This recipe for Copycat Chipotle Sofritas comes together quickly to create perfectly seasoned, hearty, healthy, plant-based taco meat made with tofu.
Copycat Chipotle Sofritas
Chipotle made Sofritas famous. Their vegan protein option is made with crumbled crispy tofu that is braised in a slightly spicy, richly seasoned sauce.
And let me tell you, this is tofu done right! It is not bland. It is not mushy. It is not rubbery. Even my meat-eating husband and son love this spicy alternative to taco meat. Seriously, if you think you don't like tofu, Sofritas is the recipe that WILL change your mind.
And while I love Chipotle, you can easily make Copycat Sofritas at home that is lower in sodium and MUCH less expensive. Plus at home, you 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, as the tofu will absorb some of the flavors of the oil.
- Poblano Pepper: A charred, skinned poblano pepper adds a great smoky, authentic flavor, but can be omitted to save time if desired.
- Salsa: Salsa contains onions, peppers, and tomatoes and is full of flavor, making it a great short-cut ingredient. It adds A LOT of flavor to the sauce for the 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 Chipolte Sofritas at Home
My copycat recipe for Chipolte 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 is a process that removes extra liquid in the tofu and will help your tofu crisp up beautifully.
- 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 the tofu press for 20 minutes, up to 60 minutes, giving the tofu time to release excess water.
- Once your tofu has been pressed and all the water is removed, slice the block into ½-inch slices.
- Tear or crumble each slice into approximately ½-inch pieces.
Step Two: Prepare the Sauce
Use the time that the tofu is pressing to prepare the Sofritas 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 the pepper is charred, place it into 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 Cut the pepper open, remove the seeds, and then roughly chop the pepper.
- Place the diced poblano pepper into a food processor fitted with an s-blade 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: Prepare Sofritas
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.
- Once the oil is glistening, add in the tofu pieces and saute until just browned, stirring often.
- Once the tofu is browned, add the blended sauce and bring to a gentle boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more water if needed.
- Turn off the heat and stir the fresh lime juice into the tofu mixture.
How to Serve Sofritas
Whether you serve Sofritas on a burrito, a burrito bowl, or on a salad, they add so much flavor, protein, and texture to a variety of meals. Below are some of my favorite ways to use serve Copycat Chipotle Sofritas at home.
- Add this tofu taco meat to taco shells, corn tortillas, or homemade flour tortillas, and top with your favorite taco toppings.
- Serve Sofritas over Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice or Instant Pot Brown Rice to form your own burrito bowl.
- Instead of using beans in the filling of Vegetarian Enchiladas, swap them out for equal amounts of these Homemade Sofritas.
- Use Sofritas in place of taco meat to create a delicious vegetarian taco salad.
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.
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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.