Updated: Jul 16
We bring you a basic sofrito recipe. These are the bare minimum ingredients for a sofrito and we guarantee that you can find these ingredients in your local grocery store. This will be the perfect base for all your Puerto Rican recipes!
2 onions (peeled)
2 cubanelle peppers or 2 green peppers (washed)
5 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 bunch of cilantro (washed)
2 tbs of water
After washing your veggies thoroughly, cut them into pieces that will fit comfortably in the blender. Take your peeled onions and cut them into four pieces. If you are sensitive to onions, chewing gum while cutting them helps me alot -- try it!
We’ve already peeled our garlic, so those will just go right into the blender. For the peppers, you’ll need to remove the cores before blending them. First, cut off the top off your pepper.
Next, pull out the pepper’s core, removing all of the seeds and veins - there’s really no flavor in those parts of the pepper so better to discard them. You might find it easier to do this step with a small paring knife.
Finally, cut the pepper into pieces that will fit in your blender. We are using cubanelle peppers here, which I find to have the most similar flavor to the local green peppers in Puerto Rico. But if you can’t find cubanelle peppers in your local store, don’t panic! Green bell peppers work fine too. My only word of caution when selecting your peppers at the store is not to accidentally purchase hot peppers (which can sometimes look like cubanelles); that will definitely put an unexpected spin on your Puerto Rican dishes.
Once you are done cleaning your peppers, take your cilantro and cut off the bottom thicker stems and discard it, just leaving the leafy portion.
Now to the blender. Go ahead and load your onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro into the blender.
Now, I’m sure that all the experienced Puerto Rican cooks watching this are thinking “Wait, but what about the ajies dulces and recao”? For those of you not familiar with these, ajies dulces are a small, sweet variety of peppers found in Puerto Rico and recao is a local herb, which might be described as a stronger, more potent version of cilantro. Both ajies dulces and recao are usually included in sofrito, and some may say you can’t have sofrito without them. Unfortunately, they are hard to find outside of Puerto Rico -- but don’t worry; making sofrito without them is perfectly fine. I’ve been doing it for years, and I’m not sure how many Puerto Ricans would even be able to tell the difference.
Blend all of your ingredients on high for 15-20 seconds. Add a little water to help the blending process and keep blending on high until everything is finely minced. This brings back a lot of childhood memories for me, I would wake up on Sunday mornings at my grandmas house with the sound of the blender and the smell of sofrito - this was one of her weekly routines.
Once your sofrito is done, go ahead and add it to a clean, sealable container for storage. If you make a lot of sofrito, say more than you will use in a couple of weeks, you can also freeze it so it lasts longer. As a real pro tip, I know people who freeze it in ice cube containers, so you can easily defrost smaller portions.
So there you go, now you know how to make sofrito, a key building block for Puerto Rican food.
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.