Dominican Sofrito & Sazón – 4 Versions

Dominican Sofrito & sazón – 4 versions

Cada cocinero tiene su librito‘ (every cook has his/her own little book) goes the Dominican saying. Each home has its own traditions, likes and dislikes. It is impossible to offer you recipes that duplicate the flavors of each of your homes, and the flavors of each home are contained in the base for Dominican cooking: the sofrito / sazón.

Dominican Sofrito & sazón – 4 versions

Some time ago somebody asked if anyone had a good recipe for home-made ‘sazon/sofrito’. Always keen to help, our regular readers shared their recipes with us. Here are three. Feel free to share yours with us too.

Karima’s recipe

  • 2 bunches of cilantro
  • 4 radishes
  • 1 of each: green, red, and yellow pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lime (just the juice)
  • if you like a couple of the small hot yellow and orange peppers,
  • only two sometimes they are really hot.
  1. I put all of these ingredients into a blender and set it a chop or blend , you don’t want it watery, you could even use a food processor. I put it in a container, and refrigerate it. It keeps for a long time at least 3 weeks.

Vitico’s recipe

  • Olive Oil
  • Tomato paste
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  1. Although I have learned to interchange Oregano and Cilantro. When I use one I don’t use the other.

Dominican Sofrito & sazón – 4 versionsKjdrga’s recipe

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 sopita (bouillon cubes)
  • a bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 of aji / pepper (the one they sell in the DR long pale green not hot)
  • a tablespoon of bitter orange
  • half a red onion (depending on it’s size if small a whole one)
  • a tomato or two seeded
  • a little olive oil
  1. I either use a blender or food processor. I like to baste chicken with this and roast it in the oven, basting every 15 minutes until it’s done.

And here’s my own:

Aunt Clara
Dominican sofrito / sazón
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is my favorite base for Dominican dishes. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use. It's all good.
Serves: 1 cup (aprox.)
  • 1 cubanela/cubanelle pepper, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander/cilantro, finely cut
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered annato/anato/bija
  • 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
To use immediately
  1. Saute all the ingredients at very low heat until they release their flavor.
To store
  1. Blend until you obtain a coarse paste. Keep refrigerated for up to a week. Or freeze in a zippy bag for up to a month.
If it is going to be used for stews then substitute the oregano and coriander for a bouquet garni consisting of thyme, cilantro and oregano,
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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Sandra June 11, 2015, 12:42 PM

    I have never heard of any sofrito using radishes as a main ingredient!!! I use the regular Rican recipe which includes onions, cubanelle peppers, garlic, ajicitos, oregano, cilantro & recao… but I also add green & red bell peppers, a jar of pimentos with their liquid, a jar of pitted alcaparrado with their vinegar, tomatoes, and oregano brujo… absolutely divine!!!

    • Aunt Clara June 11, 2015, 6:43 PM

      Cada cocinero tiene su librito. Compartir la receta de nuestros lectores demuestra que no hay dos versiones iguales de nuestras comidas en ninguna casa. :)

  • Maria's Caribbean Rican-Nican-'ban November 26, 2014, 9:28 PM

    I put cilantro,culantro,aji,cubanelo,garlic greenpeppers,onions,vinegar,Adobo,
    chicken bullion,tomato sauce,olive oil and some water…I then pour it into ice cube trays,when all frozen I put the sofrito frozen cubes in zip lock bags,I add fresh “sofrito frozen cubes” to beans,meats,rice etc I never have spoiled sofrito an it lasts a long time

  • Yazmin Jazelle April 8, 2014, 11:23 PM

    I love this post!.. I just posted my own sofrito recipe on my blog and so I’m looking around to see what ingredients others use.

    It’s interesting to see such different recipes from the same culture. On my page i speak about the difference between Haitian epis and spanish sofrito. We all have the same idea.. Just different ways to go about it. Great post!

  • pichy June 29, 2013, 8:40 PM

    love this site

  • Malena December 13, 2012, 9:45 PM

    The Puerto Rican version is very recao-heavy (also called culantro, not sure how Dominicans call it). We also use lots of ajies dulces; the recao and ajies give it its distinctive flavor. Of course every family has its own recipe. In mine, for example, we don’t add garlic because several family members are allergic or have trouble digesting it. No garlic in a sofrito is close to sacrilege for many people, but to each its own. In many PR households they add tomato, which I think makes the sofrito spoil faster. Anyway, my sofrito has recao, cilantro (if available), ajies dulces, cubanelle peppers, white onions, and red bell peppers. No salt or spices, and a little water and oil to make the ingredients blend easier. I don’t really use measurements with sofrito, it’s something I learned long ago from my grandmothers and aunts and they didn’t use measurements either! Lo hacemos a ojo, como decimos acá. :)

  • Michelle October 1, 2012, 2:36 PM

    My version is one large aji. One large onion. Two or three cloves of garlic. A bunch of cilantro. Cut them into small chunks and put them all in blender. Sometimes I add one large red pepper.

  • Simone April 19, 2012, 10:24 PM

    I never tried this. Is it spicy? Will it work with sunflower oil?

  • Francesca June 1, 2011, 10:08 AM

    I learned the Puerto Rican version of sofrito from friends of mine in NY and San Antonio, and have also done Italian soffrito for my sauces. As it's a seasoning base, I'm learning that creative variations are a matter of course. I was wondering whether sofrito could be spiked up hot for certain dishes–these recipes on your tell me yes I can! Thank you!

  • Elisa A May 3, 2011, 10:46 AM

    Here's my americaze sofrito style.

    1-2 heads of garlic

    bunch of cilantro

    bunch of basil


    1-2 onions



    olive oil

    1-2 lemons or vinager (your choice)


    put everything in the blender or food processor, pour into an icecub and refrigerate. Add other ingredients according to your dish

  • Milz April 5, 2011, 3:19 PM

    Mi mama decia…Cada cocinero/a tiene su librito…

    El Sazón de nuestra familia se usa como es una base para todas las carnes, pescado y habichuelas. Cebolla, ajo, sal, pimienta negra, orégano y pimientos verde con un poco de aceite de oliva para preservarlos. No le pongan limón fresco o se le daña en la nevera.

    2 cebollas roja (spanish onions)

    1 cabeza de ajo (head of garlic)

    1 pimiento verde (green pepper)

    2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva (olive Oil)

    Orégano, sal y pimienta negra al gusto (ground black pepper)

    Pongo todo los ingredientes en la “bala” (Bullet) o licuadora y hecho. Si usted usa la bala puede ponerle la tapa y para la refrigeración inmediatamente. Use toda la semana. Se ahorra tiempo.

  • Martica March 16, 2011, 2:26 PM

    I am not from the Dominican Republic and I love using sofrito. This basic recipe was given to me by a fellow New Yorker of Puerto Rican ancestry.

    1 bag of red onions (about six medium/large)

    3-4 medium/large red bell peppers

    3-4 medium/large green bell peppers

    1 head of garlic

    1 bunch of cilantro

    Coarsely blend all ingredients with olive oil to preserve freshness. Container in (the back of top shelf in) refrigerator stays fresh up to seven days or longer. The rest is saved in containers in freezer. Mixture may be frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred into a large freezer baggie.

    I add tomatoes, hot peppers, cumin, oregano, etc. (depending on the dish) to the sofrito in the pan when cooking.

    • Aunt Clara March 17, 2011, 10:39 AM

      Would you believe me if I tell you yesterday morning I bought an icecube tray to do just that? Thanks for sharing your recipe, it sounds very nice.

  • Sasha @ Global Table January 11, 2011, 12:45 AM

    Thank you for posting these recipes. They helped me understand what a Dominican Sofrito is and pass on the information to my readers. Best, Sasha