With the introduction of Chipotle sofritas, vegans around the USA rejoiced. For anyone not familiar, Chipotle is a fast food chain that serves burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, and salads. The customer chooses a protein and then chooses from a selection of beans, veggies, salsa, and other toppings. Previously, the vegan option was to skip the proteins altogether and of course, pass on the optional cheese and sour cream. But now, Chipotle is offering a tofu sofritas option and it is super delicious!
When sofritas, the first dedicated vegetarian/vegan protein option, was rolled in at Chipotle’s West Coast locations, I waited with bated breath for it to reach me here on the East Coast. Spicy shredded tofu, braised with fresh spices in adobo sauce? Sign me up, right? I’m happy to say that, at least for me, sofritas totally lived up to my expectations when it finally got to Baltimore. Spicy, juicy, and full of flavor, it was a great addition to my vegan burrito. So why make a copycat sofritas at home when the original is so good? I’ll tell you my reasons 🙂
- Chipotle’s sofritas is a little on the salty side. Combined with the salsas and beans that they offer, it can make for an overall too-salty meal. By making sofritas at home you can control the salt level yourself, depending on your tastes and what the accompaniments are.
- Chipotle hack: if you decline a protein option, you get free guacamole! Otherwise, the guac costs $2 extra. When we have Chipotle we usually get it as take-out, so with a batch of sofritas in the fridge, I can get the free guacamole, add my homemade sofritas, and save money.
- General taste preferences: I personally happen to really enjoy the sofritas, but some people aren’t as sold on it. By having this method of shredding and braising tofu in your back pocket, you can make something similar but change up the spices, heat level, and/or amount of sauce according to your own preference.
This DIY sofritas tastes surprisingly similar to the sofritas you get at Chipotle, but with key differences:
- Not as salty (see above)
- Mouthfeel is not as oily (but cook with more oil if you prefer!)
- Chewier: I attribute this to the super-firm tofu that I used and to the slightly larger pieces of tofu.
- Cheaper! Duh!
Of course, the most important reason at all to make homemade tofu sofritas is that it’s incredibly tasty! It doesn’t have to be in a burrito bowl – we enjoyed this sofritas in collard green wraps; quesadillas; and in a bean dip! I imagine it would also make for a truly fantastic chili. (Or be used anywhere that soyrizo is called for). The method for the tofu is not difficult, and in this particular recipe, I don’t call for freezing – just pressing it for a few minutes before getting started.
In a nutshell: the tofu is pressed, then pan-fried at a high heat. Once it cools slightly, we chop or shred the tofu into tiny pieces, and return it to the pan along with a a vibrant sauce made from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chargrilled fresh poblano pepper (you can substitute another pepper if needed/desired), tomato, garlic, onion, and seasonings. To finish the Chipotle sofritas, the tofu simmers in the adobo sauce until the flavors and juices are absorbed. Yum! I chose to freshly grind the spices in my coffee grinder. I’ve been buying more whole spices in an effort to increase their shelf life and flavor. You can use already-ground spices but you may need to adjust the quantity. It’ll taste good no matter what, though!
If you give this Chipotle sofritas a try, let me know on Instagram by tagging @yupitsvegan and #yupitsvegan in your post. Happy cooking!
Looking for more recipes to serve alongside this tofu sofritas? May I recommend:
- Cauliflower queso
- Avocado Vegan Quesadillas