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Sofrito

Made with tangy tomatoes, fresh garlic, spicy jalapeño and more, this quick and easy condiment is jam-packed with authentic flavor! Sofrito is the backbone of many Spanish and South American dishes, and it also makes a satisfying dipping sauce on its own.

A square saucer plate containing a serving of homemade sofrito sauce

Spicy Homemade Sofrito Sauce

Whether you’re looking for a fun alternative to salsa or a simple way to add flavor to soups and stews, this 5-minute sofrito sauce is calling your name. It’s a wonderful way to make use of your leftover garden produce, and it freezes great for up to 6 months! You’ll never have to let those tempting homegrown tomatoes, peppers and herbs go to waste again. Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy them all throughout the winter.

Even if you don’t use fresh garden produce, you’ll fall in love with this garlicky condiment. The recipe makes 3 whole cups of it, which gives you plenty to experiment with. Once you start tossing some of this sofrito sauce into your favorite savory dishes, they’ll forever taste bland without it!

What Exactly Is Sofrito?

Sofrito is a combination of various veggies and seasonings that are chopped and blended together to create an ultra-flavorful sauce. This sauce can be served as a dip or incorporated into other dishes to add an extra layer of flavor. Traditionally, sofrito is gently fried – but this convenient recipe gives you the herby, spicy, garlicky goodness you’re craving with no cooking involved!

Different variations of sofrito exist throughout South America and the Mediterranean. This recipe pays homage to the classic Spanish version, which is known for its inclusion of tomatoes. To me, the tomatoes really take this condiment to the next level, but you could totally swap them out for your choice of sweet peppers if preferred.

The Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to bring your Spanish-style sofrito sauce to life. Specific amounts are included in the recipe card that follows this post.

  • Yellow Onion: Peeled and cut into quarters.
  • Garlic: Peel some fresh cloves and set them aside – no need to chop them up since everything will be combined in a food processor.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Cored and seeded.
  • Jalapeño: This should also be cored and seeded.
  • Tomatoes: Cored, then cut into quarters
  • Cilantro: Loosely packed.
  • Dried Italian Herbs: For depth of flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper: Feel free to add these to taste.

How to Make Sofrito From Scratch

This must-make condiment is finished in a matter of seconds! Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Pulse Onion, Garlic & Pepper: Place the onion, garlic and pepper into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until everything is coarsely chopped.
  2. Incorporate Remaining Ingredients: Add in the tomatoes, cilantro, herbs, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture resembles a thick salsa.
  3. Enjoy! Serve your sofrito as a dip for chips, add it to your savory meal or refrigerate it in an airtight container for later use.

Tips for Success

Look over these helpful tips and tricks so you can make your sofrito sauce as scrumptious as possible.

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: With the exception of the Italian seasoning, all of your produce should be nice and fresh. If anything has gone bad or has yet to ripen, then the entire condiment will be affected.
  • Pulse the Onion, Garlic & Pepper First: Don’t be tempted to pulse everything together all at once – you’ll likely be left with large chunks of onion, garlic and pepper. These initial ingredients should be coarsely chopped before the remaining ones are blended in.
  • Adjust the Consistency: If your sofrito seems a bit too thick, go ahead and blend in a small amount of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it looks a little thin, then blend in more of any solid ingredient.

Variation Ideas

Interested in making some tweaks to this Spanish-inspired recipe? Be my guest!

  • Make South American Sofrito: To make this condiment more consistent with Latin American cuisines, swap out the cilantro for sawtooth coriander (also known as culantro) and substitute the tomatoes for ají dulce peppers. Gently fry your sofrito in extra virgin olive oil if desired.
  • Make Italian Sofrito: The Italian version of sofrito (spelled soffritto) combines onions, carrots and celery – often including seasonings like garlic, parsley and rosemary to amp up the flavor. Don’t be afraid to switch gears and make your sofrito Italian-style, lightly sautéing it over the stove if you’d like.
  • Make Sautéed Sofrito: Gently frying sofrito sauce in extra virgin olive oil for 2-3 minutes will cause it to develop a lighter, slightly grassier flavor. If you sauté it for a total of 7-10 minutes and then combine it with tomato sauce, the flavor will become richer.

A close-up shot of sofrito hummus in a small dish with a plastic knife beside it

Serving Suggestions

From a steaming pot of chili to a platter full of rice and beans, sofrito tastes amazing in all sorts of savory dishes. It’s pretty much impossible to pick a favorite between this comforting Chicken Sofrito Stew and these crunchy Chickpeas in Sofrito! Both dishes are incredibly satisfying in completely different ways. I also really enjoy serving my sofrito as a dipping sauce or using it to make Homemade Hummus [LINK].

How to Store Extras

Leftover sofrito sauce should be refrigerated in an airtight jar or container. It will stay good for up to 1 week. Give it a good shake or stir if it’s been sitting still for more than a day or two.

Can I Freeze Sofrito?

Sure thing! Pour the sauce into a freezer-safe jar or container, leaving at least an inch of empty space so it can expand while it solidifies. Freeze it for up to 6 months, then thaw it out in the fridge before you use it.

Alternatively, you can portion your sofrito into a silicone ice cube tray and freeze it until all of the cubes are frozen solid. Once they’ve fully frozen, transfer the cubes of sofrito to a freezer-safe bag or container and store them for up to 6 months. This method allows you to thaw and use small portions at a time.

More Flavorful Condiment Recipes

A square saucer plate containing a serving of homemade sofrito sauce

Sofrito

Made with tangy tomatoes, fresh garlic, spicy jalapeño and more, this quick and easy condiment is jam-packed with authentic flavor! Sofrito is the backbone of many Spanish and South American dishes, and it also makes a satisfying dipping sauce on its own.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Servings: 12

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion peeled and cut into quarters
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 1 large red bell pepper cored and seeded
  • 1/2 jalapeno cored and seeded
  • 2 large tomatoes or 4 vine ripened tomatoes. Cored and cut into quarters
  • Large bunch of Cilantro about 1 1/2 cups loosely packed
  • 1 generous teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place onions, garlic and peppers in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Add tomatoes, cilantro, herbs and salt and pepper and process until resembles a thick salsa texture.

Notes

  • Yield: Makes 3 cups of sofrito.
  • Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months. If freezing, leave at least an inch of free space in the container to allow for expansion.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish

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