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!
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!
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.
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 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 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 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.
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
- Salads – We love it as a topping on our Southwest Salad along with some crushed tortilla chips and creamy avocado dressing.
- Lettuce Wraps – You can use it as a direct sub for the buffalo-style walnut meat in our Buffalo Vegan 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 Store 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!
More Walnut Meat Recipes
- Beef-Style Walnut Meat
- Sausage-Style Walnut Meat
- Walnut Mince Pie
- Pesto Pizza with Walnut Sausage
- Check out all of our walnut meat recipes in our Walnut Meat Guide!
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- 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
- Drain and rinse the walnuts and add them to a food processor with the remainder of the ingredients.
- 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.
- Enjoy this walnut chorizo on tacos, salads, nachos, bowls, tofu scramble, etc.!
- You can store leftover walnut chorizo in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for 3 months.
*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.
Soy Sauce Substitute: 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.
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.