Recipe of the Week: Beefless Stew with Sofrito

Photo Credit: Randolph Graham

Aromatic and savory, sofrito is a condiment, sauce, and a base for many Caribbean dishes from countries such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and  Cuba. In short, it is super versatile. And it is flavorful. Super flavorful.  Sofrito has its origins in Spanish cuisine and typically consists of onions sautéed in oil with ingredients like garlic, hot and/or sweet peppers, tomatoes, and herbs such as cilantro, culantro, and oregano. Some sofritos are red, others are green, some are chunky, and others puréed. My version is pureed and vegetarian. I substitute Gardein Beefless Tips for beef. It is tasty, easy to use, and most of all has the texture necessary for a slow cooker recipe.

See Chef Randy’s website for more recipes at:

Stew Ingredients:
1/2 cup yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 packages Gardein Beefless Tips
2 cups red potatoes (not peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes)
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup pitted green olives (such as Lindsay Naturals)
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups Sofrito (make ahead – see below*)
¼ cup water

Stew Directions:
Set slow cooker heat to low.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until softened,
about 5 minutes. Add onions/garlic to slow cooker. Stir in balance of ingredients
(Gardein Beefless thru water).
Cook for 3½ hours. Prior to serving, taste and adjust for salt (if necessary). Serve
with a side of rice and fresh garden salad.
Note: This recipe makes about 5 cups of stew. It can easily be doubled if you
need more!

* Sofrito Ingredients:
2 medium Spanish – or yellow – onions (cut into 1-inch chunks)
4 cubanelle peppers (seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks

18 medium cloves garlic (peeled)
1 large bunch of cilantro (washed and chopped)
4 leaves of culantro
4 ripe plum tomatoes (cored and cut into 1-inch chunks)
2 medium red bell peppers (seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks)
Salt to taste

Sofrito Directions:
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cubanelle peppers and sauté until onions are soft. Place onions and cubanelle peppers in the bowl of a 6- cup food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until very coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time through the feed tube and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep on the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days and much longer if frozen.

Note: If you can’t find cubanelle peppers, substitute Anaheim chilies. Culantro,
although similar to cilantro, is not the same as cilantro. On the Westcoast, look
for culantro in Asian food markets.

See Chef Randy’s website for more recipes at:


Randolph Graham, Ojai  


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5 Responses to Recipe of the Week: Beefless Stew with Sofrito

  1. William Hicks October 4, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Sofrito sounds like it would be good in a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

    • Randy October 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Great idea! Thank you for that. I also use it with tacos, as a condiment for just about any grilled food, and as a base for a good pot of beans. It’s even good served as a dip with chips!

  2. William Hicks October 4, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Where do you get your Cubanelle peppers?


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