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.

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.

Chipotle Sofritas Recipe - a photo showing a wooden spoon scooping sofrita from a cast iron skillet - click photo for full written recipe

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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.

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.

Chipotle Sofritas Recipe - a photo of eight slices of tofu on a marble slab with a dark background - click photo for full written recipe

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.

Throw everything in a food processor or blender and hit BLAST. Marinade = done.

Chipotle Sofritas Recipe - the left photo shows a bird's eye view of ingredients in a blender, the right photo shows the left photo blended into a marinade - click photo for full written recipe

Brown the tofu in a pan to give it texture and flavor. SO GOOD. When I snack on it, it reminds me of griddle cakes (but that's probably just me).

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.

Chipotle Sofritas Recipe - a photo of four slices of tofu in a cast iron skillet on a light background - click photo for full written recipe

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.

Speaking of the final dish, all that's left to do is 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.

Make Chipotle Sofritas tacos, burritos, salads, bowls, and quesadillas. Meatless Monday will never be the same!

Chipotle Sofritas Recipe - a bird's eye view photo showing a wooden spoon scooping sofrita from a cast iron skillet - click photo for full written recipe

4.87 from 15 votes

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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword tofu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 174kcal
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or rice bran oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu pressed, cut into 8 slices (see notes)

For the Marinade:

  • 1 medium tomato quartered
  • 1/2 yellow onion quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (about 1/2 cup) green bell pepper deseeded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 chipotle chilies (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried italian oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water plus additional water as needed for braising the tofu
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, bring oil to a shimmer. Cooking in batches, 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.
  • Meanwhile, for the marinade, in a food processor, combine the tomato, yellow onion, garlic, green bell pepper, cumin, ancho chili powder, chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, dried italian oregano, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and the water. Pulse until the marinade is slightly chunky and thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Once marinated, 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. Serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. To press the tofu: drain the tofu and wrap in paper towels and place in a dish. Place a heavy object, such as a can, on the tofu for about 15 minutes, to remove moisture. Or, use this easy tofu press
  2. To obtain adobo sauce and chipotle chilies: strain adobo sauce into a small bowl, pressing down on the peppers to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have at least ¼ cup). Reserve remaining chipotle chilies and sauce for another use. 

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal

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  1. 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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Natasha E Cloutier

    Gonna try this todaty5 stars

  7. 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!4 stars

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

  9. 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?4 stars

    1. 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

  10. VAL HANSON

    Amazing recipe! I loved this marinade. Thanks you so much for sharing!5 stars

  11. Abby

    This is the real deal. As a vegetarian, I adore Chipotle’s sofritas and am so happy I found this recipe. It truly tastes just like theirs! Mine came out too wet, which I think is due to my food processor making the tofu bits too small, so next time I’ll chop it. Love that there’s really no chopping of veggies if you use a food processor. Will have to check out some of your other Chipotle recipes:)5 stars

  12. Ariadne

    Hey! I’m hoping to use this in some breakfast taquitos that I can freeze. Is this freezable?

    1. meggan

      Hey Ariadne! Yes, it’s okay to freeze tofu! It will actually absorb the flavor of the marinade even better through the freezing/defrosting process. It might be a little firmer and less soft, more chewy, but I’m assuming if you’re eating tofu you don’t mind that! If you need anything else, just let me know! Thank you so much for the great question. :D

  13. Diana

    I’m wondering how long does this last after making it 5 stars

  14. Joe

    I made this a week ago and am obsessed! I am going to make this again tonight but am wondering if you have tried freezing it?5 stars

  15. Carlie

    Delicious! I made this along with the lime rice, veggies and pinto beans!
    Trying to cut down on the meat at my household and this definitely hit the spot.
    By any chance how long will this keep? It’s just two of us and will like to keep it as long as possible. 
    (5x meal prep, hopefully!)
    Thank you so much for sharing!5 stars

  16. Lynn Smith

    I plan on trying this ASAP! I’m attempting to start meatless Monday’s. What could i substitute to make this dish with less sodium?

    1. meggan

      Hi Lynn! Thanks for commenting. I was looking at the recipe trying to figure out WHY the sodium was so high in the first place when none of the ingredients are particularly, well, salty. I went back to the nutrition calculator and changed “Chipotle Chilis” to “Chipotle Peppers” because the program was pulling in canned chili and artificially inflating the sodium in the process. So, the sodium is reflected accordingly now and is much lower. Tofu itself isn’t very salty. When you choose your chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce (whether you buy them together or separately) you should look at the labels for the one with the lowest salt. And, feel free to use less than the 1/2 teaspoon salt recommended in the recipe for your final seasoning. I hope this is helpful, sorry for the confusion, and if you need anything else just let me know! Good luck and take care. -Meggan

  17. Brigette

    Made this recipe today along with a few other of the Chipotle copycat recipes on Culinary Hill. Always so good!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Thank you so much Bridgette, I really appreciate you!

  18. I LOVE sofritas from Chipotle and never order a burrito bowl without it :D5 stars

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