Quinoa chorizoI absolutely LOVE soy chorizo, especially the Trader Joe’s brand (which is made from non-GMO soybeans). It’s quick, spicy, and super versatile. However, lots of people don’t eat soy, and TVP (texturized vegetable protein) isn’t an “unprocessed” food. So I have been playing with the idea of using quinoa instead of TVP, making this both soy-free and unprocessed. It is Husband Tested and Approved!

This recipe requires a couple of steps, so it’s not super quick. However, it does make 3 cups of finished Quinrizo, which you can use in a variety of recipes or freeze for later. You have to make annatto-infused olive oil, which gives it that signature chorizo color and flavor. The other key ingredient is a chipotle chile canned in adobe sauce. Read the labels on these, which are found in the Mexican aisle of most large grocery stores. Some contain stuff you don’t want, like soybean oil (GMO) or wheat flour. The La Morena brand had the fewest ingredients of the three in my store. Since you only use one of these smoky, spicy peppers, I suggest freezing the rest on a sheet of waxed paper. After they are frozen, roll them up and pop them into a plastic bag or container; pull one out of the freezer when you need it.Freezing Chipotle Peppers

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
low-sodium, migraine diets

Quinoa chorizo

How to make soy-free vegan chorizo, aka Quinrizo

One of my coolest inventions! Soy-free vegan "chorizo", also known as quinrizo.
4.08 from 26 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Latin America, Mexican
Servings 6 servings of 1/2 cup



  • 1 cup quinoa red, tan, or mixed (180 g)
  • 1-3/4 cups vegetable stock (low-sodium) or filtered water
  • 1 tomatoes medium
  • 1/2 onions large, white, brown, yellow (or 1 small)
  • 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobe sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin (dried)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 3 tbsp annatto oil

Annatto oil

  • 1/4 cup annatto seeds
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin)



  • Rinse the quinoa and drain well. Add the quinoa and water or broth to a medium saucepan with a lid, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Let sit with the lid on at least 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Quinoa should be on the dry side.
  • Wash, core, and quarter the tomato, removing the seeds and goo inside. Add to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Cut the onion in half through the stem, then peel off the skin. Cut the onion into chunks and add to the food processor.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the food processor with the chipotle pepper, vinegar, and spices. Process until a fairly smooth mixture.
    Soy-free vegan chorizo in process
  • Add the cooked, fluffed quinoa to a large mixing bowl, then pour over the annatto oil and stir until completely coated. Add the mixture from the food processor and mix completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
    Uncooked vegan chorizo mixture
  • Heat 1 T. (15 ml) olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan or cast iron frying pan on medium heat, then add the mixture and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to keep it from sticking. Once cooked, you can use the mixture as chorizo in any recipe calling for it.

Annatto oil

  • Put the seeds in a heavy plastic zip bag, close the bag, and crush with a rolling pin. Add to the oil in a small saucepan. Warm the oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the oil into a clean glass jar using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in the refrigerator.
    Straining the annatto oil for vegan chorizo


Per serving:
  • 204 calories
  • 9 g fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 5 g monounsaturated fat
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 276 mg sodium
  • 247 mg potassium
  • 28 g carbohydrate
  • 5 g fiber
  • 4 g sugars
  • 5 g protein
  • 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus
You can use vegan chorizo to make...
Dirty rice
Cheesy pasta casserole with sausage and greens
Chorizo-potato-fennel hash
Potato, poblano and chorizo tacos
Cheesy chorizo waffles
Sausage and black-eyed pea hash
Mexican fried rice
Street tacos