How To Cook With Soy Chorizo

If you're vegan or trying to incorporate more vegan meals into your diet, there are plenty of plant-based options at grocery stores nowadays. Next to the selections of beef patties, chicken tenders, and pork sausages, you can typically find its plant-based alternatives. From Impossible Burger to Beyond Meat, the plant-based industry is booming. In fact, the industry is expected to grow 20% annually through 2030 (via Grand View Research).

A meat alternative that has been gaining immense popularity lately is the soy chorizo, also sometimes referred to as "soyrizo," according to Greengos Cantina. Soy chorizo is a plant-based meat alternative meant to replicate Mexican-style chorizo, a chili and vinegar-seasoned, spicy pork sausage dish, per MasterClass.

 Mexican chorizo is made from fresh ground pork, explains Food Network, and its reputation for its versatility has garnered several plant-based recreations. Trader Joe's version, in particular, has won the grocery store's Consumer Choice Award and was inducted into VegNews' Hall of Fame. Like most plant-based meat, soy chorizo requires cooking methods that differ from its traditional counterpart.

Soy chorizo needs minimal cooking time

Unlike regular Mexican chorizo, Greengos Cantina claims that soy chorizo only needs minimal cooking time. However, that doesn't mean you should undercook it. You want to cook soy chorizo in a skillet for five to 10 minutes over medium to high heat until it's evenly browned. To be extra cautious, cook the chorizo until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Like traditional chorizo, soy chorizo is adaptable and can be incorporated into nearly any dish. Chorizo can be swapped into any dishes that typically use meat. It can be used in traditional Mexican fares, such as tacos, chorizo chill, or chorizo con papas — chorizo with potatoes –, per MasterClass. You can top soy chorizo crumbs onto Tex-Mex dishes, such as nachos and queso dips. Soy chorizo can also be added to breakfast fares, such as breakfast tacos and burritos (via Trader Joe's). When it comes to cooking soy chorizo, the options are plentiful.

Soy chorizo's popularity stems from several reasons

While there are many plant-based chorizos to select from, one ingredient is central — soy. El Burrito claims to be the pioneer in soy chorizo and even coined the term "soyrizo" in 1992, according to its website. Since then, many soy chorizo options are now available on the market, including Frieda's and Trader Joe's own soy chorizo products. Even Chipotle joined in on the soy chorizo craze by briefly offering a plant-based chorizo option last year.

Like typical Mexican-style chorizo, soy chorizo is seasoned with seasonings, such as paprika, vinegar, red pepper, and garlic powder. Soy chorizos are popular for their high nutritional value, as they're typically gluten-free and contain no cholesterol. Trader Joe's claims its soy chorizo has 60% less fat than regular chorizo. Soy chorizo also has a longer shelf life compared to traditional pork chorizo. Its ingredients, specifically oil and spices, prevent the sausage from oxidizing (via Greengos Cantina). So if there's one plant-based meal you want to try, soy chorizo certainly won't disappoint.