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Healthy Homemade Chicken Chorizo

This chicken chorizo draws inspiration from classic Mexican pork chorizo, seasoning ground chicken with a blend of chili powder, garlic, and vinegar. You get all the familiar flavors without all the calories and fat content. Each serving has 21 grams of protein with just 6 grams of fat and 130 calories. That means you can make healthier chorizo tacos, quesadillas, or any of your favorite recipes that call for chorizo.

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Chicken Chorizo Ingredients

This is a really simple recipe that works great for preparing in bulk. All you’ll need is ground chicken, white vinegar, and a chorizo seasoning blend. Admittedly, the seasoning blend has a beaucoup of ingredients. So I’d encourage you to mix it in bulk for future batches.

Don’t want to make your own chorizo seasoning? You can buy one like this, though I’ve not personally tried it.

Homemade Chorizo Seasoning

chorizo seasoning ingredients in a bowl

Here’s everything you’ll need for the seasoning blend:

  • paprika and ancho chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • dried oregano
  • salt and black pepper
  • ground cloves and cinnamon

There’s some room for modification if you need to. If you don’t have ancho chili powder on hand, for example, you can use whatever chili powder you have. (Or make your own homemade chili powder.) The clove and cinnamon are in small amounts but really come through, similar to my shredded Mexican chicken thighs. If you’re not the biggest fan of either flavor, reduce from 1/4 teaspoon to just a pinch.

Ground Chicken

ground chicken and vinegar beside the bowl of a chorizo seasoning

The recipe calls for 97% lean ground chicken, but you can use cuts like 92% lean if that’s all your store has. You could also use lean ground turkey to make turkey chorizo. The fattier cuts of meat obviously produce a more flavorful chorizo and are an overall better chorizo. So if you have the calories to spare, using a meat that’s not so lean is an okay idea.

While some chorizo recipes call for cider vinegar, I tested both cider and white vinegar and found white to be the best option. Either will get the job done, however.

ground chicken mixed with vinegar and chorizo seasoning

You’ll want to mix everything together really well. If you’ve cooked with Mexican chorizo before, you know some are almost like a meat paste before cooking. Get in there and introduce those flavors!

Speaking of, you’ll definitely want to let your chicken chorizo chill in the refrigerator before cooking for best results. You could keep your chorizo in the refrigerator for up to a couple days, but I’d freeze any batches you want to preserve longer than that. Like I mentioned, this recipe would be perfect for making in bulk and freezing (before cooking).

Cooking the Chicken Chorizo

cooking chicken chorizo in a skillet

When you’re ready to cook, the recipe calls for cooking in a pan with olive oil. This helps the chicken chorizo brown better and adds some flavor and moisture.

cooked chicken chorizo in a skillet

You’ll want to really go to town on mincing the chicken chorizo into small pieces. The more surface area to touch the pan, the better. Also, if you’re cooking in cast iron or stainless steel and develop some fond in the pan you can use a little water at the end of cooking to deglaze.

And that’s it. Your chicken chorizo is ready to rock!

Serving Your Chicken Chorizo

chorizo breakfast quesadillas, chorizo queso, and chorizo tacos

First off, let’s start with a reheating tip. Instead of microwaving, use a teaspoon or two of oil in a hot pan to reheat the chorizo. It will give it and extra crispy texture that’s probably even better than the day-one chorizo. I like to do this followed by a tiny knob of butter for frying eggs and corn tortillas. You can assemble chorizo breakfast tacos right in the same pan. Top them with queso fresco, cilantro, and salsa verde for a *chef’s kiss* breakfast.

You could also use this chicken chorizo as a substitute for ground chorizo in recipes like my chorizo breakfast quesadillas and healthy jalapeño poppers. Here’s a handful of other recipe ideas:

I’d love to hear about how you serve your chicken chorizo. Let me know in a comment or a recipe review below. And if you have any questions about this recipe I forgot to cover, you can leave those in the comments as well.

Chicken Chorizo

Chicken Chorizo

Yield: 5 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Mexican-style ground chicken chorizo seasoned with paprika, ancho chili powder, garlic, and vinegar.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl before adding the ground chicken and vinegar. Mix everything together well before covering and refrigerating for at least 8 hours (up to 2 days).
  2. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Brown the chorizo before mincing with a spatula and fully cooking.
  3. Serve with eggs and queso fresco tacos or in your favorite recipe as a replacement for ground chorizo.

Notes

Each serving has 1 WW SmartPoint (blue).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 3 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 21g

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Cassandra

Friday 20th of August 2021

I give this recipe 5/5 stars! It’s really REALLY good. So good, in fact, it goes in my regular fridge/freezer stocking strategy for quick, easy healthy meals. Great at breakfast even! Love that extra protein boost. I used ACV first but then switched to white wine vinegar and the difference is definitely noticeable. Go with white vinegar! Thanks mason!

Mason Woodruff

Friday 20th of August 2021

I'm with you. White vinegar is the move. Thanks, Cassandra!

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