Better Than Chipotle Sofritas (Copycat Recipe)

This homemade sofritas recipe is perfect for when you want that Chipotle vibe at home. Stuff it in a burrito or load it onto a tostada.

We love Chipotle and we love their sofritas. Sometimes, there’s truly nothing better than walking in to a Chipotle in between running some errands and snagging a burrito!

Chipotle offers a ton of vegan options for us, but there’s only one vegan protein option: sofritas. If you’re also a Chipotle-lover but you want to recreate it at home, this homemade sofritas is an easy recipe made with simple ingredients, and it’s also way more cost-effective than dining out. It’s perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike.

A pan full of cooked homemade sofritas.

What are Sofritas?

This is actually really interesting (to me). We know that sofritas are the plant-based protein option at Chipotle restaurants, but what does the word mean? “Sofrito” means “to lightly fry” in Spanish but it’s used to reference a basic aromatic vegetable preparation found in a variety of cuisines around the world.

In Latin American cuisines, it usually contains garlic, onion, and peppers cooked in oil. (Different regions have different variations. For example, the Mexican state of Yucatán uses habanero chiles in their sofrito.)

So…does that get us closer to what Chipotle sofritas are? Kinda! It seems like they just took some liberties with the word “sofrito” and are using it to mean “lightly fried crumbled tofu with veggies and spices.”

What we know for sure is that sofritas are an incredible protein option for vegan burritos, vegan burrito bowls, salads, or just eating with tortilla chips. Made of braised tofu, onions, garlic, chipotle peppers, tomatoes and spices, sofritas are ultra-savory, smoky and slightly spicy.

What’s really cool is that the ingredients for all their menu items are right on Chipotle’s website, so I was able to model my recipe based on that information. Apologies for the tangent…let’s get on with this Chipotle copycat recipe!

Ingredients for Copycat Chipotle Tofu Sofritas

  • Super-firm tofu: Also known as “high protein tofu,” this is the main ingredient for our vegan sofritas. I prefer to use this variety because there is no need to press it ahead of time! It doesn’t contain much excess water, so it’s easy to shred and to brown it up in a skillet for more of a firm, meaty chew.
    • You can use other tofu varieties such as extra firm tofu if you can’t find super-firm. Check out the FAQ section for tips on this!
  • Onion & garlic: Our aromatic base for the recipe.
  • Poblano pepper: Poblanos taste similar to green bell peppers but have a little bit of heat and more of an earthy flavor, compared to the mild sweetness of bell peppers. You can use green bell pepper (or even red) in a pinch.
  • Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce: If you’ve never cooked with these before, you’re in for a treat! They’re spicy, savory and intensely smoky and contribute so much flavor to homemade sofritas. If you’re not a lover of spicy food, check out the Recipe FAQ for some milder substitutions.
  • Cumin, oregano & paprika: This spice blend is commonly used in Mexican cuisine.
  • Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes keep this recipe super fresh and a little saucy.
  • Oil: For sautéing. Any cooking oil, such as olive oil, works fine in this recipe.
A pan full of shredded tofu that has been pan-fried until golden brown.

How to Make Homemade Sofritas — Better than Chipotle!

This copycat Chipotle sofritas recipe is super easy to make. All you need is a pan and a cheese-grater.

  1. Shred the tofu. I like to use a cheese grater to shred my tofu! This creates a lot of surface area to get nice and golden brown on the tofu, which gives the sofritas a nice chew. If you don’t have a grater, you can give the tofu a coarse chop, or crumble it into the pan.
  2. Brown the tofu. In a hot large skillet with a little bit of cooking oil, sear the shredded tofu over medium-high heat until it’s nice and evenly browned. Then remove it to a plate and set it aside.
  3. Sauté the aromatics. Add a little more oil to the same pan, and sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the tomatoes and spices. Add in the fresh diced tomatoes, along with the chipotle chili peppers, cumin, paprika, and oregano. Stir and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Simmer. Add about 1/2 cup of water (or vegetable broth) and bring the mixture up to a boil. Then reduce to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced. The simmering gives the flavors an opportunity to marry and also allows the tomatoes, peppers and onions to soften. This is also a great opportunity to prep any other ingredients for your meal, whether you’re making burritos, tacos, or bowls!
A closeup shot of homemade sofritas.

How to Serve Your Sofritas

Sofritas are a super versatile ingredient that you can have a lot of fun playing around with! Just like at Chipotle, you can enjoy them in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls or even as a topper for nachos.

Because sofritas are spicy, I love to serve mine with some homemade vegan cashew sour cream. The cooling, creamy texture that balances out the heat beautifully. Just blend soaked raw cashews with a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of apple cider vinegar, plus just enough water to get everything moving in the blender. Let it chill completely and it will thicken in the fridge for the perfect creamy sour cream.

I also love to whip up some black beans or pinto beans, some red rice (or cilantro lime rice when I want to get real Chipotle), corn salsa, romaine lettuce and fresh guacamole.

Our favorite way to enjoy sofritas lately has been on baked tostadas! Simply brush some corn tortillas with a little bit of oil, lay them out on a baking tray, and bake for about 22 minutes at 350°F, flipping halfway through. Hit them with a pinch of salt. Then, just pile on all of your fixings and enjoy!

Recipe FAQ

Can I make this with extra-firm tofu?

Can’t find super-firm (high protein) tofu? You can substitute firm or extra-firm tofu, but I highly recommend pressing it for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to preparing the recipe in order to get the best results.

A tofu press works wonders for this application. Not only will it press out excess moisture, but it also condenses the texture of the tofu so it more closely resembles the super-firm varieties. This makes it easier to brown your tofu, because browning can’t occur when there’s extra moisture in the pan. It also makes it easier to grate.

If you don’t own a tofu press, you can simply wrap your block of drained tofu in a clean, lint-free kitchen towel (or paper towels) and place something flat such as a cutting board on top. One or two cans of beans or tomatoes (or any heavy object) from your pantry can be placed on top to exert some extra pressure. Then let it drain for at least half an hour.

How can I make this recipe less spicy?

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce do pack quite a bit of heat! If you have a low spice tolerance, I recommend substituting in 2 teaspoons of either smoked paprika, ground chipotle pepper, or ancho chili powder. Any of these will contribute the smoky pepper flavor you’re after for homemade sofritas. I also recommend adding about 2 tablespoons tomato paste as a substitute for the adobo sauce that the canned chipotle chili peppers come packed in.

Storage and Reheating

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, though I think they taste best within the first 3 days.

When you want to reheat it, the easiest way is to microwave it. Alternatively, you can toss it back in a pan and warm it over the stove on medium heat until it’s hot again.

More Tofu Recipes

A pan full of cooked homemade sofritas.

Better Than Chipotle Sofritas (Copycat Recipe)

This homemade sofritas recipe is perfect for when you want that Chipotle vibe at home. Stuff it in a burrito or load it onto a tostada.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Author: Sarah Sullivan


  • 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil divided
  • 1 (16 oz) package super-firm high protein tofu
  • 1 small white or yellow onion diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 poblano pepper or green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1-2 canned chipotle peppers depending on spice preference
  • 1-2 tablespoons sauce from canned chipotle peppers depending on spice preference
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt more to preference


  • Shred the high protein tofu using a cheese grater or a food processor with a shredding disc. (You can also crumble or finely chop it if you prefer. Personally I just like the texture when it's shredded!)
  • In a skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon cooking oil until shimmering. Pan-fry the tofu on its own for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, until it's evenly golden brown and there is no extra moisture in the pan. The point of this step is to firm up the tofu and to give it an extra meaty chew. (If you're in a time crunch, you can skip this step and simply add the tofu in at step X.) Remove the tofu to a bowl and set aside.
  • Into the same pan, heat an additional tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté diced onion for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. I find it useful for this recipe to add a sprinkle of salt to each ingredient as I go.
  • Add in diced peppers and garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant.
  • Add in diced tomatoes, along with cumin, paprika, and oregano. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until tomatoes start to break down and release liquid.
  • Add the browned tofu back into the mix. (If you skipped the tofu browning step, add in your shredded tofu at this step.) Stir to combine, then add in 1 cup of water and bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer.
  • Allow this to simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the tomatoes, onions and peppers to continue to soften, and give the flavors a chance to marry. Give the sofritas an occasional stir.
  • The sofritas are ready when the extra liquid has cooked off. Taste and adjust salt as needed! Serve in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls and more!


Substitute extra-firm tofu: If you can’t find the super-firm high protein variety of tofu, you can use extra-firm instead. I recommend pressing it very thoroughly to avoid mushy sofritas. The super-firm blocks are slightly larger, so you may consider using 1 and 1/2 blocks of extra-firm tofu.
Less spicy: Canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce pack a lot of spice. If you can tolerate medium spice, try adding just 1 chili and 1 tablespoon of the sauce. If you don’t want this to be spicy at all, you’ll probably want to skip the canned peppers altogether. I recommend subbing in 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, OR ancho chili powder, OR chipotle chili powder, PLUS 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
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