Tofu, produced from bean curds, is a highly versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into any number of dinnertime offerings. On top of being a great way to enhance flavors and textures in a dish, the ingredient also offers tremendous health benefits: A half-cup of tofu contains 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 25% of your daily recommended calcium intake, reports the University of Toronto.
Make tofu a part of tonight’s dinner with one of these 7 recipes.
1. Thai Red Curry Soup
Brisk autumn weather calls for a greater reliance on comfort foods like soup, chowder, and curry. Anett Velsberg’s recipe for a Thai-inspired curry dish is a great dinnertime solution, offering charm and complexity in one dish. Garlic, ginger, and curry paste all add their uniquely zesty tastes to the dish, tempered by the mild flavors of coconut milk and soft mushrooms. The recipe takes 40 minutes to complete and yields 2-4 servings.
- 1 package rice noodles
- 1 block extra firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped into small pieces
- 1-inch ginger, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- Juice from ½ lime
- 2-3 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1 can vegetable broth
- 3 cups of white mushrooms, sliced
- Sliced cilantro, green onions, fresh chillies, and lime wedges to serve
Directions: Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Rinse under cold water to prevent sticking. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add red curry paste and season with coconut sugar, lime juice, and Tamari. Turn the heat down until it is ready to serve.
Next, heat oil in a medium-sized pan, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. add the mushrooms and tofu, sauté for about 4 minutes, until ready. Season with Tamari and lime juice.
To serve, divide the noodles into bowls, cover with tofu and mushrooms and ladle the red curry broth on top. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, fresh chili, and a lime wedge.
2. Tofu Broccoli Bok Choy Stir-Fry With Soba Noodles
Vegan Richa’s recipe for Asian tofu stir fry incorporates a variety of wonderful flavors and textures. The marinade in this dish offers a complex taste of southeast Asia with tart soy sauce and vinegar mixed with maple syrup, garlic paste, and ginger. You can marinate your tofu for as little as 15 minutes — but to achieve the the most complex flavors, give the tofu a few solid hours to soak up the sauce. Recipe takes about 30 minutes to complete (plus marination time) and yield 2 servings.
- 7 ounces tofu, pressed lightly and cubed
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 8 to 9 ounce soba noodles
- 1 teaspoon coconut or organic canola oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 to 2 cups of Broccoli, small florets and thinly sliced stems
- 1 large bok choy
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Directions: In a shallow bowl, mix all the ingredients under marinade (except tofu). Add cubed tofu and let sit for atleast 15 minutes to a few hours. Prepare the Soba noodles according to package instructions and keep aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet at medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add the broccoli florets, broccoli stem, bok choy, and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green.
Add the tofu along with the marinade and cook for a minute. Add the noodles, pepper flakes, and mix well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve hot.
3. Ultimate Veggie Chili
Food Network’s recipe for veggie chili may have an intimidating list of ingredients, but the resulting taste and texture make this dish more than a worthwhile commitment! Tomatoes, chili, beans, and spices all bring their own distinct flavors and textures to the mix, culminating in a powerfully flavotful reward. Recipes takes an hour and 35 minutes to complete and yields 8 servings.
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon each chipotle chili powder and red pepper flakes
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
- 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced jalapeños, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles, drained
- 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14-ounce) can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup frozen corn
- ½ cup whole roasted cashews
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheddar, more roasted cashews — optional
Directions: In a large stockpot, sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil over medium-high heat until onions are starting to soften. Stir in cumin, chipotle, and red pepper flakes. Crumble the thawed tofu into the mixture and sauté 5 minutes more.
Reduce heat to medium. Add all tomatoes, jalapeños, green chiles, black beans, kidney beans, corn and cashews; mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Garnish with sour cream, grated Cheddar, and additional cashews, if desired.
4. Tofu Sloppy Joes
Add some zesty character to tonight’s tofu dinner with these Sloppy Joes from Food.com. Tomatoes and chili powder will add flavor to the dish, while onions and peppers offer up an extra crunchy burst with each bite. Recipe takes 55 minutes to complete and serves 4-6 people — and if you end up with leftovers, try using a cup or 2 over tortilla chips for a vegetarian-friendly nacho platter.
- 1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Chili powder
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Ketchup and mustard
- Diced onion (optional)
- Diced green pepper (optional)
Directions: Crumble the tofu to small bits. Heat oil in frying pan and add tofu and chili powder to taste. Cook on medium-high heat until tofu is crispy. Add garlic and onion and cook 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, a dab of ketchup, a dab of mustard, and a drizzle of extra oil to desired taste. Let simmer, bubbling until sauce is thickened. (about 30 minutes). Serve on whole wheat buns with salad and homemade fries. Enjoy!
5. Crunchy Tofu Tacos
Give your tofu a fusion Mexican-Asian treatment with these crunchy tofu tacos from Food & Wine. The recipe originally comes from Joe Jim, owner of a famous Los Angeles food truck called the Flying Pig. This particular dish is a playful combination of subdued tofu with the springy flavors of garlic, ginger, sesame, and chili. The recipe takes 45 minutes to complete and yields 12 tacos.
- One 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons Korean chile powder or hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon Korean pepper paste (kochujang)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon toasted-sesame oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 12 corn or 5-inch flour tortillas, warmed
- Hoisin sauce, kimchi, Asian pear, scallions and chopped honey-roasted peanuts, for serving
Directions: Place the tofu on a rack lined with paper towels and drain for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the chile powder with the pepper paste, garlic, ginger and sesame oil and season with salt. In another large bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chile powder and 1 tablespoon of salt.
In a medium, deep skillet, heat the oil until it reaches 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the tofu to the chile sauce and stir gently to coat. Scrape the tofu into the cornstarch mixture and toss to coat. Transfer the coated tofu to a colander to tap out the excess cornstarch. Fry the tofu in one batch, stirring occasionally, until golden and crunchy, 3 to 3½ minutes; maintain the heat near 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crunchy tofu to a paper towel-lined rack and sprinkle with salt. Serve the tofu right away with the tortillas, hoisin sauce, kimchi, Asian pear, scallions, and peanuts.
6. Barbecue Tofu Pizza
The Atlantic reports that 1 in 8 Americans eats pizza on any given day. Should you choose to be that person today, try switching up your pizza routine with Kitchen Treaty’s recipe for a tofu barbecue take on the beloved Italian dish. Cheese, onion, and flavorful, crisped tofu bits give the dish its irresistible flavor. The recipe takes an hour and 10 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings.
- 1 pound store-bought or homemade pizza crust
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup crispy salt & pepper tofu pieces, recipe follows
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
- Kosher salt
- Handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper (or to taste)
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
Directions: To make salt and pepper tofu, press tofu to remove excess moisture. To do so, line a plate with several paper towels. Place tofu on paper towels and top with two or three more paper towels. Place three or four more plates on top of the tofu, making sure they’re well-balanced. Drain for 20-30 minutes.
Remove tofu from paper towels. Place on cutting board and cut tofu into squares or rectangles, as desired. Add the vegetable or canola oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn starch, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to a large plate or shallow baking dish. Mix.
Working in batches, dredge the tofu in the corn starch mixture, turning to coat evenly. Carefully add tofu to hot oil in skillet. Cook over medium-high for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally to brown all sides. Remove tofu from pan and place on several paper towels, blotting to remove excess oil. Serve as desired.
To make pizza, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll/pull/flatten the pizza crust dough to about 14 inches in diameter. Brush a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and carefully lay the pizza crust on the cookie sheet. Spread ½ cup of the barbecue sauce onto the dough, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges.
Add tofu or chicken to a small bowl and add remaining barbecue sauce. Carefully toss and evenly place pieces over pizza crust.
Lay sliced red onions over the top. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt and the fresh cilantro over the top. Slice and serve!
7. Tofu Spinach Lasagna
Taste of Home offers this simple vegetarian lasagna combining spinach, ricotta, and tofu. Each serving of the deliciously light Italian dish contains only 227 calories, offering 3 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein. The recipe takes an hour and 15 minutes to complete and yields 12 servings.
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu
- 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1¾ cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions: Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, sauté onion and garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add mushrooms; sauté until tender. Set aside.
Drain tofu, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Place tofu and reserved liquid in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Add ricotta cheese; cover and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and mushroom mixture. Combine spinach and remaining salt; set aside.
Drain noodles. Spread half of the marinara sauce into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with three noodles, half of the tofu mixture and half of the spinach mixture. Repeat layers of noodles, tofu, and spinach. Top with remaining noodles and marinara sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.