Published Apr 4th
Prep 45m Cook 5m Additional 15m Ready In 65m
Servings 4 16-ounce containers Calories 28.6

Sofrito is the secret to many Hispanic Caribbean recipes. It is a fragrant aromatic puree of peppers, onions, garlic, herbs, and olive oil. The magic herb in this fragrant mixture is cilantro. My family’s recipe produces a sofrito that is very flavorful, complex and oh-so-delicious! Use it in soups and stews as well as in rice dishes. Freeze whatever portions will not be used within 2 weeks. They will keep for about 3 months in the freezer.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 10 sweet chile peppers (ajicitos dulces), seeded
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded
  • 25 cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 bunches fresh cilantro, ends trimmed
  • 2 bunches culantro
  • ¼ cup pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 5 large leaves Caribbean wild oregano (oregano brujo)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ½ cup olive oil, or more as needed
  • ¼ cup water

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. 2 Cut green bell pepper and red bell pepper in half from top to bottom; remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. Place peppers cut sides down onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  3. 3 Roast under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Seal to let peppers steam as they cool, about 15 minutes. Remove skins under running water and discard. Chop flesh into large pieces.
  4. 4 Place pepper pieces, sweet chile peppers, onion, scallions, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, culantro, olives, oregano, and capers in a blender or food processor. Blend, adding 1/2 cup olive oil and water in batches, until mixture is pureed but some chunks remain.
  5. 5 Divide blended mixture among four 16-ounce containers, filling each 3/4 of the way. Top each with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil to help preserve mixture. Close containers and refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 28.6
  • Carbohydrate 2.6 g
  • Fat 2 g
  • Fiber 0.5 g
  • Protein 0.5 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.3 g
  • Sodium 28.9 mg
  • Sugar 0.9 g

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Chef's Notes

Substitute yellow onion with white Spanish onion if desired. Substitute the green and red bell peppers for a cubanelle (Italian frying pepper) and a roasted red pepper if desired. If doing so, skip steps 1 to 3. The ajicitos dulces can be substituted with small Italian sweet peppers. If you are unable to find culantro, use 2 more bunches cilantro. If you are unable to find Caribbean oregano brujo, use 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano instead. Plum tomatoes can be replaced with 2 teaspoons tomato paste. Substitute vinegar for the water if preferred; Sofrito also makes a great marinade when combined in a 2-to-1 ratio with an acid (vinegar, lemon, lime, or bitter orange juice), oil, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; The mixture can also be frozen in cubes - just remember to float olive oil on top of the cubes as well. When frozen, separate the cubes and store them in freezer bags.


  1. I scaled this recipe back as a trial run before making a full batch. I goofed it up though. When I made my list for the Hispanic market I wrote down cilantro but when I looked back up at the screen and saw culantro I just read it as cilantro and it never made it - Read more ...