Chorizo vs. Pepperoni — Ingredients, Nutrition, Health, & More
Pepperoni has 8g more total fats, more saturated fats, and cholesterol, whereas chorizo has 5g more proteins. Both are very low in carbs and fit into low-carb diets.
Chorizo is relatively richer in B complex vitamins, predominantly B12 and B1. Chorizo is also richer in iron, potassium, and zinc and lower in sodium. On the other hand, pepperoni contains more vitamins E and K, manganese, selenium, copper, and calcium.
Table of contents
In this article, we will compare and discuss the main differences in the nutrition, preparation, uses, and taste of chorizo and pepperoni.
Pepperoni is a type of salami of American-Italian origin, similar to Italian sausage and soppressata. Chorizo is a fermented, cured, and smoked sausage with the country of origin being the Iberian Peninsula or Iberia.
The two major types of chorizo sausage are Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo, which have subtypes. Other chorizo types are Argentinian, Colombian, British, and Portuguese, all with different ingredients, thus varying taste and flavor.
Different types of pepperoni include flat-laid, cubed, stick, chup char, plant-based, gluten-free, beef, turkey, pork, venison, halal, kosher, and low sodium.
Pepperoni is made from pork or a meat mixture of pork and beef, seasoned with red pepper, usually paprika or cayenne pepper. During the production, salt and sodium nitrate are added as curing agents to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms.
In comparison, chorizo is a type of smoked and cured pork sausage. Spanish chorizo is commonly seasoned with Spanish paprika and garlic, whereas Mexican chorizo contains chili peppers instead of smoked paprika, as well as cumin, oregano, and other spices.
Both can be used in various dishes. Pepperoni and chorizo can be sliced and used in sandwiches, salads, soups, and pizza toppings.
Chorizo can be partially used as a replacement for ground beef or pork. Pepperoni can also be used to fill the pepperoni roll. Cured meats like pepperoni make a great starting point for homemade pasta sauces.
Pepperoni is a loved American food staple. In the US, it is most commonly used to make pepperoni pizza from pepperoni slices, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Pepperoni pizza is usually larger in diameter than chorizo pizza.
Chorizo is more complex than pepperoni as it has different versions. However, Spanish chorizo is the most similar to pepperoni. You can sometimes use them interchangeably as they use pork and similar spices and chilies. The pepperoni pizza and chorizo pizza have similar recipes; moreover, they can be used together in pepperoni-chorizo pizza.
This section compares 100g of chorizo made from pork and pepperoni from pork and beef. This article considers the nutritional values provided by FDA, keeping in mind that differently prepared sausages vary in nutrition.
To visually understand the differences in the nutrition of pepperoni and chorizo, we created a nutrition infographic, have a look below.
Nealy 70% of pepperoni and chorizo are nutrients, whereas the rest is water.
When comparing the macronutrients, pepperoni has more total fats and cholesterol, whereas chorizo has more proteins and slightly more carbohydrates.
Meat is generally absent in carbs; however, due to the sausage seasonings, both have small amounts of carbs: less than 2g per 100g serving.
Pepperoni is higher in calories compared to chorizo. A 100g of pepperoni provides 504 calories, whereas chorizo provides 455.
Chorizo is almost 5g higher in proteins: chorizo contains 24g of proteins, whereas pepperoni contains 18.25g.
The sausages are high in fats, with pepperoni containing 8g more total fats, more saturated fats, and cholesterol per 100g serving.
Pepperoni contains 17.7g of saturated fats, 20.8g of monounsaturated fats, and 4.5g of polyunsaturated fats. Meanwhile, chorizo contains 14.4g of saturated fats, 18.4g of monounsaturated fats, and 3.5g of polyunsaturated fats.
Fat Type Comparison
A 100g of chorizo and pepperoni contain 88mg and 97mg of cholesterol, respectively. According to the Food and Drug Administration, daily cholesterol intake should not exceed 300g (1).
Chorizo is higher in iron, potassium, and zinc and lower in sodium. In comparison, pepperoni is higher in manganese, selenium, copper, and calcium.
They are equal in magnesium and phosphorus contents. Generally, both are low in magnesium and calcium; chorizo is also low in manganese, unlike pepperoni.
A 100g of chorizo and pepperoni contains 1235mg and 1582mg of sodium, respectively. The daily sodium intake should not exceed 2300mg, as regular high sodium intake is a major risk factor for developing high blood pressure (2).
Chorizo contains significantly higher concentrations of vitamins B1 and B12 than pepperoni, making it an excellent source for those with vitamin deficiencies. It is also higher in vitamins B2, B5, B6, and vitamin D.
On the other hand, pepperoni is higher in vitamins E and K, which are nearly absent in chorizo.
Both chorizo and pepperoni are very low in folate and contain no vitamins A and C.
Overall, the glycemic index of a food is a value based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Due to their low carb and high contents, the glycemic index of chorizo and pepperoni is low, and both are considered low glycemic index foods.
The acidity of foods is portrayed by the potential renal acid load (PRAL), which shows the acid production of the food inside the organism. The acidity level of pepperoni is about 8.8, while chorizo's is 8.4. Both are acidic.
Diets & Health Impact
Ketogenic (Keto) Diet
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb and high-fat diet. It is good to have meat, including fatty meat such as pork belly, lamb, and poultry, if you are on this diet. Pepperoni contains fewer carbs than chorizo and has a higher fat level. If you're on this diet, eating pepperoni and chorizo is not an issue, but in any case, try to combine it with healthy fats.
The Dukan diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. This diet allows eating meat, including pork, beef, lamb, and any other red meat. Pork is allowed in the Attack Phase when you can eat only protein. In this case, pepperoni and chorizo are allowed in this diet.
Pepperoni and chorizo are rich in B vitamins. According to studies, your body needs B vitamins to provide energy for the proper functioning of your brain, nerves, muscles, skin, and every cell in your body. It also helps decrease the risk of cardiovascular, liver, immune, nervous, and digestive diseases (3, 4, 5).
Pepperoni and chorizo are also good sources of Vitamin B3 (niacin), which may help lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels (6).
Pepperoni and chorizo are highly processed and contain high amounts of sodium and saturated fats, increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome, colorectal and breast cancer, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and all-cause mortality (7, 8, 9, 10).
People with acid reflux and gastritis must avoid sausage consumption until treated, as sausages have a high-fat content, slowing stomach emptying and triggering heartburn.
Overall, two reasons cause allergies to pepperoni and chorizo. One is an allergy to red meat, and the other is an allergy to one of their ingredients.
Red Meat Allergy
Red meat allergy is common in some parts of the world, including any age group and race. Most of these cases relate to specific IgE to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal), an oligosaccharide of non-primate mammals. People can have this allergy if they are sensitive to cat serum albumin that cross-reacts with albumin in pork. Symptoms are most common, including urticaria, vomiting, and stomach cramps, in rare cases, anaphylaxis (11).
Paprikas are a spice made of a combination of dried peppers, including both sweet and hot peppers. Common symptoms include wheezing, hives, dizziness, and swelling of the throat (12). Paprika allergy symptoms are rare, but severe paprika allergies can result in anaphylaxis, so it is essential to get tested if you typically have food allergies.
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar||Equal|
|Lower in Glycemic Index||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Omega-3 - DHA||0g||0.004g|
|Omega-3 - EPA||0g||0.004g|
|Omega-3 - DPA||0g||0.02g|
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0.136g|
|Omega-6 - Linoleic acid||3.605g|
|Omega-6 - Gamma-linoleic acid||0.002g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.164g|
|Omega-3 - Eicosatrienoic acid||0.018g|
|Omega-6 - Dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid||0.04g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet||Equal|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Chorizo - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173859/nutrients
- Pepperoni - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174575/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.