These 5 Tofu Recipes Might Persuade You to Go Vegetarian

Close-up of tofu stirfry in a bowl.

Thank you to Hello Fresh Canada for sponsoring this post and sharing these fun tofu recipes.

You don’t need to be vegetarian to reap the advantages of a reduced meat lifestyle. More Canadians are choosing to adopt a vegetarian or meat-light diet for health reasons, cost reduction, and to benefit the global climate.

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In 2018, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada found that 6.4 million Canadians limited the quantity of meat they consumed. With more than 2.3 million vegetarians in the country and counting, it’s not difficult to see that plant-based diets are growing in popularity. 

One of the most widely used protein sources in vegetarian diets is tofu. Tofu is a rich and creamy soy-based ingredient. It’s made by the drying and powdering of soybeans, which are then soaked and separated to make soy milk and whey products.

Tofu comes in a variety of textures, including:

  • Extra-firm
  • Medium-firm
  • Silken
  • Smoked
  • Seasoned

Tofu has a neutral and somewhat nutty flavor. It also draws flavors out of the foods it cooks with, thus making it the perfect addition to any meal. It works in both savory and sweet combinations.

Here, we’ll talk about some of the top tofu recipes on our meal kit roster. Who knows, you might just want to try a vegetarian diet after this. 

Close up view of tofu dish with text overlay that reads 5 amazing tofu recipes.

1. Tofu stir fry

Tofu is an amazing stir-fry ingredient. It absorbs all those beautiful sauces and seasonings added to the wok and provides a punch of protein to your dish. The best tofu to use in a stir-fry is extra-firm tofu. This tofu has a bit of a dense crumbly texture and offers the meatiest bite of all the tofu types. 

To use tofu in a stir-fry, first drain it and press it. Pressing involves squeezing any excess liquid out of your tofu. To do this, lay the tofu brick between two pieces of paper towels, or wrap it gently in a tea towel. Place a medium-sized mixing bowl on top and leave it for 30 minutes. Then, dice and fry as instructed in the recipe card below.

Yield: 4 servings

Tofu Stir Fry

Spicy tofu stir fry in a bowl.

Stir-fry is a staple dish for the busy Canadian. No matter how much you have on the go, you can make a phenomenal stir-fry by tossing some fresh vegetables, seasoning, and tofu in a pan. Then, serve over a bed of rice, noodles, or even on its own. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (14-ounce) packages of extra-firm tofu (only extra-firm should be used. It cannot be substituted)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce divided, plus additional to taste
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced (about 1 heaping tbsp)
  • 1 small bunch of green onions finely chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1–2 tsp fresh chilli paste (or 1/4–1/2 tsp red pepper flakes)
  • 10 ounces of baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Drain and press the tofu, ensuring as much moisture is removed as possible. Cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes.
  2. Heat canola oil in a wok or large skillet. Add tofu to the hot skillet and drizzle with 1 tbsp soy sauce.
  3. Sauté until the tofu is nicely browned on all sides and the moisture has evaporated (about 8 to 10 minutes). 
  4. Add the garlic, two-thirds of the green onion, ginger, chilli paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. 
  5. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add spinach in batches, stirring until it wilts and allows you to add more until all the spinach has been added. 
  7. Stir in the sesame seeds and sesame oil. 
  8. Remove from the heat. 
  9. Sprinkle the reserved green onions over the top. Serve with a few dashes of additional soy sauce and chilli paste or flakes to taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 503mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

2. Chipotle tofu and pineapple skewers

Tofu isn’t just for vegetarians. A great example of this is chipotle tofu and pineapple skewers. You can add whatever you want to these skewers, including pork, shrimp, beef, or chicken. 

In this recipe, we’re leaving out the meat, but you can add additional ingredients to your skewers to your taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Chipotle Tofu and Pineapple Skewers

Sliced tofu and pineapple on a plate.

This is a refreshing meal on a hot day and leaves plenty of room to add additional ingredients to your skewers as you go.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • Skewers (soak skewers before using)
  • 1 brick of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tbsp crushed dried Chipotle peppers
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 3 cups of cubed fresh pineapple

Instructions

  1. Drain and press the tofu to remove the liquid.
  2. Dice the garlic cloves and white onion.
  3. Add one teaspoon of canola oil to a pan on medium heat.
  4. Fry the oregano, crushed chipotle, garlic, and onions until the onions appear translucent.
  5. Add sugar and salt to the pan.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool for 30 minutes.
  7. Toss the pineapple in the marinade mixture and drain it.
  8. Soak the cubed tofu in the remaining marinade mixture.
  9. Stack alternating tofu and pineapples on the skewers.
  10. Grill the skewers on your BBQ or in an oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until the pineapples begin to go golden.
  11. Serve with wedges of lime and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 4g

3. Jerk tofu rice bowls

Jerk tofu grain bowls are becoming widely popular. Combining rich Jamaican flavors with pineapples and sweet bell peppers makes it a winning dish.

There are so many flavor combinations to create in a jerk tofu grain bowl. You can swap out the rice for quinoa or farro for a different texture. Or add your favorite veggies. Make it yours!

Yield: 4 servings

Jerk Tofu Rice Bowls

Tofu and rice on serving dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 350 gram-extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 160 grams of sweet bell peppers
  • ¼ cup of Jamaican jerk sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 7 grams cilantro
  • 56 grams diced red onion
  • 113 grams of pineapple rings
  • 2/4 cup of jasmine rice

Instructions

  1. Cut the pineapple and peppers into ¼-inch pieces.
  2. Roughly dice the cilantro.
  3. Preheat the oven to broil.
  4. Cube the tofu and line the cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Cut the lime in half.
  6. Zest and juice one-half of the lime.
  7. Slice the other half of the lime.
  8. Place the tofu in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
  9. Mix the jerk sauce with sugar in a small dish.
  10. Mix the coconut milk and 1 cup of water in a pot.
  11. Heat the coconut milk and water mixture on medium-high heat until it boils.
  12. Add rice, cover, and then continue cooking on medium-low heat for 12-14 minutes (or until it’s tender).
  13. Add oil to the pan and fry peppers, pineapples, and onions on medium-high heat until it’s soft.
  14. Fold the tofu gently into the jerk sauce mixture.
  15. Season the rice with salt and pepper, and top it with cilantro and lime zest.
  16. Layer the tofu and vegetable/pineapple mixture to create your bowl.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

4. Air fryer tofu

Air fryers are huge right now, and it’s not difficult to see why: all that amazing fried heartiness without the grease. One of our favorite ways to use an air fryer is with tofu. Tofu gets delightfully golden and crispy in the air fryer, making it a great addition to a variety of meal options. 

To cook tofu in your air fryer, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Choose your favorite extra-firm tofu.
  2. Prepare the seasonings and sauces.
  3. Drain and press the tofu.
  4. Dice the tofu into even cubes.
  5. Season the tofu to your taste.
  6. Set the fryer to 400 degrees F (or 204 degrees C).
  7. Cook the tofu for 5 minutes, shake the basket and then cook it for another 5 minutes.
  8. Toss in the sauce or dip as preferred.
  9. Enjoy!

5. Mapo tofu

Mapo tofu is a Sichuan Chinese dish consisting of tofu, minced meat (pork or beef), and a delightfully spicy sauce. The dish is red in color, and richly spiced for a flavor unlike any other. 

You can make your mapo tofu with meat, but it’s really not necessary! Tofu on its own adds plenty of protein and flavor without the beef or pork. 

Mapo Tofu

This is a lovely spicy dish, but the spice isn’t overpowering. Instead of making your mouth feel hot, the Sichuan peppercorns are numbing. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 block (2 lb) silken tofu cubed
  • 1 tbsp black beans (fermented)
  • 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili oil
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 113 grams shiitake mushrooms
  • ⅔ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp doubanjiang sauce (chili bean sauce)
  • 1 scallion diced thin
  • 4 tbsp canola oil

Instructions

  1. Place your wok on the burner on medium-low.
  2. Add canola oil and Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, garlic, and fermented black beans.
  3. After 1 minute, add mushrooms.
  4. After 5 minutes, add doubanjiang, chili oil, and broth.
  5. Turn up the heat to medium-high and wait for it to bubble.
  6. Once boiling, add the cornstarch.
  7. Add the cubed tofu after the cornstarch begins to thicken. 
  8. Add sugar and sesame oil.
  9. Stir together, and season with extra salt and Sichuan pepper as needed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 793mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Why vegetarians love tofu

Tofu is beloved by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike for its nutrition and flavor. It’s a versatile ingredient that works in desserts, main dishes, appetizers, and snacks. It can be fried, baked, stir-fried, or eaten as is. 

Tofu is rich in fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and protein. It provides a lot of nutrition to your body, without losing any of the comforting flavors of the foods you serve it with.

Interested in trying some tofu dishes for yourself? Check out these tofu favorites:

HelloFresh believes in supporting our global community, as well as our local one. We do this by providing sustainable meal kits to our Canadian and global markets. Every ingredient is carefully sourced to reduce our CO2 emissions and waste.

At HelloFresh, we believe that healthy food can be simple. After a long day at work, you shouldn’t need hours at the grocery store and in the kitchen to provide your family with a healthy meal that they love. Our meal kits come right to your door and include simple-to-follow instructions, pre-measured ingredients, and a wide assortment of flavours and tofu recipes to try. 

Add a little tofu to your life

There are many ways to reduce your meat intake and gradually lead a plant-based lifestyle. Tofu is a great start to cutting back on meat. Experiment with the different textures of tofu in order to find one you really like sinking your teeth into. 

Add tofu to some of your regular meals to ease your way into this transition. Tofu goes great in soups, salads, and even as a pizza topping. Baked, fried, or plain, tofu might surprise you with its rich, delicious flavor!

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