This tasty Spanish chorizo sandwich is packed with bright colors and flavors, with arugula, piquillo peppers and manchego cheese. It's quick to make and thoroughly delicious. A perfect quick lunch!
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My husband and I have been making variations on this sandwich for a number of years. In London, we would always have the basic ingredients on hand (even if we might sometimes skip the peppers or switch out the cheese).
I think it's partly due to my time in Spain and affinity for Spanish cooking (in case some of the many recipes here like Catalan fish stew, Spanish chickpeas and spinach, simple Spanish tapas romesco sauce and patatas bravas didn't give it away, to name a few). But also, this is just so easy and delicious.
While this isn't exactly a truly authentic Spanish sandwich, sandwiches - bocadillos - are something you will find available a lot in Spain. They tend to be relatively simple, such as slices of Spanish tortilla or ham in a baguette-like roll. Greens are less common. But the flavors here work so well together, and it's still really quick and easy.
Spanish versus Mexican chorizo
It can be a little confusing when it comes to cooking (not to mention some other things) that Castillian Spanish (ie from Spain) and Mexican Spanish can use the same word but mean different things. In many cases, it is an idea taken from one country to the other and adapted locally. Chorizo is a perfect example.
Both are typically pork and have a red color to them due to the seasoning, but that's about where it ends. Mexican is nearly always fresh and uses ground meat while Spanish is more often cured and the meat is chopped. The color and flavor in the Spanish sausage comes from smoked paprika (pimentón) and often garlic while Mexican uses chili and vinegar.
What type of chorizo and cheese are best?
It won't matter if you use a spicy chorizo or mild chorizo for this - use whichever you prefer. However it is worth slicing a whole sausage rather than using ready-sliced. Pre-sliced pieces are generally too thin to crisp up in the pan properly. Also I'd recommend a firmer, cured or semi-cured rather than cooking chorizo as you are just gently rendering and crisping rather than giving it a longer cook.
On cheese, I'd recommend you use a good, fairly robust-flavored hard cheese. To be as Spanish as possible, go for a Manchego or other good Spanish sheep's milk cheese. But I have also made this with a smoked cheddar or aged cheddar and it was equally tasty.
I have given quantities that roughly work together, but realistically the amount of each will depend on the size of the bread you use and will be a little to taste. It's a good excuse to make it again to get it more to your taste if you think you need to change the proportions!
It might seem a bit odd to use the oil from the pan in the sandwich, but it has such a great flavor, it would be wrong to waste it. And if you don't like the idea of adding fat, just think you would have been eating it anyway if you hadn't rendered it from the chorizo in the first place. Once you start eating, you'll soon forget.
The flavors and textures in this Spanish chorizo sandwich go so well together that each bite is a delicious mix. The chorizo is nicely crisp, the arugula/rocket crunchy, the cheese smooth and the piquillo peppers gently squidgy (in a good way). Give it a try and it will become one of your favorites too.
Try these other tasty sandwiches:
- Caprese focaccia sandwich
- Danish smørrebrød, open sandwiches
- Eggplant spinach grilled cheese sandwich
- "Jamin' Jamaican" chicken grilled cheese (with a quick mango jam and jerk spices)
- Seared tuna sandwich with Asian slaw
- Plus get more lunch recipes in the archives.
Spanish chorizo sandwich
- 6 slices Spanish chorizo approx
- 1 roasted piquillo pepper (jarred)
- 1 bread roll (see notes)
- 1 oz manchego cheese 30g, approx, or other flavorful hard cheese
- 1 handful arugula rocket
- Warm a small skillet/frying pan over a medium heat but don't add in any oil.
- Cut the piquillo peppers into slices, slice the cheese and open the bread roll through the middle.
- Place the chorizo slices in the pan and allow to crisp and brown slightly for around a minute or two then turn over. Cook on the other side another minute until crisp.
- Remove the chorizo from the pan but don't throw away the oil that has rendered. Carefully pour some or all of the chorizo oil into the inside of the bread - you can rub the inside of the bread right in the pan if there's not too much oil and it fits.
- Put a handful of arugula/rocket in each pitta then layer the piquillo pepper slices on top in each, followed by the cheese and chorizo slices.
- Serve and enjoy.
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This recipe was originally shared in February 2015 and has been updated, primarily with new photos and additional information.