This Vegan Sofritas recipe is amazing! This is a copycat Chipotle Sofritas recipe that’s easy to make and tastes just like what they serve at Chipotle. Imagine tofu cooked in a skillet and stewed in aromatic spices. Add this tasty protein option to your vegan burritos, salads, and more.
From the first day Chipotle offered sofritas I was hooked. Chipotle is my favorite place to meet friends for lunch. And, of course, Shawn and I love going there for our “Boorito” every Halloween. It’s a great excuse for adults to put on a costume.
So, you can tell that I love ordering sofritas at Chipotle on my veggie burrito bowl, but now I’ve perfected a homemade sofritas recipe to carry us over when we don’t have time to make it to the restaurant.
What Are Sofritas?
The word sofritas originates from the Spanish/Italian word sofrito, which is a culinary tradition of cooking aromatic vegetables in oil. Chipotle’s Sofritas are made from shredded tofu that’s braised in a mixture of tomatoes, chipotle chilies, green peppers, onions garlic, and spices.
I love making this sofritas recipe and having it in the fridge for impromptu taco salads, burrito bowls, or even serving with tortilla chips.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- A sofrito sauce is made by combining green chiles, onions, tomatoes and more to cook the tofu in a powerful combination of flavors
- Chipotle peppers from canned adobo sauce adds a smoky heat that creates a distinctive flavor
- Ground cumin adds that south-of-the-border flavor, making this recipe easy to make, full of flavor, and a crowd favorite!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Let’s talk about the ingredients involved to make the tofu sofritas recipe because I think you’ll be impressed with the short list!
- Tofu — I recommend using extra-firm tofu, but firm tofu may work as well. Here’s my tofu guide, with information on buying it.
- Olive oil — this recipe includes a bit of olive oil to cook up to the tofu.
- Chopped green chiles — I’m recommending canned green chiles to keep this recipe simple. Also, mild chiles are best because the chipotle peppers have a bit of a kick. No need to add more kick…unless you’re like me and love the spicy!
- Chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce) — It’s easy to find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the same aisle as salsas. It’s with the authentic Mexican products. Chipotle peppers are spicy, but we’re just using a little.
- Tomato paste — tomato paste adds consistency and flavor.
- Chopped onion — Onions are a key ingredient for the aromatic sauce. I used a yellow onion, but white or red onion works too.
- Chopped bell pepper — Use any color you want, such as green, red, orange, or yellow.
- Ground cumin — I love adding cumin to my vegan chili and homemade taco seasoning, so adding it to sofritas seems like the right thing to do!
- Garlic — We’ll add a few chopped garlic cloves to the sauce and simmer it to mellow the flavor.
- Diced tomatoes — Tomatoes add zing to this recipe, and I love the texture of the chunkier tomatoes combined with tofu.
How to Make Sofritas
Wondering how to make Chipotle sofritas? You’ll be glad to know I purposefully planned this sofritas tofu recipe so it would be as easy as possible to make, while at the same time tasting like what I get at Chipotle. Since I’m such a fan of it at the restaurant, I now also love this homemade sofritas recipe. Here are the steps to make it:
- Cook pressed, sliced tofu in a skillet with oil over medium heat, using a spatula to break it down into smaller pieces.
- Make the sofrito sauce by adding the ingredients to a food processor and pulsing in short bursts, leaving some texture.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet with the tofu and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Use a spatula or potato masher to mash the tofu.
- Serve sofritas warm on soft tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, or salads. Top with shredded lettuce, vegan cheese, avocados, and salsa.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions
Step One: Press the Tofu
When you remove the extra firm tofu from its package, you will notice that it’s packed in water. This helps the tofu maintain its form and fresh flavor. So, the first thing to do is to drain that water. Then press the tofu to remove some of the liquid it’s been stored in.
- Manual Press: Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel, then place it on a plate, with something heavy over the top, like a kitchen pan. Set it aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Press Tool: Or, you can use a tofu press. I love my tofu press and use it several times a week for various recipes such as marinated tofu.
Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into several slices.
Step Two: Cook the Tofu
Place a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, and heat it up for a minute or so. Then add the tofu slices. If the pressing didn’t remove all the liquid from the tofu, you will notice the tofu slices begin to release more juices. This is great.
As you cook the tofu, use a rubber spatula to break the tofu into small bits. Cook for several minutes, until the edges of the tofu bits are lightly golden.
Step Three: Create the Sofrito Sauce
Next, combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. You can roughly chop the onions, peppers, and garlic and let the food processor do most of the chopping.
Pulse in short bursts until it’s blended together and the larger veggies are broken down. I like a little texture in the sauce, so that’s why the short bursts work best.
Pour the sauce into the skillet with the tofu bits. At first, the sauce might be a little thin, but it will thicken as it cooks.
Step Four: Mash the Tofu
As the tofu simmers in the sauce, use either a potato masher or the flat side of a firm spatula and press the tofu into the pan. This will break the tofu down into smaller mashed bits, resembling shredded tofu.
Let the tofu simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove it from heat. Now you’re ready for my favorite next step, eating it!
How to Serve Sofritas
I love serving sofritas bowls with a bunch of chopped greens as the base. However, it’s also great on tacos. Shawn adds a little bit of it to his vegan burritos. Here are even more Mexican recipes you can serve with sofritas:
That’s it for my favorite sofritas recipe. Enjoy!
For the Tofu
- 15 oz container extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Pablano Sauce
- 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles mild
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped bell pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup diced tomatoes juices drained
For the tofu
- Remove the tofu from the tub and drain the fluid. To press the tofu, wrap in a kitchen towel, and place on a plate with something heavy on top of it, like a pot or a plate with something heavy on top. Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes to remove excess liquid. Alternatively, use a tofu press. Once, it's pressed, cut the tofu into several slices.
- Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and tofu slices. Cook for several minutes, to allow the tofu to release its juices, about 5 minutes. (Depending on how pressed the tofu is, there may be more or less juice in this stage). Use a spatula to break tofu down into smaller pieces. Continue cooking the tofu for another 5 minutes.
For the Sauce
- As the tofu cooks, add the sauce ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse several times in short bursts. The goal is to create a sauce with some texture, not to make it completely smooth.
- Add the sauce to a skillet with the tofu. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces and the sauce thickens.
- Use a spatula or potato masher to mash the tofu as it cooks. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, until it's thickened and heated through.
- Serve sofritas on soft tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, or salads. Top with shredded lettuce, vegan cheese, avocados, and salsa.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.