This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

This savory, satisfying tofu taco meat is even better than Chipotle’s sofritas, promise. Vegan, gluten-free, make-ahead friendly, and perfect for all your Mexican-inspired meals.

three sofritas tacos on a plate
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why we love this recipe

Whether or not you’re vegan, it’s nice to have a variety of savory, satisfying plant-based protein options at your disposal. Sofritas-style tofu taco meat is a great, flexible ingredient to incorporate into Mexican-inspired meals.

Our version has:

  • A great, toothsome texture
  • Layers of fresh, savory, and spicy flavor
  • The perfect level of sauciness

You can make it well in advance and refrigerate or freeze it, so you’ll never be too far from a healthy and satisfying meal.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Extra-firm tofu develops a pleasant chewiness in the oven, which is perfect for sofritas.
  • Poblano peppers have a nice combination of mild heat (which can vary quite a bit) and well-developed flavor.
  • You can use fresh or canned plum tomatoes.
  • The chipotle pepper in adobo sauce adds quite a bit of heat to this recipe, making it spicier than the version you’ll get at Chipotle. If you’re not a fan of heat, you can substitute an additional tablespoon of tomato paste. The smoked paprika will still give the sofritas a nice smokiness.
tofu taco meat (sofritas) in a pan

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of sofritas. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Dry the tofu well between multiple layers of paper towels, crumble it, and dry again. In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the marinade.
  2. Toss the crumbled tofu into the marinade, place on a rimmed sheet pan, and arrange in a single layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, until browned and chewy.
  3. While the tofu bakes, combine and process the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor.
  4. Cook the sauce until it reduces by about half. Stir in the baked tofu crumbles. That’s it!

How to serve it

Tacos

Sofritas makes an excellent vegan substitute for ground beef in tacos. You can build a great vegan taco with:

Burrito bowls

Or make a phenomenal vegan burrito bowl with sofritas as your protein. You can use:

Expert tips and FAQs

What is sofrito?

Many cultures have a version of sofrito. The details vary, but this blend of aromatics is frequently composed of peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. These ingredients get minced or pureed and cooked down in oil, creating a super-flavorful base for a wide variety of dishes.

What is sofritas?

Sofritas is a wildly popular version of tofu taco meat created by Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2013. It seems clearly named after sofrito, so our version marries chewy marinated baked tofu crumbles with a gorgeous sofrito-inspired sauce made with tomato, poblano pepper, shallot, garlic, tomato paste, chipotle in adobo, oregano, and salt.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Absolutely. If anything, the flavors only improve as they have a chance to mingle. Sofritas will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a year. Defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.

More favorite vegan tacos

three sofritas tacos on a plate

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

tofu taco meat (sofritas) in a pan
4.75 from 4 votes

Sofritas (Tofu Taco Meat)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This savory, satisfying tofu taco meat is even better than Chipotle's sofritas, promise. Vegan, gluten-free, make-ahead friendly, and perfect for all your Mexican-inspired meals.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients 

For the tofu

  • 1 16- ounce 454-gram block extra-firm tofu

For the marinade

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) safflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 2 plum tomatoes, fresh or canned, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small poblano pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) tomato paste
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper, plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) safflower oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.
  • Drain the tofu and firmly pat dry between multiple layers of paper towels.
  • Crumble tofu with your fingers and dry well again.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Add crumbled tofu and mix gently but thoroughly until the tofu has evenly absorbed the marinade.
  • Line a rimmed half-sheet pan with parchment. Pour tofu onto pan and arrange in a single layer.
  • Bake, stirring once or twice, until browned and chewy, about 30 minutes.
  • While the tofu bakes, place the tomatoes, poblano, shallot, garlic, tomato paste, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, oregano, and salt into a food processor and process until relatively smooth.
  • Heat the safflower oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  • Pour in the sauce and cook, stirring almost constantly, until reduced by about half.
  • Remove tofu from oven, spoon into sauce, and stir to coat.

Notes

  1. The chipotle pepper in adobo sauce adds quite a bit of heat to this recipe, making it spicier than the version you'll get at Chipotle. If you're not a fan of heat, you can substitute an additional tablespoon of tomato paste. The smoked paprika will still give the sofritas a nice smokiness.
  2. Tofu taco meat will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a year. Defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 118kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 594mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Mexican-Inspired
Cuisine: Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

More Recipes

Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. This is a wonderful recipe! I didn’t have a poblano pepper or a shallot on hand and since I live miles from town and didn’t want to wait to try the recipe, I substituted a jalapeño for the poblano and a chunk of sweet onion for the shallot. The jalapeño was very spicy so I omitted the chipotle in adobo sauce and added the extra tablespoon of tomato paste. I have Mexican oregano on hand so I used that. The sofritas was absolutely delicious! Thank you for creating this recipe!

  2. This is super tasty! I’ve made it a few times now for tacos and nachos and it turns out great.
    It’s a tad spicy for some folks in my household so I might half the chiles in adobo and add some smokey flavour to compensate.