Ingredients for sofrito criollo (Latin American spicy sauce)©GrosbyGroup
Cooking Basics

How to make sofrito that will make your abuelita proud

Adding sofrito to your cooking can also help with your overall health

Whether you call it sofrito, refogado, sufrito — you know it, have smelled its aromatic goodness and have tasted the difference in your food because of it. From Latin America to Spain to Asia and the Mediterranean, this cooking base can be found in cuisines across the globe. Some of the base ingredients for this abuelita fave are garlic, onions, peppers and tomatoes (you know, the usual suspects). Below is an easy-to-make recipe that will help elevate your comida and give it un toque especial.

Sofrito©Flickr / Francisco Becerro
Sofrito is a base sauce that can be found in Latin American, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese cuisine

Homemade Sofrito Recipe


  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 10 ajies dulces, tops removed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 medium heads garlic, peeled
  • 25 cilantro stems, with leaves
  • 25 culantro (or recao) stems, with leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper


  1. Take all the veggies needed for the recipe and do a quick lavado to remove any excess dirt they may have.
  2. Once washed, chop and seed bell peppers; and cut off the tops off of the ajies dulces (aka ají cachucha, ajicito or ají gustoso). Place in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Chop tomatoes, onions, garlic and add to bowl with peppers.
  4. In another bowl, cut cilantro and culantro (aka recao, shadow beni, Mexican coriander, bhandhania, long coriander, sawtooth coriander or ngò gai).
  5. In a food processor, add bell peppers, ajies dulces, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Grind until combined into small chunks. Then add cilantro, culantro, salt and pepper. Combined until mixture final ingredients have been combined.


  • Good to note that mixture should be liquid-like but not water-like. It is okay to see a few small chunks of the ingredients.
  • For frequent use, place in a mason jar in the refrigerator.
  • For long-term use, place in individual freezer bags and store in freezer. Use whenever you want to add a kick to the meal.
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