Homemade Vegetarian Soy Chorizo

Homemade Vegetarian Soy Chorizo Recipe

Soy chorizo is so easy to make. It has all the same spicy flavor of the traditional chorizo but is much lower in fat and most importantly has no cholesterol. I blend firm tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP) with red chilies and other spices. Your first reaction will be "I can't believe it's not chorizo!" It's also high in protein.

I've found that soy chorizo is the perfect flavorful substitute for meat. I use it a lot in my Mexican-inspired dishes like tacos, enchiladas, seafood stew, Spanish-inspired paellas and of course my Shepherd's Pie.




Yields: 8 servings

1/2 package firm tofu, about 1 cup
1 1/2 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup diced tomatoes with juice
1 small yellow onion, very finely diced
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp soy lecithin
1/4 tsp cayenne powder, to taste
1/4 red chili powder, to taste
1 red ancho chile, roasted, seeded, finely diced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3 Tbs white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 Tbs canola oil


The day before:

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch slices. Blanch the tofu for about 1-2 minutes. Drain the liquid. Let the tofu cool a little. Then mash the boiled tofu with your hand using disposable gloves. Set the tofu aside.

In a very small bowl, add the xanthan gum and lecithin to enough vegetable oil (about a teaspoon) to dissolve the xanthan gum.  This will keep the xanthan gum from beading up into balls when it comes into contact with water.  Stir them together thoroughly. It's kind of like making a roux. Set aside.

Soak the TVP in a little less than a cup of boiling vegetable broth, diced onion and diced tomatoes. Stir, then let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Drain using a fine mesh colander and remove as much excess liquid as possible.

Transfer the hydrated TVP to a large bowl. Add the mashed tofu, the xanthan gum-lecithin mixture, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, thyme, allspice, marjoram, cinnamon powder, cayenne powder, red chili powder, the diced red ancho chile, tomato paste and white vinegar. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the top with 3 tablespoons of oil to prevent it from drying and forming a crust. Plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day:

In a non-stick pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the minced garlic and shallot. Cook until it's fragrant and slightly golden. Add the soy chorizo needed for your recipe (don't overcrowd the pan). Add salt and pepper if necessary. Lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the soy chorizo from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Your soy chorizo is ready!

You can use it as a substitute for ground meat in a lot of dishes like tacos, and vegetarian Shepherd's pie.


Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is a meat substitute made from soy flour. When it's cooked it has the same texture as ground meat. You can find this product online or in any specialty food store like Whole Foods. TVP has a pretty long shelf life if stored in an airtight container. 1 cup of TVP provides 50 grams of protein! I use about 1 cup of TVP to a little less than 1 cup of liquid. 1 cup yields about 2 cups of hydrated TVP.

Roasting the ancho chile is the same procedure as roasting a bell pepper. Wash the pepper, pat dry, then brush with oil. Place a grill on your stove, then char all the skin of the ancho chili. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Wash the pepper under running tap water and the skin will come right off. Seed it, then slice the ancho chile. Just make sure you don't touch your eyes afterwards . The chile is very spicy, and if you touch your eyes, it will sting.

I usually make about 2 cups of soy chorizo. I cook a little bit at a time. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

You can make your own chorizo with the same spices and white vinegar using lean ground meat like turkey if you're afraid of using a "high-cholesterol" meat. Just make sure, you marinade the meat long enough so all the spices get into the meat.

I use liquid lecithin as an egg yolk substitute. You can also find this online or in any specialty food store like Whole Foods.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 27, 2009.


[-] Wow! - Guest-Jessica
My aunt is a huge fan of soyrizo (as she calls it) and I will definitely have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Website Link
[ Posted at 6:53 AM on 5/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] I love soyrizo! - Guest-marx051
My grandma use to make me chorizo when I was a kid so I was glad to find this when I became vegetarian. They sell it at my local supermarket (Vons) so I don't even have to make it myself.
[ Posted at 10:15 AM on 5/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] soyrizo - Jackie
you can buy soyrizo at Trader Joe's as well.
[ Posted at 10:16 AM on 5/27/09 | Reply ]
Wow, such a great vegetarian dish, with all the spices in it I will not miss the "meat". Very nice pictures. By the way, thank you for visiting my site.

Juliana Website Link
[ Posted at 5:34 PM on 5/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] cheffresco - Guest-cheffresco
Veggie chorizo?! Never even knew it existed, looks great!

cheffresco Website Link
[ Posted at 7:20 PM on 5/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] Soy Chorizo - Guest-Elyse
Mmm, I never realized that you could make your own soy chorizo. How delicious! I love the idea of having a high protein, spicy dish without all the cholesterol. Yum!

Elyse Website Link
[ Posted at 6:06 PM on 5/28/09 | Reply ]
[-] Delicious - Guest-diet
I like this post... This dish seems delicious with the goodness of soya.. Easy to cook and full of protein & minerals. I tried it and enjoyed it.

diet Website Link
[ Posted at 5:03 AM on 9/16/09 | Reply ]
[-] Homemade Vegetarian Soy Chorizo - Guest-travelpillow
Thanks for this wonderful addition. Really enjoyed your blog. Appreciate people taking the time to write quality work..

travel pillow Website Link
[ Posted at 3:45 AM on 9/30/09 | Reply ]
[-] yummy - Guest-hannah
Thanks for the wonderful recipes!
[ Posted at 2:26 PM on 1/6/10 | Reply ]
Can i use soy lecithin granules instead of the liquid lecithin ?
[ Posted at 11:11 AM on 7/28/10 | Reply ]
[-] lecithin - Jackie
I think liquid lecithin is much easier to work with. The granules don’t dissolve well.
[ Posted at 12:21 PM on 7/28/10 | Reply ]
[-] tofu chorizo - Guest-Chris81
How do you get your "choizo" to look so much like the real thing? I've made your recipe twice, it's wonderful, but mine doesn't look anything like yours. Mine is light in color and the veggies are peeking out.
[ Posted at 10:33 AM on 10/8/10 | Reply ]
[-] Just a note - Guest-Justafact
Its missing tomatoe paste/paprika.
You'll never get the red chili like color in the picture....:(
[ Posted at 12:17 AM on 9/17/11 | Reply ]
Have you ever tried freezing this? The ingredient list is long enough that I'd consider making a double batch and storing it in the freezer for weekday use. I know tofu changes texture when frozen though, so don't know if that would work.
[ Posted at 4:10 PM on 11/14/11 | Reply ]
[-] Superb! - Guest-Rubberman
This looks like a GREAT recipe! I have been cooking vegetarian Mexican food for 40+ years (I first went to Mexico in 1955) and have been looking for a good vegetarian chorizo recipe for a long time. Thanks!
[ Posted at 2:39 PM on 12/31/11 | Reply ]
I've got recipes calling for soy chorizo, but I live in a small town in Ontario, Canada--vegan products are hard to find, so I've been on the Net checking out recipes. Your recipe looks very interesting, BUT... It's that small town thing again. We can't get ANCHO CHILIS in any color, only ancho chili powder. Can I substitute some powder and maybe a red bell pepper (for color)? How much would you recommend?
[ Posted at 2:13 PM on 1/6/12 | Reply ]
[-] How long will this keep - Guest-jweber
Just found this recipe and it reads so well. I have two questions for you. First, how long will this keep? 7-10 days?

Secondly, is there much moisture to this? I'm thinking of using this on a south of the border style pizza but don't want it to burn. Maybe a few drops of olive oil to keep it from burning.
[ Posted at 11:38 AM on 4/28/12 | Reply ]
[-] Storage - Jackie
Yes, you can store soyrizo in the refrigerator for a week or so. It also freezes well. I usually place it in vacuumed sealed bag so there is no freezer burn.

The result is a very moist product. I've garnished pizza with it in the past and it works wonderfully. I covered the soyrizo with shredded cheese.

Hope this help!
[ Posted at 2:18 AM on 4/30/12 | Reply ]
What is xanthan gum and is there a sub for it
[ Posted at 12:09 PM on 5/5/12 | Reply ]
[-] Yum! - Guest-PortraitPhotography
If this is as close to the real thing as you say it is...I may propose. Can't wait to try it out!

Portrait Photography Website Link
[ Posted at 10:18 AM on 6/7/12 | Reply ]
Can I use egg white instead of xanthan gum and soy lecithin if I don't need my chirozo to be vegan? If so, how much?
[ Posted at 11:06 AM on 10/12/12 | Reply ]
Tried this recipe with a can of Black Beans to replace the tofu (just rinsed and mashed, saves blanching and cooling time) and 1tbsp ground flax seed/3tbsp water to replace xantham/lectin mix (just as roux-y as a whipped egg)... and presto! Vegan! Same texture, same spice, and less fuss!
[ Posted at 2:33 PM on 4/20/13 | Reply ]
[-] things and stuff - Guest-lizmk
This is a great recipe, most particularly on the texture it gives. I've used it before and love the texture from the tofu and TVP--that's the the secret part.

The seasonings... that's a personal thing, but in my Chicago neighborhood populated with people who recently lived in Mexico or Puerto Rico, this recipe is a bit weak--although fresh vs. dried herbs is a whole argument on its own.

The heavy on oregano, cumin and garlic is spot on for what this dish is going for, flavorwise. I've found cloves also give an interesting depth as well, and I've smelled this particular note in non-vegan chorizo as well.

liz mk Website Link
[ Posted at 2:32 PM on 6/3/13 | Reply ]
Traders stopped carrying their own brand that l loved. I'm looking for a close or better solution.
I'll give this a try.
Thanks for the receipe
[ Posted at 8:05 AM on 1/12/14 | Reply ]
[-] Replace TVP ? - Guest-pat
What can I or you use to replace TVP. I would prefer not to use TVP
[ Posted at 9:19 AM on 3/10/15 | Reply ]

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