This homemade sofritas recipe is better than the original Chipotle sofritas with tofu simmered in spicy chipotle sauce, huge on flavor and easy to make! Perfect for taco bowls, burritos and more.
How to Make Sofritas at Home
Where are my Chipotle fans? By Chipotle, I don't mean those wonderfully spicy, smoked jalapeno peppers, but Chipotle Mexican Grill, the restaurant chain.
As a chain, you'll find them all over the U.S., with over 2700 locations at the time of this post. They offer a range of proteins that can be served up with rice, toppings and more in bowls or on tortillas, in many, many different combinations.
Several years ago they introduced "Sofritas", a plant-based protein for vegetarians made from tofu braised in chili sauce. I tried them out of curiosity, because I am an adventurous eater and enjoy trying new things.
They are quite tasty!
I've had them as a burrito and as a burrito bowl piled high with guacamole, salsas and sauces.
Being a cook, I worked on making my own homemade Chipotle sofritas version as I don't eat much fast food and the recipe that follows is how I now prefer it.
This is basically a copycat Chipotle sofritas recipe, though I make mine a bit differently. It's perfect for spicy food lovers. I think you will enjoy it.
What is Sofritas?
"Sofritas" is a plant-based protein of shredded or crumbled tofu simmered in flavorful chipotle sauce, introduced by the Chipotle restaurant chain in 2014.
The name is similar to, but should not be confused with, sofrito, which is usually made from aromatic ingredients that are chopped and braised in oil.
Sofritas are served with rice and lots of toppings, or can be enjoyed on tortillas as vegetarian tacos or burritos.
I enjoy Chipotle sofritas, but prefer making homemade sofritas, as I can control the seasonings and salt levels, and am free to spice them up as much as I would like.
Many homemade versions include roasted poblanos, which I greatly enjoy, but my version introduces the wonderful flavors of ancho peppers and guajillo peppers, along with smoky and spicy chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
This blend of spices is truly outstanding.
Let's talk about how to make homemade Chipotle sofritas, shall we?
Homemade Chipotle Sofritas Ingredients
- FOR THE CHIPOTLE SAUCE
- Ancho Peppers.
- Guajillo Peppers.
- Olive Oil.
- Vegetables. Jalapeno, onions and garlic.
- Seasonings. Cumin, salt and pepper.
- Chipotles in Adobo Sauce. With sofritas, chipotle flavor is the name of the game.
- Hot Sauce.
- FOR THE HOMEMADE SOFRITAS
- Tofu. Extra firm tofu for me. Use your favorite brand from the grocery store.
How to Make Homemade Chipotle Sofritas - the Recipe Method
FOR THE HOMEMADE SOFRITAS SAUCE
Dry Toast the Dried Peppers. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Remove the seeds and stems from the dried peppers then dry toast the dried peppers a couple minutes per side, until the skins darken and puff up a bit.
This helps loosen the oils and build flavor.
Rehydrate the Dried Peppers. Set the toasted peppers into a large bowl and cover them with very hot water.
Let them steep for 20 minutes to soften. Drain and add to a food processor.
Cook the Fresh Vegetables. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion and jalapeno.
Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the fragrance blooms.
Process the Sauce. Add the cooked vegetables to the food processor along with chipotles in adobo sauce, cumin and salt and pepper. Add in a few dashes (or more!) of your favorite hot sauce.
Process until smooth.
Add in a bit of fresh water or vegetable broth (1/2 to 1 cup) and process until you achieve the consistency you desire.
Strain and Adjust. Strain, if desired, for a smoother sauce. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
FOR THE HOMEMADE SOFRITAS
Press the Tofu. Slice the tofu into 8 large pieces. Wrap them in paper towels or a large towel and set a heavy weight on them, such as a cast iron pan or large skillet, to press out the moisture.
I usually do this while I am soaking the dried peppers.
Cook the Tofu. Heat the pan back to medium high heat and add more olive oil, if needed.
Add the tofu and lightly fry the pieces 2-3 minutes per side to lightly brown them.
Simmer the Homemade Sofritas. Break up the tofu with a wooden spoon, then pour in the chipotle sauce.
Stir the tofu into the chipotle sauce to completely mix it together. Like so.
Stir and simmer for 15 minutes to 20 minutes to let the shredded tofu soak up the saucy flavor. You can stir in a bit more water if you need to. Serve!
Boom! Done! Homemade sofritas are ready to enjoy! So much better when you make it home, isn't it? These are so good, and I can make mine extra spicy! Huge bonus.
Recipe Tips & Notes
The Homemade Sofritas Sauce. A great variation is to incorporate roasted poblano peppers. You can add them in when blending, or replace the dried anchos and guajillos.
You can also use ancho and guajillo chili powder, about 1 tablespoon each.
I love the version with dried pods more, but both are tasty. Use bell peppers for a super mild version. Add a cup of water for a thinner sauce.
The Tofu. I prefer pan fried tofu for this recipe, but you can also bake them for 25 - 30 minutes on a baking sheet to achieve similar results.
Tofu sofritas are awesome.
Serving Sofritas. Serve up your homemade sofritas with rice as burrito bowls topped with all of your favorite extras, like homemade guacamole, black beans, chopped peppers and onions, chiles toreados, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa verde or salsa roja, lime or lemon juice, and your favorite hot sauce!
They make great vegan burritos and tacos, too!
Here are some common question I get about sofritas.
What Does Sofritas Taste Like?
Sofritas has a soft, crumbly texture and tastes very much of smoky chipotle. It is similar to ground pork or chicken, and soaks up all the flavors from the braising chili sauce.
What Kind of Meat is Chipotle Sofritas?
Chipotle sofritas does not include meat, but is made from tofu, which is a plant-based meat alternative.
Storage and Leftovers
You can store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To enjoy again, simply reheat in a pan with a tablespoon of water to loosen it up.
You can also freeze it in freezer containers for 3 months or longer.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy your homemade sofritas. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy! Extra spicy for me, please!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Homemade Chipotle Sofritas Recipe
FOR THE CHIPOTLE SAUCE
- 2 ancho peppers
- 2 guajillo peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + more as needed
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 ounces chipotles in adobo sauce use 3-4 of the chipotles and some of the sauce, 1/2 a can
- Hot sauce to taste
FOR THE HOMEMADE SOFRITAS
- 14 ounce package extra firm tofu
FOR THE CHIPOTLE SOFRITAS SAUCE
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho and guajillo peppers then dry toast them a couple minutes per side, until the skins darken and puff up a bit. This helps loosen the oils and build flavor.
- Set the dried peppers into a large bowl and cover them with very hot water. Let them steep for 20 minutes to soften. Drain and add to a food processor.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and add the onion and jalapeno. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute, until the fragrance blooms.
- Add the cooked vegetables to the food processor along with chipotles in adobo sauce, cumin, salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste. Process until smooth. Add in a bit of fresh water (1/2 to 1 cup) and process until you achieve the consistency you desire. Strain, if desired, for a smoother sauce. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
FOR THE SOFRITAS
- Slice the tofu into 8 large pieces. Wrap them in paper towels or a large towel and set a heavy weight on them, such as a cast iron pan, to press out the moisture. (I usually do this while I am soaking the dried peppers.)
- Heat the pan back to medium high heat and add more olive oil, if needed. Add the tofu and lightly fry the pieces 2-3 minutes per side to lightly brown them.
- Break up the tofu with a wooden spoon, then pour in the chipotle sauce. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes to let the tofu soak up the saucy flavor.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 1/2/23 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 9/21/20.