Sofritas (Chipotle Copycat)
This homemade sofritas recipe is even better than Chipotle! Crumbled tofu is simmered in a smoky, spicy sofrito sauce for the perfect protein for adding to burritos, tacos, and Tex-Mex salads!
So many fast-casual restaurant chains seem to forget that vegans exist, but Chipotle is one of those glorious places that provides plenty of plant-based options. If you can’t get enough of their vegan sofritas, you’ll be happy to know that it’s easy to make at home.
And, not to toot my own horn, but this homemade sofritas recipe is even better than the original!
To develop this recipe, I investigated the ingredients listed on Chipotle’s website, figured out how to translate them to a smaller batch, and experimented with the sauce that brings it all together: sofrito.
What Is Sofrito?
Sofrito is an aromatic sauce made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers that’s popular in Spanish and Latin American cuisine. It can be used as a cooking base or as a condiment, and it’s what gives Chipotle sofritas its unique flavour.
You can buy jars of sofrito at many grocery stores, but if you’re making it yourself, you simply puree the ingredients in a blender, then cook it. If you’re used to cooking sauce ingredients and then pureeing them, this might seem contrary to everything you know about cooking, but it works!
The flavour of sofrito will vary depending on how long you cook it; you’ll get a fresh, garden salsa type of flavour with a shorter cooking time, and more depth if you let it simmer and thicken.
Notes on Ingredients
Please note that this is important information on the ingredients and instructions and the FULL recipe with amounts and details can be found DOWN BELOW (scroll to it) in the recipe card.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion – A white onion will work, too.
- Extra-firm tofu – Press it for 30 minutes, then crumble it.
- Red bell pepper
- Roma tomatoes
- Vegetable broth – Use store-bought or homemade vegetable broth.
- Canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – You’ll need both sauce and peppers.
- Tomato paste
- Red wine vinegar
- Brown sugar – You can reduce the brown sugar or add more if you want more of a sweet-and-smoky flavour. Do add at least a pinch, though, because it cuts the acidity of the fresh tomatoes.
- Dried oregano
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika
- Sea salt
What Is Chipotle in Adobo?
Chipotle in adobo is a smoked, dried jalapeño that’s been rehydrated and canned in a vinegary tomato sauce. It adds both heat and smoky flavour to dishes, and you can add as much or as little as you like to your sofritas.
How to Make Vegan Sofritas
Ready to make your own sofritas at home? Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Sauté the aromatics. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until they’re translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
Cook the tofu. Add the crumbled tofu to the skillet, along with a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the tofu is lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the tofu mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan.
Make the sofrito. Combine the bell pepper, tomatoes, vegetable broth, chipotle pepper and sauce, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, sugar, oregano, cumin, and paprika in a blender. Process until almost smooth, but not quite—some small bits of veggies will add texture to the sofritas.
Cook the sofrito. Pour the sofrito into the skillet and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and no longer tastes like raw tomato.
Finish. Add the tofu to the skillet with the sofrito. Stir to coat, then continue to heat on low for 5 minutes to let the flavours meld. Season with salt to taste, then serve.
Ideas for Using Sofritas
Any way you’d use beans or (faux) taco meat, you can use your sofritas. Here are some of my favourite ways to eat them.
- Stuffed into a burrito with rice, fajita veggies, lettuce, guacamole, and salsa
- Folded into tacos with lettuce and cashew cream
- As a topping for a vegan taco salad or burrito bowl
- Served over nachos with all the fixings
- Sprinkled over vegan pizza crust with salsa and plant-based pepper jack for a taco pizza
Tips for Success
These pointers will help you make perfect vegan tofu sofritas!
- Press the tofu to get all the liquid out. This will improve its texture and its ability to absorb the flavours of the sauce. (Learn more: How To Cook Tofu 101 + Best Tips on Making the Most Delicious Tofu)
- Crumble the tofu as big or as small as you like. Chipotle sofritas are crumbled very small, but when you make it yourself, you can change that! Bigger crumbles are great for tacos.
- Use extra-firm tofu for the chewiest texture. While Chipotle uses firm tofu in its sofritas, I tested this recipe with both firm and extra-firm tofu and preferred extra-firm.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover sofritas will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can reheat your sofritas in the microwave or in a skillet set over medium heat.
Can You Freeze This Recipe?
Sofritas freeze well for up to 3 months, so feel free to make a double batch and save some for later. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat them on the stove or in the microwave.
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan sofritas recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Sofritas (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 16-ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes and crumbled
- 1 medium red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
- 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 2 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon canned adobo sauce, from the can of chipotle peppers
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- sea salt to taste
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add in the onions and saute for about 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the crumbled tofu with a generous pinch of salt, and cook, stirring often, until the tofu is lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked tofu mix to a bowl and clean out the pan.
- Place the red bell pepper, tomatoes, water or stock, chipotle pepper and sauce,
- tomato paste, red wine vinegar, sugar, oregano, cumin, and paprika in a blender. Process until almost smooth—a few small bits of tomatoes will add texture to the sofritas.
- Return the skillet to the stovetop and pour in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and no longer tastes like raw tomato.
- Add the tofu to the skillet with the sauce; stir to coat, and heat on low for 5 minutes to let the flavours meld. Season with salt to taste if needed, then add the sofritas to burritos, burrito bowls, salads, etc.
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