Learn how to make my family’s version of Puerto Rican Sofrito, also known as Recaito, and use it as an easy and flavorful base for stews, rice dishes, and more! This traditional recipe comes together with a few easy ingredients in less than 10 minutes.

sofrito in a jar

If you’ve ever tried any Puerto Rican recipes, chances are you’ve had Sofrito.

While it’s pretty easy to find premade at the grocery store and online, the flavor is on another level when you make it yourself. Plus, it’s extremely easy to make in a matter of minutes.

Recaito is a traditional staple in Puerto Rican cuisine, commonly used as a base to build flavor in recipes like this Arroz con Pollo and Picadillo.

Ingredients

Traditional Puerto Rican Sofrito uses a combination of these ingredients:

  • Onion (yellow or white)
  • Garlic
  • Culantro and/or cilantro
  • Peppers (usually a blend of cubanelle, sweet peppers, aji dulce, bell peppers, etc.)
Ingredients to make sofrito

Culantro is an herb that is basically a cousin to cilantro. It’s known to be stronger in flavor and smell, making it an excellent choice for this recipe.

Culantro and cubanelle peppers can be difficult to find depending on where you live, so feel free to make this recipe using cilantro and whatever peppers are available to you.

It’s important to note that the ingredients used in Sofrito may vary depending on which Puerto Rican family you’re eating with, but the base should remain the same.

In addition to the more traditional ingredients listed above, my mom will sometimes throw in a jalapeno or serrano pepper for added spice. I have friends who add capers, pimento olives, and even whole ripe tomatoes.

Some cooks will go heavy on the spice while others prefer to use only sweet peppers. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this and adjust the flavors to make something you will love and use often!

How to Make It

Making homemade sofrito is probably the easiest Puerto Rican recipe ever. Once you’ve got your ingredients all you’ll need is a knife, a cutting board and a food processor.

Let’s get started:

And don’t forget, you can freeze any leftovers in ice cube trays so they keep longer! Thanks to Illyanna Maisonet for that life saving trick.

ice cube trays of sofrito

Where to Use it

One batch of this sofrito makes enough for several uses, so let’s dive in to some of my favorite recipes to make with it:

More Uses for Sofrito

If you’re not in the mood to hit the grocery store and plan an entire meal around this ingredient, not to worry! There are plenty of more casual uses for sofrito that help to produce maximum flavor.

Here are some of my favorite uses:

  • Sofrito as a base for soups & stews – sofrito makes a super flavorful base to almost any savory dish you would use onions and garlic in.
  • Stuffed in things – similar to my empanadillas recipe, this recaito makes an excellent addition to anything you’re adding a filling to. Think empanadas, dumplings, and fritters.
  • Sofrito in sauces – swirl a spoonful of this stuff into your favorite sauce and taste the impact of the garlic, onion, peppers and herbs.
  • As a dip – this isn’t exactly conventional in Puerto Rico, but the ingredients and flavor profile matches that of a salsa. This makes the recipe wonderful with some crispy corn chips or just about anything you’d dip into salsa.

I also love using any leftovers in these sofrito scrambled eggs. Don’t let a drop of this delicious ingredient go to waste! Experiment with it and see what you can create.

sofrito in a jar

Recaito vs. Sofrito

What’s the difference between recaito and sofrito?

Many people who love Puerto Rican cuisine may get confused about the difference between the two recipes. The truth is that they are essentially the same.

Both are made with a base blend of aliums, peppers and herbs that result in big flavor.

The main difference I’ve noticed is the color. Some swear by using tomatoes and/or red peppers in their sofrito, giving it a red color, while recaito is usually green.

That said, I’ve seen red recaito and green sofrito plenty of times too.

At the end of the day, they both use similar ingredients to add flavor to a variety of dishes and I will happily eat any dish made with either recaito or sofrito.

Buen provecho,

Salima written in cursive
Print
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a jar of sofrito

Homemade Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito)

  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Puerto Rican, Bases, Sauces
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Caribbean
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Learn how to make my family’s version of Puerto Rican Sofrito, also known as Recaito, and use it as an easy and flavorful base for stews, rice dishes, and more! It comes together with a few easy ingredients in less than 10 minutes.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 onion (yellow or white)
  • 2 cups peppers (cubanelle, aji dulce, bell peppers, Italian sweet peppers, etc.)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup culantro and/or cilantro


Instructions

  1. Prep the alliums & peppers. Peel the onion & garlic. Roughly chop the onion and peppers, taking time to remove the seeds.
  2. Blend. In a food processor combine all ingredients and pulse until a consistent mix is formed. Use as a base for any savory dish you like! 

Keywords: Puerto Rican Sofrito