Sofrito — a blend of garlic, onions, peppers and recao (culantro) — is the backbone of Puerto Rican flavor. Also referred to as recaito, it’s typically sautéed in oil as the foundation for sauces, braises, beans, stews and rice dishes. It’s also adaptable, and can yield a lighter, more verdant flavor if sautéed for 2 to 3 minutes, and a richer flavor if sautéed for 7 to 10 minutes and combined with tomato sauce. This recipe yields about 3 cups, which is probably more than you’ll use for any recipe, but it keeps well. My grandmother often kept sofrito in the freezer stored in a repurposed plastic margarine container, or frozen into cubes and saved in plastic zip-top bags. If kept in the refrigerator, it’s best if used within a week, but can be frozen for up to six months. You can also put it into a pan with hot oil straight from the freezer, though it may sputter a smidge.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large food processor or blender, blend the peppers and garlic until smooth.
  2. Step 2

    Add the onion and blend until smooth, then add the culantro and cilantro, and blend until smooth. The sofrito will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.