This Copycat Chipotle Sofritas recipe is exactly like the original recipe! All you need is a few fresh ingredients and a block of extra-firm tofu, and you’ll be able to make Chipotle’s sofritas right at home in your own kitchen.
What is Sofritas?
Sofritas is a signature menu item at Chipotle Mexican Grill, one of my absolute favorite fast-casual restaurant chains to dine out on a plant-based diet.
Sofritas is a plant-based protein option specifically created for customers who prefer vegetarian or vegan options. It is loosely inspired by sofrito, a flavor base used in many Latin American, Caribbean, and Mediterranean cuisines. While the specific ingredients can vary across different cultures and regions, the basic components of a sofrito recipe typically include onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Chipotle’s sofritas is made using braised tofu in a blend of spices, chilies, tomatoes, onions and peppers – this easy recipe can be added to their burritos, tacos, and bowls.
Since I have almost every other Chipotle copycat recipe on the blog, I figured it was time to add the main vegan protein option so you can make a complete Chipotle Mexican Grill burrito bowl from the comfort of your own home!
If you visit Chipotle’s website, they’ll tell you every ingredient that goes into their vegan sofritas recipe. While they don’t give you exact measurements, but with a little experiment, I’ve cracked the code on a homemade version that’s almost an exact replica of the restaurant favorite.
- Extra-firm tofu: The main ingredient! Tofu is the plant-based protein source in this vegetarian Chipotle staple. I recommend extra firm tofu because it holds it’s shape, is low in excess water content, and has a hearty, substantial texture.
- Poblano pepper: The poblano pepper adds a mild, earthy, and slightly sweet flavor to the Chipotle sofritas. It contributes depth to the dish without overwhelming spiciness.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: For the best flavored tofu sofritas, you’ll need both the adobo sauce and whole chipotle peppers! These peppers are jalapeño peppers that have been dried and smoked, then preserved in a tangy and slightly sweet adobo sauce. They impart a rich, complex, and slightly fiery taste that adds depth and complexity to the dish.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds a concentrated tomato flavor to the sofritas, enhancing the overall taste profile. It contributes a slight tanginess and helps to thicken the sauce. I do not recommend replacing with a thinner tomato product such as tomato sauce, tomato puree, or diced tomatoes.
- Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is a mild and slightly sweet acidic vinegar that adds a subtle tang to the tofu sofritas.
- Sugar: A small amount of sweetener helps balance the smoky, spicy flavors and enhances the overall flavor of the sofritas sauce.
- Broth: Adds moisture and flavor. I recommend low-sodium vegetable broth to prevent the dish from being overly salty.
How to Make Sofritas
- Press the tofu. Remove the tofu from the packaging and drain off any excess water. Wrap the tofu block in a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels and place a heavy object on top. Allow the tofu to press for at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, use a tofu press if you have one!
- Broil the poblano pepper. Place the whole poblano pepper on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Broil on high for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. When ready, the skin should be blistered and blackened in places.
- Cool the pepper. Once charred, allow the pepper to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off of the pepper – it’s okay if you can’t remove it all, but aim to peel off most!
- Cook the onions and garlic. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the olive oil and heat until warm. Add in the chopped red onion and minced garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
- Make the sauce. Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to a large cup food processor along with remaining ingredients (except tofu!). Process until smooth, then set aside.
- Lightly pan fry tofu. In the same large skillet used to cook the garlic and onion, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Rip the block of tofu into smaller chunks and lightly fry in the pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mash the tofu. Using a potato masher, mash the crispy tofu into a uniform texture, similar to tofu scramble.
- Add in the sauce. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the Chiptole sofritas to absorb all of the flavor.
- Serve hot! Serve this vegan chipotle sofritas recipe hot, as desired. Enjoy!
How to Serve Sofritas
One of the most classic ways to serve Sofritas is in a Chipotle-style burrito bowl, but that’s not the only way to enjoy them. Feel free to whip up a big batch for meal prep and use this protein throughout the week in a number of different ways. Here are some of my favorite serving ideas for sofritas:
- Sofritas Chipotle Vegan Burrito Bowl: Create a delicious burrito bowl by layering sofritas over a bed of cooked cilantro lime rice or brown rice, black beans, and fajita veggies. Top with homemade Chipotle medium salsa, chili corn salsa, guacamole, and shredded romaine lettuce. Enjoy!
- Sofritas tacos: Fill warm corn or flour tortillas with the sofritas and top with your favorite taco fixings such as shredded romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado or guacamole, chopped onions, and fresh cilantro. Squeeze some lime juice over the top for an extra zing.
- Quesadillas: Spread a layer of sofritas onto a tortilla, sprinkle with vegan cheese, and fold the tortilla in half. Cook in a skillet until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa, guacamole, or vegan sour cream.
- Nachos: Arrange a layer of tortilla chips on a baking sheet, and top with spoonfuls of Chipotle sofritas. Sprinkle with shredded vegan cheese and any other desired toppings such as black beans, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and olives. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
- Sofritas taco salad bowls: Create a vibrant salad by combining sofritas with mixed greens or your favorite salad greens. Add toppings like diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, roasted chili corn salsa, and black beans. Drizzle with a tangy dressing such as lime-cilantro vinaigrette or chipotle ranch.
- Stuffed peppers: Fill halved bell peppers with the chipotle sofritas mixture, black beans, and cilantro lime rice and bake until the peppers are tender. Top with shredded cheese and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Breakfast burrito: Use the chipotle sofritas as a filling for a hearty breakfast burrito. Add scrambled tofu, roasted potatoes, avocado, and salsa for a satisfying morning meal.
Add Ins & Variations
A classic sofrito recipe is a mixture of aromatic ingredients that are finely chopped, sautéed, and often used as a foundation for various dishes. Don’t be afraid to switch it up and add things to the mix to make homemade Chipotle sofritas your own.
- Add corn: If you enjoy the combination of sweet and spicy, add up to 1 cup of sweet corn kernels to the skillet and warm through.
- Add beans: Make your Chipotle sofritas even more filling and protein-rich and add 1 ½ cups of drained and rinsed black beans or pinto beans (about 1 can).
- Add bell pepper: Sauté a green bell pepper or red bell pepper with the tofu before adding the sauce for an extra-veggie boost!
- Adjust the spice level: This sofritas recipe can be quite spicy depending on the hotness of the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. If you are sensitive to spice, start with just ½ a tablespoon of adobo sauce and 1 whole chipotle pepper. Slowly increase to taste as needed.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Press the tofu: I know skipping this step is incredibly tempting, especially when you’re short on time. But pressing the tofu is incredibly important for two reasons. First, pressing the tofu removes all of the excess water and prevents the sofritas sauce from being watered down. Second, when the excess water has been removed, the tofu has the opportunity to better absorb the flavors in the sauce, making a more flavorful dish overall.
- Blend the sauce well: It should be smooth and velvety. If you don’t have a food processor to use, try a small blender (single serve cup would be perfect!)
- Add additional broth as needed: Chipotle’s sofritas recipe can be quite saucy, so add additional vegetable broth to your homemade Chipotle sofritas, if desired. Note that the more broth you add, the less concentrated the spicy sauce and flavor will be.
How to Store Leftover Sofritas
Transfer leftover Chipotle sofritas into an airtight container. Once cooled to room temperature, seal the container and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat again, reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through. If the sauce has thickened, add an additional splash of broth to make it saucy again.
Frozen leftovers can be thawed overnight in the fridge or reheated from frozen.
More Copycat Chipotle Recipes To Try
Copycat Chipotle Sofritas Recipe
- 1 (16 ounce) block extra firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons olive oil - divided
- 1 poblano pepper
- ½ red onion - chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1-3 tablespoons adobo sauce - adjust to spice preference
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar - or maple syrup
- ⅓ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- Remove the tofu from the package and drain off any excess water. Wrap in a clean tea towel or paper towel and place a heavy object on top. Let press for about 10 minutes (not necessary if using super firm tofu – simply drain)
- Broil the poblano pepper. Add the whole poblano pepper to a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Broil on high for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. Do not place on parchment paper or it will burn, keep directly on the baking sheet. One charred, allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, then peel the skin off.
- Sauté the onion and garlic. In a large skillet, add the roughly chopped onion, minced garlic, and olive oil. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, then transfer mixture to a food processor or blender.
- Add in remaining ingredients aside from the tofu. Process until smooth. Set aside.
- In the same large skillet used to cook the garlic and onion, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Rip the block of tofu into smaller chunks and lightly fry in the pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Using a potato masher, mash the crispy tofu into a uniform texture, similar to tofu scramble.
- Add in the sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the tofu to absorb the flavors.
- Serve hot as desired. Enjoy!
How to Freeze
- How to freeze cooked: Portion leftovers into 1 or 2 cup portions using Freezer Cubes. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight or dump frozen into the slow cooker and heat on low until warmed through again. Add additional liquid as needed.
- If you are sensitive to spice, start with ½ tablespoon of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and 1 whole pepper and slowly increase to taste.
- The nutritional estimates provided are just an estimate.
- Chipotle copycat recipes to serve with:
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.