From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sofrito being prepared in Spain
Region or stateLatin American, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Main ingredientsGarlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes
Ingredients generally usedOlive oil

Sofrito (Spanish, pronounced [soˈfɾito]), sofregit (Catalan, pronounced [sufɾə'ʒit]),[1] soffritto (Italian, pronounced [sofˈfritto]), or refogado (Portuguese, pronounced [ʁɨfuˈɣaðu]) is a basic preparation in Mediterranean, Latin American, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese cooking. It typically consists of aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and sautéed or braised in cooking oil for a long period of time over a low heat.

In modern Spanish cuisine, sofrito consists of garlic, onion and peppers cooked in olive oil, and optionally tomatoes or carrots. This is known as refogado, sufrito, or sometimes as estrugido in Portuguese-speaking nations, where only garlic, onions, and olive oil are considered essential, tomato and bay laurel leaves being the other most common ingredients. [2]


The earliest mentioned recipe of sofrito, from around the middle of the 14th century, was made with only onion and oil.[3]

In Italian cuisine, chopped onions, carrots and celery is battuto,[4] and then, slowly cooked[5] in olive oil, becomes soffritto.[6] It may also contain garlic,[7] shallot, or leek.[8]

In Greek Cuisine, Sofrito refers to a dish that is found almost exclusively in Corfu. It is served less commonly in other regions of Greece and is often referred to as 'Corfu Sofrito' outside of Corfu. It is made with veal or beef, slowly cooked with garlic, wine, herbs sugar and wine vinegar to produce an umami sauce with softened meat. It is usually served with rice and potatoes.

Latin America[edit]

In Cuban cuisine, sofrito is prepared in a similar fashion, but the main components are Spanish onions, garlic, and green or red bell peppers. Ají cachucha is also often used instead of or in addition to bell peppers. It is a base for beans, stews, rices, and other dishes, including ropa vieja and picadillo. Other secondary components include tomato sauce, dry white wine, cumin, bay leaf, and cilantro. Chorizo (a kind of spicy, cured sausage), tocino (salt pork) and ham are added for specific recipes, such as beans.[9]

In Dominican cuisine, sofrito is also called sazón, and is a liquid mixture containing vinegar, water, and sometimes tomato juice. A sofrito or sazón is used for rice, stews, beans, and other dishes. A typical Dominican sofrito is made up of very finely chopped green, red, and yellow bell peppers, red onions, garlic, ground oregano, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, water, and cilantro. Ingredients vary and can change, for instance cubanelle peppers can substitute for bell peppers, celery can replace onions, and parsley or culantro can be used in place of cilantro.[10]

In Puerto Rican cuisine, sofrito is mostly used when cooking rice dishes, sauces, and soups. Sofrito is closely related to recaíto. The two main ingredients that give Puerto Rican sofrito its characteristic flavor are recao (culantro) and ají dulce, but red and green cubanelle peppers, red bell peppers, pimientos, yellow onions, garlic, plum tomatoes, and cilantro are also added. All red peppers are roasted, seeded, and then added to the sofrito. Sofrito is traditionally cooked with olive oil or annatto oil, tocino (bacon), salted pork and cured ham. A mix of stuffed olives and capers called alcaparrado is usually added with spices such as bay leaf, Bixa orellana (achiote) and adobo.[11]

In some Caribbean cuisine, sofrito is seasoned lard and functions as a base for many traditional dishes, but prepared differently from the method described above. Lard (acquired from rendering pork fat) is strained, and annatto seeds are added to colour it yellow, and later strained out. To the colored lard is added a ground mixture of cured ham, bell pepper, chile pepper, and onion; after this, mashed coriander leaves (cilantro) and oregano leaves are added. Garlic cloves are added in a tea ball, and the sauce is simmered for half an hour.[12]


In Filipino cuisine, ginisá is a culinary term that refers to a base of garlic, onions, and tomatoes sautéed together with cooking oil. It is essentially similar to the Spanish sofrito.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andrews, Colman (2005) [Originally published: New York: Macmillan, 1988]. "Part Two: SAUCES - Sofregit". Catalan Cuisine, Revised Edition: Vivid Flavors From Spain's Mediterranean Coast (Revised ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. pp. 37ff. ISBN 9781558323292. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Lisbon Academy of Sciences, Dictionary of the Portuguese Language, Refogado". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  3. ^ The book of Sent Soví : medieval recipes from Catalonia. Santanach i Suñol, Joan., Vogelzang, Robin M. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Tamesis. 2008. ISBN 978-1-85566-164-6. OCLC 183149198.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Onions, Carrot and Celery". Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  5. ^ "The Secret Weapons in Italian Cooking". 5 July 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  6. ^ Howald Patton, Lindsey (4 April 2020) [May 2014]. "All About Mirepoix, Sofrito, Battuto, and Other Humble Beginnings". Serious Eats. Dotdash. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  7. ^ "Marinara Sauce - Soffritto Style". Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Chef Jerry Corso Gets Cooking with Soffritto". 15 March 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  9. ^ Rodriguez, Hector (October 16, 2017). "All About Sofrito: Origins, History, and Variations" Archived 5 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine. The Spruce Eats.
  10. ^ "Dominican Sofrito & Sazón – 4 Versions"., January 1, 2011.
  11. ^ S, Lucille (January 26, 2014). "Sofrito (Daisy Martinez)". Genius Kitchen.
  12. ^ Rombauer, Irma S.; Marion Rombauer Becker; Ethan Becker (2006). "Sofrito (Seasoned Lard)". Joy of Cooking. Scribner. pp. 1013. ISBN 978-0-7432-4626-2.
  13. ^ "Ginisa". December 2003. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
  14. ^ "Giniling Guisado/Ginisa - Basic Recipe". 2 May 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Roden, Claudia, A New Book of Middle Eastern Food: London 1986 ISBN 0-14-046588-X
  • Roden, Claudia, The Book of Jewish Food: New York 1997, London 1999 ISBN 0-14-046609-6

External links[edit]