20 Easy Tofu Recipes To Up Your Daily Protein

Twenty easy vegan recipes to show you all the different ways to cook and flavor tofu

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13 Minutes Read

Photo shows a bowl of black pepper tofu garnished with scallions and served with white rice, prepared to a vegan recipe Peppery, gingery, and perfect for a cold night - Media Credit: Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club

Tofu is a beloved vegan staple thanks to its adaptability, dense nutritional profile, and thousands of years of culinary history. These 20 easy tofu recipes make it simple to try out different ways of preparing the bean-based food – and upping your daily protein intake.

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What is tofu?

Tofu (or bean curd, or dòufǔ in Mandarin Chinese) is made by soaking dried soybeans in water, crushing them, and boiling them. The resultant mixture is then separated into a fibrous pulp known as okara and a soy milk-type liquid.

The soy milk is combined with salt coagulants like calcium and magnesium chloride, which separates the curds (the lumps) from the whey (the liquid). The curds are then pressed into blocks, which are cleaned and stored to firm up ready for packaging.

While tofu has been a vegetarian staple in the US and Europe for decades – and skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years, in particular – the first recorded mentions of the unique foodstuff date back to the Chinese Han dynasty approximately 2,000 years ago.

Tofu was then introduced to Japan during the eighth century, and then Vietnam during the 10th and 11th. In the following centuries, it spread to Thailand and Korea, and as a result, the soybean-based dish can be found throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia with unique national and regional variations in production methods, flavors, and cooking styles.

Read more: Is Vegan Food Really Worse For You Than Meat? A Factcheck Of Media Coverage

Tofu nutrition facts

Per Healthline, tofu is a nutrient-dense food and a good source of vegan protein, along with all nine of the essential amino acids the human body needs to absorb via food.

A single 100g serving of tofu contains approximately 17g of protein, 53 percent of your RDA for calcium, 51 percent of manganese, 42 percent of copper, 32 percent of selenium, 18 percent of vitamin A, 15 percent of phosphorous, 15 percent of iron, 14 percent of magnesium, and 14 percent of zinc, making it extremely nutrient-dense.

Soybeans also naturally contain isoflavones, which – despite criticism from certain corners of the internet – are thought to give tofu several of its most major potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Tofu is a nutritious, meat-free source of protein, vitamins, and minerals with a long and interesting culinary history to draw upon.

Read more: New Study Of Bones And Teeth Finds Cavemen Were Mostly Plant-Based

20 Easy tofu recipes to up your daily protein

While tofu-skeptics might criticize its mild and slightly beany flavor, therein lies the secret of its versatility: it is a superb carrier of flavor and can be seasoned to work with almost any dish you can think of, including both savory and sweet options.

Different varieties of tofu also have radically different textures – silken tofu vs deep fried puffed tofu, for example – and cooking methods also alter its consistency. Combined with its ability to absorb flavors and various nutritional benefits, tofu is undoubtedly a plant-based powerhouse. Try these easy 20 recipes today and up your daily protein consumption.

Ground tofu bowl with teriyaki sauce

FitGreenMind Ground tofu is super simple but delicious and nutritious

This ground tofu bowl includes a sticky teriyaki glaze, coconut rice, and broccoli. Because firm tofu contains less water per gram, it is particularly rich in protein and around twice that of silken varieties. The recipe was created by Maya Leinenbach from FitGreenMind. It takes around 40 minutes to prepare and cook and serves up to three people.

Find the recipe here.

Easy pan sheet broccoli and tofu

Sheet pan broccoli and tofu covered in a sticky sauce roasted in one pan
Rise Shine Cook Make this meal using just two ingredients and a single pan sheet

This one-pan-wonder recipe from Rise Shine Cook also combines broccoli and tofu but uses a simpler cooking method for just five minutes of prep time. Adding a handful of chopped nuts or seeds for a garnish adds flavor, but it also adds a little extra protein. (For example, a single tablespoon of sesame seeds contains around 1.6 g of protein.)

Find the recipe here.

Red lentil tofu

Photo shows someone taking the top piece from a white bowl of cubed red lentil tofu
Plantbaes Swap traditional soybeans for red lentils in this alternative tofu recipe

For an alternative to traditional tofu, try this recipe from Plantbaes for a particularly iron-rich soy and gluten-free version. Made using red lentils, it creates a tray of uniform, pale pink blocks ready for slicing, crumbling, or dicing in any way you would prepare tofu.

Find the recipe here.

Orange and ginger glazed tofu

Photo shows a block of orange and ginger-flavored tofu.
Romy London Zesty, zingy, and sweet – try this flavorful glazed tofu recipe

This recipe from Romy London combines the flavors of “zesty orange” and “zingy ginger” for a sticky glaze that helps make the tofu the “hero of this dish.” It’s unique and flavorful but requires remarkably few ingredients and just a little prep – perfect for date night.

Find the recipe here.

Tofu tahini stir fry

A quick and east vegan tofu and tahini stir fry
Viva! Tahini adds extra flavor and extra protein to this stir-fried tofu recipe

Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club created this recipe for a simple, delicious, and high-protein weeknight dish. Preparation and cooking take just 20 minutes, but you could shave a little extra time off by subbing in pre-marinated tofu and a pre-packaged stir-fry veg mix.

Find the recipe here.

Orange tofu and broccoli

a bowl of vegan orange tofu with broccoli, a vegan meal that's high in zinc
Sarah Cabacho This tofu bowl is also flavored with fresh orange

Another one from Plantbaes, this orange tofu and broccoli recipe is a high-protein and vegan spin on the Chinese-American classic. It takes just 30 minutes to make and serves four. Serve with rice and top with spring onions and sesame seeds.

Find the recipe here.

The ultimate satay stir-fry

A wok filled with a vegan starry, topped with peanut satay sauce, with chopsticks to the side
Viva Vegan Recipe Club Pair tofu with a creamy satay sauce for more protein and flavor

This creamy satay sauce makes for a rich and more-ish flavor, but it also adds even more protein to an already nutrient-dense dish by incorporating peanut butter. (A half cup of peanut butter, around 125 g, contains approximately 31 g of protein.) Viva’s Vegan Recipe Club recommends adding some daikon, or mooli, along with lotus roots.

Find the recipe here.

Sweet and sour tofu with Asian greens

Photo shows a close up of sweet and sour tofu and bok choy
Plant Power Nutrition and Fitness Pan frying this tofu gives it a crispy, moreish texture

Plant Power Nutrition and Fitness created this recipe and combines pan-fried tofu with bok choy and a fragrant, sticky sauce. It’s simple and extremely high in protein, while the bok choy adds both flavor and nutrients in the form of phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, folate, choline, beta-carotene, and vitamin K.

Find the recipe here.

Black pepper tofu

Photo shows a bowl of black pepper tofu garnished with scallions and served with white rice, prepared to a vegan recipe
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club Black pepper tofu is a delicious classic

Another one from Viva’s Vegan Recipe Club, this dish is super simple but has a warming, fragrant flavor. Serve with brown rice, fresh coriander, vegan yogurt, toasted cashews, fresh chili, roasted aubergine, and steamed broccoli for a fully-stacked version.

Find the recipe here.

Crispy lemon tofu

Photo shows a bowl of crispy lemon tofu, cooked with veggies and served with white rice
Avant Garde Vegan This recipe is nutritious but feels like a decadent takeaway

This crispy lemon tofu from Gaz Oakley, aka the Avant Garde Vegan, includes a kombucha-based batter for the bean curd, plenty of vegetables, and a zesty sauce. Serve over rice and top with toasted cashew nuts and sesame seeds.

Find the recipe here

Scrambled tofu

Photo shows a slice of toast topped with yellow tofu scramble, avocado, and tomatoes
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club A high-protein completely vegan replacement for morning scrambled eggs

Scrambled tofu is a classic, and this recipe from Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club mimics the taste, texture, and color of traditional scrambled eggs minus the animal products. This version contains around 17.4g of plant-based protein, making it an ideal breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a post-gym snack. (Trying throwing it inside a breakfast burrito.)

Find the recipe here.

Cashew and tofu stir fry

Photo shows a cashew tofu stir fry prepared to a vegan recipe and is high in plant-based protein
Cupful of Kale This vegan recipe is quick, nutritious, and tasty

Cupful Of Kale created this recipe for a quick cashew and tofu-based stir fry. It’s high protein, super easy, and makes for a great replacement for the Saturday night takeaway. It includes vegan fish sauce, which is easier to find than ever – common brands include Thai Taste, Samui, Sozye, SQUID, and Longdan. Try them all and find your favorite!

Find the recipe here.

The easiest tofu recipe ever

Photo shows a large wok full of tofu
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club This easy tofu recipe can be added to any other meal or enjoyed as a simple snack

Let’s take it back to basics with this recipe from Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club: the easiest tofu recipe ever. It works in Buddha bowls, stir-fries, salads, sandwiches, or even on its own. With one minute of prep and five minutes of cooking time, this might just become your go-to snack.

Find the recipe here.

Tofu skewers with spicy peanut sauce

Photo shows a bowl of tofu skewers served over rice
It's All Good Vegan It’s All Good Vegan pairs these tofu skewers with a sweet and spicy marinade and creamy peanut sauce

These tofu skewers from It’s All Good Vegan are perfect for BBQ season. They combine a sweet maple and Sriracha marinade with a creamy peanut sauce. Serve over rice with fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and toasted sesame seeds.

Find the recipe here.

Vegan orange tofu

Photo shows a large bowl full to the brim of orange tofu over a bed of rice
The Foodie Takes Flight caption

Another take on orange tofu, this time from Jessica at The Foodie Takes Flight. The tofu is crispy, the sauce is tangy and sweet, and the whole thing takes 30 minutes to make. Serve with a big bowl of white rice, and perhaps a side of sautéed vegetables.

Find the recipe here.

Maple garlic tofu roast

A vegan roast maple tofu
Romy London This recipe involves roasting a block of tofu whole!

This showstopper of a meal from Romy London makes a good replacement for any main meal where the centerpiece would typically be a whole joint or piece of roasted animal protein, be it Sunday lunch or any big family meal. The recipe involves roasting a full block of tofu in the oven with an umami glaze, which can then be carved before serving.

Find the recipe here.

Tofu salmon with creamy dill sauce

Photo shows a plate of vegan salmon topped with a creamy dill sauce.
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club This tofu salmon is flavored with a seaweed dressing and creamy dill sauce

Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club created this plant-based “salmon” with a creamy dill sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to the tender tofu. It’s marinated in a seaweed dressing for an oceanic and umami flavor and served with smashed new potatoes and seasonal greens. 

Find the recipe here.

Butter tofu curry

Photo shows a large red pot of vegan butter curry made with tofu
This veganized butter chicken is made with tofu

This curry from Olive Wood Vegan is creamy and rich. It’s an authentic North Indian curry that makes for a simple and delicious dinner. Serve with naan and basmati rice. Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) – the dish this tofu version is based on – originates in Delhi, and is notable for the richness that combining spiced tomatoes and butter creates.

Find the recipe here.

Tofu avocado kebabs

Photo shows a plate of tofu, avocado, and vegetable kebabs
A quick dish full of vegetables and protein-rich tofu

Alexa Soto from Fueled Naturally created this simple tofu-based kebab dish. It includes a maple-soy sauce as well as the avocado, onion, Brussel sprout, asparagus, bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno, and tofu kebabs. Sprinkle with cilantro and flakey sea salt to finish.

Find the recipe here.

Tofu katsu sushi sandwiches

Photo shows a vegan "sandwich" made using sushi ingredients like white rice and katsu flavored tofu
The Foodie Takes Flight Try this giant sandwich-style sushi wrap

The Foodie Takes Flight combines sushi ingredients into the format of a traditional sandwich for this delicious, unusual, and high-protein recipe. The crispy seaweed provides a protective outer shell – making it an ideal packed lunch – with the rice forming the “bread” part.

Find the recipe here.

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