When you’re in the mood for hearty, comfort food like Chorizo Chili, look no further than this easy recipe. It’s loaded with spicy chorizo sausage, smoky roasted poblano peppers (or Anaheim peppers), tender pinto beans and sweet corn.
It’s so thick, your spoon will stand up in it! Then it's piled high with cheddar cheese, fresh tomato and avocado, sour cream, cilantro (and maybe a squeeze of fresh lime juice): the ultimate bowl of chili.
What makes this recipe so simple.
When you read this recipe, your first thought may be that it's too simple - you'll need very little prep time. You might expect the recipe to begin with a large onion and other aromatics and spices like oregano and cumin. Instead this recipe depends on great quality chorizo sausage, smoked paprika, and chili powder - simple ingredients that come together to make a knock-out chili!
A lot of chili recipes are too tangy for me, more about the tomatoes than the other ingredients. This is the opposite. There are tomatoes, but instead of using diced tomatoes (which can have calcium chloride to help them hold their shape, but can also make them tough), tomato sauce or tomato paste, these are crushed and fire roasted, adding a sultry smokiness instead of tang. Mexican chorizo, creamy beans and sweet corn are the stand-out flavors.
How to Roast Peppers (optional)
I mentioned that there is very little prep, but there are a couple of things you can do to make this chili even better with very little effort: roast your own peppers and cook your own dry beans.
You can buy canned, roasted green chilies, but for the best flavor and texture roast your own. It's as simple as arranging whole Anaheim or Poblano peppers on a baking sheet and roasting until they are tender and blistered. Then let them steam for a few minutes in a covered bowl. They'll be a cinch to peel and worth the effort.
How to Cook Dry Beans (optional)
I also recommend cooking your own pinto beans in lieu of canned beans (you can also use kidney beans or black beans if you prefer). The texture and flavor of home-cooked beans is far superior to canned and they’re simple to make. (I make them in a slow cooker using the salt soak method as I do in my Slow Cooker Pinto Beans, Tuscan White Bean Soup, White Chicken Chili, and White Bean Turkey Chili - and they freeze beautifully.)
The method is simple: soak dry beans overnight in a ratio of 1 pound of dry beans to 6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of fine sea salt. The next day, give them a quick rinse and cover them by 1-inch in a slow cooker. Then cook on low until tender, creamy and flavorful. The idea that salt soaking causes beans to be tough is a myth - try this method once and you'll be a believer!
A Note on Chorizo
Take care when choosing your chorizo as it will be the primary flavor in this chili. And if you can't find bulk Mexican chorizo, buy it in sausage form and remove the casings. Just make sure that the meat is raw. Also note that the heat of your chorizo will determine how spicy your chili is, so choose it with care. And if you want to add some heat, sliced jalapeños or a few dashes of chipotle sauce are great choices.
How to Make Chorizo Chili
Step 1: Roast Anaheim or Poblano peppers until charred. Cover and let steam 15 minutes, then peel, seed, and chop.
Step 2: Brown chorizo sausage, then add beans, crushed tomatoes, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Stir and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 3: Add roasted peppers and corn; stir until heated through. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings.
- 6 poblano peppers or Anaheim peppers
- 1 pound ground Mexican chorizo sausage uncooked (recipe note #1)
- 2 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes ideally fire roasted
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans or 2 15-ounce cans, drained
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn or fresh corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- sour cream
- diced avocado
- diced fresh tomato
- chopped fresh cilantro
- thinly sliced jalapeño
- chipotle hot pepper sauce
- lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees °F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the whole poblano peppers in a single layer.
- Roast peppers until skin is dark and crinkled, 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven; transfer to bowl and cover. Let steam 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove stems, skin and seeds. Coarsely chop. (recipe note #2)
- In the meantime, heat a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add chorizo, using a spoon to break it up; cook and stir until lightly browned (add a little olive oil if your chorizo is very lean).
- Stir in pinto beans, tomatoes with juice, chili powder and paprika. Stir and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I typically don't need to add more seasoning.)
- Stir in roasted peppers and corn; cook and stir until heated through.
- Serve piled high with your favorite toppings.
- If you can't find bulk Mexican chorizo sausage, look for raw chorizo sausages and remove the casing.
- The easiest way to chop the skinned and seeded roasted peppers is to pile them in a stack then chop into bite size pieces. (see video for a visual tutorial)
- Note that nutrition facts do not include toppings.