Garlic-Pepper Sauce

This mixture, called sofrito, is used in many Latin American recipes as a seasoning base; it can even replace salsa as a dip for chips. Before using it in recipes, thaw completely in the refrigerator or microwave.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 5 cups
Garlic-Pepper Sauce

Source: Everyday Food, April 2005


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
  • 2 green bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large tomato, cored and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 cups mixed cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add bell peppers, garlic, oregano, and cumin; cook, stirring often, until peppers are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomato; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes more.

  3. Transfer to a food processor. Add cilantro, and puree until slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. If not using immediately, transfer sauce, in 1-cup quantities, to airtight containers. Freeze until ready to use, up to 3 months.


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