July 11, 2024

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Chipotle Sofritas Copycat Recipe (Vegan)

Chipotle Sofritas Copycat Recipe (Vegan)

Easy copycat Chipotle sofritas that’s perfect for making vegan burrito bowls, tacos and more!

A copycat recipe of spicy tofu sofritas which is crumbled tofu in sauce cooking in a skillet.

About this Recipe

This is a copycat recipe of Chipotle sofritas. What is sofritas? Sofritas is a popular protein option at Chipotle restaurants and features crumbled braised tofu in a spicy sauce.

To make sofritas, you’ll need extra-firm tofu, plus a handful of simple ingredients to make the spicy sauce. The sauce is made with roasted poblano pepper and onion blended with spices and chipotle pepper for a spicy flavour combo.

Sofritas is also easy to make! Cook everything up in a skillet and serve it over cilantro lime rice with all your favourite burrito bowl toppings for a healthy and delicious plant-based meal!

This recipe is vegan, guten-free, can be made in advance and has lots of delicious uses!

Ingredient Notes

Please see the recipe card below for the complete written and printable recipe. The following sections cover ingredient notes and substitutions and a visual overview of how to make sofritas with extra tips and tricks.

The ingredients for making copycat chipotle tofu sofritas gathered up in bowls on a counter. Each ingredient is labelled with text.

What’s in sofritas?

The tofu sofritas consist extra-firm tofu browned and then braised in a spicy sauce made from roasted onion and poblano pepper. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tofu: Extra-firm tofu is best but firm tofu is ok too. Do not use soft or silken tofu.
  • Poblano Pepper: Use one medium to large-sized poblano pepper. Note that while you could substitute Anaheim pepper or jalapeno, the sauce will be very spicy if you do. If you’re quite sensitive to spice, you can use green bell pepper.
  • Onion: Use a white or yellow onion.
  • Chipotle Pepper in Adobo: These are found in a small can usually located with other Mexican items in the grocery store. You’ll need 1 of the the chipotle peppers and a bit of the sauce from the can. Freeze the extra in an ice cube tray and then store in a container to avoid waste and so you’ve always got some on hand. If you can’t find this ingredient, you can substitute up to 1 tsp chipotle powder.
  • Garlic: The recipe calls for whole garlic cloves but if you only have ground garlic, you can substitute 1 tsp.
  • Tomato Paste: Canned tomato paste. Like the chipotle peppers, freeze the extra in an ice cube tray if you don’t plan to use it within a couple days.
  • Tamari: You can substitute soy sauce if you don’t have tamari, though note that soy sauce is not gluten-free.
  • Spices: The recipe calls for cumin, chili powder and oregano. Try to use them all if you can but if you don’t have oregano, it’s not a deal-breaker!
  • Sugar: You’ll need just a little sweetener to balance the acidity in the rest of the ingredients. You can use sugar, maple syrup or brown sugar.
  • Oil: Use any cooking oil you like for browning the tofu.
  • Lime: You’ll need 1 fresh lime.

Bowl Ingredients

If you want to make a sofritas burrito bowl, here are some ingredients that work well for that.

Pick a few you like or keep it simple with just sofritas, rice and guacamole, yum!

  • Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice: See the notes section of the recipe for the cilantro lime rice otherwise use any rice or other grain such as quinoa.
  • Romaine Lettuce: Shredded romaine lettuce is a nice addition though I’d recommend leaving it off until serving if you’re making these bowls for meal prep.
  • Avocado or Guacamole: Use diced/sliced avocado, make your own quick guacamole with avocado, lime, salt, red onion, etc. or use store-bought guacamole. Leave this off until serving if you’re storing the bowls for meal prep.
  • Sautéed Peppers and Onions: These can be cooked in a separate pan while you’re cooking the tofu. Use 1 white onion and 2-3 bell peppers of any colour. I cook them in a bit of water but you can use oil if you like. I like to add a bit of spices like cumin, paprika and chili powder but that’s optional! Cook them until they’re nice and soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Black Beans: Add a scoop of rinsed canned black beans. You could also make these refried black beans.
  • Corn: Fresh, thawed frozen or canned corn would work.
  • Salsa or Fresh Tomato: Any salsa, pica de gallo or salsa verde you enjoy works! Any diced fresh tomato also works well.
  • Sour Cream: Vegan sour cream, homemade sour cream of choice or plain Greek yogurt are good for some tanginess!
  • Cilantro: Finely chopped fresh cilantro is always a tasty addition!
Overhead view of a burrito bowl with tofu sofritas, rice, cooked peppers and onions, guacamole and cilantro.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Press the Tofu

Start by pressing the tofu for at least 20 minutes. This helps to squeeze out excess moisture so the tofu can absorb more of the sofritas sauce.

You can use a tofu press or wrap the tofu in a dish cloth or paper towel and place on a plate or cutting board and weight it down with a heavy object like a cast iron pan or some canned goods.

Once you’ve pressed the tofu, break it up into approximately 1-inch pieces. Breaking or tearing it creates more texture than chopping it into cubes.

A block of tofu in a rectangular box tofu press.

Char the Poblano and Onion

Place the poblano pepper and onion on a baking sheet lined with foil. Rub them with a little oil then broil for 12-15 minutes until the skin is blistered and blackened.

Remove the pan from the oven and set aside until they’re cool enough to handle. Once you can handle the poblano pepper, cut it in half and remove the stems and seeds.

Cook the Tofu

While the pepper and onion are in the oven, begin preparing the tofu. Heat 1 tbsp of your choice of cooking over in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Once it’s hot, add the chunks of tofu and cook for about 5-7 minutes until golden on all sides. After 4-5 minutes you can start breaking the chunks up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon.

Make the Sofritas Sauce

Add the onion, poblano pepper, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, tamari, spices, salt, sugar and water to a food processor or blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce.

A creamy red sauce made from chipotle peppers, roasted poblano, onion and tomato paste in a blender.

Mix the Sauce and Tofu

Add the sauce to the pan with the tofu and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water to make it nice and saucy.

Cook the sofritas for 8-10 minutes until the mixture reduces (thickens). While it’s cooking, use a wooden spoon to break the tofu into smaller pieces if you haven’t already.

Once the sauce has thickened up, stir in the lime juice and season it with salt, if needed.

A wooden spoon mixing tofu sofritas (crumbled tofu in spicy red sauce) in a skillet.

Assemble the Bowls

Now the fun! Time to assemble your sofritas bowl. You can use anything you like here. The suggested bowl ingredients are:

  • cilantro lime rice
  • sautéed peppers and onions
  • avocado or guacamole
  • shredded lettuce
  • salsa
  • cilantro
Overhead view of a tofu sofritas burrito bowl with rice, guacamole, cilantro, lettuce and cooked peppers and onions.


In addition to sauces like sour cream, salsa and guacamole for your bowl, you might like:


Is tofu sofritas spicy?

This recipe is definitely spicy but you there are some steps you can take to reduce the spice level.

To make it less spicy:

• use half of a poblano instead of a whole poblano
• use red or green bell pepper instead of poblano pepper
• omit the chipotle pepper but still use a bit of the adobo sauce
• add cooling guacamole or avocado to your bowl to help balance the heat

I’ll note that I avoid food that’s too spicy but I can eat this without an issue! It’s got some heat but it’s not overpowering.

How can I use sofritas tofu?

Sofritas tofu is perfect for tacos, quesadillas, burritos bowls, nachos, in burritos or breakfast burritos, on tostadas, in enchiladas, in taco salads, or as a dip for tortilla chips

Can I use frozen tofu?

Yes. Using frozen and thawed tofu will actually give it more of “meatier” chewy texture.

Is sofritas vegan?

Yes! Both this recipe and the sofritas you’d find at a Chipotle restaurant are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Is sofritas gluten-free?

This recipe is gluten-free and Chipotle sofritas is listed as gluten-free, however, if you have Celiac disease or are extremely gluten-sensitive, cross-contamination at the restaurant may be an issue as they have some wheat-based items such as flour tortillas.

Chipotle sofritas tofu in a bowl with rice, cooked peppers and onions, guacamole and cilantro. There is a fork in the bowl and another bowl in the background.


  • The tofu sofritas can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheated in the microwave or in a pan.
  • I haven’t tried freezing the sofritas. You could freeze it but just note that the texture of tofu changes once it’s been frozen and thawed.
  • The sofritas sauce can be made 1-2 days in advance to save time.
  • Assembled bowls can be stored for 3-4 days in the fridge and eaten cold or reheated in the microwave. If storing, do not add ingredients like lettuce and avocado until serving.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review.


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This copycat Chipotle sofritas recipe is packed with flavour and the perfect meat-free protein option for making homemade burrito bowls.

For the Tofu Sofritas

  • 1 (454g) 16 oz pacakge extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 poblano pepper (122 g)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered (115 g)
  • 1 chipotle pepper, from a can
  • 12 tbsp adobo sauce from the can of peppers, depending on spice level desired
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (40 g)
  • 1 tbsp tamari (15 mL)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ a lime, juiced

For the Bowls

  • cilantro lime rice
  • shredded romaine lettuce
  • avocado or guacamole
  • sautéed peppers and onions
  • salsa and/or sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • black beans

  1. Press the Tofu: Use a tofu press or wrap the tofu in a dish cloth or paper towels and place it on a plate or cutting board and weigh down with a heavy object for at least 20 minutes. Break tofu into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to broil (500 F) and set a rack in the oven in the middle.
  3. Char Poblano & Onion: On foil-lined baking sheet, add the poblano pepper and onion chunks.  Rub a little oil over the surface or use an oil mister to lightly coat them in oil. Broil for 12-15 min, until blistered and softened. When cool enough to handle, cut the poblano in half and remove the stems and seeds. 
  4. Cook Rice (Optional): If you’d like rice for serving, begin cooking that now. In a medium pot, add the rice and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 12-15 min, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside, still covered for 5 min. To the pot add lime zest, lime juice, salt and cilantro and stir to combine.
  5. Cook Tofu: Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  When the oil is hot, add the tofu pieces. Cook for 5-7 min. After 4-5 minutes, start breaking the tofu up into smaller pieces and continue cooking until golden on all sides. 
  6. Blend Sofritos Sauce: In a food processor or blender, add the grilled onion and poblano, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, garlic, tamari, spices, salt, sugar and water. Process until smooth.
  7. Add Sauce to Tofu: Transfer the sofritas sauce to the pan with the tofu. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to make it saucier. Cook for 8-10 min, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced. Stir in the lime juice, then season with salt to taste.
  8. Serve: Divide the cooked rice between bowls, top with tofu sofritas and any other desired toppings.


The sofritas sauce can be prepared 1-2 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

If serving with sautéed peppers and onions, thinly slice a 1 small white onion and 2 bell peppers and cook them in a separate pan while the tofu is cooking until softened.

Cilantro Lime Rice: Cook 1-2 cups rice according to pacakage instructions or use an Instant Pot or rice cooker. once cooked, add 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp lime zest, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro. Cook 1 cup rice for 1/2 cup cooked rice per bowl or 2 cups rice for 1 cup cooked rice per bowl. 


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of sofritas
  • Calories: 188
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 576 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Keywords: chipotle tofu sofritas, chipotle sofritas