Simple Preparations

Plant-based Chorizo

Have you been wanting a good chorizo recipe without the apple cider vinegar, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and scorching hot peppers? Well, look no further! This is it!

I make my chorizo with TVP, or texturized vegetable protein, which is really a dehydrated soybean product that has virtually no fat. Simply reconstitute the TVP with no-chicken broth and add the chorizo seasoning paste to it. Though the recipe may have a list of ingredients, it is truly simple.

Now, how did I get this recipe to be non-stimulating? It took me a few tries to figure it out, but to God be the glory! In this recipe, the star anise combined with the Monk’s pepper replaces the allspice in this recipe. The clove is replaced by the combination of cardamom and coriander. The cinnamon is also replaced with coriander. The fresh lime juice replaces the apple cider vinegar. Lastly, I only used chilies on the low end of the Scoville Heat Units. This recipe does not have the potency of the traditional recipe, but the flavor is still there while using seasonings that will not hurt your stomach. According to a description of the ancho chile from Savory Spice Shop, ancho chiles, also called poblanos when fresh, are “sweet and fruity with plum and raisin notes and low heat (1 on a scale of 1 to 10).” According to an article from One Green Planet, the heat units for this chile ranges between 1,000-1,500 Scoville heat units. The guajillo chilis are also at the milder end (around 2,500 Scoville heat units with the seeds removed). Now, there are plant-based store-brought versions of chorizo too, but just be sure to read ingredients to see if they are right for your family. Check out this short article by TitleMax, Peppers Ranked by Scoville Heat Units — Even those not concerned with health understand that hot peppers can KILL you!

I wrote all of this because some people will tell you absolutely no capsaicin should be in our foods. It’s true that the hotter the pepper, the more it should not be found in anyone’s diet. With that said, many use paprika which contains a small amount of capsaicin, but it is very low in Scoville heat units. [Here I should also tell you that for chili powder, paprika is a great substitute.] My leaning is that the mild peppers are fine. This is my understanding today. I’ve read all I can find on the subject and I cringe to be anywhere but the middle on this subject because the milder peppers have not been shown to be harmful or inflammatory. Now, this is your body. Inspiration relates that hot peppers are harmful. Choose wisely.

Now, without further ado…

Plant-based Chorizo


  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 cup no-chicken broth (store-bought/homemade)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Monk’s pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, dried
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 Tablespoon liquid aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise* (see note)
  • 6 guajillo chilies
  • 1 ancho chilie      
  • ¼ cup lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ¼ cup chili soaking water


  1. In a medium bowl, reconstitute TVP by pouring broth over it; and set aside.
  2. In a coffee grinder, grind anise and Monk’s pepper together and set aside.
  3. In a high-speed blender, add all the rest of ingredients and sift the grounded star anise powder into the rest of the ingredients. Blend, beginning on a low setting and increasing to high until a bright red paste forms.
  4. Pour over reconstituted TVP. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Use in whatever recipe you desire. HOWEVER, this is better if you wrap it up and use after 24 hours to let all of the flavors meld together.
  5. Makes two cups of chorizo. Freeze unused portions in pint-sized freezer bags.

NOTE: * If no anise, you may use a tiny tip of a toothpick amount powdered star anise (this stuff is strong and will overtake a dish, so use it very sparingly). I prefer to use star anise in this recipe, but decided to sub it with anise in this recipe because of the sheer potency of star anise to overtake a dish, which is not a very good thing. Anise is milder, but I still would not overuse. You’ve been WARNED!

ALSO NOTE: You may make the no-chicken broth with the powder version (see recipe). Just add about 1/2 teaspoon to 1 cup of water into a jar with a lid. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of liquid aminos too. Cover and shake hard until combined. Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking.

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