Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito)

Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito) in a bowl

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings

Recaito is a green aromatic puree of onions, culantro (recao) leaves, garlic, green peppers and ajies dulces (small sweet chile peppers).

In Puerto Rico, recaito is used as the base seasoning known as sofrito. When preparing Puerto Rican cuisines, you may notice it called by either name.


Click Play to See This Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito) Recipe Come Together

Notice the absence of tomatoes. Typically, Puerto Ricans do not add tomatoes to their recaito. Sofrito recipes that do include tomatoes or tomato paste, sauce or juice are generally for Dominican, Cuban, Spanish, Italian, and other Mediterranean cuisines.


  • 2 medium green bell or Cubanelle peppers (seeds removed)
  • 2 medium onions (peeled)
  • 1 head of garlic (peeled)
  • 1 bunch culantro leaves
  • 6 ajies dulces (small sweet chile peppers)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito) ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Chop and blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.

    Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito) ingredients in a food processor

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Use in your favorite soup, stew, bean, or rice dish, and enjoy!

    Puerto Rican Sofrito (Recaito) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada


  • Cubanelle Peppers are also called Italian frying peppers. Removing seeds from the ajies dulces is optional.

How to Use Recaito

Recaito is normally used as the starting base of soups, stews, beans, and rice dishes. It is first sautéed in annatto oil or lard, and then the other recipe ingredients are added. However, there are other recipes where the recaito can be added toward the end of cooking time to add a finishing touch to the recipe.

How to Store It

Because it’s such an essential ingredient, it isn’t uncommon for home cooks to prepare large batches of recaito/sofrito in order to have enough on hand to use all week long and to freeze a little for later use. Store freshly made recaito/sofrito in a glass container in the refrigerator for immediate use or freeze in 1/4 to 1/2 cup potions for use any time.