe is grand. Up your breakfast (or brunch) game with these savory, spicy sausage breakfast tacos. Douse some hot sauce on top and you have an extra spicy win.
2. Chorizo Breakfast Burrito
Of course with every breakfast taco recipe comes an ever more filling breakfast burrito recipe. This one comes stuffed with chorizo, sauteed onions and jalapeñoes, scrambled eggs, crispy potatoes, gooey cheese, and a tomatillo chipotle salsa.
3. Mexican Stuffed Peppers
You can stuff pretty much anything savory into a pepper, but it's best with chorizo and this recipe does it just right. It calls for Mexican-style chorizo sausage, tomatoes, garlic, corn, black beans, shredded jack cheese, fresh cojita cheese, fresh cilantro, cumin, and sour cream. And the pepper? Trading in a bell pepper for a poblano, this recipe gets an extra kick of spice.
4. Chorizo Stuffed Butternut Squash
It doesn't need to be Thanksgiving to enjoy this stuffed squash recipe. The spicy chorizo mixture of sauteed onion, garlic, and red pepper are precisely what a sweet, fork tender roasted butternut squash needs stuffed right inside.
5. Cheesy Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe
The next time you host the big game, hit a home run, score a touchdown, make a slam dunk, or enter whatever appropriate sport analogy here by serving up this dip. It's gooey, savory, and loaded with the two best things in life: cheese and chorizo.
6. Potatoes Bravas with Chorizo Recipe
In Spain, patatas bravas is a staple tapas dish and this recipe with chorizo nails it. Crispy potatoes are tossed in a spicy tomato sauce then topped with a garlic aioli, fresh parsley, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, a perfectly fried egg, and of course thinly sliced dried chorizo. Do yourself a favor, be sure to use Spanish chorizo for this recipe.
7. Skillet Grilled Seafood and Chorizo Paella
There are two secrets to making the perfect paella. First, you need saffron. Second, you need chorizo. This recipe has both, and then some.
8. Chorizo Meatballs
How do you make a classic like spaghetti and meatballs better? You use chorizo meatballs.
9. Spanish Chickpea Chorizo Stew
The best way to spice up a hearty stew is by tossing in some chorizo. The rest just seems to fall into place.
10. Chorizo Bolognese Recipe
If you already thought this Italian dish was good, wait until you try this recipe with chorizo. A bed of tagliatelle is covered in a chorizo red wine sauce, then topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella. I guarantee you've never had bolognese quite like this before.
11. Spicy Chorizo and Shrimp with Polenta
If you're in dire need of comfort food, this chorizo recipe is right up your alley. Creamy, buttery polenta is topped with cured chorizo, spicy shrimp, and fresh herbs for garnish.
12. Spanish Chicken and Rice with Chorizo Recipe
Don't just have another bland chicken dinner. Have a spicy, flavorful chicken dinner made better by the wonders of chorizo. Your family will thank you.
13. Mexican Chorizo + Garlic Shrimp Burger
How shall I even begin to describe what is going on between these two toasted sweet potato burger buns? I guess I'll just start with the basics, the layers. The bun is smothered in a paprika mayo then topped with thinly sliced tomatoes, a juicy chorizo burger patty, melted manchego cheese, and succulent garlic shrimp. Is your mouth watering yet?
14. Queso Fundido with Chorizo Recipe
This recipe isn't your standard queso. This appetizer is chorizo with cheese, baked until golden and bubbly. If you're feeling dramatic, you can pour a little rum or brandy on top and set it on fire for "Queso Flameado." However you make it, serve it with flour tortillas and chips.
15. Spicy Mexican Lasagna Rollups
This casserole is lasagna by way of Mexico, with chorizo instead of ground beef and enchilada sauce instead of marinara. It's the perfect comfort food.
16. Homemade Mexican Chorizo Recipe
Now that you're an expert at incorporating chorizo into recipes, try your hand at making your own ground meat. With the help of some good quality pork and an array of spices, you'll have some mouthwatering homemade chorizo to use in all your favorite recipes.
This article was originally published on August 16, 2018.