Chipotle Sofritas Recipe (Copycat)

This Chipotle Sofritas recipe tastes just like the original! Shredded tofu braised in spices makes a great vegan option for burritos, tacos, and salads.

Chipotle sofritas filling being scooped out of a pan with a wooden spoon.
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To all my meat-eating friends: This recipe tastes better than you think it does.

Seriously. If you took a bite right now, you'd nod your head in puzzled agreement and say, "Hm. This actually tastes really good!"

I've seen it a million times. Okay, about 40 times. But still! DATA DOESN'T LIE.

One reason I am posting Chipotle Sofritas is because I have a Type-A personality and want to finish the project I started: Sharing all Chipotle copycat recipes.

A second reason is because vegan Chipotle Sofritas is delicious whether you're a vegan or not.

How to Press Tofu

Start with extra-firm tofu and squeeze it to extract as much liquid as possible. There are two easy ways.

  1. Wrap in paper towels and place in a dish. Set a heavy dish on top such as a large can, a brick, or your oversized cat.
  2. Use a handy-dandy super-slick fast-and-easy tofu press (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).

Once you've pressed the tofu, slice it into 8 slices. If you your brick is really divided into 2 bricks, cut each slab into 4 slices. You'll know what I mean once you start looking at tofu.

Slices of tofu stacked into a pile on a wood cutting board.

How to make the Chipotle Sofritas marinade

While pressing the tofu, make the easy Sofritas marinade. It's a combination of fresh tomatoes, peppers, and onions, some chiles, and lots of spices.

  1. Throw everything in a food processor or blender and hit BLAST. Marinade = done.
    Chunks of vegetables and seasoning in a food processor next to what the mixture looks like after being mixed together in another food processor.
  2. Brown the tofu in a pan to give it texture and flavor. Depending on the size of your pan, it's okay to brown your tofu in batches. Use enough oil to cover all the areas where the tofu is going to touch. But don't worry if it feels like it's sticking! Just leave it in the pan and when it's ready, it will release. If you try to flip it too early, it might stick.
    Tofu being browned on a black skillet.
  3. Pulse the browned tofu in your food processor or blender until coarse crumbs form. Try not to pulverize it. Those big pieces add a nice texture to the final dish.
    Browned tofu in a food processor next to a food processor with the processed tofu in it.
  4. Combine the shredded tofu with the marinade. Toss it together in a large pan and simmer it on the stove until heated through. If you like more liquid in the pan, add more water.
    Chipotle sofritas in a black and blue skillet with a wooden spoon.

What can I do with my leftover Chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce?

Transfer to a bag and freeze for future use, or use in:

Chipotle sofritas filling being scooped out of a pan with a wooden spoon.

Chipotle Sofritas Recipe (Copycat)

This Chipotle Sofritas recipe tastes just like the original! Shredded tofu braised in spices makes a great vegan option for burritos, tacos, and salads.
5 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

For the Marinade:

  • 1 medium green bell pepper (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium tomato quartered
  • 1/2 medium onion quartered
  • 1/2 cup water plus additional water as needed for braising the tofu
  • 2 chipotle chilies plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tofu:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or rice bran oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu pressed, cut into 8 slices (see notes)

Instructions

To make the marinade:

  • In a food processor, combine bell pepper, tomato, onion, water, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce, garlic, red wine vinegar, ancho chile powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Pulse until the marinade is slightly chunky and thoroughly combined. Set aside.

To make the tofu:

  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, carefully place the tofu in the pan, flip occasionally, and cook until the tofu is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Roughly chop the tofu, or pulse the tofu in a food processor until the tofu is roughly in 1/4 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and add the marinade. Cover and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To cook the tofu, heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the marinated tofu and any remaining marinade. Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Add additional water to desired consistency. (I like there to be additional liquid for serving.) Reduce to simmering. Cook until the tofu throughout heated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Video

Notes

To press the tofu:
  1. Drain the tofu, wrap in paper towels, and place in a dish.
  2. Place a heavy object, such as a can, on the tofu for about 15 minutes, to remove moisture. Or, use this easy tofu press.
You can use either Italian or Mexican oregano. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever you have.
Rice Bran oil: Chipotle uses Rice Bran oil in all of their products. Olive oil is more widely available (probably already in your pantry) and works equally well, especially if it has a neutral taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal
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  1. Becky

    I don’t believe in using tofu I eat meat..

    1. Thanks for sharing! You stumbled across the ONLY tofu recipe on my site, LOL. Sorry you got lost. -Meggan

  2. Hill

    Literally better than chipotle. Thank you so much.5 stars

  3. Samantha

    I love this recipe sooo much but when I make the marinade it turns out more like a chunky salsa. Just wondering if this is how it supposed to be or if I’m doing something wrong. They don’t look like the Sofritas at chipotle which is fine by me since the flavor is on point I just don’t know if they are supposed to.

    1. Hi Samantha, I think mine also looked like chunky salsa. It probably depends on your food processor (or some people might use a blender and it might grind up more). I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. You could try running the processor longer if you want it smoother, but that might not make a huge difference. I think it could even depend on how juicy the tomato is or something like that! The way it looks for my photos vs. my video are just COMPLETELY different, but it all tastes the same. So, I think you’re fine. The real question is – are you happy with it? If you’re happy, then I’m happy. -Meggan

  4. Lisa Nicole Kealhofer

    taste just like the real thing! Great flavor! Makes for a tone of leftovers that lasted me a week!5 stars

  5. Alexandra Mark

    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I just had Chipotle’s sofritas for the first time and immediately looked up recipes so that I could make it at home. I pressed my tofu for about two hours and it was stayed firm and crisp. The spice level was perfect. I served it as a “burrito bowl,” adding chopped greens, brown rice, chopped onions and just a dab of sour cream. Everyone loved it!5 stars

  6. Mindy

    Just like Chipotle! 5 stars

  7. Marilyn G

    Easy to do – tastes great but very spicy hot. I’ve eaten at Chipotle many times and it was never this spicy hot. Unless you really like it hot, cut the chipotle chile to 3/4 or at most 1. The rice was terrific though.

    1. meggan

      Hi Marilyn, I appreciate the feedback and I’m so sorry that it was spicy. I’m going to change the recipe to make the chipotle chiles optional. I know I have 2 listed, but the problem is I never mentioned you are supposed to take the seeds out. If you take the seeds out, 2 are probably fine, but it also depends on the particular pepper. So I think optional is best, I’ll leave the adobo for sure, and I’ll mention about taking the seeds out if you use them. I’m so sorry about that! Thanks. -Meggan

  8. Paula

    So good! 5 stars

  9. Opiro

    The meals look delicious, appetizing, fresh and wonderful. In fact i salivated when i was critically looking at the meals.
    Congratulation Meggan
    Thank You.5 stars

  10. Heather

    Hello! Thank you for the recipe. How large would one serving size be (1 cup vs 1/2 cup)? Thank you!5 stars

  11. Chet

    FYI – use Mexican oregano! It has a completely different flavor profile but ultimately the correct flavor profile.

  12. Lisa

    Hi,
    I have question :) is there any chance to substitute the chipotle chilis and adobo sauce? I live in Europe and don’t think I can buy it here. Loved the sofrita at chipotle’s though :) I don’t eat very spicy if that helps haha
    Best,
    Lisa

    1. Katrina

      I’m American and lived overseas with this same issue. I found a European (Spain) company that makes smoked chillies, La Chinata. If you find a good adobo sauce recipe, use the smoked and dried chiles in place of the smoked ancho. You can toast them, then grind into a powder, and then add to your homemade ancho sauce.
      https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Smoked-Peppers-Gluten-Product/dp/B017FGJS9U

    2. meggan

      Hi Lisa! One of the characteristics of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce is the smokiness. So, if you wanted a substitute that was mostly unrelated (you probably don’t have chipotle chili powder there, for example), you could try smoked paprika. It is NOT the same, of course, it won’t taste the same. But it might taste good? Mind you, I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know (and I don’t really know how much to use either, not without testing it, but you could add a spoonful at a time and go from there). But if I were going to try to use something that wasn’t chipotles in adobo, I’d probably try smoked paprika. If you can find any dried chilis of any kind, though, they would be worth using! I’m not sure what you have. I hope this helpful or at least gives you something to think about. Good luck! If you have more questions, just let me know. Thanks! -Meggan

  13. Hillary

    I have made this recipe multiple times now with no adjustments to put in salads and it tastes great. It’s just spicy enough to feel the heat and I can always add some hot sauce if needed. Since my can of chipotle chilies had too many for me to use at once, I froze the extras and they worked just as well when I made this again.5 stars

    1. meggan

      Hi Hillary, thank you so much! That’s amazing, I’m so glad. It’s always nice when people like the recipes on my site. :) Take care. -Meggan

  14. Crystal

    Do you have suggestions or substitutions for the ancho chili powder? Would regular chili powder be a no-no?

    1. meggan

      Hi Crystal, if you want it to taste like Chipotle’s Sofritas there is no substitute for the ancho chili powder (other than throwing a few whole ancho chilies in, instead). But if you aren’t worried about that, you could definitely try substituting regular chili powder, or another chili powder (chipotle chili powder, for example). It will change the flavor, but if YOU like it, that’s all that matters. I hope that helps. Good luck and if you need anything else just let me now! Thanks. -Meggan

  15. Janice

    Hi, I cooked this dish because my daughter became vegetarian and she likes the Chipotle’s a lot so I decided to try It at home. I think the recipe is good and it’s pretty tasteful. However it is way too spicy for is…the sauce even stinks our eyes! Did I get the wrong adobo sauce? I bought the Embasa Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. I tasted it by itself and it’s really spicy. I am a person eat decent spicy level but this one is so much! Lol.

    Any feedback is great!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Hi Janice, I’m sorry that this is too spicy for you! You didn’t buy the wrong thing.

      The recipe card SHOULD say that you adobo sauce and “chipotle chiles to taste, if desired.” As you have found out, Chipotle chiles are incredibly spicy, so how many you add (if any) depends on your personal preference/tolerance for spicy food, and also the size of the peppers in the can you have.

      In an attempt to give you some information on how many to use, I have a Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper recipe on my site which has a filling to stuff 4 large bell peppers. This recipe uses 2 chipotle chiles. People with very low tolerance of spicy food have found this dish to be very spicy with the 2 chipotle chiles. For me, I am constantly working on my ability to consume spicy food (I feed myself spicy food as practice because it gets easier over time), and I am fine with the 2 chipotle chiles in that dish. If you think you have a high tolerance for spice, you could do 2 chipotles in this sloppy joe recipe. If you’re not sure, do 1. If you know spicy food is hard for you to eat, don’t do any! Just do the adobo.

      Hopefully this helps!

      Meggan

  16. Jessica

    I love this. I follow your recipe exactly, except I roast the tomato and the pepper which I think adds a lot of flavor. Thanks for this recipe :)5 stars

  17. Natasha E Cloutier

    Gonna try this todaty5 stars

  18. Melissa

    This was really good, although I need to work with the texture of the tofu. Mine came out way too fine. I think next time I will just try chopping the tofu rather than using the processor. But I mixed it in with some backbeans and corn to add more texture to it, and it tastes amazing!

  19. Absolutely delicious! I need to work on the tofu texture a bit but the sauce is spot on. Well done! 5 stars

  20. Marla

    I chopped the tofu fine, but it was still spongier than I ‘d prefer.  Perhaps slice the tofu into more slices (16) before pressing?

    1. alyssa

      did you buy extra firm tofu? maybe try pressing it for longer or even cooking it for longer

    2. meggan

      Hi Marla, I imagine tofu varies greatly by brand. You could definitely slice it more thinly before pressing if that’s what your tofu needs. Thanks! -Meggan

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