My wife, Shae, works in marketing and often does swag swaps with vendors. A few years ago, she partnered with Chipotle and received 200 free Chipotle meal coupons that were too close to the printed expiration date to distribute publicly. That meant 200 free Chipotle meals…for us! We were excited but also slightly terrified because that equates to eating at Chipotle once a week for four years straight. So we took our time, gave dozens of coupons to friends and family, and knocked out our supply over the course of two years. Not our fanciest date night go-to, but certainly one of our fondest. Needless to say, we became intense sofritas fans. It’s easy to develop an aversion to any food when eaten in abundance, so we’re forever mystified by the endless allure of this tasty tofu concept.
To the uninitiated, Chipotle is a fast casual chain in the United States that serves burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, and salads. Diners can go through the line and add protein to their meal such as chicken, pork, or beef. For a long time, vegans and vegetarians had to stick with beans. Several years back, Chipotle got hip and added sofritas to the list of potential proteins. Sofritas, shredded tofu braised with fresh spices and adobo sauce, are Chipotle’s answer to vegan prayers.
Sofritas are very flavorful and a good way to mix up your tofu preparation methods. This recipe is super flexible, allowing you to easily change the texture, spiciness, and flavor profile of your meal by simply tweaking a few elements.
These tofu sofritas can be used in lots of different recipes – I used ours to make some vegan tacos but you could easily add them to burritos, bowls, quesadillas, or salads. They’re delicious and versatile like that. If you give these Chipotle sofritas a try, let me know on Instagram by tagging @plantandvine and #plantandvine in your post. Props to anyone who meets and exceeds our 2-year sofritas marathon.
sofritas and wine
Back in our Chipotle dine-in days, wine wasn’t an in-store option. Fortunately, sky’s the limit for this homemade version. Your wine choice will depend on the context in which the sofritas are served (burrito, quesadilla, bowl) but here are some wine recommendations that should pair well across all meals:
- Prosecco: Italian sparkling wine with dominant flavors of honeydew melon, pear, and green apple. Great for balancing against the strong adobo flavors of the sofritas by contrasting with fruity acidity.
- Suggested Regions: Conegliano-Valdobbiadene region near Veneto, Italy
- Albariño: fruity, light-bodied, and acidic white from Spain or Portugal. Brings grapefruit, lemon, and melon flavors. Good wine for pairing with spicy foods.
- Suggested Regions: Rias Baixas, Spain
- Tempranillo: leather, tobacco, fig, and dried strawberries bring a savory wine to a savory dish. Acidic enough to stand-up to the adobo sauce. Go for an aged Tempranillo (Reserva or later).
- Suggested Region: Rioja
Tofu sofritas recipe, inspired by Chipotle sofritas. Use in tacos, burritos, bowls, or quesadillas.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Protein, Side
- Method: Braising
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 1 block (16 oz) extra-firm tofu
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral, high-heat oil)
For the spice blend:
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
For the spicy adobo sauce:
- 1-2 medium Anaheim peppers (depending on your preferred spiciness)
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
- 2 tablespoons additional adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth, divided
- 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- To prepare tofu, wrap tofu block in paper towels and sandwich between two plates or cutting boards. Rest heavy object (book, cast iron skillet, etc.) on top of cutting board for at least 15 minutes to remove any excess moisture. The longer you press the tofu, the chewier it will be. Once excess water is removed, slice tofu into about 8 slices.
- In large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Once heated, add tofu slices so they are in a single layer. Do not stack. Cook tofu for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until evenly browned on the outside. Remove from the heat and repeat with remaining slices of tofu as required.
- Once the tofu has cooled, chop to the size desired.
- Combine all spice blend ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly coat the Anaheim peppers in neutral oil (grapeseed etc) and put on foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes per side, flipping after the first side has started to blister and brown. The peppers will look like they have collapsed inwards.
- Remove from oven. Removing the blistered skin and stems. Cut lengthwise and scoop out seeds. If you want to take a shortcut, you can also wash the sliced peppers to quickly remove seeds.
Sauce Prep and Sofritas:
- In a food processor, combine the Anaheim pepper(s), chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, half of the water, onion, garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar, and nutritional yeast. Process until smooth.
- Add sauce to a large skillet along with the chopped, fried tofu. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the rest of the broth, salt, and prepared spice blend. Cover the pan, and cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired. Enjoy in a burrito bowl, or anywhere else with Mexican-inspired flavors.
- Store covered in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
*Recipe is a guide. Adapt ingredients and measurements as desired. Adapted from Yup, It’s Vegan Copycat Chipotle Sofritas.
**This recipe is spicy. To reduce spicy level, use one pepper or half of a pepper. Or, reduce amount of chipotle peppers.
Keywords: tofu sofritas, vegan sofritas, Chipotle softritas, copycat sofritas, braised tofu