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 Summary

45 mins
5 mins
15 mins
1 hr 5 mins
4 16-ounce containers


Original recipe yields 64 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Cook'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.

Nutrition Facts

29 calories; protein 0.5g 1% DV; carbohydrates 2.6g 1% DV; fat 2g 3% DV; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 28.9mg 1% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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Rating: 5 stars
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 on the list. I was not able to find wild oregano leaves used Mexican oregano instead. I already can't wait to make this and make it the correct way. This was excellent! I loved the flavor the olives and capers added. The peppers looked similar to a habanaro so I was worried about the heat level but they were not too hot at all. Read More