An easy to make and freezer friendly homemade tofu sofritas featuring all the mouthwatering ingredients and spices we’ve come to love from Chipotle’s Sofritas recipe! Sofritas vegetarian or vegan burrito bowls are easy to make, and oh so crave-worthy! This recipe is vegetarian or vegan, and easily gluten free.
When I’m in the mood, I have a short list (read: two) of places I seek out. One, is Chipotle. I adore their vegetarian and vegan burrito bowls. And because I love their sofritas so much, I set out to create a homemade version.
Lucky for us, Chipotle’s sofritas recipe main ingredients are listed on their web site. It’s the proportions and method that I had to play with to finally nail down this recipe. I relied on my never ending cravings for Tex-Mex and Mexican food flavors, something growing up in Texas helped me establish.
Wait, What are Sofritas?
In case you haven’t heard, It took me over two years (!!), Chipotle’s sofritas recipe are a plant based, vegan and vegetarian option in their restaurants. Sofritas are used anywhere you’d find chicken or meat in their menu lineup. And they make a fabulous vegetarian or vegan burrito bowl.
What is Sofritas Meat?
Chipotle’s sofritas recipe is a combination of tofu with peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices. The tofu is cooked in these ingredients so that the tofu takes on all the flavors of the sauce. And it’s SO mouthwateringly delicious! I find these sofritas even make meat eaters happy (nudge the meat eater in your life to give these a go!).
Don’t Fear the Tofu
Tofu is fabulous. Say it with me! Tofu is fabulous! It’s a meat free option that’s versatile and takes on any flavor you braise or marinate it in. Its texture can go from silky smooth to spongy to chewy. It all depends on type of tofu and how it’s prepared. The following two essential steps in preparing tofu make all the difference in its final texture and while it may sound like a lot to manage, it really takes no hands on time at all:
FREEZE YOUR TOFU: When you bring that tofu home from the store, toss it in the freezer. Freezing ultimately improves its texture. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
PRESS THE TOFU: Since tofu is packaged in water, we need press the water out of it to make room for flavor (marinade)! To press thawed tofu, place the tofu between tea towels or paper towels or use a tofu press. Place the towel under and on top of the tofu. Set it on a plate. Place something heavy on top, like a cutting board, another plate or a not-so-full box of wine to press the water out, but without squishing it. Move the tea towel a few times to a dryer area of the towel so it can absorb more water. Press for about 20-30 minutes, up to an hour if you have time.
Ingredients for this Sofritas Recipe
Below you’ll find the ingredients for this recipe. I’ve also included everything else you’ll need to make an epic burrito bowl in the recipe card and links to other components to take you to burrito bowl bliss! So, here’s what you need to make the sofritas tofu:
- Firm Tofu – I like sprouted
- Olive Oil
- Poblano Pepper
- Green Bell Pepper
- Yellow or Purple Onion
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
- Cumin + Chili Powder
- Veggie Broth
How to Make Sofritas
After pressing the tofu, it needs to be dried out further before braising and processing. So, it will spend a short time in the oven. Use this time to chop all the veggies and get em’ going in the saute pan. You’ll need a food processor and your largest saute pan. Here’s how to make the recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First, press the tofu, then cut it into cubes. Bake the tofu for about 20 minutes. This will help dry the tofu out – ready to take on all those spices/ingredients coming up!
- Second, in a bit of oil, saute’ the peppers and onion – charring is good! Toss in the spices and garlic. Stir to coat the veggies.
- Third, stir in the tomatoes, broth, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.
- Fourth, stir in the baked tofu. Lid and braise for about 15 minutes.
- Next, add all the ingredients to a food processor, give it a good squeeze of lime and process until desired consistency… chunky or more chopped. Taste for salt adjustment.
- Last, return to pan and keep warm or cook on low further if the mixture seems wet. Excess moisture will steam off.
The sofritas tofu can be made up to three days in advance or up to several weeks if frozen. You’re going to love having the leftovers of this sofritas recipe tucked away for those nights when even thinking about dinner just isn’t going to happen.
Are Sofritas Vegan?
Sofritas are vegan. But when building a burrito bowl or tacos, just like Chipotle’s sofritas recipe and to keep it vegan, omit cheese and sour cream.
A Few Sofritas Recipe Notes
- Ground or Chunkier Sofritas? I prefer my tofu ground a bit more, like Chipotle’s sofritas recipe and as seen in the pictures on this post. If you like chunkier sofritas, pulse the food processor only a few times to bring the ingredients together.
- Freezer Friendly? Yes please! This recipe freezes with ease. Freeze in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Spicier Sofritas? I’m in! This recipe as written is about a medium spicy. To take the heat up, add a whole or even 1 1/2 chipotle peppers to your tomato mix.
Let’s Make an Epic Burrito Bowl Recipe!
Just like Chipotle’s sofritas recipe, my recipe is fabulous for vegetarian or vegan burrito bowls. But they can be stuffed into burritos, tacos, even enchiladas! There are so many ways to love this versatile recipe! Here are component options to make an epic vegetarian or vegan burrito bowl. Choose at least three to go with your sofritas and make an epic bowl!
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Spanish Brown Rice
- Chili-Lime Pepita Crema
- Mexican Black Beans – or Pinto Beans
- Sautéed Onion and Bell Peppers (see recipe card)
- Chili Lime Corn Salsa
- Refried Black Beans
- Chopped Romaine Lettuce
- Easy Chipotle Salsa
- Chili Lime Slaw
- Pepper Jack Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Guacamole or Sliced Fresh Avocado
- Pickled Jalapeños
Homemade Sofritas Burrito Bowls
For the Sofritas:
- 1 block (200g) Firm Tofu* (see notes) drained, pressed and cut into bite size pieces (about) 1" (2.5cm) cubes
- 1 Tbs Vegetable Oil like olive or coconut
- 1 C (110g) Poblano Pepper medium dice, about one large poblano
- 1 C (110g) Green Bell Pepper medium dice, about one large bell pepper
- 1 C (150g) Red or Yellow Onion medium dice, about 1/2 large onion
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1 Tbs Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Minced Garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 2 Tbs Adobo Sauce*** see note, reduce to 1 Tbs for less heat. Look for gluten free if needed.
- 1 Chipotle Chili (optional) chopped fine, to take the spicy up!! Look for gluten free if needed.
- 1 Can (411g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1/2 C (110g) Vegetable Broth
- 1/2 Lime juiced, plus more for serving
For the Peppers/Onion (optional):
- 2 1/2 Tbs Vegetable Oil like olive or coconut, divided
- 2 (430g) Bell Peppers large, one red, one green, sliced in long thin strips
- 1 (150g) Red Onion large, sliced in 1/2 moons
- Prepare the Tofu:Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Slice the pressed/drained tofu into (about) 1" (2.5cm) cubes and place on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tofu is lightly golden. Some crispy edges is ok. This will dry the tofu out.
- Make the Sofritas: In a large saute pan, add the oil and heat on high heat until it shimmers. Keeping the heat on high and adjusting as needed, add the poblano, bell pepper and onion. Saute, stirring/tossing/flipping only occasionally for about 8-9 minutes. Charring is good!
- To the veggie mixture add the cumin, chili powder, and garlic. Stir to coat the veggies, then add the tomato paste, adobo sauce, chipotle chili (if using), fire roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth, and baked tofu. Stir and bring to a simmer. Stir, lid and simmer on medium-low for about 12-15 minutes.
- Once the sofritas are done braising, spoon them into a food processor and either pulse for chunky sofrias, or process with longer pulses until the sofritas are of the desired consistency, stopping a few times to scrape the bowl down.
- Transfer the sofritas back to the pan, squeeze in the lime juice, stir and taste for salt adjustment. Either cook on low a bit longer, lid off, to reduce the liquid further, or simply lid to keep warm.
- Saute the Peppers/Onions (optional): **In your largest saute' skillet (I use non-stick), and working in two batches if needed, add the half the oil and heat on high until it shimmers. Add the onion/pepper mixture, a pinch of salt and saute' on high heat stirring occasionally for about 8-9 minutes. Charring is good and encouraged! The veggies should be tender crisp when done. Remove from pan as soon as they're done cooking, and place them in a bowl. The longer they set, the softer they get, so if possible, enjoy right away.
- To Build an Epic Burrito Bowl: Spoon the sofritas and pepper/onion mixture into a serving bowl along with any or all of the following: Mexican brown rice or cilantro-lime brown rice, Mexican black beans, Mexican corn salsa, guacamole or avocado slices, chopped romaine lettuce or chili lime slaw, chopped cilantro, salsa, shredded cheddar and/or sour cream, lime wedges. A handful of crushed corn chips is really nice too - for the crunch.
- Storage:Store sofritas and peppers/onion mixture in lidded containers in the refrigerator for up to three days. They both freeze beautifully too for up to two weeks. Gently rewarm on stovetop with a splash of water.