24 Tofu Recipes That You’ll Crave

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Tofu can be intimidating if you’ve never cooked with it before. What is it? How is it made? Is it healthy? What can you make with tofu? I’ll tackle all of these questions in this tofu 101 blog and recipe roundup.

Crispy tofu baking on a cooking sheet.

How is Tofu Made?

Tofu is made from condensed, unfermented soy milk that’s been processed into soymilk curds which are pressed into blocks to make tofu.

What is the Difference Between Tempeh and Tofu?

Tempeh is made of cooked, whole soybeans that are fermented and formed into a firm, dense block. The texture is chewier and it tastes nuttier and earthier than tofu. Tempeh is less processed, higher in protein and fiber and lower in fat than tofu but the flavor is stronger and a little less versatile than tofu. Learn more about tempeh.

Tofu is made from curdled soy milk which is drained and pressed into a block. It is smoother and creamier than tempeh and can be sliced, diced or mashed in recipes. It’s more processed, but easy to digest, low in calories and high in protein.

Is Tofu Healthy?

Tofu and soy specifically has had a lot of controversial studies come out in recent years. On one hand, it has shown to improve cholesterol levels, fertility and menopause symptoms. On the other hand, too much soy has been linked to breast cancer, thyroid issues and interfering with male hormones. What I found interesting though is that a lot of the negative conclusions have been made from animal studies… not human. (source) In fact, in human studies, the estrogen effects of soy seem to either have no effect at all, or to reduce breast cancer risk (especially in Asian countries, where lifelong intake is higher than the US). (source)

Soybeans are also the number one genetically modified crop in the world. I personally try to avoid GMOs for health and environmental reasons so I look for non-gmo verified and/or organic labels when I’m buying tofu or other soy products. Just FYI – all organic items are non-gmo.

All in all, I stand by “everything in moderation.” Too much of any one thing isn’t good for you, soy and tofu included. And in general, I usually try to get my soy intake through the less processed options like edamame, tofu and tempeh rather than soy products like soy milk or soy-based protein powder.

Tofu Nutrition

Tofu is naturally gluten-free and low in calories. It has zero cholesterol and is packed with iron and calcium. It’s a great plant-based protein with about 15g of protein per serving.

Pan fried crispy tofu in a pan.

How to Cook Tofu

You’ll want to drain and press your tofu before cooking. Cut a slit in the tofu package and drain all of the water out. Create a tofu press by wrapping the tofu block in paper towels or a clean dish towel and set the block on a baking sheet or cutting board – just make sure it’s a flat surface! Stack a few heavy items on top to press the extra moisture out. I love using a cast iron skillet, canned food or cookbooks. It can take 30-90 minutes to press most of the moisture out. Pressing the tofu takes out the extra moisture so it will crisp nicely and absorb the flavors in the dish.

Once pressed, cut your tofu how you’d like to eat it – typically I cut mine into small cubes or strips. At this point you can either marinate the tofu or throw it right into the pan with your other seasonings.

Tofu Recipes

Tofu was one of the first plant-based proteins I experimented with. I will be the first to tell you… if you don’t prepare it correctly, it doesn’t taste the best BUT when used properly it is so delicious! It can be intimidating to try a new ingredient but I promise tofu is not scary once you dive in. Below are some of my favorite tofu recipes!

golden tofu scramble on a plate next to two pieces of toast with jam. A fork, bowl of berries and a glass of orange juice are next to the plate.

Breakfast Tofu Recipes

Tofu Scramble

4.20 from 5 votes
This vegan tofu scramble is packed with flavor, has a great texture and easily lends itself to any additional veggies or spices you’d like to add in! Delicious served with sliced avocado and toast.
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Turmeric tofu scramble on a plate with avocado on top. Two slices of bread with jam on the side. Glass of orange juice and fork also on the side.

Sun-dried Tomtato, Mushroom and Spinach Tofu Quiche

Enjoy this quiche made out of tofu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Make a few variations by changing up the vegetables you use!
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Oh She Glows Tofu Quiche.

Tofu Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes with all the benefits of a warm bowl of oatmeal? Yes, please! These better-for-you oatmeal pancakes are rich in protein thanks to the addition of tofu.
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Tofu Oatmeal Pancakes by Real Simple.
Burrito bowl made with sofritas, black beans, corn, salsa, guacamole, rice, lettuce and romaine.

Main Course Tofu Recipes

Crispy Baked Tofu

4.42 from 12 votes
Easy crispy baked tofu that you can serve on its own, on a salad, in a stir-fry, or in a sandwich! The options are endless with this staple tofu recipe. 
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Cubes of tofu baked on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and coated in oat flour and nutritional yeast.

Asian Tofu Tacos

4.19 from 11 votes
Spice up Taco Tuesday with these flavorful and meatless asian tofu tacos. The tofu is crispy and flavorful and pairs great with the crunchy and refreshing slaw.
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Three asian tofu tacos with baked teriyaki tofu, asian slaw, and cilantro.

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas

4.46 from 33 votes
A delicious copycat recipe for Chipotle's tofu sofritas that's loaded with flavor and a hint of spice. It makes a great vegan protein option for homemade burrito bowls!
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Sofritas in a skillet with a spoon.

Skinny Tofu Zucchini Lasagna

4.88 from 8 votes
Low carb, healthy lasagna made with zucchini noodles and tofu. This vegetarian main is packed with protein and loaded with Italian flavor!
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Slice of zucchini noodle tofu lasagna on a plate with salad.

Mattar Tofu

4.81 from 21 votes
This mattar tofu is a healthy, vegan version of an Indian food classic, mattar paneer. Tofu works perfectly as a sub for the paneer cheese and makes this dish dairy-free. 
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Plate with mattar tofu and peas served over a bowl of rice with a gold fork on the side of the bowl.

Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl with Cabbage Noodles

3.84 from 6 votes
This flavorful tofu cabbage noodle bowl is a healthy weeknight meal option. It’s quick, easy, packed with veggies and also vegan and gluten-free. 
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A bowl of tofu cabbage noodles. A fork is sticking out of the bowl.

Orange Tofu with Fennel

4.50 from 2 votes
Stir-fried tofu and crunchy fennel with an orange basil sauce. Serve over brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal. Vegan + gluten-free.
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Orange tofu stir-fried with fennel and served over brown rice on the white plate.

Grilled Lemon Basil Tofu Salad

5 from 1 vote
Lemon basil tofu marinated in a zesty fresh basil sauce and grilled to perfection. Easy and absolutely delicious!
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Overhead photo of a plate with lemon basil tofu on a bed of mixed greens.

Baked Peanut Tofu

4.57 from 16 votes
This baked peanut tofu is marinated in a delicious peanut sauce that gives the tofu an amazing flavor and crispy coating. Just pair with rice and a veggie side for a full meal!
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White bowl with kale topped with sesame seeds, crispy baked peanut tofu, and rice topped with scallions. Chop sticks are next to the bowl. The bowl is sitting on a blue and white striped folded napkin.

Air Fryer Tofu

5 from 3 votes
Learn how to make air fryer tofu that's crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside. It cooks up in just 10 minutes and is perfect for meal prep. Serve it on its own, on a salad, in a stir-fry or in a sandwich!
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An overhead photo of a plate of air fried tofu with a ramekin of dipping sauce. A gold fork is next to the plate.

Kung Pao Tofu

4.10 from 21 votes
This kung pao tofu is a lightened-up, vegan take on a classic Chinese take-out dish. It’s spicy, flavorful and paired with roasted cauliflower for extra veggies.
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Fork on a plate taking a bite of kung pao tofu and cauliflower served over rice.

Tofu Pumpkin Curry

4.86 from 7 votes
This cozy Thai-inspired pumpkin curry comes together quickly, but the robust flavor makes it taste like it’s been cooking all day. It’s vegan, loaded with protein and perfect as a weeknight meal.
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Bowls of tofu pumpkin curry topped with cashews and served with rice.

Tofu Sheet Pan Meal

4.63 from 35 votes
This easy vegetarian sheet pan meal combines tofu, chickpeas, butternut squash and red onion on one sheet pan. Everything is roasted and served with a creamy tahini sauce!
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Bowl of roasted butternut squash, tofu, chickpeas, and onion topped with cilantro and tahini sauce. A gold fork is on the side of the bowl.

Tofu Bok Choy Stir-Fry

5 from 2 votes
This tofu bok choy stir-fry is a quick and easy weeknight meal that's healthy, gluten-free, vegan and super flavorful.
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Vegan Chicken Salad

4.75 from 12 votes
Homestyle vegan chicken salad made with tofu, almonds, celery, onion and raisins tossed in a creamy vegan dressing. This salad is delicious, protein packed and great for sandwiches and wraps. Vegan and gluten-free.
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Overhead shot of Vegan Chicken Salad made with tofu, celery, almonds and raisins in a white bowl on white countertop.

10 Minute Lean & Green Tofu Stir-Fry

This is a pretty light meal. Feel free to add a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice or more veggies to make it a bit more substantial.
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White plate with lean and green tofu in focus.
Plate with mattar tofu and peas served over a bowl of rice with a gold fork on the side of the bowl.

Tofu Dessert Recipes

Vegan Tofu Pumpkin Pie

4.26 from 35 votes
For this delicious vegan pumpkin pie, silken tofu replaces the eggs and dairy and the filling is put into a flavorful and nutty oatmeal pecan crust.
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Slice of vegan pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookie

Getting the right consistency can be a challenge for vegan cookies, so these vegan lemon sugar cookies are a revelation.
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Vegan lemon sugar cookie by The Spruce Eats.

Easy Chocolate Tofu Pudding

This 5-ingredient Chocolate Tofu Pudding is kid-friendly, simple to blend together, and makes a great protein-rich dessert or snack.
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Chocolate Pie

You will use only four ingredients (other than the pie crust) for this ultra-simple vegan chocolate peanut butter pie that is similar to a French silk pie.
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The Spruce Eats chocolate vegan pie.

More Recipe Collections You Might Enjoy

Tofu Stir-Fry + 23 Tofu Recipes

5 from 1 vote
This tofu stir-fry is an easy, healthy weeknight dinner that's loaded with veggies and comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Bowl of rice with tofu and vegetable stir fry on top. Chopsticks are resting on the bowl.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb extra-firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 12 ounce bag fresh broccoli florets, about 5 cups
  • rice of choice: white, brown or cauliflower
  • green onions and sesame seeds, for garnish

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • ¼ cup low-sodium tamari, or soy sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot (check to make sure tofu sizzles when you add it to the pan), add tofu and cook, flipping frequently, for about 10 minutes. It’s done when all sides of the tofu cubes are golden. Transfer to a bowl or plate.  
  • While tofu is cooking, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
  • Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the same skillet. Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add broccoli and red bell pepper to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Add sauce and tofu to the skillet as well and cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until broccoli is tender, but crisp and bright green in color. Serve tofu stir-fry over rice of choice with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish.

Notes

  • If you want to use store-bought teriyaki sauce instead of the homemade sauce, you’ll need about 1/3 cup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/3 of recipe without rice Calories: 363kcal Carbohydrates: 20g Protein: 19g Fat: 21g Sodium: 1425mg Fiber: 6g Sugar: 8g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: tofu stir-fry

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Recipe Rating




    4 comments
    1. Wendi Greene
      November 10, 2021 AT 8:56 am

      No matter what I sign up for on your website it times out? The other websites are working maybe you have a server issue?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 11, 2021 AT 1:36 pm

        Hey Wendi – what are you trying to sign up for?

    2. David
      February 22, 2020 AT 10:12 am

      The best Tofu ever is made by Ota Tofu in Portland, OR. They are the oldest Tofu establishment in the US.

    3. Sandra
      February 21, 2020 AT 5:12 pm

      Hi there. I would love to make some of these. I like tofu. However, I have a thyroid problem and I’m on thyroid medications, and soy products should not be eaten by people with thyroid problems. This is to let you and others know if not already aware of it. I will enjoy some of your other recipes, though, and maybe try to find some substitutes for soy in some of these. Thank you.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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