Wondering how to add flavor to tofu? Here is How to Bake Tofu with 3 bold and flavorful marinades! Never have bland tofu again, with these three variations – Sesame Ginger Miso, Spicy Mexican Tofu, and BBQ Tofu. Simple, vegan and easy recipes! Great for meal prep! If you rather pan sear tofu on the stovetop, make sure to look at this Crispy Tofu Recipe.
Many of you have been messaging and emailing me, asking me how to add more flavor to your tofu.
How do you add flavor to tofu?
One of the easiest ways to add flavor to tofu is to bake tofu in a flavorful marinade. Much like a sponge, tofu will soak up the flavors that surround it- so baking tofu right in the marinade encourages this process while concentrating the flavors, and drying it out a bit, giving the tofu a pleasant texture. Baked tofu is really as easy as it gets.
Even the pickiest of eaters seem to enjoy these! Truly! And these three flavorful tofu marinades are simple enough to incorporate into your weekly meals. Pick one, then prep a batch on Sunday adding it to meals you are already making – Buddha Bowls, tacos, stir-fries, Asian noodles or simply serve with a hearty side of veggies.
If you rather cook tofu on the stovetop, make sure to look at this Crispy Tofu Recipe .
Tofu can be cut into various sized pieces- cubes, strips or “filets” depending on how you plan to use them.
How to Bake Tofu:
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Blot a block of tofu with paper towels and press the tofu lightly, releasing the water.
- Cut tofu into pieces – strips, cubes, or “filets” and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Coat all sides liberally with your favorite marinade!
- Pour any leftover marinade over the top, or over veggies, to bake alongside.
- Place the tofu in the 400F oven and bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
- For extra crispy baked tofu, continue baking an additional 5-10 minutes!
Do you press Tofu before or after marinating?
Think of Tofu like a sponge. You want to press some of the water out of the tofu before you marinate it. This will allow the tofu to soak up some marinade, drawing it in. The best way to do this is to take 2 paper towels and lightly blot and press each side of a whole block. Don’t try to press out too hard or all of the water, some moisture is good here. Then cut.
What happens if you don’t press tofu?
If you don’t press the tofu before baking, the marinade may not soak into the tofu (because it is filled with water), resulting in tofu that is less flavorful, and less crispy.
Flavorful Tofu marinades:
- Baked Sesame Ginger Tofu – especially good with Asian style dishes like the Thai Noodle Salad from last week -also really tasty in spring rolls, or Asian style buddha bowls or serve as a simple vegan main with a side of seasonal veggies.
- Baked Spicy BBQ Tofu– a mix of your favorite barbecue sauce w/ a little sriracha sauce ( or chili flakes) spooned over salted tofu before baking. Great alongside summer BBQ style meals with grilled corn, avocado and slaw, or in vegan sliders or sandwiches or over a bowlful of grilled summer veggies.
- Smoky Spicy Mexican Style Baked Tofu – seasoned with cumin, chili powder, chipotle, this flavorful tofu is perfect in tacos, burrito bowls or in taco salads.
- And if you like Peanut TOFU- Go Here!
- Or Tofu Shawarma, Go Here!
Can you marinate Tofu too long?
The saltier the marinade the shorter the marinading time. Remember, tofu is like a sponge. Because you are baking the tofu in the marinade, you can bake tofu right after coating it in the marinade, or no longer than 24 hours of marinating time.
What I like about these baked tofu recipes is that you can prep and bake a batch of this ahead on Sunday, then use the baked tofu for various mid-week meals when time is short.
The tofu marinade takes about 5 minutes of hands-on time, before going into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes.
Some of you have been telling me you are “off” soy and I understand. For me personally, when purchasing tofu, I opt for organic, non-GMO firm tofu and enjoy it in moderation – once a week or so- as a good source of plant-based protein.
Plus I just like really it and so does my meat-loving husband, always a bonus!
So to mix it up, it’s part of our repertoire.
Too much of anything is never a good idea.
Above, the smoky spicy Mexican Baked Tofu is perfect for midweek tacos.
Below, the Sesame Ginger Baked Tofu is delicious over Thai peanut noodles.
Sometimes I’ll cut the tofu in different shapes and sizes for various uses. For example, I cut them into long narrow strips for spring rolls and tacos. Bigger “filets” are used as a “main” and smaller cubes are great for Buddha Bowls or tossed in salads. For baking make sure the tofu is about ¾ an inch thick.
Blend or stir the marinade ingredients together and simply pour over or brush on.
Bake at 400 F for 25-35 minutes. And that is it!
The baked tofu comes out crispy and full of flavor.
Baked tofu will keep up to 4-5 days in the fridge. It’s actually quite good cold.
Here is the sesame ginger baked tofu, with my favorite salad…..Thai Noodle Salad!
Tofu recipes need not ever be boring or bland again! Try one of these Baked Tofu recipes this week!
If you rather cook your tofu on the stovetop, please visit the post for Crispy Tofu!
I also love baking tofu in this Szechuan Sauce... so tasty!Print
How to BAKE Tofu with 3 FLAVORFUL marinades! Never have bland tofu again, with these three variations – Sesame Ginger Miso, Spicy Mexican Tofu and BBQ Tofu. Simple, vegan and easy recipes! Great for meal prep!
Baked Ginger Sesame Tofu
- 16 ounces tofu- organic, firm or extra firm, non-GMO
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce– or gluten-free Braggs Liquid amino acids ( tamari will be too salty)
- 1 tablespoon miso (or sub 1 more tablespoon soy sauce)
- 3–4 slices thin slices ginger- peels ok
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
- 1–3 teaspoons chili paste (all optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Baked BBQ Tofu
- 16 ounces tofu- organic, firm or extra firm, non-GMO
- generous pinch salt and pepper
- ½ cup – ¾ cup bbq sauce ( add sriracha or chili flakes for a little kick)
Smokey Spicy Mexican Style Tofu
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ( or white)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic ( or finely minced garlic clove)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ –½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano ( optional)
And if you like baked Peanut TOFU- Go Here!
Or baked Tofu Shawarma, Go Here!
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Blot the block of tofu with paper towels. Press the tofu gently to release some liquid, blotting as you go.
- Cut tofu into pieces (strips, cubes, squares or fillets) about 3/4 -1 inch thick.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Pick and make a marinade.
- For Ginger Sesame Marinade: blend ingredients (except sesame seeds) together in a blender until smooth, pour over tofu, coating all sides well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 40-50 minutes, and for extra crispy broil for a few minutes.
- For BBQ tofu: Sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper. Mix bbq sauce and 1-2 teaspoons sriracha together in a small bowl. Taste, adjust heat. If you like crispy tofu, stir in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Liberally coat the top and sides of the tofu with the bbq sauce. Bake 25-35 minutes, perhaps longer if heavily coated.
- For the Mexican Tofu: Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl then brush the marinade on the tofu.
- Place the coated tofu in the 400F oven and check after 25 minutes, baking 5-15 minutes longer for extra crispy.
- For extra crispy, broil. ( I actually set my gas oven to 425F- and use the middle rack- but some were experiencing burning- so I lowered the heat here. You can always try this.)
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