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Chorizo Tacos bring a lively fusion of flavors and textures to your table. These aren't just any tacos, but a carefully crafted combination of lightly charred corn tortillas, spicy Mexican chorizo, tangy pineapple salsa, and a cooling crema. They're the ideal dish for spicing up a casual dinner or impressing guests at a gathering.
In just 30 minutes, you can create a meal that celebrates the rich street food traditions of Mexico. From the sizzle of chorizo to the tang of pineapple and refreshing crunch of red bell pepper in the salsa, every element of these tacos is a nod to authentic Mexican cuisine. The addition of the creamy Cilantro Lime Crema ties everything together. Whether it's Taco Tuesday or a weekend family feast, these tacos promise a flavorful adventure that's surprisingly simple to create.
Ingredients You Need to Make Chorizo Tacos
Pineapple Salsa Ingredients:
- Fresh Pineapple: Look for a ripe pineapple with a sweet aroma and firm texture.
- Red Bell Pepper: Choose bright and glossy peppers without wrinkles or blemishes.
- White Onion: Or yellow onion - either way, select a firm onion with tight, dry skin.
- Jalapeño: Pick smooth, unblemished jalapeños for a consistent heat level.
- Fresh Cilantro: Look for fresh, vibrant green leaves without any signs of wilting.
- Lime Juice: Use fresh lime for the brightest flavor.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Cilantro Lime Crema Ingredients:
- Sour Cream or Mexican Crema: Choose a full-fat version for the best flavor and texture.
- Lime: Look for limes that feel heavy for their size, they're the juiciest.
- Fresh Cilantro: As with the salsa, look for fresh, bright green leaves.
- Garlic: Select firm, plump garlic cloves without any green shoots.
- Kosher Salt
For the Tacos:
- Mexican Chorizo: Use fresh, raw chorizo sausages with the casings removed or bulk chorizo, and avoid pre-cooked versions.
- Tortillas: Corn tortillas preferred; select fresh tortillas free of tears or cracks.
- Lime: As with the crema above, choose juicy limes.
- Fresh Cilantro: Same guidance as above, bright green and fresh.
Mexican Chorizo vs. Spanish Chorizo
Though they're both flavorful sausages, Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo are significantly different in both taste and how they're made. Mexican chorizo is usually made with fresh ground pork and seasoned with a variety of spices, including chili peppers, which gives it a spicy and robust flavor. It's often sold raw and needs to be cooked before eating.
Spanish chorizo, on the other hand, is made from chopped pork and flavored with garlic and pimentón, a smoked paprika that gives it a deep red color and smoky flavor. It's often cured or smoked and can be sliced and eaten as is, without cooking.
- Choose the Right Chorizo: Since Mexican chorizo is the star of this dish, make sure to select fresh, raw Mexican chorizo. (Spanish chorizo will not work for this recipe because of its distinct flavor and texture - see explanation of the difference above.)
- Handle the Tortillas Carefully: When heating the corn tortillas, pay attention to the timing and heat. Overcooking can make them too crispy and likely to break when folded. A gentle char on each side adds flavor without compromising the texture.
- Adjust the Salsa to Your Taste: Tailor the pineapple salsa to the flavor you're after. If you enjoy more heat, leave some seeds in the jalapeño. If you prefer a tangier salsa, add a bit more lime juice. Taste as you go!
- Prepare the Crema Ahead of Time: Make the Cilantro Lime Crema a day in advance and store in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.
- Serve with Fresh Lime: Offering additional lime wedges on the side lets your guests add a zesty splash to their taco, enhancing the flavors even more.
- Explore Additional Toppings: Feel free to experiment with your favorite toppings. Shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, crumbled queso fresco, chunky Fire Roasted Salsa or even some roasted corn can add extra texture and flavor. Don't hesitate to get creative!
- If fresh pineapple is not available, use canned pineapple chunks, drained and diced.
- For even more smoky flavor,
- Swap red bell pepper with yellow or orange bell pepper for a slightly different flavor profile.
- Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream for a lighter version of the crema.
- Replace Corn tortillas with flour tortillas if you prefer.
How to Store and Reheat
Refrigerate any leftover chorizo, pineapple salsa, and cilantro lime crema separately in airtight containers. Store cooked chorizo for up to 3 days; salsa and crema for about a week.
To reheat the chorizo, place it in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until warmed through. It's best to use freshly cooked tortillas and assemble the tacos just before serving.
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How to Make Chorizo Tacos
Combine pineapple, red bell pepper, white onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside or refrigerate if making in advance.
Whisk sour cream, lime juice, zest, cilantro, and salt in a small bowl until smooth, then refrigerate.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chorizo, breaking it apart, until crisp. Remove from heat. In a hot, dry skillet, cook each corn tortilla for 30 seconds per side until lightly charred, and keep warm in aluminum foil.
Divide chorizo evenly among warm tortillas, add pineapple salsa, and drizzle with cilantro lime crema. Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve with lime wedges, if you like.
For Pineapple Salsa
- 1 ½ cups diced fresh pineapple
- ½ small red bell pepper finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely diced white onion
- ½ small jalapeño seeded and minced, (recipe note #1)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (recipe note #2)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice about ½ lime, or more for a tangier salsa
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For Cilantro Lime Crema
- ½ cup sour cream or Mexican crema
- ½ medium lime juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic ~½ clove
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound Mexican chorizo bulk raw chorizo or raw chorizo sausages with casing removed
- 8 corn tortillas
- lime wedges optional for serving
- finely chopped fresh cilantro optional for serving
To Make Pineapple Salsa
- Add first 6 ingredients to a medium bowl (mango through cilantro); stir to combine. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside or cover and refrigerate if making well in advance.1 ½ cups diced fresh pineapple, ½ small red bell pepper, ¼ cup finely diced white onion, ½ small jalapeño, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make Cilantro Lime Crema
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, lime juice and zest, cilantro and kosher salt until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.½ cup sour cream, ½ medium lime, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
To Make Chorizo Tacos
- Cook and stir chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through with crispy edges. Remove from heat.1 pound Mexican chorizo
- Meanwhile, place a large piece of aluminum foil near cooktop. Heat a heavy, dry skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add one corn tortilla; cook 30 seconds on each side until softened and lightly charred. Transfer to aluminum foil and fold around tortilla to keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas.8 corn tortillas
- Assemble Tacos: top one warm corn tortilla with ⅛ of the chorizo and spoon on desired amount of pineapple salsa. Drizzle with cilantro lime crema. Repeat with remaining tortillas, arranging on a serving platter as you go. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
- Wear gloves when cutting raw jalapeños as the juice can be very irritating to skin.
- You'll need ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for optional garnish). Chop it all at once and divide for the separate recipe steps.
- If you want lime wedges, you'll need an additional lime.