From simple to over-the-top delectable, these vegan tofu recipes showcase the endlessly amazing uses for one of the staples of the vegan diet.
Tofu can often get a bad reputation for being bland and boring, but it’s really full of potential. Think of it like raw chicken – it just needs a bit of coaxing to become a protein that can stand up to the most meaty of dishes.
We’ve got some great recipes here to help you swap out eggs, meat, and dairy for tofu in all your favourite meals, from vegan breakfast scrambles to hearty dinners. We’ve got the basics and some creative ideas, plus lots of Asian recipes to draw from. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Tofu Stir-Fry with Sesame and Ginger (Asian)
This savoury, garlicky stir-fry is a perfect plant-based option with just as hearty a bite, way fewer calories, and none of the bad fat or animal suffering that comes with traditional meat dishes. For best results, use frozen extra-firm tofu so it can absorb flavours more readily, and simmer the tofu in salted water briefly to make it harder and less likely to crumble when jostled in the pan.
- Press and drain the tofu, then cut into cubes.
- Heat oil in a pan, add ginger and garlic, stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tofu and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
- Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions, cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve with rice.
Tofu Tikka Masala (Indian)
Indians are known for their rich, creamy, and spicy dishes. However, this grilled tofu recipe is way healthier and makes for a tasty rendition of the traditional Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Marinate cubed tofu in a mixture of yoghourt, spices, and lemon juice for at least 30 minutes.
- Skewer the marinated tofu and grill or bake until golden.
- In a pan, heat oil and cook onion, ginger, and garlic until soft.
- Add tomatoes, spices, and coconut milk, cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the grilled tofu and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice.
Tofu Fajitas (Mexican)
Tofu is so much more than a meat substitute. Even on its own, it’s a perfect base to soak up tasty sauces. Try this marinade, inspired by popular Mexican street food, for a flavourful salsa-guacamole-cream blend.
- Press and drain the tofu, then cut into thin strips.
- Marinate the tofu in a mixture of oil, lime juice, and spices for at least 30 minutes.
- Cook the marinated tofu in a pan until golden.
- In the same pan, cook bell peppers and onions until soft.
- Serve the cooked tofu and vegetables in a tortilla with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
Tofu Pad Thai (Thai)
This recipe is perfect when you’re looking for the filling, noodle-y goodness that comes with a more classic version of the dish.
- Press and drain the tofu, then cut into small cubes.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.
- In a pan, heat oil and cook garlic, chilli, and tofu for 2 minutes.
- Add the noodles, sauce, peanuts, and bean sprouts, stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Serve with lime wedges and chopped cilantro.
Tofu Scramble (Western)
Who needs eggs? Tofu scrambles have been the backbone of vegan cuisine for decades. This one is traditional but assertively spiced and tastes amazing when paired with your favourite veggies.
- Press and drain the tofu, then crumble it with your hands.
- In a pan, heat oil and cook the crumbled tofu for 5 minutes.
- Add spices, vegetables, and nutritional yeast, cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve with toast, avocado, and salsa.
This recipe is quick and a fun way to get people who don’t like tofu or spinach to get their protein and green fix.
- Press and drain the tofu, then cut into cubes.
- In a pan, put fresh or frozen spinach with a bit of oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt until most of the cooking water of the spinach has evaporated.
- Add firm tofu, almonds, water, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, the cooked spinach, and garlic with which we cooked the spinach to a food processor.
- Blend all the ingredients until you get a pesto-like consistency, then taste and adjust for olive oil and salt.
- Toss cooked pasta in the pesto sauce. Or get creative and serve it as a dip.
It takes around 20 minutes to make this delicious yet healthy soup, packed with natural goodness.
- Soak dried mushrooms in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Don’t discard the soaking water. Also chop fresh mushrooms and keep aside.
- In a pan, add olive oil, and finely chopped garlic, ginger, and chilli.
- Add the soaked mushrooms after squeezing out excess liquid and cutting them into smaller pieces. Add the chopped button mushrooms too.
- Add soy sauce, season with salt and pepper, and let cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat, stir-frying the mushrooms until they start releasing their water. Stir often.
- Now add the vegetable broth and the soaking water from the dried mushrooms -strain it to remove any sand debris.
- Let it cook until the water starts to boil. Then add diced tofu – firm or extra firm.
- Add veggies and noodles to customise the soup to the season and to your liking.
8. Tofu and Vegetable Skewers with Peanut Sauce (Indonesian)
This amazing dish is very easy to prepare. You only need a smashing dip.
- Skewer cubed tofu and vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, and zucchini, and grill until golden.
- Serve with a sauce made of peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, and spices of your choice- be as creative as you want.
9. Tofu and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce (Chinese)
This classic Chinese dish is made by stir-frying cubed tofu and broccoli in a flavorful garlic sauce.
- Cook the tofu in a pan until golden, then set aside. In the same pan, stir-fry the broccoli and garlic until soft.
- Add the tofu back to the pan, and stir in a sauce made of oyster sauce, water, cornstarch, and sesame oil.
Tofu and Chickpea Curry (Indian)
This vegan curry is made with cubed tofu, chickpeas, and vegetables, simmered in a spicy tomato sauce.
- Cook the tofu and vegetables in a pan until soft.
- In a separate pan, cook the chickpeas and spices until fragrant.
- Combine the tofu and chickpea mixture and add a can of crushed tomatoes, cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve with rice or puris.
Tofu and Eggplant Ratatouille (French)
This vegan take on the classic French dish is made with cubed tofu and eggplant, simmered in a tomato sauce with herbs.
- Cook the tofu and eggplant in a pan until golden.
- In a separate pan, cook onion, garlic, and herbs until fragrant.
- Add canned tomatoes to the onion mixture, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Combine the tofu and eggplant mixture with the tomato sauce, and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.
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