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Spanish Sofrito Sauce Recipe

A Cornerstone Base Sauce To Mediterranean Cuisine You Need To Know!

Written By: Byron | August 26, 2023
How to make Spanish Sofrito sauce

Spanish Sofrito sauce is a vegetable and tomato-based sauce that’s considered a cornerstone of Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. It is a blend of aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. This flavorsome, yet simple concoction serves as the foundation for many Mediterranean dishes, infusing them with a deep, savory essence. 

Its origins trace back to Spain, where it was embraced for its ability to enhance and elevate the taste of various dishes, from slow-cooked stews to paella and rice dishes. With its rich history and robust flavors, Sofrito sauce transforms simple ingredients into layers of flavor that will elevate any recipe.

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Serving:

23fl. oz/ 700ml

Ready in:

30 Minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

NA

How to Make Sofrito Sauce

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes 
  • Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes 
  • 7fl oz (200ml) tomato paste
  • 14oz (400g) tinned chopped tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 10oz. (300g) jar of Piquillo peppers (or fresh bell peppers, up to you)
  • 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Optional herbs and spices (add to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

Equipment 

Method

Step 1 – Build sauce base 

  • Add half of the oil to the pan on medium-high heat and brown the onion (this should take around 5 minutes). 
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook for a minute until it becomes fragrant (1 minute).
  • Add the tinned or fresh tomatoes, Piquillo peppers, and tomato paste and mix through. Simmer for 5 minutes. 

Step 2 – Add spices and seasoning

  • Move the ingredients to the side and add the remaining oil, then add the herbs (except rosemary) and smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and white pepper. 
  • Mix the spices into the oil and once you have a paste, mix into the tomato mixture. 

Step 3 – Simmer

  • Give everything a good stir and keep simmering. If the sauce looks a little dry, add some water (or red wine). Add the rosemary sprigs on top and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes (the longer the better). 
  • Remove from heat — the sauce will thicken on standing. If you want a thinner sauce, add a splash more water and simmer for a few minutes more. 

Step 4 – Blend (optional) 

  • If you prefer a smooth consistency, once the sauce has cooled, add it to a food processor and pulse for 2 minutes.

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

What is Sofrito sauce?

Sofrito is a versatile sauce used in various cuisines, including Mediterranean and Latin American. The origin of sofrito sauce can be traced back to Spain. Exact ingredients and preparation vary but the sauce will be a combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers (bell pepper or Piquillo), herbs, and spices. 

What recipes use sofrito sauce?

Sofrito sauce is a versatile base that can be used in a wide variety of dishes to add depth and flavor. Depending on the flavor profile of the dish, sofrito sauce can be made with variations of vegetables, herbs, and spices to offer a layering of flavors in the recipe.

Recipes that commonly use sofrito sauce

Paella and Fideua: 

One of the most iconic dishes of Spanish cuisine, paella often starts with a sofrito base. The sauce infuses the rice and other ingredients with rich flavors. 

Rice and Grain Dishes: 

Apart from paella, sofrito can be used in dishes like arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) and risotto to enhance the overall flavor profile.

Stews and Soups: 

Sofrito can be used as the aromatic base for many Mediterranean stews and soups like Spanish bean stews, lentil soups, and seafood stews.

Meat and Seafood Dishes: 

Sofrito can be used to marinate meats and seafood before grilling or roasting. It imparts a flavorful twist to the final dish.

Vegetable Dishes: 

Incorporate sofrito into sautéed or roasted vegetables to elevate their flavor. It works well with eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers.

Beans and Legumes: 

Use sofrito as a base for bean and legume dishes such as Spanish-style beans or lentil stews.

FAQs and Cooking Tips

Can canned tomatoes be used for sofrito sauce? 

Yes, canned tomatoes are often used in sofrito sauce recipes. They provide consistent flavor and texture, especially when fresh tomatoes are out of season. Choose high-quality canned tomatoes for the best results.

Can I freeze sofrito sauce? 

Yes, sofrito sauce can be frozen for later use. Allow it to cool completely before transferring to airtight containers or freezer bags. Frozen sofrito should be thawed in the refrigerator.

How long can I store sofrito sauce in the refrigerator? 

Homemade sofrito sauce should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and will last for up to 5 days. 

Can I adjust the ingredients in sofrito to suit my taste preferences? 

Yes, sofrito is highly adaptable. Add or omit ingredients to suit your taste or recipe preferences. 

Can I make a large batch of sofrito sauce and use it in different recipes? 

Yes, sofrito sauce is suitable for big-batch cooking and can be frozen or refrigerated until required.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 6

Amount per serving

 

Calories

226

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 10.5g

13%

Saturated Fat 1.5g

8%

Cholesterol 0mg

0%

Sodium 896mg

39%

Total Carbohydrate 33.7g

12%

Dietary Fiber 8.7g

31%

Total Sugars 9.1g

 

Protein 6.5g

 

Vitamin D 0mcg

0%

Calcium 124mg

10%

Iron 5mg

30%

Potassium 1272mg

27%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

How to make Spanish Sofrito sauce

Spanish Sofrito Sauce Recipe: A Cornerstone Base Sauce To Mediterranean Cuisine You Need To Know!

Spanish Sofrito sauce is a vegetable and tomato-based sauce that’s considered a cornerstone of Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. It is a blend of aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. This flavorsome, yet simple concoction serves as the foundation for many Mediterranean dishes, infusing them with a deep, savory essence.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course sauce
Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, latin american, Mediterranean, Spain
Servings 6 sauce for main
Calories 226 kcal

Equipment

  • 30cm/12 inch skillet or pan
  • Sharp kitchen knife and Cutting board
  • Food processor (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 7 fl oz 200ml tomato paste
  • 14 oz 400g tinned chopped tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 10 oz. 300g jar of Piquillo peppers (or fresh bell peppers, up to you)
  • 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Optional herbs and spices (add to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Build sauce base

  • Add half of the oil to the pan on medium-high heat and brown the onion (this should take around 5 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook for a minute until it becomes fragrant (1 minute).
    1 onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    A pan of onions
  • Add the tinned or fresh tomatoes, Piquillo peppers, and tomato paste and mix through. Simmer for 5 minutes.
    2-3 large ripe tomatoes, 7 fl oz, 14 oz 400g tinned chopped tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes if you prefer), 10 oz. 300g jar of Piquillo peppers (or fresh bell peppers, up to you)
    tomatoes and tomato paste are addded to a pan with onions.

Step 2 - Add spices and seasoning

  • Move the ingredients to the side and add the remaining oil, then add the herbs (except rosemary) and smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and white pepper. Mix the spices into the oil and once you have a paste, mix into the tomato mixture.
    1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of Salt, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon white pepper
    Spices are added to a pan of simmered onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

Step 3 - Simmer

  • Give everything a good stir and keep simmering. If the sauce looks a little dry, add some water (or red wine). Add the rosemary sprigs on top and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes (the longer the better).
    2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    Sofrito sauce simmers in a large pan.
  • Remove from heat — the sauce will thicken on standing. If you want a thinner sauce, add a splash more water and simmer for a few minutes more.
    Sofrito sauce simmers in a large pan.

Step 4 - Blend (optional)

  • If you prefer a smooth consistency, once the sauce has cooled, add it to a food processor and pulse for 2 minutes.
    Sofrito sauce simmers in a large pan.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 700mlCalories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 33.7gProtein: 6.5gFat: 10.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 896mgPotassium: 1272mgFiber: 8.7gSugar: 9.1gCalcium: 124mgIron: 5mg
Keyword 30 minute recipe, garlic, Onion, paprika, rosemary, sauce, smoked paprika, sofrito, sofrito sauce, thyme, tomato, tomato sauce