How to Cook Chorizo Sausages

There are so many ways to cook chorizo sausage, and the best option depends on which type you're using.
Image Credit: ninikas/iStock/GettyImages

Chorizo is a savory sausage that is made in two distinct ways. Mexican-style chorizo is uncooked and is typically packed in inedible plastic casings.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Spanish chorizo, on the other hand, is a dried, cured pork sausage that can vary in flavor and level of curing. Some Spanish chorizos are very cured and require no cooking, whereas others are partially smoked.

If you're wondering how to cook chorizo sausage, it depends on which type you're working with. Mexican-style chorizo is typically cooked like crumbled sausage and added to eggs, burritos or even chili. Spanish-style chorizo links can be cooked whole or sliced and sautéed alone or with onions and peppers for a savory meal.

Advertisement

Warning

Before serving, check the internal temperature of your chorizo with a food thermometer. Ground meat and meat mixtures should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to FoodSafety.gov.

How to Cook Mexican-Style Chorizo

If you've never had this type of sausage, you might be wondering how long to cook chorizo sausage and what other ingredients it can be prepared with.

According to a July 2018 study in the journal Food Science and Nutrition,​ chorizo is a raw sausage that includes pork meat, beef, fat, additives and spices. Some popular chorizo sausage brands include Palacios, Iberia and Cacique.

Advertisement

Because Mexican-style chorizo is raw, it must be cooked to be safe for eating, and you can use a variety of cooking methods including the oven, stovetop and grill. Rob Levitt, head butcher and chef at Publican Quality Meats, tells LIVESTRONG.com that the easiest way to make chorizo sausage is on the stove.

Advertisement

Things You'll Need

  • Pack of Mexican-style chorizo sausage

  • Seasonings such as cumin, pepper and paprika

  • Cooking oil, such as olive oil

  • Frying pan or skillet

  • Spatula or wooden cooking spoon

Step 1: Season the Sausage

Combine the meat with your favorite seasonings such as cumin, pepper and paprika.

Step 2: Warm Your Skillet and Oil

Warm a skillet over medium heat and add cooking oil.

Step 3: Brown Your Sausage

Add the seasoned chorizo to your skillet and saute until fully cooked, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy

Remove the chorizo from the stove and enjoy in breakfast burritos or in meals like tacos.

How to Cook Spanish-Style Chorizo Sausage

Spanish chorizo usually has a very strong paprika flavor. Spanish chorizo links are usually cured or smoked, and they can be eaten without cooking. That said, the best Spanish chorizo for cooking is the type that is less cured and softer, and it can be used to complement a dish or as a main dish itself.

You can make Spanish-style chorizo on the stove, in the oven or on the grill. Here's how to do it.

Tip

Spanish-style chorizo sausage links can be cooked whole or sliced.

On the Stove

Things You'll Need

  • Spanish-style chorizo links

  • Deep saute or frying pan

  • Spatula or wooden cooking spoon

  • Cooking oil, such as olive oil

  • Vegetables (optional) such as sliced onions and peppers

Step 1: Slice the Chorizo

Slice your chorizo. You can slice it as thick or thin as you prefer.

Step 2: Heat Your Skillet and Oil

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Chorizo is a very oily sausage and will add oil to the pan once it's included.

Step 3: Add Your Veggies

Add sliced vegetables, if you're using them. Saute the veggies until they are soft.

Step 4: Add the Chorizo

Add your chorizo. Since chorizo is already cured and dried, you will only have to cook it for about 5 minutes, or until it's heated. Semi-cured chorizo will have to be lightly cooked for about 6 to 8 minutes. It will turn a dark red color as it finishes.

Step 5: Remove and Serve

Remove the chorizo and vegetables from the heat once you see the oils begin to come out of the chorizo. Serve and enjoy.

In the Oven

Things You'll Need

  • Spanish-style chorizo sausage links

  • Baking sheet

  • Olive oil

  • Vegetables (optional) such as sliced onions and peppers

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Slice the Chorizo

Slice the sausage links into small strips.

Step 3: Arrange Chorizo on a Baking Sheet

Brush olive oil over the bottom of the baking sheet and arrange the sliced onion and peppers over the olive oil, if you are using them. Place the chorizo slices on top.

Step 4: Bake the Chorizo

Place the baking dish into the oven and bake the ingredients for 30 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the chorizo is reddish or golden brown in color.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Serve the chorizo hot by itself, over rice or in a flour tortilla.

On the Grill

Things You'll Need

  • Spanish-style chorizo sausage links

  • Basting brush

  • Cooking oil

  • Grill tongs

Step 1: Preheat the Grill

Preheat the grill to medium-high, or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the chorizo links directly on the grill and cook them for 5 minutes, turning occasionally. The chorizo does not require a lot of cooking time; it is ready when the casing turns a dark reddish or golden brown.

Step 3: Remove From the Grill

Remove the chorizo from the grill with the grill tongs.

Step 4: Slice, Serve and Enjoy

Slice the chorizo into 1-inch pieces and serve over rice or in a tortilla for a savory taco.

Storing and Eating Chorizo Sausage

Once you cook a chorizo sausage, you can store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. But if you bring it home from the store and decide not to cook it, fresh sausage can only stay in the fridge for 1 to 2 days, according to the USDA.

If you're not going to eat leftovers within a few days, you can place the sausage in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for 2 to 3 months. Or, leave it uncooked and in its packaging, and store in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.

If you need some creative cooking inspiration, consider trying these chorizo sausage recipes:

Eating this spicy sausage is best done in moderation. That's because one chorizo sausage link has 341 calories, 18.1 grams of protein, 28.7 grams of fat and 1.4 grams of carbohydrates, according to the USDA. If you're looking for a sausage with less fat, consider a lean chicken or turkey sausage.

Advertisement

references