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Creamy Chorizo Pasta

This easy chorizo pasta is made primarily with pantry ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. Creamy and slightly spicy, it’s an indulgent and hearty dish perfect for busy weeknights!

A quick and convenient pasta dish always makes it onto our weekly dinner list and this is one of our all-time favorites. The easy sauce is made with spicy spanish chorizo, a can of fire roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika and a splash of cream to balance it all out. Add an optional sprinkle of parmesan for good measure and enjoy!

overhead view of pasta on plate with creamy tomato sauce, chorizo and parmesan

all about chorizo

This recipe calls for Spanish chorizo, which is generally fully cooked or semi-cured. Make sure to avoid Mexican chorizo, which is a seasoned and ground raw sausage.

Spanish chorizo is made with chopped pork and seasoned with paprika (where it gets its red color) and other spices. The flavor of chorizo can range from sweet and mild to quite spicy depending on the paprika used. While we tend to opt for a spicy chorizo for this recipe, any other type would work just as well.

Most Spanish-style chorizos can be eaten as-is without cooking, but in this recipe we crisp the chorizo slices up a bit to add extra flavor and texture to the sauce.

ingredients to make creamy chorizo pasta

ingredients and substitutions

  • Pasta: We opted for sauce-hugging rigatoni pasta for this recipe. Other tubular pastas, such as penne or paccheri, would also work well.
  • Olive oil: Add just a spoonful to the pan to help crisp up the chorizo.
  • Spanish chorizo: Can’t find chorizo? Any type of sliced sausage will work well in this recipe. I would recommend something slightly spicy, such as andouille sausage.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes: A can of fire roasted tomatoes is the secret pantry ingredient that gives this dish an incredible depth of flavor. If substituting regular canned tomatoes, we recommend adding a bit more smoked paprika or sauteing diced onion and garlic before making the sauce.
  • Smoked paprika: Smoked spanish paprika adds a bit of extra flavor. We like to use a hot smoked paprika, but a sweet smoked paprika would also go well in this sauce.
  • Heavy cream: A bit of heavy cream balances the acidity of the tomatoes and cuts through the heat of the chorizo. Half and half can also be used.
  • Parmesan: Grated parmesan is an optional addition for a delicious flavor boost.

make it your own!

Looking to make this dish into an entire meal? You can add some vegetables right to the pot! Baby spinach and kale are an easy addition and can be thrown in towards the end of the process — just cook until wilted. Sauteed bell peppers would also go well as part of the sauce.

 making the pasta

This simple pasta can be made in three easy steps:

  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente.
  2. Crisp up the chorizo in a skillet with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and heavy cream to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes and toss with the pasta and chorizo.

chorizo pasta: FAQs

What type of pasta works well in this recipe?

Any tubular ridged pasta will work well for this sauce. We tend to go with rigatoni or penne.

What type of chorizo should I use?

This recipe calls for Spanish chorizo (as opposed to Mexican chorizo, which is a highly-seasoned and ground raw sausage). Spanish chorizo is a sliceable sausage that is seasoned with paprika and other spices. It is generally fully cooked or semi-cured.

What can I use instead of fire roasted tomatoes?

If you can’t find fire roasted tomatoes you can substitute a can of diced or crushed tomatoes. To get that additional depth of flavor you can add extra smoked paprika to your sauce or saute diced onions and garlic as part of the dish.

close up of rigatoni pasta with spanish chorizo

For more easy weeknight dinner inspiration, make sure to check out these recipes!

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overhead view of pasta on plate with creamy tomato sauce, slices of chorizo and parmesan

creamy chorizo pasta

  • Author: Brittney
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 15 minutes
    • Category: dinner
    • Method: stovetop
    • Cuisine: spanish


  • 8 ounces (225 grams) rigatoni or penne pasta
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) spanish chorizo*, sliced
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (20 grams) parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • kosher salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chorizo until slightly crispy around the edges (about 3-5 minutes) and then set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika and heavy cream. Cook for 5 minutes or until reduced to your preference, stirring often.
  4. Stir in the parmesan if using and season with salt to taste.
  5. Return the chorizo to the pan and toss the pasta with the sauce.


Spanish chorizo: Make sure to use Spanish chorizo (which tends to be fully cooked) as opposed to Mexican chorizo (which is a seasoned and ground raw sausage).

Keywords: chorizo pasta, creamy chorizo pasta, pasta with chorizo

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