Classic Refrito (with tomato sauce)

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Classic refrito (with tomato sauce) or Refrito de Cebolla is a classic recipe from Latin America.

This is the classic sofrito recipe my mom used to make for pretty much all her recipes!

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What is refrito?

Refrito is a flavorful tomato base that is used in many Latin American recipes. It is often used in soups, stews, and even stir fry to add delicious flavor.

Refrito served on a small iron pan

What’s in refrito?

Refrito is made using onions, garlic, and tomatoes along with spices.

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How long will refrito last?

You can store refrito in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 months in an airtight jar. You can also freeze for up to 1 year.

Canning the refrito will make it last up to 2 years. If you find that you love the flavor, you can make a large batch and can for later use.

Close up refrito photo

What are the ingredients to make refrito?

To make this refrito recipe you are going to need the following ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika
Refrito in a iron skillet

How to make refrito

Now that you have gathered your ingredients it is time to make refrito. All you have to do is follow the steps below:

The first step is to saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become darker around 5 minutes. This will concentrate on the flavor.

Add the seasonings and stir well. Continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes.

Your refrito is ready to serve!

Close up refrito photo

Refrito Recipe

Now that you know everything you need to know about how to make refrito it is time to print the recipe.

To print the recipe, click the print button below. Want to save this recipe for later? All you have to do is use the share button to Pin it for later, Mix it or add it to your Yummly account.

Classic refrito (with tomato sauce)

Classic refrito (with tomato sauce)

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

Refrito is a flavorful tomato base used in many Latin American recipes. It is often used in soups, stews, and even stir fry to add a delicious flavor.


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Cups tomato, chopped or canned
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp paprika


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute stirring constantly.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until it begins to get darker and thick. Add the sugar, salt and pepper, and paprika and stir to incorporate. Continue simmering for 5 more minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 610Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 46gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 18gProtein: 5g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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