This Chipotle copycat Sofritas recipe is easy to make at home and tastes even better than the original! Crumbled tofu is braised in a smoky chipotle and poblano pepper sauce, then used as a meaty plant-based topping for burrito bowls, tacos, and more.
If you want to make the best vegan burritos, burrito bowls or tacos, then you need to make your own tofu sofritas! This is a Chipotle copycat recipe that transforms crumbled and braised tofu into a spicy and smoky plant-based protein to serve with all of your burritos, grain bowls, tacos, quesadillas, and more.
Tofu sofritas have been on Chipotle’s menu for years now. The chili pepper sauce-braised tofu pieces are a must-have when it comes to upgrading their classic black bean burrito bowl. With sofritas on top, every bite is extra satisfying and flavorful!
Luckily, learning how to make vegan sofritas at home is simple and only requires budget-friendly ingredients. All you need to do is simmer crumbled and pan-fried tofu in the incredible sauce made from roasted poblanos, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and tomato paste, then dig in! The result is protein-packed, somewhat spicy, and crave-worthy tofu.
What is sofritas?
Sofritas is Chipotle’s plant-based protein option for their burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, etc. It’s made by crumbling and frying organic firm tofu and braising it in an aromatic and smoky chili sauce. The Chipotle sofritas ingredients are minimal and accessible, which makes copycat sofritas recipes a breeze to make at home!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Extra-firm tofu – Extra-firm tofu is tender and meaty but needs to be pressed beforehand to drain all of the water. This gives your vegan sofritas the same tender texture as real meat. If you can’t find extra-firm tofu or want to skip pressing the tofu, use super-firm tofu instead. Firm will work, too.
- Poblano pepper – These large and mild green peppers are charred and blended into the sofritas sauce for their delicious smoky and sweet notes. You can leave these out if needed, but they add a lot of flavor and heat.
- Chipotle pepper in adobo – Chipotle peppers are red jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried, then packed into cans with adobo sauce. They give the sofritas sauce just the right amount of smokiness, heat, and a delicious depth of flavor.
- Adobo sauce – This is packed in the can with the chipotle peppers. It’s spicy and smoky, and one of the main flavor components in this recipe!
- Lime or lemon juice – Freshly squeezed is best!
- Tomato paste
- Sugar – Just a pinch of sugar balances the sofritas sauce and rounds out the rest of the flavors. Agave or maple syrup works, or you can leave it out if needed.
- Canola oil – Or use another high-heat oil when frying the tofu. For oil free, use a quality non-stick pan.
How to make copycat Chipotle sofritas
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
First, roast the poblano pepper over a gas range or under the broiler until it’s charred and blistered all over. Set it aside to cool, then remove the stem and seeds.
Pulse the roasted poblano, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, lemon juice, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and some of the water in a food processor until it’s mostly smooth.
If using extra-firm tofu, press the brick to drain the water for 30 minutes.
Afterward, crumble the drained tofu into a large oiled pan over medium-high heat.
Fry the tofu until it starts to brown, then pour the sauce into the pan. Stir to coat, then let it simmer. It should start to thicken after a few minutes. Stir in a splash of water if it gets too thick.
Serve the tofu sofritas in burritos or tacos, and enjoy!
Tips for success
- Try not to skip roasting the poblano! It adds a nice smoky depth and a subtle sweetness to the sauce, helping it taste like it came straight from Chipotle. To learn how to roast a poblano pepper like a pro, check out this guide by Chili Pepper Madness.
- To drain the tofu, use a tofu press or wrap the brick in paper towels or a clean tea towel. Place a few heavy books or a cast iron pan on top, then let the water drain for at least 30 minutes.
- Use your hands to crumble the tofu into small to medium-sized pieces. This way, the tofu becomes crisp and tender instead of soggy.
- If the sofritas sauce isn’t as smooth as you’d like it, blend in a splash of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- The spice level in these homemade vegan sofritas is medium. Is that too spicy for you? Then you can reduce the amount of adobo sauce to 1 tablespoon and perhaps skip the adobo peppers altogether if you’re sensitive to spice.
For the ultimate vegan burrito bowl, make it with a bed of white or brown rice topped with your homemade sofritas, guacamole, red salsa, simmered black beans, vegan queso, sauteed peppers and onions, and cilantro.
But that’s not all. Sofritas is a wonderful plant-based protein you can add to all of your Mexican-inspired favorites! Layer them on a batch of loaded nachos, on grain bowls, on taco salads, folded into burritos or enchiladas, or in a cheesy quesadilla.
Allow the sofritas to cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. Store them in the fridge for 4 days.
To reheat, warm the sofritas in the microwave or a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
Want more Mexican-inspired recipes?
- Vegan Queso Blanco
- Easy Mexican Tofu Tacos
- Oven Baked Taquitos
- Vegetarian Fajitas
- Cauliflower Tacos
- Black Bean Salad
Easy Sofritas (Better Than Chipotle)
- Roast the poblano pepper: If you have a gas range, hold the poblano over the flame with tongs until it's blistery and hot. Or turn your oven to the broil setting, spray the pepper with oil and place on a baking sheet. Broil for about 15 minutes or longer until it's blistered. Once cool enough to handle, remove the stem and seeds inside.
- Make the sauce: Add the poblano pepper, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, lime/lemon juice, tomato paste, sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of water to a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth.
- Press the tofu, if needed: If using the super firm tofu in a vacuum pack, there is no need to press the tofu. If not, press the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels or a clean tea towel. Place a few heavy books or cast iron pan on top of the tofu and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Make sofritas tofu: Crumble the tofu into a large pan coated with the oil over medium-high heat. Fry the tofu for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sauce from the food processor and stir it into the tofu. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding more water as needed if it starts to get too dry.
- Serve: Serve in burritos, tacos, on nachos or in bowls with rice, beans and guacamole. Enjoy!
- Leftover sofritas should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave until warm. It can be frozen if needed.
- Oil free – Use a quality non-stick pan and omit the oil.
- Less spice – Omit the chipotle pepper and use adobo sauce only.
- May leave out the sugar or use maple syrup or agave.
- You can leave the poblano pepper out if needed, but it adds a ton of flavor and tastes much better with it.
*This recipe was first published in 2019 and updated in 2023 with an easier recipe that tastes even better.