This recipe for Copycat Chipotle Sofritas comes together quickly for a perfectly seasoned, hearty, healthy, plant-based taco meat.
What is Sofritas?
Sofritas is crumbled tofu that is braised in a spicy sauce.
And let me tell you, it is delicious! Even my meat-eating husband and son love this spicy alternative to taco meat. If you think you don't like tofu, this is the recipe that WILL change your mind.
The tofu is a bit crispy and braised in a rich, spicy sauce that is downright addictive. It is not mushy, it is not bland, it is not rubbery. Sofritas is tofu done right!
Sofritas has been made very popular thanks to Chipotle featuring it on their menu as a vegan option. And while I love Chipotle, it is super easy to make sofritas at home, and it is MUCH less expensive. Plus at home, you can can go back for seconds!
Ingredients for Sofritas
- Tofu: Be sure to use firm or extra-firm tofu. Silken tofu will NOT work for this recipe. You can find tofu in the refrigerated produce section at your local grocery store.
- Oil: I recommend a neutral oil, such as canola or avocado oil for this recipe. The tofu will absorb some of the flavors of the oil, this is why I don’t recommend olive oil, which has a distinct flavor.
- Poblano Pepper: A charred, skinned poblano pepper adds a great smoky, authentic flavor, but can be omitted to save time if desired.
- Salsa: Salsa has onions, peppers, tomatoes and is full of flavor, so this is a short-cut ingredient that helps to add A LOT of flavor to Sofritas without a lot of added ingredients. Use your favorite jar, canned, or homemade salsa.
- Canned Chipotle Peppers: These peppers add incredible flavor to this sauce and should not be skipped. Because you won't need to use the full can, place the leftover chipotle peppers with adobe in an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid and then pop into a labeled freezer-safe bag. Store in the Freezer for 3-6 months. 1 cube equals about 1 tablespoon of chipotles with adobe sauce.
- Sweetener: You need a bit of sweetener to balance the spiciness of this recipe. For a vegan-friendly recipe use maple syrup. Otherwise, honey works well in place of maple syrup.
- Spices: To round out the flavor, smoked paprika and cumin are added to the sauce. Feel free to use regular paprika if you don't have smoked paprika on hand.
- Lime: The juice of fresh lime will add just the right acidity to the Sofritas and finish off the flavor perfectly. Don't overlook this addition!
How to Make Sofritas
My copycat version of Sofritas is also EASY to make--easy enough for a busy weeknight. There are several steps, but they are not complicated.
Step One: Prepare Tofu
It is important to press the tofu before pan-frying. This a process that removes extra liquid in the tofu and will help your tofu crisp up beautifully. Use the 20 minutes the tofu is pressing, to prepare the Sofritas sauce
- Wrap the tofu in paper towels and place it on a plate.
- Place a heavy skillet, like a cast-iron skillet on top of the tofu.
- Let sit for at least 20 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
- Once your tofu has been pressed and all the water is removed, sliced into ½ inch slices.
- Tear each slice into approximately ½ inch pieces.
Step Two: Prepare the Sauce
- On a gas stove or grill, turn the heat to high. Place the poblano pepper directly over the flame. Allow the skin to blacken and bubble up, flipping to char each side. Alternatively, you can char the pepper under your oven broiler, turning it every few minutes. Be careful to not let your pepper catch on fire.
- Once your pepper is charred, place it in a sealed plastic Ziploc bag to steam for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the skin easily slides off the pepper when you rub it with your fingers.
- Take the pepper out of the bag and peel off the skin of the pepper, discarding the skin, and roughly chop the pepper.
- Place the poblano pepper into a food processor or blender. Add in the salsa, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, salt, cumin, paprika, honey, and a bit of water to the food processor and process until smooth.
Step Three: Pan Fry Sofritas
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add in the oil.
- Once the oil is glistening, add in the tofu pieces and saute until just browned, stirring often.
- Once browned, add in the sauce, and bring a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more water if needed.
- Turn off heat and stir in fresh lime juice.
How to Serve Sofritas
Whether on a burrito, a burrito bowl, or on a salad, this perfectly sofritas add so much flavor, protein, and texture to a meal.
- Add to taco shells, corn tortillas, or homemade flour tortillas with your favorite toppings.
- Dish out on top of cilantro lime rice or brown rice to form your own burrito bowl.
- Add to the filling of Vegetarian Enchiladas in place of the beans.
- Add to a taco salad in place of taco meat.
Store leftover Sofritas in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
For the best texture, reheat the cold, defrosted Sofritas in a nonstick skillet over high heat until just browned and warmed through.
More Meatless Tex-Mex Recipes
If this recipe for Copycat Chipotle's Sofritas hit the spot, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- 16 ounce block extra-firm tofu
- ½ tablespoon neutral oil I recommend avocado oil
For the sauce:
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- ½ cup salsa
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup honey
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼-½ cup water divided
- Juice of 1 lime
- Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels. Place a heavy skillet on top of the wrapped tofu. Let the tofu press for at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this the night before preparing sofritas and leave the tofu pressing in the refrigerator.
- Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into 1-inch slices. Rip each slice into small pieces--about ½ inch each.
- While the tofu is pressing, char the poblano pepper. On a gas stove or grill, turn the heat to high. Place the poblano pepper directly over the flame. Allow the skin to blacken and bubble up, flipping to char each side. Alternatively, you can char the pepper under your oven broiler, turning it every few minutes. Place the charred pepper in a plastic bag and seal. In about 5-10 minutes, take the pepper out of the bag and the skin will peel right off. Discard the skin and roughly chop the pepper.
- Place the pepper, salsa, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cumin, salt, paprika, garlic, maple syrup, and ¼ cup of water into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the oil and let heat until shimmering.
- Add the tofu to the skillet and saute until browned, stirring often. Add in the sauce and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, adding an additional ¼ cup of water if needed.
- Finish with the juice of the lime and taste to adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve in burrito bowls, burritos, tacos, or as desired.