Grilled chicken. Seared pork chops. Baked salmon. Repeat. If your dinner rotation is starting to feel redundant, we have just the protein to zap you out of your recipe rut. Meet chorizo, a type of pork sausage that hails from the Iberian Peninsula. Parts of the pig that are commonly used to make chorizo include the shoulder, jowl, loin and belly, as well as pork fat. While chorizo is eaten fermented, cured and smoked in Spain (and other parts of Europe), chorizo fresco (aka fresh chorizo that needs to be cooked before it’s consumed) is most popular in Mexico. It’s often served with eggs, refried beans, queso fundido and seafood, and it’s also a main ingredient in choripán, a grilled chorizo sandwich eaten throughout Central and South America. But there are endless ways to use it in the kitchen. Read on for 42 chorizo recipe ideas that are spicy, tasty and unexpected.

RELATED: 19 Dinner Ideas That Start with Store-Bought Sausage

1. Weeknight Skillet Paella

We know, we know: Pulling this Spanish classic off in one hour sounds impossible. But we limited the seafood to shrimp and littleneck clams to speed things along.

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2. Waffle Breakfast Sandwich with Chorizo

Never choose between eggs and waffles again. Did we mention the waffles are loaded with buttermilk and cheddar cheese?

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3. Tater Tot Nachos

Ground chorizo > ground beef—it’s just a fact. This 30-minute masterpiece is piled high with two types of cheese, scallions, salsa verde and sour cream to boot.

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4. Chorizo-Spiced Delicata Squash

For vegetarians who want all the flavor of chorizo, minus the meat. Keep it plant-based with a zesty spice mix made with guajillo and ancho chiles, or just use fresh chorizo instead.

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5. Spanish Tapas Board

Cured chorizo is in good company on this charcuterie board. We’re talking Ibérico ham, Serrano ham, manzanilla olives, Manchego cheese, heirloom pan con tomate and patatas bravas with saffron aioli.

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6. Skillet Eggs and Chorizo

This one-pan wonder will leave you with minimal dishes and maximum deliciousness. It’s finished with feta cheese for a tangy, creamy finishing touch.

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7. Vegan Chili ‘Cheese’ Dip

Yup, plant-based chorizo is a thing. And it’s the ultimate crowning glory to top a skillet of vegan cheese sauce made from raw cashews and almond milk.

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8. Sausage Pasta Bake with Chorizo and Brie

If earthy Brie isn’t your fave, feel free to substitute mozzarella, Manchego, feta or queso fresco.

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9. Spicy Chorizo Jambalaya with Sweet Potato Rice

All you need to make your own sweet potato rice is a box grater, but this NOLA classic will taste just as good with regular rice.

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10. Simple Chorizo Hash and Eggs with Smoked Paprika Mayo

There’s a special ingredient in the paprika mayonnaise that makes it spicy and zingy: pickled jalapeño brine. You’ll want to slather it on every sandwich you ever make. Trust.

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11. Mini Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherd’s Pie

Whether you serve these autumn-inspired cuties at St. Patrick’s Day or Thanksgiving, they’re bound to be a hit.

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12. Chorizo Molotes

Molotes are a fried Mexican snack that’s sometimes served as an appetizer. The corn-based dough can be stuffed with anything from black beans to cheese, but we’re partial to chorizo and potatoes. Pass the creamy avocado sauce, please.

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13. Spanish Chorizo Spaghetti Carbonara

A heaping bowl of comfort is only six ingredients away. Cured chorizo takes over for traditional pancetta while Manchego cheese holds down the fort for Pecorino Romano.

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14. Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

Face it: You’ve been making the same Thanksgiving menu for the last decade. Mix things up with a jalapeño-studded cornbread base and spicy fresh chorizo.

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15. Sheet-Pan Chorizo and Egg Bake

Eggs, chorizo and canned kidney beans pack this breakfast dish with protein, so you’ll stay stuffed until lunchtime.

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16. Chorizo and Peppadew Pepper Grilled Cheese

This sammy is stuffed with Gran Queso, a cow’s milk cheese with a signature basket-weave rind. Its rich, full flavor is similar to Manchego, so go ahead and swap it in if that’s all you can find.

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17. Easy Chorizo Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans

Dinner will be on the table in 20 and the taco filling only calls for three ingredients. Win-win. We’ll bring the toppings, like pickled onions, avocado and crema—you bring the margaritas.

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18. Cotija Guacamole and Chorizo Eggs Benedict

Complete with honey-chipotle lime sauce. (Psst: The fruit salsa, made with mango, pineapple, strawberries and rhubarb, can make a second brunch appearance in a pitcher of sangria.)

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19. Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth

This classy appetizer is prime for any alfresco soirée. Serve the clams family-style on their own or spoon them atop angel hair pasta.

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20. Shrimp, Chorizo and Corn Saffron Zucchini Pasta

If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a Y-shaped peeler to turn the zucchini into ribbons (or save time by opting for store-bought zoodles instead).

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21. Chicken, Chorizo and Prawn Jambalaya

Our favorite thing about this crowd-pleaser is that it comes together in a single skillet, so you can spend as little time washing dishes as possible.

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22. Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo and Caramelized Apples

Spicy, sweet, savory, cheesy—this fall soup has it all. Bonus points for serving it in hulled-out mini pumpkins.

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23. Chorizo Breakfast Skillet

Creamy chorizo filling made with cream, spinach and onions sounds scrumptious enough, but the homemade oregano biscuits take it way over the top.

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24. Easy Vegan Chorizo

Who knew tofu could do all this? Use the “meat” in burritos, quesadillas, sandwiches, pastas, guacamole or queso dip.

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25. 20-Minute Couscous with Shrimp and Chorizo

This Moroccan-Spanish fusion dish is packed with warm spices, like turmeric and cumin, as well as fresh herbs and jalapeño peppers.

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26. Chorizo Bites in Sweet & Spicy Sauce

These toothpick-able cuties only take 17 minutes to prepare. Pineapple juice offers a punch of acidity to the brown sugar-ketchup glaze.

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27. Queso Fundido Taquitos

We’re used to dunking chips in this famous cheese dip but stuffing it into crispy rolled corn tortillas works for us, too.

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28. Chorizo and Fried Egg Breakfast Tacos

Think crispy potatoes, chorizo, chives and queso fresco nestled on charred corn tortillas. All that’s missing is a few dashes of hot sauce and a mimosa.

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29. Chorizo, Tomato and Charred Corn Salad

Hello, summer. Bust out the grill pan to char the corn to perfection indoors during the off-season.

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30. Sheet-Pan Clam Bake

Bring on the fresh garlic, melted butter and Old Bay seasoning for this mélange of seafood. Think mussels, littleneck clams, shrimp and dried chorizo.

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31. Soft Scrambled Eggs and Spicy Chorizo Breakfast Nachos

A mess of loaded tortilla chips first thing in the morning? Don’t mind if we do. Use any shredded cheese you have on hand (though you can’t go wrong with a mix of cheddar, Monterey Jack and mozzarella).

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32. Pig Out Salsa

Use it to top flatbreads, salmon, chicken, pasta or salads—it’ll taste spicy, fresh and filling regardless.

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33. Chorizo and Polenta Lasagna

Instead of using fresh chorizo, the recipe calls for ground pork and a boatload of spices. Use the real deal if you can find it or lean on this clever substitute if not.

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34. Chorizo Risotto with Kale

Swimming in spicy, creamy tomato broth. Can you believe this bold arborio rice dish comes to completion in less than 30 minutes?

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35. Chorizo Mac and Cheese

It’s both more flavorful and exciting an addition than bacon. All the Tex-Mex ingredients (bell peppers! corn! black beans!) will also keep your tastebuds on their toes.

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36. Spanish Seafood Stew with Chorizo and Chickpeas

Bury us in saffron-infused basmati rice. Use any white fish you’d like: Halibut, haddock, sea bass and cod are all solid choices.

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37. Pineapple Chorizo Rice Bowls with Avocado and Chipotle Cream

FYI, canned chipotle peppers in adobo are great to have in your pantry 24/7. Just a couple can add spicy, smoky flavor to everything from crema to a chicken marinade.

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38. Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo and Toasted Breadcrumbs

We’re betting this crisp, tender veggie side would taste even better served with stuffing, cranberry sauce and Thanksgiving turkey.

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39. Chorizo Grilled Cheese with Chipotle Mayo

Don’t look now, but we’re whipping up a double batch of the spicy, citrusy mayo to slather on sandwiches, quesadillas, eggs and beyond.

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40. Cheesy Fontina, Caramelized Onion, Chorizo, Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

Go ahead and substitute store-bought pizza dough for homemade—we won’t tell. Bonus points for grilling the pizza to perfection instead of baking it.

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41. Chorizo Pinto Beans

They’re positively soul-warming, whether you cook them in the Crockpot or Dutch oven. Serve the beans with plenty of white rice and crusty bread.

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42. Spicy Beer Queso with Chorizo and Black Beans

A vat of molten white cheddar cheese spiked with chorizo, black beans and peppers is our happy place. Excuse us while we dive in face-first.

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RELATED: 39 Ways to Cook Pork When You Need Dinner Inspiration

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