A quintessential Mexican ingredient, Healthy Homemade Chicken Chorizo recipe provides all the flavor of its fattier counterpart without the fat and calories! This easy chorizo sausage is ready to cook and add to your favorite recipes in just minutes...
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Is Chorizo Healthy?
I grew up on Mexican chorizo. It was ALWAYS in our tacos and frequently in our scrambled eggs as well. I loved it then, but it usually resembled fatty orange grease with very little in the way of solids. However, it did deliver on flavor!
I found the well-known brand that frequently ended up in the cast iron skillet when I was growing up. Here's a list of the ingredients: Pork salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat, chorizo seasoning, pork, vinegar, soy grits, sodium nitrite. YUCK! Are you interested in eating "pork salivary glands" and "lymph nodes?" I definitely am not.
Over the years, and in my quest to cook healthy Mexican food, I have found some healthier chorizo options - particularly the house made chicken chorizo at Sprouts and the San Manual chicken chorizo.
However, I am one that wants to know exactly what is in the food I eat... especially with sausage. It has been on my "to do" list for years (literally) to make my own Healthy Homemade Chorizo Sausage Recipe.
So here we are just days into 2020. The "New Years Resolutionaries" are out in force, and I'm hoping they'll find this easy Mexican chorizo sausage recipe!
🥖 What is Mexican Chorizo?
While Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo share some ingredients, they are very different. Most importantly, Mexican chorizo is a RAW sausage, while Spanish chorizo is cured and dried (it can be eaten uncooked). Please don't confuse the two!
Mexican chorizo is a heavily spiced sausage that gets its color from red chiles and paprika. Not all recipes include annatto, but I love its earthy flavor and brilliant red hue, and chose to include it in my chorizo recipe.
Traditionally, chorizo involves grinding the meat, toasting, hydrating, blending and straining dried chiles, then stuffing casings. I have completed this arduous task with the help of the sausage attachment on my KitchenAid.
The process is time consuming, and I have never cooked chorizo in the casing. My easy chorizo sausage recipe is EASY. Haha.
I suppose one might say this is "cheater" chorizo because I start with ground turkey, chicken, or lean pork (rather than grinding my own), and add ground spices rather than starting with dried red chiles.
The end result provides all the Mexican flavor you're looking to add to your healthy breakfast recipe or Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup, and you don't have to squeeze it out of the casings before cooking!
🥖 Is Mexican Chorizo Healthy?
Not all chorizo is created equal! This homemade Mexican chicken chorizo recipe is healthy because it is made with healthy, lean meat (chicken, turkey, pork, bison, or lean ground meat) and no preservatives. As I've often said, a lot (if not most) commercial chorizo is made with "mystery meat" and contains a lot of fat and preservatives. It is possible to find lean chorizo. Our butcher department has house made pork chorizo that leaves almost no grease in the pan when cooked.
📋 Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Chorizo
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- ground chicken - I can get ground chicken at a local market, and it is perfect for this homemade chorizo because it has a little bit of fat in it. Ground turkey, bison, and lean pork are good options as well. You can even use a mixture.
- red chile powder - Ancho, guajillo, New Mexico red chile powder are good options. DO NOT USE generic "chili powder." It's a spice blend that will
- Mexican oregano
- annatto powder - Achiote powder is another name for this ingredient.
- ground cumin
- vinegar - White or apple cider vinegar are fine.
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly (hands are best!).
- Form into a ball, then divide into zip bags or containers. This chorizo sausage recipe makes about 2 pounds. I divide it into 4 bags of approximately ½ pound each, then freeze 3 for later use.
How long can I store my chorizo?
I usually ½ pound in the refrigerator (for up to a week), and freeze the remainder in ½ pound bags for up to 3 months (longer in a deep freeze).
- I have used very lean ground turkey, ground chicken thighs, and lean ground pork, as well as a combination of lean ground meat in this recipe. They're all good.
- The chorizo may be lean enough to require spraying the pan with cooking spray. I usually do.
- After disposing of a bunch of freezer-burned food recently, I invested in reusable sous vide bags with a pump. They're great!
- You can minimize the heat level by choosing chile powder on the milder side (New Mexico chile powder comes in mild to hot varieties). You can also cut some of the heat with more paprika and less red chile powder.
🧂 Useful Stuff
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I love having fresh homemade chorizo ready to use, but I especially love grabbing an already made zip bag from my freezer! The chorizo is so quick and easy to make with readily available ingredients... why not give it a try?
Homemade Chicken Chorizo Recipe
- 2 pounds ground chicken - see notes
- 4 tablespoons red chile powder - see notes
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
- 2 teaspoons annatto powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon each cinnamon and cloves
- 2 teaspoons garlic - minced
- ½ cup white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly.
- Divide into zip bags or containers for now and later!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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