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

Sofrito being prepared from bell pepper, onion, garlic, and herbs

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. A typical Dominican sofrito is made up of chopped cubanelle pepper or green bell pepper, red pepper, red onion, garlic, and lippia (Jamaica oregano).[10]

In Puerto Rican cuisine, sofrito it's used in a variety of dishes such as rice dishes, sauces, soups, among oher typically Puerto Rican dishes. 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, and cilantro are also added. All red peppers are roasted, seeded, and then added to the sofrito. Sofrito is sautéed in lard, oil or annatto oil until most of liquid has evaporated. Tomatoe sauce, cured pork (ham, sausage, or salted pork), and a mix of stuffed olives and capers called alcaparrado is usually added with bay leaf, cumin, Cuban oregano, coriander seeds, and adobo.[11] [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


  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