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This tofu chorizo is made with crumbled firm tofu and a blend of spices. Add it to burrito bowls, spoon it into tacos, and use it any way you’d use traditional chorizo!

Tofu chorizo in skillet with wooden slotted spoon
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Hot, spicy chorizo is featured in many Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes, but finding store-bought vegan chorizo substitutes is a dicey proposition. If you don’t live near a Whole Foods or natural market, you’re probably out of luck!

It’s a good thing tofu chorizo is so easy to make—and it’s made with ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store.

Tofu is famous for taking on any flavors that are added to it, which makes it the perfect swap for meat in this vegan tofu chorizo recipe. When crumbled, it has a ground meat-like texture, and the blend of spices mimics the flavor of traditional chorizo. Add it to your favorite pastas, soups, tacos, and burgers! Thanksgiving guest has dietary restrictions? This chorizo cornbread stuffing recipe can be used with this tofu chorizo as a swap!

Mexican Chorizo vs. Spanish Chorizo

This tofu chorizo is a substitute for Mexican pork chorizo (like these chorizo tacos), which is spicy because it’s made with chiles. Spanish chorizo is made with smoked paprika and garlic, so the flavor is more smoky than fiery.

How to Make Tofu Chorizo

I recommend starting by pressing the tofu, which gets the excess moisture out so it can absorb all the flavors you add. (You’ll see how to do this in my guide to cooking tofu.)

  • Make the tofu crumbles. Use your hands to crumble the tofu into small pieces.
  • Cook the aromatics. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it’s translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, or until fragrant.
  • Add the tofu. Place the tofu in the skillet and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tofu is browned and crispy. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil a little bit at a time whenever the pan seems dry, scraping off any bits that are stuck to the bottom.
  • Stir in the seasonings. Add the chili powder, sea salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and cinnamon, followed by the vinegar. Season to taste with salt, then serve.
Bowl of tofu chorizo with cilantro leaves and lime wedge

Tips for Success

Here are some hints and tips for making perfect tofu chorizo.

  • Use the right tofu. Be sure to buy tofu in the refrigerated section, not shelf-stable tofu. Do not buy anything that says ‘silken tofu’ as it has a different texture that won’t work for this recipe.
  • Make sure your spices are good. When you open the jars, they should be fragrant. If they don’t have much smell, or smell a little musty, it’s time to replace them. This recipe is all about those spices! In a pinch, you can use taco seasoning and add cayenne pepper to the mixture for the spice.

Storing Instructions

You can store your vegan tofu chorizo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat it in a skillet with a splash or oil, or in the microwave until warmed through.

You can freeze your tofu chorizo for up to 3 months. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag; let it thaw in the refrigerator or reheat it from frozen.

5 from 1 vote

Tofu Chorizo

A meaty vegan chorizo substitute made with crumbled bits of soft tofu!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound (454 g) firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
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Instructions 

  • Start by crumbling the tofu with your hands into small crumbles.
    crumbled tofu on a white plate
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute before adding in the crumbled tofu.
    diced onion being sautéed in oil in a grey skillet with a slotted wooden spoon
  • Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes until the tofu is browned and crispy. Add in the remaining tablespoon of oil a little bit at a time when the pan seems dry making sure to use the back of the spoon to scrape up any stuck on bits.
    crumbled tofu with diced onions in a skillet with a slotted wooden spoon
  • Once you’ve achieved your desired crispiness, season with chili powder, sea salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and cinnamon. Stir in the vinegar and taste for additional salt if needed.
    crumbled tofu and onions in a skillet with seasonings added on top
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Sodium: 622mg, Potassium: 113mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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2 Comments

  1. Just want to confirm about the tofu. In your instructions, it clearly states “Use the right tofu. Be sure to buy refrigerated soft tofu, not shelf-stable silken tofu. Soft silken tofu has a different texture that won’t work for this recipe.” Then, in the actual recipe, it states “1 pound (454 g) firm tofu, pressed and crumbled”.
    Which Tofu should I use, refrigerated soft tofu, or the firm tofu?

    1. hi Teresa, apologies for the tofu language. I’m glad you asked to clarify. Tofu in general is ‘soft’ but there’s different firmness levels. In the sentence where I talk about refrigerated soft tofu vs. silken, I’m talking about the difference of refrigerated and shelf-stable. I should make it more clear, though. For this recipe, use firm tofu that you find in the refrigerated section. Do not buy anything that says ‘silken’.