Chorizo-Style Walnut Meat

Close up overhead shot of a bowl of vegan ground chorizo with two lime wedges on top

You’re going to love this no-cook vegan chorizo recipe! It’s easily made in your food processor with a simple key ingredient: walnuts! Then it’s flavored with soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, dried chilis or ancho chili powder, and oregano. It’s an easy recipe that’s the perfect addition as a vegan option to plant based breakfast burritos or nachos, burrito bowls, vegan chorizo tacos, taco salads, tofu scrambles, lettuce wraps and more!


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We got a comment on our walnut sausage recipe a while back saying the reader altered the spices to try and make a chorizo style walnut meat. And I thought what a great idea! This is definitely something we don’t often see in grocery stores outside of Trader Joe’s soy chorizo or soyrizo.

Along with doing my own research on classic chorizo, I learned some really interesting things! Did you know Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are two VERY different things? Spanish chorizo is more of a cured, dried sausage, and the Mexican cuisine variation is more of a fresh, ground sausage. Both can range from a medium heat to quite spicy. 

This recipe is our plant-based twist on a traditional Mexican-style chorizo, and I think you’ll really like it. It’s packed with flavor and really simple to make!

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Why We Love This Easy Vegan Chorizo

  • No-cook. No need to turn on your oven for this one, friend. Just pulse + plate! Perfect for summer taco night recipes!
  • Full of flavor and just the right amount of heat. You’ll love how well walnuts absorb all the flavors and deliver the full ground chorizo experience.
  • Versatile. Use this vegan chorizo as a great option in breakfast tacos, nachos, wraps, salads, the list goes on and on. You can even easily freeze this vegan chorizo for later!
Overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make vegan chorizo walnut meat: raw walnuts, dried chilis, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, and spices

Ingredients

You need 11 ingredients to make this easy vegan chorizo recipe:

  • Raw walnuts – The main ingredients, soaked in cool water for 20 minutes to help the texture.
  • Dried guajillo chili peppers – Dried ancho chiles is the more traditional option, but we can’t always find them in our local grocery store. Ground guajillo, chipotle, cayenne, or ancho pepper that you find in the spice aisle will also work!
  • Soy sauce – This adds salt and savory to the flavor
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil – Optional, to enhance the meaty texture. We find a little oil helps the fat content you’d associate with sausage.
  • Onion – chopped
  • Garlic cloves – minced
  • SPICES: Dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – I used the dehydrated kind, not the kind in a jar. I used dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes that were still pretty soft and malleable. Because of that, I did not rehydrate them. But if you have drastically dry sun-dried tomatoes, you may want to soak them in some warm water a couple minutes before using them to help soften them a bit.
Head on shot of a navy blue bowl with a yellow ring around the bottom and orange designs throughout. Piled high in the bowl is vegetarian chorizo made out of walnuts. Lime slices sit atop the walnut meat, and there is wooden board under the bowl.

Substitution Options

For the soy sauce: Tamari can be used for a gluten-free option. Coconut aminos and Bragg’s liquid aminos can also be used in a ratio of 1:1.

For the olive oil: Feel free to sub avocado or sunflower oil or skip the oil and sub vegetable broth for an oil-free option. This may alter the texture of the vegan chorizo a little.

For the onion: Red onion or shallots could be nice but would add a slightly different more robust flavor. Chives or scallions may work in a pinch but again, the flavor would be different. You may also be able to use half the amount of dehydrated minced onion, but we haven’t tried that yet.

For the garlic: Feel free to replace the fresh garlic with minced garlic from a jar. Use about 1 Tbsp minced garlic for every clove of garlic you need.

For the seasonings: Feel free to shake up the variety of spices, adding more or less of each based on your own personal tastes. 

For the sun-dried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes from a jar can also be used but will add a little more oil to the mix.If you can find sun-dried tomatoes packed in water, they’ll be a little closer to what you need. If you do get them in oil, I would cut the amount of olive oil and see if you still need it after adding the sun-dried tomatoes.

Substitutions for dry chili peppers:

Use any chili peppers you like / can find! Even red pepper flakes and some smoked paprika will work in a pinch. The amount of heat will vary depending on which pepper you use. You can get anything from a mild heat to a nice spicy sausage. A quick Google search of the Scoville scale can help you decide what’s right for you! If you can’t find dry chilis, ground chipotle, cayenne pepper, or ancho chili powder can work. You’ll see the amount instructions in the recipe card below.

How to Make Meatless Homemade Chorizo

Walnut meat is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat!!

STEP 1: Prep the walnuts. Just soak them in cool water for 20 minutes. 

STEP 2: Add everything to a food processor. Then, drain and rinse the walnuts and add them to a food processor with the remainder of the ingredients.

STEP 3: Pulse the ingredients together. Pulse the mixture 6-7 times or until the walnuts are well-combined with the spices and they look like the texture of loose ground meat. Stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon as needed until you reach the desired texture.

Overhead shot of a bowl of chorizo style walnut meat topped with 2 lime wedges. There are more lime wedges around the bowl and a long guajillo chili pepper is next to the bowl.

How to Serve Spicy Vegan Chorizo

This vegan chorizo sausage is perfect for ALL THE THINGS! Use it as a great way to make veganized versions of:

  • Breakfast Tacos
  • Nachos
  • Tostadas
  • Pizzas
  • Salads – We love it as a topping on our Southwest Salad along with some crushed tortilla chips.
  • Lettuce Wraps
  • Tofu Scrambles – Like our Southwest Tofu Scramble!
  • Potato tacos – with some black beans, bell peppers, and “papas con chorizo” on some flour tortillas or warm corn tortillas

How to Serve Leftover Plant Based Walnut Chorizo

Fridge: You can store leftover walnut chorizo in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Freezer: This recipe makes a big batch of walnut meat, but leftovers freeze so well. We suggest freezing walnut meat on a rimmed baking sheet overnight first. Then, you can transfer mixture to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for at least 3 months. Freezing the walnut meat on a baking sheet first will allow it to maintain an element of crumbliness and prevent it from freezing in one big block. You can also use 1/2 cup Souper Cubes to freeze single portions that will also defrost nicely!

Close up overhead photo of a navy blue bowl filled with meatless walnut chorizo and 2 slices of lime. There are more lime slices behind the bowl and a spoon on the left side of the bowl.

More Walnut Meat Recipes

When you make this vegan chorizo, make sure you let us know. We LOVE to see how you’re using our recipes in your own home!

We’d be so grateful if you leave a star rating and review on the recipe comments below. It REALLY helps support our work and get our recipes to more people like you!

We also love to chat with you on IG, so tag us in your vegan food photos! If you’re not already hanging out with us over there, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.

Enjoy!

Yield: 1 cup walnut meat

Vegan Chorizo Walnut Meat

Close up overhead shot of a bowl of vegan ground chorizo with two lime wedges on top

You’re going to love this no-cook vegan chorizo recipe! It's easily made in your food processor with a simple key ingredient: walnuts! Then it's flavored with soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, chipotle or ancho chili powder, and oregano. It’s a great recipe that’s the perfect addition as a vegan option to plant based breakfast burritos or nachos, burrito bowls, vegan chorizo tacos, taco salads, tofu scrambles, lettuce wraps and so much more!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw walnuts (soaked in cool water for 20 minutes)
  • 1 large dried guajillo chili pepper or 1/2 Tbsp ground chipotle powder*
  • 2 Tbsp minced sun-dried tomatoes**
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the walnuts and add them to a food processor with the remainder of the ingredients.
  2. Pulse the mixture 8-10 times or until the walnuts are well-combined with the spices and they look like the texture of ground meat. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Enjoy this walnut chorizo on tacos, salads, nachos, bowls, tofu scramble, etc.!

Notes

*PEPPER OPTIONS: Dried ancho chilis are the more traditional option. Use any chili peppers you like / can find! The amount of heat will vary depending on which pepper you use. If you’re going the ground pepper route, you can use either chipotle, cayenne, or ancho powder. A quick Google search of the Scoville scale can help you decide what’s right for you! 

**SUN-DRIED TOMATOES: I used dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes that were still pretty soft and malleable. I did not rehydrate them, but if you have drastically dry sun-dried tomatoes, you may want to soak them in water a couple minutes before using them. Sun-dried tomatoes from a jar can also be used but will add a little more oil to the mix.If you can find sun-dried tomatoes packed in water, they’ll be a little closer to what you need. If you do get them in oil, I would cut the amount of olive oil and see if you still need it after adding the sun-dried tomatoes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 254mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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One thought on “Chorizo-Style Walnut Meat

  1. Hello, I made this chorizo and added a little liquid smoke and dried cilantro to it and it is delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe. I put it on a baked sweet potato and used some as taco meat on flour tortillas with a little salsa. I’m always looking for different ways to cook vegan since I’m fairly new to it.

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