There's no food that strikes fear into the hearts of new vegetarians like tofu does. Tofu! It comes swimming in a plastic container full of water, it's strange and springy and white and incredibly bland out of the package. So many of the questions we get at Oh My Veggies involve tofu cooking and preparation, so I've rounded up some of our favorite ways to use tofu—both from Oh My Veggies and from other food blogs.
Use Tofu in Asian (and Asian-Inspired) Dishes
This is pretty much fool-proof, so if you're not quite comfortable with using tofu in your cooking, adding it to stir-fries and pairing it with Asian flavors is a great place to start. Extra-firm and firm tofu will work best in a stir-fry or curry—just be sure to press it first, which will allow the tofu to absorb the sauce.
Korean Barbecue Tofu Bowls with Stir-Fried Veggies and Quinoa
Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Sesame Dressing
Thai Red Curry with Asparagus and Tofu
Veggie Pad Thai
Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu [Running to the Kitchen]
Sesame-Crusted Tofu [An Edible Mosaic]
Miso Mustard Tofu Over Asian Greens [Borrowed Salt]
Vietnamese Noodle Salad [Simple Healthy Kitchen]
Sesame Tofu Noodle Bowl with Peanut Sauce [Aggie's Kitchen]
Whip Tofu into Smoothies and Desserts
When blended, silken tofu adds a rich, creamy texture to desserts and smoothies. Toss a few cubes into a smoothie to give it a boost of protein or whip a block of silken tofu with melted chocolate and your sweetener of choice for an easy vegan mousse.
Green Apple Pie Smoothie
Orange Cardamom Chocolate Mousse
Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Mousse
Vegan Mango Lassi [Connoisseurus Veg]
Strawberry Pudding [Tia's Kitchen]
Mango Pineapple Mousse [Healthy Nibbles and Bits]
Little Lemon Pots [Coconut and Berries]
Replace Meat with Tofu
Tofu doesn't really replicate the flavor of meat, but it does replace the protein in meat-based dishes. When I'm making a dish meatless, I usually replace the meat ounce-for-ounce with extra-firm tofu.
Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese with Baked BBQ Tofu
Pineapple Jerk Tofu
Sweet Potato and Tofu Enchiladas
Cauliflower and Tofu Lasagna with Butternut Squash Sauce
Buffalo Tofu Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip
Tofu Taco Filling [Apron Strings]
Tofu Tostadas [Two Peas and Their Pod]
Barbecue Tofu Pizza [Kitchen Treaty]
Make Tofu Scrambles and Quiches
And meat isn't the only thing tofu can replace! It's also a great stand-in for eggs. You're probably already familiar with tofu scrambles, which involve breaking tofu into small pieces and sautéing it with herbs and spices, but you can make vegan quiches with tofu too.
Freezer-Friendly Greens and Tofu Scramble Wraps
Edamame "Egg" Salad [Spabettie]
Spinach Artichoke Tofu Quiche [Yup, It's Vegan]
Tofu Scramble with Cauliflower Rice [Food Faith Fitness]
Tofu Scramble Masala [Connoisseurus Veg]
Turmeric Tofu Scramble [The Muffin Myth]
Curried Tofu Scramble Tacos [Eats Well With Others]
Southwestern Tofu Scramble [The Garden Grazer]
Vegan Asparagus Fennel Quiche with Quinoa Crust [Coconut and Berries]
Use Tofu to Make Creamy Sauces
Blended tofu can replace heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream and other dairy-based ingredients to make creamy sauces, dressings and dips. Typically, you'd used silken tofu for this, although some recipes call for soft tofu too.
Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches with Creamy Chimichurri Spread
Sweet Potato Tacos with Spicy Cream Sauce [The Tomato Tart]
Silken Tofu Ranch Dressing [Connoisseurus Veg]
Penne with Chard and Lemon Bechamel [Yummy Beet]
Vegan Mayo [Dear Kitchen]
Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip [Taste Space]
Make Sandwiches With Tofu
Everything tastes better on a sandwich! Baked and pan-fried slabs of tofu are a great alternative to frozen veggie burgers—either add sauce after cooking or marinate the tofu first, then pile on your favorite toppings.
Crispy Tofu Sandwiches with Ginger Peanut Sauce
Balsamic Tofu Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato [Connoisseurus Veg]
Smoky Baked Tofu Sandwiches with Wasabi Mayo [Connoisseurus Veg]
Korean BBQ Tofu Sliders [Eats Well With Others]
Asian Tofu Salad Sandwiches [She Likes Food]
Sesame Tofu Sandwiches with Spicy Basil Tahini [The Kitchen Paper]
Baked Tofu Banh Mi [The Pancake Princess]
Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu Sandwiches [Connoisseurus Veg]
Bake Tofu in the Oven
If the soft texture of tofu squicks you out, try baking it. The tofu will get firmer and chewier in the oven, giving it an almost meat-like texture. Baked tofu is best when marinated first—I like to take it out once or twice during the cooking process and baste it with extra marinade and with thicker sauces, like barbecue, I'll toss it in extra sauce after cooking too.
Peanutty Quinoa Bowls with Baked Tofu
Baked Barbecue Tofu
Baked Italian Herb Tofu
Crispy Baked Tofu Fingers [Hummusapien]
Sweet Chili Baked Tofu [Clean Eating Veggie Girl]
Tequila Lime Baked Tofu with Chipotle Crema [Yup, It's Vegan]
Baked Sesame Tofu Sticks [Kalyn's Kitchen]
Roasted Broccoli Crispy Tofu Bowls [With Food and Love]
Add Protein to Soups and Salads with Tofu
Without the meat, vegetarian soups and salads are delicious, but not always a complete and filling meal. Enter: tofu. Keep some baked tofu on hand in the fridge for adding to salads to make them meal-worthy. As for soups, well, it couldn't be easier—just press your tofu, cube it, and stir it into your soup.
Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup
Coconut Lime Tofu Soup
Thai Tofu and Noodle Salad
Thai Red Curry Soup
Chopped Power Salad with Baked Tofu and Almond-Miso Dressing
Kale Caesar Salad with Tofu Croutons [Kitchen Treaty]
Tofu, Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Ramen Noodle Soup [The Little Kitchen]
Vegan Greek Salad [Simple Vegan Blog]
More About Tofu
Need some more Tofu 101 resources? We've got you covered! Our Guide to Tofu goes over all the different types of tofu and how to use them and our Baked Barbecue Tofu post includes common reasons why people don't like tofu and how to overcome them. Do you see recipes that call for pressing tofu and wonder what that means? This post explains it. And if you're feeling bold, you can try your hand at making your own tofu too.
Great post, and this is reminding me that I have some tofu in the freezer!
Kaitlin @ TheGardenGrazer says
LOVING this round-up Kiersten!! Great to show just how versatile tofu is! Thanks so much for sharing one of my recipes 🙂 Wishing you a lovely week!
nice roundup, but could you consider making maybe one on garbanzo flour? i am trying to use it more often since it is healthy and fascinating and versatile (omelets, burgers, flatbreads, ...) but i dont really have the hand of it yet (i liked the taste of my scrambled 'eggs' but they were so ugly i was happy i was eating alone 😀 )
Savita @ ChefDeHome says
What a great collection of Tofu recipes! I'm a huge fan of Tofu, and your recipes making my crave for some!
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
Thanks so much for sharing my recipe and for providing me with so many new ones to try. I LOVE experimenting with tofu! And to think I used to be "afraid" of it 😉
"strikes fear in the hearts", that statement cracked me up! I love love tofu even though I'm a huge meat eater...I think it's because I grew up eating it...parents should feed tofu to their children at an early age! Thanks for sharing my ramen noodle soup! 🙂
This post came ONE DAY too late for me!! Last night I tried tofu for the first time. I was gagging as I prepared it and felt like I was cutting up SpongeBob Square Pants!! Also whatever I did was obviously wrong as the end result was so squishy and disgusting neither me or my husband could eat it. I threw the rest away and swore never to touch the stuff again.
Maybe I will save this post and when I'm next able to think about tofu without shuddering I will try again. 🙂
I'm trying to get more tofu into my diet so a HUGE THANKS for this post!
Awesome post and resource. Believe it or not, after being vegan for 14 or so years I've yet to try tofu in a dessert or smoothie. That's next on my list of things to try 🙂