16 Tofu Recipes That You’ll Crave

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.

Crispy tofu baking on a cooking sheet.

How is Tofu Made?

Tofu is made from fermented soybeans in a similar process that cheese is made. Soymilk curds 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.

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 (affiliate link) 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:

  • Veggie Tofu Scramble – You’ll love the flavor of this protein-packed vegan tofu scramble seasoned with turmeric, cumin and nutritional yeast. Serve with sliced avocado and toast for a delicious breakfast!
  • Sun-Dried Tomato, Mushroom, Spinach and Tofu Quiche by Oh She Glows – 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!
  • Tofu Oatmeal Pancakes by Real Simple – 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.

Main Course Tofu Recipes:

  • Crispy Baked Tofu – 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.
  • Asian Tofu Tacos – 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.
  • Tofu Sofritas Burrito Bowls – A delicious copycat recipe for Chipotle’s tofu sofritas that’s loaded with flavor and a hint of spice. It’s the perfect vegan protein option for homemade burrito bowls!
  • Tofu Zucchini Lasagna – Low carb, healthy lasagna made with zucchini noodles and tofu. This vegetarian zucchini lasagna is packed with protein and loaded with Italian flavor!
  • Mattar Tofu – 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.
  • Tofu Cabbage Noodle Bowl – Quick and easy tofu cabbage noodle bowl with lots of veggies and cabbage noodles. This meal takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
  • Orange Tofu with Fennel and Basil – This tasty orange tofu dish pairs stir-fried tofu with crunchy fennel in an orange basil sauce. The best part? The whole dish comes together in less than 30 minutes!
  • Grilled Lemon Basil Tofu – This lemon basil tofu is marinated in a zesty fresh basil sauce and grilled to perfection. It’s easy and absolutely delicious!
  • Tofu and Bok Choy Stir Fry – This tofu bok choy stir-fry is a quick and easy weeknight meal that’s healthy, gluten-free, vegan and super flavorful.

Tofu Dessert Recipes:

  • Pumpkin Pie – 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.
  • Lemon Sugar Cookies by The Spruce Eats – Getting the right consistency can be a challenge for vegan cookies, so these vegan lemon sugar cookies are a revelation.
  • Easy Chocolate Tofu Pudding by Real Mom Nutrition – This 5-ingredient Chocolate Tofu Pudding is kid-friendly, simple to blend together, and makes a great protein-rich dessert or snack.
  • Chocolate Pie by The Spruce Eats – 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.

I hope this tofu post is helpful! Let me know in the comments if you like tofu and if you have any favorite tofu recipes!

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    2 comments
  1. 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.

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