What is sofrito? It’s a simple tomato-based sauce that is easy to prepare and can be used as a base in many Cuban and Latin American recipes. This version is slightly on the spicy side because that’s how Cuban food is best enjoyed!

This recipe was part of a guest post I wrote on Debra‘s Blog – Vegan Cuban Bowl

There is always special happiness when I am posting a tomato recipe, like this Cuban sofrito recipe! It feels like I am getting back to my roots of why I started this blog.

This sofrito recipe made with heirloom tomatoes makes for a rich base in any Cuban recipe. It turns a mild red beans and quinoa recipe into a juicy, flavorful meal!

Front view of a white bowl filled with sofrito and surrounded by Oregano bowl, mushroom bowl, curley parsley and Cuban Seasoning

Tips for making sofrito

What is Sofrito?

Sofrito sauce is made with many different flavors and ingredients. It’s very common in Latin cuisine, but, Italians also have a ‘SOFFRITO‘ base in many of their dishes.

Authentic Puerto Rican sofrito recipe (as well as Dominican Republic) is made using Culantro and ajies dulces peppers. I have also seen Cubanelle peppers and even green bell peppers used in their sofrito recipes.

If you are Colombian, you prepare your sofrito very simply. You use green onions and tomato (or tomato paste) which is the perfect combination! This also works as a dip for an arepa.

I have seen it used in Caribbean cuisine as a base for curing many of their ham recipes. They make use of Lard extensively in their sofrito recipe which makes their meals so soft!

My recipe is an authentic Cuban version of sofrito which focuses more on the tomatoes and spices. It is normally served over Cuban black beans and rice.

There are so many different types of sofrito recipes. Which one is your favorite?

I have also heard this recipe being referred to as Cuban tomato sauce! Makes sense why, lol

Source: Wikipedia and my personal experience

Overhead and closeup view of a white bowl filled with sofrito. Bowl is on a grey plate and surrounded by curley parsley leaves

Ask me a question

What kind of tomatoes are used to make a Cuban sofrito recipe?

Traditional sofrito recipes tend to use plum or beef stock tomatoes. If you can’t find them, use Campari tomatoes or even cherry tomatoes.
When I made the recipe for Deb, I used plum tomatoes, which were the perfect texture for the Cuban bowl. However, I had an heirloom tomato left over from my Tomato granola recipe and I figured it would be perfect for use in this recipe.
It doesn’t matter what kind of tomatoes you use. The only thing to note is that they have to be firm. Don’t use ripe tomatoes because they tend to be slightly on the sweeter side. To add a little sweetness, you can also add sweet peppers.

Can I use tomato paste?

If you use tomato paste, don’t tell me or any Cuban about it, lol! We are vehemently opposed to using it in a sofrito recipe. The delicious flavors of sofrito come from the fresh tomatoes!

Ingredients in sofrito

– Garlic cloves
– Fresh cilantro
– Red peppers
– Red or yellow onion
– Olive oil
– Green or red bell pepper and spices.

Give the ingredients a rough chop before adding them to the food processor. This will make about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sofrito. If you want to go nuts with the onion and garlic amounts, I am all for it! I always add a little extra because I love the flavors.

Storing leftovers

Ideally, the bold flavors of this great recipe are great when used right out of the food processor. However, if you have leftovers, I have 2 easy ways to store them.

The best method is to put it into ice cube trays. I love (Affiliate Link) these trays with a lid. Or, place it in freezer bags, remove air from the bag, and store it for no more than 6 months.

If you are going to use it up in a week, store it in a glass airtight container.

What to make with it

Cuban recipes are slowly becoming second nature to me. I love the powerful flavors of this cuisine and all its colorful vibrancy.

My first attempt at true Cuban cuisine was these Vegan Cuban Picadillo. It’s one of my all-time favorite pressure cooker recipes and happens to be so easy to prepare!

Use this sofrito base in:

So, go and make this recipe ASAP. As the Cubans say, “buen provecho”!

Front view of a white bowl filled with sofrito and surrounded by Oregano bowl, mushroom bowl, curley parsley and Cuban Seasoning

Sofrito Recipe

Quick and easy Cuban-Style Sofrito Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Ingredient
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 3 People
Calories 30 kcal


  • 1 heirloom tomato Purple colored, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 red onion roughly chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/8 tsp Cuban seasoning


  • Put all the ingredients for the sofrito into a blender and blend until smooth
  • Heat a strong bottom pan on medium heat
  • Gently transfer the blender ingredients into the pan
  • Heat on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until water has dissipated
  • Set aside to let it cool.


– If you plan to freeze the sofrito, make sure its cooled to room tempreture
– For freezing, use glass bottles or ziplock bags only


Calories: 30kcal
Keyword homemade cuban sofrito recipe, how to make sofrito
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Can u please tell me what Cuban seasoning is used?? Is it cumin, or cumino?? They r both the same cumino is just cumin in Spanish but I wanted to b specific on which seasoning to use my husband is from Havana and unfortunately passed away years ago before I could obtain her recipes 🥹😢