As a lover of bacon, pulled pork, and burgers, a lot of people find it surprising when I say that I also adore tofu. Or maybe I should say I adore good tofu. Tofu gets a bad wrap from the many people who don’t know how to properly prepare the wiggly soybean curd, leaving a lot of people to think of it as bland, boring, and mushy. Bleh. But the thing is, when done correctly, tofu should be the opposite! It should be super flavorful (it takes on the flavor of anything you cook it with), it should be soft and bouncy inside, and it should have a nice crisp exterior. Tofu can be good. Tofu can be amazing.
For example, when you cook tofu in a mixture of spices, smoky peppers, and fresh tomatoes, you get ultimate bliss.
Ultimate bliss which, by the way, is chock full of protein and pretty inexpensive! Oh tofu, I love you, and I don’t care what anyone thinks!
I decided to make this Sofritas Tofu Burrito Bowl after trying the vegetarian option at Chipotle. I took one bite and thought, Oh man, I have got to make this at home!
And then I thought, Wait… Do I have any tofu recipes on the blog yet? The answer was no, and that is just plain wrong. This is my first recipe that includes tofu, in the 2+ years I’ve been blogging and hundreds of recipes I’ve put together. For shame!
This spicy, smoky, absolutely amazing tofu will make up for it though.
In order to make my tofu as flavorful and as crispy as possible, I lay the tofu out on paper towels, press out any excess water, and then rub it with spices before it’s sauteed.
As it’s cooking and crisping, I toss some roasted poblano peppers, chipotle peppers, red onion, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar together in a blender to make the sauce.
Don’t know how to roast poblanos? It’s easy. Just rub them in a little bit of oil and put them under the broiler, turning occasionally, until the skin has browned and shriveled all around. Then place them in a covered bowl or closed paper bag for 15 minutes before peeling off the skins.
The sauce is a bit watery at first, but the excess water evaporates as it cooks. Then I add the tofu back in, and I add in some pinto beans or black beans.
At this point, I really just let my imagination and refrigerator take over. Sometimes I add cheese. Sometimes I spoon my tofu over lettuce. Sometimes I make rice. If I have avocados, I definitely make guacamole. But even all on their own, the Sofritas are delicious. I’m listing what I typically use in my burrito bowls, but feel free to switch and swap things out based on what you have on hand!
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
For the Sofritas:
- 16 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil, divided
- 2 roasted poblano peppers, skinned, stemmed, seeded, and chopped*
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo from the can, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced, divided
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more to garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 (10 oz) can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
For the Burrito Bowls:
- 3 cups cooked white rice (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
- Juice of 3 limes
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 avocados
- Salt, to taste
- 4 cups lettuce or greens of choice, packed
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese, optional (omit to make the recipe vegan)
- Drain the tofu, then transfer to paper towels. Press out any excess water.
- In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, cumin, dried oregano, onion powder, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Rub the mixture onto the tofu.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted pobanos, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, all but a handful of the tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, cilantro, sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and, once heated, add in the sauce mixture. Bring to a gentle boil, then add back in the tofu and the beans and reduce to medium-low.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until the tofu is cooked through, beans are warmed, and the sauce reaches the desired consistency. If the sauce reduces too much, simply stir in a bit more water and warm.
- As the Sofritas cook, squeeze the juice of 1 lime into the cooked white rice. Cover to keep warm.
- Mash the avocados with the juice of two limes, cilantro, and salt, to taste. Set aside.
- To serve, build bowls with rice, lettuce, Sofritas, guacamole, and cheese. Garnish with reserved tomato and cilantro.
To roast the poblanos, rub them with oil and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Place under the broiler for 10-15 minutes, turning every few minutes until browned and blistered. Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a covered bowl or closed paper bag for 15 minutes. Then, remove the skins, seeds, and stems.