Tofu is an awesome source of plant-based protein that can be used to make delicious, filling recipes. Although it provides little flavour on its own, it can be cooked and seasoned to make delectable meals. Whether it’s used as the main event, topped onto a fresh bowl, sliced onto a banh mi sandwich, or infused into a dessert, tofu is a great way to get your protein as well as other healthy nutrients. Check out our favourite easy and filling tofu recipes for every meal!
4 Health Benefits of Eating Tofu
1. Great Source of Protein
Tofu is one of the best sources of plant-based protein out there, and is very popular among vegetarians and vegans. It’s also a complete source of protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. While all animal-based proteins are complete proteins, many plant based proteins are missing certain amino acids, so if you’re following a plant-based diet, tofu can help you reach your recommended daily protein needs.
2. High in Iron
Tofu is also chock full of iron, which helps your body convert nutrients into energy and helps you maintain a healthy immune system. Vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk for low iron levels, so tofu is a great way to combat that. Just make sure to note that the type of iron in tofu (non-heme iron) isn’t as easily absorbed as heme iron found in animal based foods. You should pair tofu with vitamin C-rich foods to absorb non-heme iron more effectively.
3. Heart Healthy
Tofu is rich in isoflavones – an estrogen like substance made by soy plants. The plant estrogens in tofu may help keep your heart healthy. Soybeans have been shown to help in lowering blood pressure and consequently lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. Tofu is also known to be helpful in lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels as well as lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol.
4. Osteoporosis Prevention
The isoflavones in soy may also help prevent bone loss and increase bone mineral density, which makes bones stronger. Bone health is often an issue after menopause when women lose bone mass due to dropping estrogen levels. Since tofu is also rich in calcium and vitamin D, it can help prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones strong.
4 Tips for Cooking with Tofu
1. Choose the Right Texture
Tofu is available in a variety of textures, ranging from silken (the most delicate type of tofu) to extra firm. Different tofu textures are preferable for certain recipes. Soft silken tofu is ideal for blending into desserts, while medium firm tofu is great for slicing into miso or hot and sour soup. Extra firm tofu has a denser texture and less water content, and should be your go-to for when you serve tofu as the main dish or top it onto bowls.
2. Press Your Tofu
Before cooking with tofu, it’s important to press the water out of it. Tofu contains a lot of water, and while tofu presses are available, you can also cover your tofu with paper towel and apply pressure with your hands or cookbooks to squeeze the water out. Pressing your tofu is especially important if you’re baking, grilling or frying the tofu.
3. Season It
Plain tofu doesn’t have much of a taste to it on its own, so the key to delicious tofu recipes is seasoning your tofu. Tofu is a blank slate and that’s what’s so great about it! One of the best, most flavourful ways to season tofu is to marinade it in a delicious homemade sauce after you’ve cut it up. You can marinade tofu anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight (extra firm tofu works best for this so it doesn’t fall apart). You can also coat it in olive oil and a bunch of dry seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and paprika before baking or pan frying it.
4. Use Cornstarch for Crispy Tofu
If you want your tofu nice and crispy on the outside, coat it with cornstarch. After pressing and cubing your tofu, place it in a bowl and mix in cornstarch, tossing it all together to make sure all tofu pieces are covered. Once the tofu has browned and crisped, add your sauce to the skillet and it will start to thicken immediately. Toss your tofu to coat and you’ll have delicious crispy tofu!
15 Easy Tofu Recipes for Beginners
1. Tofu Stir Fry with Baby Spinach | Well Plated
2. Tofu Soba Noodles | Damn Delicious
3. Asian Garlic Tofu | Spicy Southern Kitchen
4. Orange Tofu and Edamame Stir Fry | Recipe Runner
5. Magic Garlicky Tofu | Gimme Some Oven
6. Easy Tofu Pad Thai | Minimalist Baker
7. Crispy Tofu | From My Bowl
8. Tofu Drunken Noodles | Jo Cooks
9. Pan Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu | Table for Two
10. Spicy Sesame Noodles with Crispy Tofu | Pinch of Yum
11. Tofu Banh Mi | Delish
12. Tofu Broccoli Bowl | Woman’s Day
13. Dynamite Plant Power Sushi Bowls | Punch of Yum
14. Soba Salad with Grilled Tofu | Good Housekeeping
15. 5-Ingredient Green Curry | Pinch of Yum
15 Healthy Tofu Recipes
1. Crispy Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli | Recipe Runner
2. Superfood Bibimbap with Crispy Tofu | Half Basked Harvest
3. Tofu Power Bowls with Edamame and Kale | Damn Delicious
4. Hot and Sour Soup | Creme de la Crumb
5. Tofu and Avocado Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce | The Little Kitchen
6. Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps | Damn Delicious
7. Simple Tofu Quiche | Minimalist Baker
8. Tofu, Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Ramen Noodle Soup | The Little Kitchen
9. Pumpkin Mole with Grilled Tofu | The Curious Chickpea
10. 5-Ingredient Miso Soup | A Spicy Perspective
11. Crunchy Tofu Tacos | Food & Wine
12. Coconut Curry Ramen | Pinch of Yum
13. Sweet and Sticky Tofu with Baby Bok Choy | Good Housekeeping
14. Miso and Shiitake Mushroom Tofu | Food & Wine
15. Firecracker Vegan Lettuce Wraps | Pinch of Yum
15 Tofu Dessert Recipes
1. Vegan Chocolate Tofu Pudding | Fit Living Eats
2. Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse | As Easy As Apple Pie
3. Chocolate Banana Tofu Pudding | All Recipes
4. No Bake Vegan Chocolate Pie | The Spruce Eats
5. Tofu Pudding with Ginger Syrup | Run Away Rice
6. Grapefruit Creme Brûlée | One Green Planet
7. Vegan Pumpkin Pie | The Spruce Eats
8. Easy Chinese Tofu Pudding | Christie At Home
9. Key Lime Cheesecake | One Green Planet
10. Vegan Chocolate Fudge Brownies | The Spruce Eats
11. Cinnamon French Tofu Sticks with Chocolate Syrup | VegAnnie
12. Passion Fruit Cream Tartlets | One Green Planet
13. Peanut Butter Tofu No Bake Pie | The Spruce Eats
14. Instant Pot Lemon Cheesecake | One Green Planet
15. Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies | The Spruce Eats
Tofu is an excellent source of nutrients and a key part of a healthy diet. Whether you follow a plant-based diet, or simply want to eat less meat, try out these filling tofu recipes!