‘Happy Healthy Latina’ Chef Yadira Garcia Shares Her Sofrito Recipe

‘Happy Healthy Latina’ Chef Yadira Garcia Shares Her Sofrito Recipe

“Nothing makes me happier than making food that’s nutritious and delicious,” Garcia said.

Chef Yadira Garcia stopped by 30 Rock on Sunday to share her sofrito recipe with Jen Maxfield.

“Nothing makes me happier than making food that’s nutritious and delicious,” Garcia said.

Below, Garcia shares her recipe for Coconut Sofrito Chickpea Empandas:

To make sofrito


  • 2 bitter oranges (optional)
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 bunch of recao or culantro
  • 2 onions
  • 2 red peppers or 2 red tomatoes (choose one)
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper (optional)
  • 4 tbsp. dried or 8 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


1. Rough chop your ingredients

2. Blend

3. Store in a glass mason jar or sealable plastic container (use within one week fresh or store in freezer and thaw until ready to use for up to one year)

4. Additional storing option — use an ice cube tray and fill with your Sofrito. Each time you cook you have an individual portioned green flavor bomb ready to use!

5. To release maximum flavor add oil on low-medium heat then sofrito before any recipe. This is called Blooming!

To make the empanadas

Ingredients for filling:

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can organic low sodium-canned chickpeas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. fresh sofrito
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and diced small
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


1 Package Discos – Dough for Turnover Pastries

Instructions for filling:

1. Heat olive oil

2. Add onions, sweat onions (sweat means over a very low flame, no color on the onions) for 3 to 5 minutes

3. Add Garlic for an additional 1 to 2 minutes

4. Add 2 tbsp. sofrito

5. Add spices (cumin, oregano, curry) stir constantly for 2 minutes

6. Add drained and rinsed chickpeas

7. Stir in sweet potatoes

8. 1 can of coconut milk, 1 cup of broth or water and tomato paste

9. Bring to a boil, then immediately cover turn down to a simmer (low flame).

10. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. (The longer it cooks the more the flavors will develop.)

Assemble Empanadas:

1. To assemble the empanadas or turnovers, place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of each empanada disc.

2. To seal the empanadas, fold the disc and seal the edges by pressing the dough with your fingers. You can also use a fork to help seal the edges, just press the top of the fork against the edges. There are also empanada molds that you can buy and will help seal the empanadas.

3. For best results, I recommend refrigerating for at least 30 minutes the empanadas before baking

4. If you want your empanadas to have a nice golden finish, then you can brush them with egg wash (a whole egg whisked or egg yolk plus a few drops of water whisked).

5. Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven. Bake them at 375F in the range of 18 to 25 minutes — the empanadas will be ready once they are golden.