Make Your Own Fresh, Homemade Mexican Chorizo Sausage!

Are you a fan of flavorful dishes? If so, chorizo might be your go-to choice for meat. Unfortunately, finding fresh chorizo can be quite a challenge in regular supermarkets. But fear not! Today, I’ll show you how to make your own fresh Mexican-style chorizo using dried chile peppers and vinegar. With a combination of half pork and half chicken, this recipe is a lighter take on the traditional sausage. So, why not give it a try?

Why is Mexican chorizo different?

While Spanish chorizo can be found in many local grocery stores, fresh chorizo is a different story. Spanish chorizo, and its cousin, Portuguese chourico, are cured pork sausages flavored with smoked paprika, giving them a vibrant red color. However, there are recipes that require the use of fresh chorizo, and that’s where Mexican chorizo comes into play. Mexican-style chorizo is a fresh sausage that can be made from various meats, such as pork, chicken, or even soy. It’s typically seasoned with chili peppers or chili powder and vinegar. Unfortunately, finding good Mexican chorizo in regular supermarkets can be a challenge, which is why making your own is a great idea.

Homemade Chorizo Recipe Ingredients

To make Mexican chorizo, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork butt or pork shoulder (907 grams)
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (907 grams, boneless and skinless)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 dried ancho chiles
  • 10 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried Japones chiles
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano, if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
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Feel free to experiment with additional spices or herbs to customize the recipe to your liking!

What is the main ingredient in chorizo?

Traditionally, chorizo is made with pork, including both pork meat and pork fat. However, it’s also possible to find beef, chicken, and even soy chorizo, all spiced up with chorizo seasonings.

Which chile peppers should you use for fresh chorizo?

In this recipe, we’ll be using dried chiles instead of chili powder for a more flavorful result. The choice of chile peppers depends on the heat and flavor you prefer. I recommend using mostly guajillo chiles, which have a mild to medium heat and great flavor. Guajillo chiles are the second most commonly used dried chiles in Mexican cuisine. You can also try other varieties, such as ancho peppers, New Mexican chile peppers, or chiles de arbol for a spicier kick. Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice here. Use what you have on hand and what suits your taste.

How do you make perfect chorizo?

Now, let’s get into the step-by-step instructions for making Mexican chorizo:

  1. Begin by removing the stems from the dried chiles. Heat them in a cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes to enhance their flavor, taking care not to burn them.

  2. Soak the chiles in hot water for 30 minutes. Once soaked, split them open and remove most of the seeds.

  3. Place the soaked chiles, minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of the chile soaking water, and white vinegar in a food processor. Blend until you achieve a chunky paste. If needed, pause the food processor to scrape down the sides with a spatula.

  4. Keep the pork and chicken at a temperature of 38-40°F/3.3-4.4°C (almost frozen) to make cutting and grinding easier. Cut the chicken and pork into 1-inch (2.54 cm) cubes or smaller.

  5. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, pork, chili pepper paste, salt, oregano, cumin, and smoked paprika. Stir well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate the mixture while you set up your meat grinder.

  6. Using a meat grinder, coarsely grind the mixture. Make sure to feed the mixture slowly through the grinder to avoid jams.

  7. Refrigerate the ground mixture overnight to allow the flavors to develop.

  8. You can now use the homemade chorizo as a ground meat mixture or make your own chorizo links. If you’re interested in making sausage links, check out my homemade sausage with chicken recipe to learn how to use hog casings.

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How to Cook Chorizo

Cooking fresh homemade chorizo is simple. Treat it like ground beef and cook it in a skillet over medium heat or incorporate it into your favorite recipes. Since this chorizo contains poultry, make sure to cook it to a minimum safe temperature of 165°F (74°C).

How should you store fresh chorizo?

This recipe yields approximately 4 lbs and 12 oz of chorizo. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have more than you can consume in that time, I recommend storing some of the chorizo in the freezer.

To preserve it, you can use a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to package the sausage in 1-pound portions. Alternatively, you can remove the chorizo from the casings and divide it into freezer zip-close bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Although vacuum-sealed bags produce the best results, the double bagging method can also help prevent freezer burn.

How to Seal Homemade Chorizo

If you’re using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Ensure that the edges of the bags remain clean while filling them. Even small traces of oil or food can compromise the seal.

  2. Freeze the filled bags, unsealed, for 1-2 hours. This prevents oil and water from reaching the bag’s edge during the vacuum sealing process. Remember to maintain clean edges for a proper seal.

  3. Before you begin the vacuum sealing process, make sure the “easy lock” latch is turned all the way to “operate.” If it’s not properly positioned, the machine may seal the bags without removing all the air. Once you master the vacuum sealing technique, it becomes easy to accomplish.

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More Pork Recipes

If you enjoy cooking with pork, here are some other delicious recipes you might want to try:

  • Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
  • Chicken Bratwurst with Pork
  • Air Fryer Pork Roast
  • Pork Belly Air Fryer Recipe
  • Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe

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The Disclaimer…

Please note that all recipes on this website might not be suitable for everyone, as individual medical needs and personal preferences vary. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician to determine the dietary pattern that best suits you.

The nutritional information provided is merely an estimate and should be used as a courtesy. It may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients you use. Calorie information on food labels can be highly inaccurate, so don’t worry too much about the numbers.

For information on how the recipe levels can help with weight management goals, refer to our overnight oats no sugar post. Let’s get cooking!


If you’ve enjoyed making your own homemade chorizo, don’t miss our Homemade Sausage with Chicken, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe. You’ll soon become a sausage-making pro with a freezer full of your delicious culinary creations!

Have you ever tried making chorizo? We’d love to hear about your favorite types of dried peppers to use. Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!

Chorizo Image

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