12 Ways to Cook Tofu for Beginners
If you've never used it before, tofu can be an intimidating ingredient. White and jiggly, the exact features that make some people avoid cooking it are what make it so delicious. Tofu has a mild flavor, meaning it’s perfect for soaking up marinades and sauces. Since it’s available in different textures — silken, soft, firm, and extra firm — it’s also versatile in preparation techniques. Our 12 beginner tofu recipes will teach you how to prepare tofu through frying, baking, blending, and more.
Seasoned with nutritional yeast, pepper, and garlic powder, these slices of tofu are pan-fried to golden perfection. Be sure to use a non-stick skillet, as tofu is notorious for sticking.
Ultimate Tofu Breakfast Burrito Bowls
Lightly crumbled tofu is a great vegan-friendly alternative to scrambled eggs. All you need is a dash of turmeric (for color) and your favorites egg mix-ins. Pro tip: If you're missing that eggy flavor, kala namak (Indian black salt) has a natural sulfurous smell and taste that will mimic eggs perfectly.
Tofu Fruit Julius
Silken tofu has a soft and custard-y texture, making it easy to blend into smoothies and shakes for thickness and added protein. Here, tofu is combined with strawberries, soy milk, and ice for a delightfully fruity drink.
This recipe requires freezing tofu, a technique that creates a "meatier" texture. When frozen, the water in the tofu expands into ice crystals, which when defrosted creates a chewier texture and little pockets for soaking up marinades and sauces. While it may seem like an easy step to skip, it's worth it to make these tasty burgers.
Yellow Squash and Tofu Stir Fry
Stir frying tofu gives it layers of flavor with a crispy exterior. In this version, it's cooked up in a blend of soy sauce, sriracha, and brown sugar for a sweet and spicy dish.
Baked Tofu Slices
Baking tofu isn't just a hands-off way to cook it, it's one of the best techniques for ensuring a chewy dish. By baking these slices plain at a high temperature, it allows the tofu to crisp up without any added moisture from the sauce that's applied later.
Eggless Tofu Spinach Quiche
You'd never guess this quiche recipe didn't include eggs. Tofu is great for blending into a batter and then baking until it reaches a firm, custard-like texture. Here, it's combined with Cheddar, spinach, and onions for a flavor-packed meal.
Crispy Fried Tofu
Recipe creator Sarah Dipity describes this dish as, "Deep-fried tofu that is crisp and golden brown on the outside and amazingly white and soft on the inside!" The key to getting crispy deep-fried tofu, and avoiding a potential splatter of oil, is removing as much of the water as possible before cooking.
Chocolate-Almond Tofu Pie
Air Fryer Vegan Buffalo Tofu Bites
The air fryer is perfect for crisping up these spicy tofu bites. Since it has a hearty breading, you won't have to worry about them getting soggy before you eat.
Grilled Tofu Skewers with Sriracha Sauce
Throwing tofu on the grill doesn't just give it lovely char marks, it infuses each piece with an irresistible smoky flavor. And as a bonus, unlike meat dishes, the marinade can be reused as a dipping sauce after grilling.
Broiled, Marinated Tofu Sandwich
Your oven's broiler can be your secret weapon to creating crispy tofu. Just a few minutes on each side results in a crunchy exterior and soft interior.