What to Do with Baked Tofu: A Comprehensive Guide

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Baked tofu is a delicious and nutritious ingredient that can be used in many different types of dishes. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet, there are plenty of delicious and creative ways to use baked tofu. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how to prepare and cook baked tofu, as well as some delicious recipes that showcase its versatility. From stir-fries to sandwiches, we’ll give you plenty of inspiration for making the most of this beloved food.

what to do with baked tofu

Types of Tofu

Tofu, a versatile and adaptable ingredient, is available in various types at natural food stores and supermarkets. In this section, we will focus on Extra-Firm Tofu and Firm Tofu, two popular types you might encounter.

Extra-Firm Tofu

Extra-firm tofu, as the name suggests, has a firmer texture and low water content. It is typically found in cellophane-wrapped packages or tofu tubs. Some well-known brands that offer extra-firm tofu include Soy Boy, White Wave, and Nasoya. Due to its sturdy nature, extra-firm tofu is perfect for grilling, stir-frying, or pan-frying.

When shopping for extra-firm tofu, keep an eye out for a flavored variety, which can add an extra layer of taste to your dish. To prep extra-firm tofu, remove it from the packaging, press it to expel excess water, and then cut it into the desired shape or size.

Firm Tofu

Firm tofu is slightly softer than its extra-firm counterpart but still holds its shape well during cooking. It can also be found in tofu tubs or cellophane-wrapped packages at your local natural foods store. Some popular brands of firm tofu include Soy Boy, White Wave, and Nasoya.

While firm tofu can be used in baking, it’s important to press and drain the tofu beforehand to prevent sogginess. Like extra-firm tofu, a flavored variety of firm tofu can enhance the flavor profile of your dish.

To sum up, both extra-firm and firm tofu are versatile options for a variety of culinary applications. Whether you’re grilling, baking, or stir-frying, these two types of tofu can add a protein-packed, delicious, and satisfying element to your meal.

Preparation Techniques

Pressing Tofu

Pressing tofu is a crucial step in creating baked tofu dishes, as it helps remove excess moisture. To press tofu, first drain it and gently squeeze out some of the water using your palms. Next, wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and place it on a flat surface. Place a cutting board or plate on top of the tofu and add some weight, such as a heavy pan or canned goods, to put pressure on the tofu. Let it sit for at least 15-30 minutes to press out the excess water12.

Adding Cornstarch

For a crispy baked tofu texture, consider using cornstarch. It’s a gluten-free ingredient that helps create a crunchy coating when baked3. Once the tofu is pressed and cut into cubes, toss it with a small amount of cornstarch to lightly coat each piece. This will ensure a crispier texture when the tofu is cooked, elevating the dish’s overall presentation and taste.

Marinating Tofu

Marinating tofu allows flavors to infuse the tofu before baking, creating a more flavorful dish. After pressing and cutting the tofu, toss it in a marinade of your choice, such as a mix of soy sauce or tamari, olive oil, and sriracha3. Let the tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors. Remember not to marinate for too long; excessive marination may cause the tofu to become too soft.

In summary, preparing baked tofu involves three essential steps: pressing the tofu to remove moisture, adding cornstarch for a crispy texture, and marinating for flavor. Following these steps will result in a delicious, versatile baked tofu dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of various recipes.


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Baking Tofu

Baking tofu is a popular method among tofu enthusiasts, particularly for those who enjoy crispy edges and delicious flavors. When done well, baked tofu serves as a versatile and nutritious addition to various dishes. This section will explain how to achieve crispy edges, along with recommended cooking times.

Creating Crispy Edges

Achieving crispy edges on your baked tofu requires a few essential steps. First, drain the tofu and gently squeeze out excess water using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. This step is crucial, as removing excess moisture allows the tofu to crisp up effectively during baking. Next, cut the tofu into your desired shapes and sizes, keeping in mind that smaller pieces will become crispier.

Before baking, coat the tofu with a light layer of oil and seasonings, such as sea salt, to enhance the flavors and crispiness. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the tofu from sticking *. Spread the tofu pieces evenly on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they do not overlap.

Recommended Cooking Times

For optimal crispiness, bake the tofu for 20 minutes, then flip the pieces over and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the edges are golden and crispy *. Keep a close eye on your tofu in the final minutes of cooking to prevent over-browning or burning.

To recap, here are the steps for crispy baked tofu preparation:

  1. Drain the tofu and remove excess moisture.
  2. Cut tofu into desired shapes.
  3. Coat tofu pieces with oil and seasonings, such as sea salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Place tofu pieces on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

By following these guidelines, you can achieve a perfect batch of crispy baked tofu every time. This mouthwatering ingredient can be added to various dishes, such as salads, stir-fries, and sandwiches, providing a delightful texture and an exceptional taste experience.

Serving Ideas

Hot or Cold Dishes

Baked tofu is versatile and can be consumed in hot or cold dishes, making it an excellent protein option for various meals. With its firm texture and ability to absorb flavors, baked tofu can easily be the star of both hot and cold dishes. For example, you could cut it up into cubes and add it to a New England-style vegan clam chowder, replacing the traditional seafood with tofu for a protein boost.

Tofu Salads

Tofu salads are a delicious and healthy way to enjoy baked tofu. Begin by cutting the tofu into bite-sized cubes and tossing it with your favorite salad ingredients. Some popular choices include baby spinach, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. Top it off with a tangy dressing, like balsamic vinaigrette or tahini dressing for a satisfying, protein-packed meal.

Tofu Wraps

Using baked tofu in wraps is a convenient and flavorful option for those on the go. Cut baked tofu into strips and pair them with fresh vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers. Add a spread like tofuna—a blend of tofu, mustard, lemon juice, and dill—for extra flavor, or perhaps a creamy avocado dressing. Simply roll everything in your preferred choice of wrap, and you’re good to go.

Tofu Pasta

Baked tofu can also be added to pasta dishes, providing extra protein and texture. Slice the tofu into cubes or crumbles and toss it with pasta and your desired sauce. Whether you prefer a classic marinara or a rich and creamy alfredo sauce, the baked tofu will elevate your dish to a new level of deliciousness. You can also add other ingredients, such as sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, or fresh basil, to enhance the flavors of your tofu pasta creation.

Sandwich Spread

Baked tofu can be an excellent addition to a sandwich in the form of a spread. To create a unique sandwich spread, blend baked tofu with your choice of condiments, such as vegan mayonnaise, mustard, or hummus. Add seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, or herbs for extra flavor. Once you have your spread, layer it on bread with additional fixings like lettuce, tomato, or avocado for a plant-based sandwich that’s both filling and delicious.

Sauces and Flavors

When it comes to baked tofu, the right sauce or flavor can truly elevate the dish, making it a delicious and satisfying meal. This section will explore some popular options for livening up your baked tofu: Peanut Sauce, Garlic Spice, and Sriracha Flavored Tofu.

Peanut Sauce

Peanut sauce is a versatile and delicious option for accompanying baked tofu. It’s a popular choice for many vegans and pairs exceptionally well with tofu’s subtle, savory taste. To make a simple peanut sauce, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and a sweetener like agave or maple syrup. Customize the sauce by adding ingredients like garlic, ginger, or chili sauce for an extra kick. This sauce can be drizzled over baked tofu, used as a dipping sauce, or tossed with your favorite veggie stir-fry for a satisfying meal packed with flavor.

Garlic Spice

Garlic is a powerful ingredient that can easily transform baked tofu into a savory, aromatic dish. One way to achieve garlic spiced tofu is by marinating the tofu in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, and spices like oregano, thyme, and basil. You can find a recipe for garlic-spiced tofu at Minimalist Baker, which uses tamari, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste for additional flavor. After marinating and baking the tofu, enjoy it on its own or pair it with vegetables and grains for a wholesome, delicious meal.

Sriracha Flavored Tofu

Sriracha is a well-loved hot sauce that can kick your baked tofu up a notch with its signature blend of chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and sugar. To make Sriracha flavored tofu, simply marinate your tofu in a mixture of Sriracha and other preferred flavors, such as soy sauce, lime juice, or sesame oil. For added convenience, you can find pre-marinated sriracha tofu options at stores like Trader Joe’s. Once baked, the Sriracha-flavored tofu can be added to a variety of dishes, like salads, stir-fries, or even sandwiches, for an extra zing of flavor that spicy food lovers will appreciate.

By exploring different sauces and flavors for your baked tofu, you can create a versatile, vegan meal that satisfies your taste buds and offers a variety of culinary experiences. Whether you choose the creamy and nutty peanut sauce, the fragrant and savory garlic spice, or the fiery Sriracha, these options will undoubtedly amp up the flavor of your baked tofu dishes.

Health Benefits

Plant-Based Protein

Baked tofu is a fantastic source of plant-based protein, making it an excellent option for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Tofu is made from soybeans, which are a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. A 100g serving of tofu provides approximately 8-15g of protein, depending on the firmness and preparation method used (Healthline).

In addition to being high in protein, tofu is also low in calories and fat. This makes it a healthy and nutritious addition to meals for individuals looking to increase their protein intake while keeping their calorie consumption in check.

Gluten-Free Option

For those with gluten sensitivities or following a gluten-free diet, baked tofu is a suitable option. Tofu contains no gluten, which makes it safe for consumption by individuals with celiac disease or those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Incorporating baked tofu into a variety of dishes allows for a versatile and healthy diet for individuals avoiding gluten.

Inclusion of baked tofu also offers a range of additional health benefits. Tofu is rich in essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, and manganese. It is also a good source of isoflavones, which have been linked to reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (Healthline).

Adding baked tofu to meals can be done in various ways. Some popular methods include:

  • Slicing baked tofu and adding it to salads for extra protein
  • Stir-frying with vegetables and rice, noodles, or a grain of choice
  • Sandwich it between bread with your favorite fixings for a tasty, plant-based sandwich

Remember to experiment with seasonings, sauces, and marinades to enhance the flavor of the baked tofu and make it a delicious and versatile addition to your meals.

Easy and Quick Recipes

Baked tofu is a versatile and delicious source of vegetarian protein that’s easy to make. There are countless ways to incorporate it into your meals, and it’s perfect for people looking for quick, tasty, and nutritious dishes. Let’s explore a few easy and quick recipes that highlight baked tofu as the star ingredient.

One popular way to enjoy baked tofu is in a simple stir-fry. Start by cutting the baked tofu into cubes, and stir-fry it with your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and broccoli. Add your preferred sauce, like a savory soy-based sauce or a tangy teriyaki sauce, to create a mouthwatering dish packed with flavor and protein.

Another delicious option is to make baked tofu tacos. Dice the baked tofu and pan-fry it with a variety of spices, including cumin, chili powder, and paprika. For the taco fillings, you can add fresh ingredients like avocado, cabbage slaw, and a dollop of salsa. Wrap it all up in a warm corn or flour tortilla and enjoy a tasty plant-based taco night.

Salads can also be made more protein-rich and satisfying by adding baked tofu. Customize your salad with leafy greens like spinach, arugula, or kale, and then toss in the crispy baked tofu cubes. Enhance your salad with toppings like cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, and cucumber slices, and finish it off with a zesty lemon-tahini dressing or balsamic vinaigrette.

If you’re in the mood for Asian-inspired flavors, try making a baked tofu rice bowl. Begin by choosing a base like white or brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice. Layer the bowl with ingredients like sautéed veggies, edamame, and sliced avocado. Add the crispy baked tofu as the protein source, and drizzle a savory sauce such as soy sauce, sriracha, or a spicy peanut sauce on top.

  • To prepare baked tofu, first press the tofu to remove excess water1. Slice the tofu into slabs, cubes, or desired shapes2.
  • Marinade the tofu in a mixture of your preferred seasonings and sauces.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C), and bake the tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through to ensure even crisping3.

Whether you’re already a fan of baked tofu or just discovering its culinary potential, trying these easy and quick recipes will make it a favorite go-to ingredient in no time.


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