Sofrito Shrimp and Quinoa




This simple meal is full of nutrition in one dish.  You are getting your vegetables and it’s quick to make because the sauce is already prepared. When my Auntie Retta, nickname for Loretta, would make this dish, she would have to make the sofrito, the spicy Cuban sauce, but she usually made extra and it kept for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it until the next Cuban dish.

She added peas to her rice, I am using quinoa instead. You can use variety of seafood as a variation, but it is just as delicious when you highlight just one as this recipe does well with shrimp. I leave the tail on the shrimp to give it that ocean taste when you sautéed them in the sauce. The eye appeal of this dish is undoubtedly idea for a family meal and a dinner party.


  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

  • 16 oz Tonita’s Cuban Sauce, spicy or mild

  • 1-bag, 24-36 count of frozen or fresh Wild Alaska shrimp, rinsed, peeled, and deveined with tail

  • ½ of medium green pepper, chopped in ¼ size pieces

  • ½ of medium red pepper, chopped in ¼ size pieces

  • ½ of red onion, chopped in ¼ size pieces (optional)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup cilantro for garnish


  • Cook quinoa as directed on package. Add 3 tablespoons of sauce to water and a tablespoon of butter or olive oil
  • Clean or defrost shrimp and set aside in cold water.
  • Pour remaining jar of sauce into a deep-dish pan. Heat to a low boil. Then turn down to a simmer and add the pepper, onions and bay leaf.
  • Simmer for about 3-5 minutes and then add the shrimp and simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are pink. Serve with quinoa and garnish with cilantro and a slice of lime.


  • You can use fresh shrimp for this recipe if you prefer.
  • This dish pairs well with an avocado salad.

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