This is the FASTEST way to make Copycat Chipotle Sofritas! This Mexican Spiced Tofu is vegan, plant based, and perfectly seasoned. Vegan tofu sofritas are delicious served in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls or taco salad. It is a super easy, healthy plant based recipe.
I am going to let you in on a fact that may shock some of you.
I rarely visit Chipotle.
While I love Chipotle, let’s be honest. Their prices are a bit high and the recipes are easy to recreate at home. Plus at home I can go back for seconds! HA!
When I do visit Chipotle, I ALWAYS order sofritas. For those of you who are not familiar with sofritas, it is Chipotle’s seasoned crumbled tofu. And friends, 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. Even my meat loving husband and son devour this meatless version of taco meat. Whether on a burrito, a burrito bowl, or on a salad, this perfectly sofritas add so much flavor, protein, and texture to a meal.
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
The most time consuming part is to press the tofu. This is simply wrapping the tofu in paper towels and then placing a heavy skillet on top of the tofu. It is a process that removes extra liquid in the tofu and will help your tofu crisp up beautifully when pan fried. It takes about 20 minutes for the liquid to be mostly removed from the tofu. I often try to plan ahead and place the weighted down tofu in the fridge in the morning or night before I plan to make sofritas. If you haven’t planned ahead, use those 20 minutes to char your poblano for the sofritas sauce or prep your ingredients for your burritos or burrito bowls.
Once your tofu has been pressed and all the water is removed, sliced into 1/2 inch slices. Then tear each slice into approximately 1/2 inch pieces.
Step Two: Prepare the Sauce
The next step is to prepare the sauce that make the sofritas, the rich chipotle spiced sauce. I love to add a charred poblano pepper to the sauce to mimic Chipotle’s recipe and to add a smoky layer of flavor.
It is really easy to char a pepper and you can use a gas stove, gas grill, or broiler function on your oven. Simply place the whole pepper right over the flame or place on a baking sheet positioned directly below your broiler. Allow the pepper to char until the skin become blackened, turning to get all the sides evenly charred. Be careful to not let your pepper catch on fire.
Once your pepper is charred, place in plastic bag to steam for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the skin easily slides off the pepper when you rub it with your fingers. roughly chop the pepper and place in 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.
Tips and Modifications for Sofritas
- Be sure to use firm or extra firm tofu. Silken tofu will NOT work for this recipe.
- The poblano pepper is not overly spicy, but does add flavor and a smoked flavor to this sofritas sauce. If you are in bind for time, skip the addition of the poblano pepper.
- I love using avocado oil to fry the tofu because it is mild and has a high smoking point. A good substitute would be canola oil.
- If you have a cast iron skillet, now is the time to use it! It works perfectly to pan fry the tofu.
- Store leftover sofritas in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freezer for up to 2 months. It is best to reheat in a nonstick skillet to achieve the best texture.
- Place 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.
How to Serve Sofritas
This Mexican braised tofu can be used in a variety of ways.
- Add to burritos, along with your favorite toppings.
- Serve in tacos.
- Dish out on top of cilantro lime rice to form your own burrito bowl.
- Add to the filling of Vegetarian Enchiladas for a heartier filling.
- Add to taco salad in place of taco meat.
More Meatless Favorite Recipes
- 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 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 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 every few minutes. Place the charred pepper in a plastic bag and seal. In about 5-10 minutes, take the pepper out 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, honey, and ¼ cup of water into a food processor or blender.
- 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 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.
- I recommend a neutral oil, such as canola or avocado oil for this recipe. The tofu will absorb some of the flavor of the oil, this is why I don’t recommend olive oil, which has a distinct flavor.
- You can save time by skipping the step of adding the poblano pepper. The pepper adds a great smoky, authentic flavor, but can be omitted if desired.
Freeze extra chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to use in future recipes.
- Leftover Sofritas meat will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.