Copycat Chipotle Sofritas Recipe (Spicy Adobo Braised Shredded Tofu)

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.

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas (Spicy Adobo Braised Shredded Tofu) | DIY spicy tofu that is fried and then braised in a fragrant sauce, and even more flavorful than the Chipotle sofritas.

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 real thing is so good?

  • 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 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 sofritas is that it’s incredibly tasty! It doesn’t have to be in a burrito bowl – we enjoyed this 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.

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas (Spicy Adobo Braised Shredded Tofu) | DIY spicy tofu that is fried and then braised in a fragrant sauce, and even more flavorful than the Chipotle sofritas.

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. 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!


Copycat Chipotle Sofritas (Spicy Adobo Braised Shredded Tofu)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas (Spicy Adobo Braised Shredded Tofu)

Copycat Chipotle sofritas - tofu sofritas in the same style served at Chipotle, but even more flavorful (and healthier)! Firm tofu is pan-fried, then shredded and braised in a rich, spicy, and savory adobo sauce. Skip the lines and make your own vegan burrito bowls at home!


  • 16 oz. extra-firm tofu (the firmest you can find; I used Trader Joe's super-firm)
  • ~2 tb. grapeseed oil (or other neutral, high-heat oil)
  • For the spice blend:
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 tb. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. raw sugar or coconut sugar
  • For the spicy adobo sauce:
  • 1 medium poblano pepper
  • 2 tb. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tb. additional adobo sauce
  • 1/2 c. water or salt-free vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 tb. tomato paste
  • 2 tb. soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 tb. cider vinegar
  • (optional) 1 tsp. nutritional yeast (for added umami)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt + more to taste (I personally went up to almost 1/2 tsp.)


    Prep the tofu:
  1. Press the tofu using a heavy object & towels, or your tofu press, for at least 5 minutes to remove any excess moisture. Slice the tofu into about 8 slices.
  2. In a skillet, add 1 tb. or so of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Add as many slices of tofu as you can fit without crowding.
  3. Cook the tofu for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until evenly browned all the way around the outside. Remove from the heat and repeat with remaining slices of tofu. Set aside.
  4. Once the tofu has cooled, chop it into very small pieces, or to the size desired.
  5. Prep the spice blend:
  6. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns just until they start to smell fragrant. Add them to a spice grinder or mortar & pestle, along with the oregano and sugar. Grind into a fine powder.
  7. Char the poblano pepper:
  8. If you have a gas stove, then turn on a burner and use metal tongs to hold the pepper over the flames. Rotate frequently until the pepper is blackened all the way around. You can also grill the pepper, or roast it at a very high heat in the oven until fully browned.
  9. Remove the skin, stem and seeds from the pepper.
  10. Prep the sauce and braise the sofritas:
  11. In a blender or food processor, combine the poblano pepper, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, about half of the water or broth, onion, garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar, and optional nutritional yeast. Process until completely smooth.
  12. Add the sauce to a large skillet or saucepan along with the chopped, fried tofu. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to medium.
  13. Add the rest of the water/broth, the salt, and about half of the prepared spice blend. Cover the pan, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  14. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or more of the spice blend as desired. Stir, cover again, and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the raw onion and garlic taste is gone.
  15. Enjoy in a burrito bowl, or anywhere else with Mexican-inspired flavors!


For a texture more like what you'll be served at Chipotle, use regular firm tofu. The sofritas at Chipotle also tends to be very saucy.

This recipe is definitely spicy. If you don't like spicy food try using only half of a poblano, or cutting down on the chipotle peppers. Make sure that the poblano pepper is thoroughly cooked, not just charred on the outside, but soft on the inside. And pair the sofritas with things like refried beans or guacamole/avocado to help balance out the heat.

Shared on Virtual Vegan Potluck.

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas (Spicy Adobo Braised Shredded Tofu) | DIY spicy tofu that is fried and then braised in a fragrant sauce, and even more flavorful than the Chipotle sofritas.

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    • says

      I go to Chipotle a little too often for my own good! I hadn’t even heard of Moe’s before but I just looked it up and there is one only a couple of blocks from my office :O I will be trying it very soon!

  1. Kelsey Allis says

    Just tried this recipe today with a friend. We were both excited to try a new tofu recipe but the end result was super spicy!!!! Probably could have done without the chipotle peppers… overall great!

    • says

      Hey thank you for the feedback!! I should have been more clear that it’s quite spicy … Sorry about that :( I will add a note to the recipe about reducing the peppers if you don’t like heat. Glad you enjoyed it otherwise!

  2. says

    My first time at Chipotle’s was pretty good and I really like their Sofritas bowl, it was in a smaller city in Oregon. My second time was horrible, it was in Portland and I witnessed cross-contamination of vegan food and ‘meat.’ Eww, I know. Yay for a homemade Sofritas recipe…bookmarking this so I don’t need to eat out at Chipotle’s and worry about it. Looks so delicious….drools!

    • says

      I know this doesn’t happen to everyone but personally I get pretty sick if I accidentally have any meat/meat juices =/ so it sucks to hear that they weren’t separating them properly. :( but anyway, thank you! (And thanks for your other lovely comments, too :))

  3. says

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever left a comment on someone’s blog before, but I just had to tell you that this recipe is life changing! This is vegan food at its finest. Since finding this recipe I have made these sofritas three times (I didn’t change a single thing any of the three times). The sauce is so incredibly flavorful and full of umami – I was literally licking the blender. LOL. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. kudesh says

    I’m going to try to make this today I just wanted to know if I freeze the left overs how long will they stay good

    • says

      Hi Kudesh, I haven’t frozen this particular dish before, but I’m guessing the tofu would become a little spongier in the freezer. If you don’t mind that then I think it would probably last for a few weeks.

  5. Jackie says

    I’ve made this recipe twice now and it has totally revolutionized burrito bowls at my house! The sofritas are so full of flavor, it is an awesome burrito topping. Thank you for cracking the sofritas code!

  6. caitlyn says

    THANK YOU for this recipe! this is seriously the best tofu recipe i have tried yet. i didn’t use a poblano, but instead just added some more chipotle peppers (which made it super duper spicy) but it still turned out delish. thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Maya says

    Fantastic recipe. It’s perfectly spicy and savory (and I LOVE Chipotle sofritas; have been eating them since they started offering them). The only peppers I had on hand were jalapeno, so I roasted 2 of those and threw them into the blender with Cholula and Melinda’s (habanero pepper sauce) and the other ingredients. Omitted the onion because I didn’t have any. The nutritional yeast and tamari are definitely key. Delicious!

  8. Ama says

    Amazing recipe!!! One question – do you need to fry the tofu? How would it be different if i just cut it up and put it in the sauce vs. frying it first?

    • says

      Hi Ama,
      Sorry for the late reply! Frying the tofu affects the texture by drying it out inside and crisping it on the outside, so that it can soak up all of the flavor of the adobo sauce and still hold a chewy texture after doing so. I haven’t tried skipping that step so I’m not really sure what would happen – I imagine it’d be tasty all the same but the tofu might start to fall apart. If you try it let me know!

  9. Lara Hughes says

    Hi Shannon,

    Thanks so much for putting up this recipe with photos. I only just tried chipotle vegan option (I live in Vancouver, Canada) and as I’m always looking out for burrito fillings, I had to try and re-make it. I followed your recipe and it was the first time actually that I had ever tried poblano pepper and was amazed that it wasn’t too spicy. I did chicken out (or should I say tofu out) of including the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and instead added in in some drops of some liquid smoke. With the substitution it still tasted great but I must admit it was missing something. So next time I’m going to try to at least put a little bit of the chipotle pepper in and the sauce.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  10. Nick says

    I’m not vegan (and previously didn’t even like most tofu applications) but love Chipotle’s sofritas, and used this recipe for a taco night with friends as a welcome alternative to the mounds of ground beef. So delicious, thanks!

  11. Mike says

    Awesome! Just what I was looking for so I could make make a sofrita burrito at home. My daughter and I made this recipe tonight. I used a little less adobo for the first try. I would put more in next time if it was just for me, but for the family, I used about 1/2 the recommended amount. Made a mixture of black beans, corn, cilantro, tomato and lime, some fresh guacamole and lime rice. Put it all in a large burrito shell and rolled a fantastic dinner. Thanks!

  12. Jeff says

    Great recipe! I just made this last night for the first time, and decided to double the recipe, since we were going to share it with friends and I wanted to have leftovers. I’m glad that I did, as even doubling it, I filled a 1.5 quart slow cooker.

    While I am far from a professional chef, I’m still pretty comfortable in a kitchen. This took me close to two hours from the minute I stepped into the kitchen to having it ready to serve, which is significantly different than the 25 minutes cited above.

    I didn’t have the raw ingredients for the spice mixture, so I opted for ground cumin, oregano and coriander from my spice rack, and was quite pleased.

    Overall, this recipe is fantastic, and very similar to the Chipotle version. It was a hit with me and with our friends. I’ll definitely be making it again, but will just consider the caveats I found above.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Jeff, I’m glad that you enjoyed the recipe, though that seems really frustrating that it would take two hours to finish making! It really did take only 25-30 minutes for me when I was testing out the recipe. Do you mind me asking which parts of the process seemed to be the biggest time suck for you? I haven’t remade this recipe in a couple of months so maybe it’s time for me to do that and see how I can streamline the instructions and workflow further. Anyway, thanks for your feedback! I appreciate it.


  1. […] Well, all this shopping and running around makes a guy and two gals hungry.  Chipotle was already deemed our food stop, as it was the last chance Hannah will have to eat her favorite takeout (British variation: takeaway).  Trust me, there are no Chipotle’s in or near Quartzsite.  One really should try the Sofritas!  I did just find a recipe to make my own, so maybe this will be dinner sometime soon ( […]

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