Tofu Chorizo

Tofu chorizo pairs nicely with beans and peppers in a stir-fry, but also makes a delicious filling for tacos or burritos. Basically, you can use it anywhere you use taco meat. Top with the usual stuff: tomatoes, onions, cheese or “cheez,” cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, or whatever you prefer. 

Tofu Chorizo

There are many other tofu chorizo recipes out there nowadays, and some commercial tofu chorizo crumbles, but I’ve always loved this recipe, which dates from about 2000. I did some cyber-sleuthing and I think the original comes from a cookbook called The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay. I clipped the recipe from about 20 years ago and tried to find a link, but the site no longer exists. The original recipe is quite spicy, so I adapted it to adjust the spice.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Draining Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Supper
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Tofu
Servings: 3 cups


  • Food processor or high-powered blender


  • 3 large dried ancho chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika, or regular if you don't have smoked
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 pound  extra firm tofu, pressed to remove some moisture  See Notes, below.


  • This first step is optional. Skip it or cut back the volume of chilies if you don’t like things too spicy. Wearing gloves, tear chilies apart with your hands and discard the stems and seeds. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add chilies and toast for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through. They may lighten in colour and blister. Turn on your stove fan or open some windows because the fumes can be very strong. Let cool a bit. 
  • Transfer chili pieces, if using, to a food processor or blender. Add garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin seed, salt, fennel seed, cloves, cinnamon, and chili flakes (also optional if you are using the ancho chilies). Puree until the chilies are finely chopped, or, if not using, until everything is well mixed. 
  • Add peanut butter, vinegar, and ¼ cup (60 mL) stock. Puree, gradually adding the remaining stock, until smooth. 
  • Transfer this mixture to a large, dry, heavy-bottomed skillet. Crumble in the tofu. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until it has dried out completely. You want to achieve a crumbly texture. This should take about 30 minutes. You will need to scrape the pan frequently to prevent burning, especially toward the end of the cooking time.
  • Serve immediately or let it cool and refrigerate for a few days. You can also freeze the tofu chorizo but it may change texture when you thaw it. 


  • Extra-firm tofu doesn’t contain a ton of moisture, as opposed to medium or even some firm varieties,  but I find you need it as dry as possible for this recipe. To press the tofu, remove it from the package and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a baking dish or on a plate and top with a piece of plastic wrap. Top with a plate and weigh it down with a couple of cans or a heavy bowl. Let sit for 30-45 minutes to draw out any moisture.

Image of chilies by Evgeniy Zotov |

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