Sofritas Recipe

This sofritas recipe is perfect when you’re craving a copycat vegan Chipotle burrito bowl.

white bowl with sofritas in it and light green cloth in background with tomato, garlic, oil and sliced onion in background

If you’re looking for a flavorful way to introduce your family to tofu, these Chipotle inspired sofritas are a perfect way to do that with our Vegan Burrito Bowl. It has a spice-filled sauce that’ll make everyone come back for seconds.

It’s a perfect addition to your burrito night, especially if you’re trying to satisfy a range of preferences. You can make the flavorful sauce in a food processor so it doesn’t take much time at all.

What are sofritas?

Sofritas comes from the Spanish word sofrito which means ‘gently fried.’ Sofrito generally means some garlic, peppers, onions, and spices stewed together to make the base of a dish. That same flavor is used to make a sauce that flavors the tofu.

Why do you press tofu?

Pressing the tofu removes any extra moisture which helps with two things. The first is that it helps the edges of the tofu  brown a little more while also adding more texture.

Also, by pressing out more of the liquid, it allows the flavors of the sauce to penetrate the tofu even more. With the liquid still in the tofu, it dilutes the flavors of the sauce and doesn’t allow the sauce flavors to replace it.

What is in the sofritas sauce?

There are a ton of bold flavors in the sauce that’ll make it something you’ll want to make for all proteins you eat. It has poblano peppers, onions, tomato, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, ancho chile powder, salt, and pepper.

All of these ingredients get put into a blender or food processor to break it all down so the flavor really blends together and you get a burst of flavor in every bite.

What if you can’t find poblano peppers?

If you can’t find a poblano pepper, an Anaheim pepper will make a great replacement. They are considered hotter on the Scoville scale so do keep that in mind if you aren’t looking for something terribly spicy.

If heat is a concern, a green bell pepper is another good option. It’s much sweeter and less spicy than a poblano which does change the overall flavor.

With any of the peppers, if you’re able to, be sure to roast them before using. You can do this over a gas flame or grill to give it a little char and deepen the flavors.

Is there a difference between ancho chile powder and chili powder?

There is. Ancho chile powder is made from dried poblano peppers which are called ancho peppers that are ground up. Chili powder is a blend of spices like ground peppers, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.


Sofritas Recipe

white bowl of cooked sofritas with medium colored green cloth behind it; in background left, red tomatoe and slices of onion; background right, condiment bowl of oil and clove of garlic

This sofritas recipe is perfect when you’re craving a copycat vegan Chipotle burrito bowl.

  • Author: Sam Ellis
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 16 oz. extra-firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper, cut into large slices
  • 1/2 onion, cut into large slices
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 chipotle in adobo plus 1 tsp. adobo
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  1. Press tofu with paper towels until mostly dry. If you have a tofu press, use this first to get extra water out of the tofu.
  2. Cut the tofu into large pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add pieces of tofu and brown on all sides, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  3. While cooking the tofu, in a food processor, add poblano pepper, onion, tomato, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  4. You’ll want to break up the tofu into smaller pieces next. You can either remove the tofu from the skillet and chop into fine pieces or use a wooden spoon and break it up in the pan.
  5. Add sauce and tofu to the skillet and let simmer for 10 minutes until some of the extra moisture has been reduced. Serve warm or cool and store in an airtight container until ready for use.

Sofritas Recipe
Sofritas Recipe

Sam Ellis

Sam blogs at The Culinary Compass where she loves to try new recipes and ingredients from around the world. She thinks trying new dishes and spices is the easiest way to travel! She loves coffee so much that she often goes to bed excited for a fresh cup in the morning.