Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito)

This sofrito recipe is also called “recaito” in Puerto Rico. The pungent herb recao (culantro) and ajíes dulces (sweet chili peppers) are the stars of recaito.

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Puerto Rican Sofrito | Delish D'Lites

A Puerto Rican without sofrito is like a day without sunshine.  Ok, maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic, but there’s no denying the moment of panic that strikes me whenever my sofrito stash is running low.  Luckily, Puerto Rican sofrito is SO EASY to make, that 10 minutes of your time will yield you weeks, if not months, of flavor.  Akin to the mirepoix of French cookery, sofrito is the basis for many dishes in various Caribbean cultures, including stews, soups, rice and bean dishes.  Essentially, we use it for anything that’s cooked in some sort of liquid.  There’s some debate about what is and isn’t part of sofrito, and that answer will change depending on what country you’re referring to.  In Puerto Rico, we call it “recaito”. The pungent herb recao (AKA culantro) and ajíes dulces (sweet chili peppers) are the contributing flavor profiles to recaito. These ingredients can usually be found in Asian or Latin supermarkets. If you can’t find these 2 ingredients, substitute with cilantro and cubanelle peppers, respectively.

Recao and Ajis

Dominican sofrito, called sazón in that country, uses vinegar for a flavor punch and annatto for color. Cuban sofrito employs tomatoes and red bell peppers to sweeten it up and add color, as well as diced ham.   So just to be clear, we’re making recaito!

Ingredients
Makes 1 quart
1 green bell pepper
1/2 lb ajíes dulces, stemmed and deseeded
1 bunch recao (culantro)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
10 large garlic cloves, peeled

Directions

Wash and prepare all the ingredients for the food processor (or blender). For the peppers, this means de-stemming and de-seeding them. Chop the onion into chunks, and peel the garlic cloves.

ajis

Add everything into the food processor (or blender).  If using a blender, you may have to add water to get the veggies to blend.  You can strain the liquid after blending so that the sofrito doesn’t end up with too much liquid.

blend

Blend until everything is finely pureed.

processing

done

Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a storage container.  If storing long term, pour the sofrito into ice cube trays and freeze the sofrito.  Then just pull out a cube whenever you need it for a recipe.

funnel

funnel2

Use a few tablespoons in your next rice, beans, stew or soup recipe!

Recipes that use Puerto Rican sofrito:

Sofrito

Puerto Rican Sofrito | Delish D'Lites
5 from 8 votes
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Puerto Rican Sofrito

Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 lb ajies dulces seeded
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 bunch recao culantro

Instructions

  1. Wash and chopped all the ingredients into large chunks.
  2. Puree everything in a food processor or blender. (Use water for the blender if needed).
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 10 days, or freeze in an ice cube tray or small cups.

37 Responses

      1. Thank you when I make it the color is a light green is there an ingredient that I am not adding enough of to give it that dark green color?

  1. 5 stars
    This was soooooo good. I roasted a chicken, rice and beans last night. I used the sofrito in the rice and it was so good that I added it to the beans and dipped my chicken in it. This is my new gravy! Thank you so much for the recipe. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made a few of your recipes for my family they have loved them all. I have cooked Puerto Rican food for 22 years as my hubby is Boricua. But your recipes add a little change and it’s all been delicious. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    first of all I love your blog! Second of all, thank you for posting this! I grew up in NY and though I am not Puertorican, I was brought up by a Puertorican Trini family. Every year I would get sofrito in a container for xmas that I would keep in the freezer. Now that Im in Louisiana I don’t get the sofrito anymore and wanted to make some to go with the pernil I’m making for thanksgiving. Thank you so much! Making tonight!

  4. 5 stars
    LOVE LOVE your site, refer back to you all the time. I need YOUR version of adobo seasoning. I have a huge urge for what I called “Cuban meat pies” as a child growing up in Miami. I’m making the sofrito today but my homemade adobo tastes extremely salty…do I have it right?

  5. I am sure this is a silly question but of all the peppers in the world I cannot eat bell pepper . I have never found a substitute, can you think of one?

      1. Please help! I went to 2 different markets (a Latin market and a chain market) and I could not find cubanelle peppers nor ají dulces.
        What other kind of pepper can I use?

    1. Hi! My granny put salt in it to keep it fresh when she made it homemade. Would you suggest that? And if yes how much?

    1. Translated to “little sweet peppers”, they’re the little peppers pictured in the blog post that are native to the Caribbean. They can be found in Latin or Asian supermarkets, or can be substituted with cubanelle peppers.

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Hola

I’m Jannese, Founder of Delish D’lites

I’m a Puerto Rican girl living in paradise (Florida), and the creative mind behind Delish D’Lites. I love sharing my family recipes and travel inspired cuisine! My favorite things include collecting passport stamps, twerking to Latin music, and kissing puppies. Follow along on social.