It's true that on its own, tofu can be very bland, but it can make for a delicious meal if you know how to prepare it. Think of tofu like a blank slate that is ready to absorb whatever flavor or preparation you give it. Whether you want it fried crispy and mixed in a grain bowl, or blended smoothly to make your favorite snack dips vegan-friendly, the sky is the limit. Here are 15 ways to start thinking outside the carton.
Vegetarians and vegans are often left out when it comes to comfort-food classics, but nearly everyone can enjoy this tofu pot pie recipe. You can stick to the classic peas, carrots, and celery, or branch out with other hearty veggies.
If you need a vegan-friendly breakfast dish, this is the one to try. The spinach and pesto pack a lot of flavor, so even those brunch guests or family members who aren't too keen on tofu will be on board. You never know — they might even ask for seconds.
If you've never been able to perfect that crispy tofu like you get in restaurants, fear not — it is within reach. All it takes is a little bit of practice on your pan-frying technique. Then you can add it to grain bowls, stir fries, and sandwiches galore.
Before you get scared off by the name of this recipe, know that hijiki is simply a type of seaweed, and it adds a healthy dose of umami flavor to these vegan patties. They make a great alternative when you just can't stand another veggie burger. Plus, when topped with carrot-ginger dressing, they're divine.
This slightly unexpected combination is actually a take on the traditional Vietnamese gơi cuốn, which are filled with fresh veggies, tofu, and pickled cabbage. The kimchi just adds a little spice. It's a combination we've really grown to love.
Don't let your brown rice and tofu be boring. Yes, they are health food staples, but that doesn't mean they can't be delicious. The lemongrass adds a unique twist to this dish, while the cashews add a satisfying crunch.
Don't limit your vegetarian kebabs to grilled veggies only. When you slather tofu with barbecue sauce, you end up with a delicious addition to your skewers. You won't even miss the meat.
This vegan alternative to egg salad makes the perfect weekday lunch. And the addition of curry powder gives it a little extra kick. You'll be having a sad desk lunch no more.
These easy potstickers are your weeknight dinner savior. They can be filled with any combination of ingredient and are easy to freeze and reheat during hectic weeks. You should probably go ahead and make a double batch.
Don't knock using tofu in a dessert before you try it. Using fresh tofu in this tart gives it a cheesecake-like texture, and the strawberry topping keeps this dessert tasting like a classic.
Use this scramble recipe as a template for making your favorite breakfast dish vegan. You can swap in seasonal veggies and herbs to make your favorite combination.
We love a good bánh mì sandwich, and this is one of our favorites. The lemongrass-marinated tofu is a delightful surprise when you're expecting plain tofu. But the key to making bánh mì at home is finding the right bread.
This traditional tofu preparation is one to master. It's simple, delicious, and might just make you start craving tofu. Use white miso, and incorporate eggs if you aren't trying to go fully vegan.
Want to make a vegan version of your favorite snack dip? Swap in silken tofu for the sour cream or yogurt. It blends up nicely, and absorbs the flavors of whatever it is mixed with.
Sometimes, you just have to go back to basics. This stir-fry recipe is the perfect example of a make-at-home version of your favorite Chinese takeout. The key to getting crispy tofu pieces? Dredging them in cornstarch and frying them separately from the veggies before adding them in to the stir-fry.
(Image credits: Emily Han; Megan Gordon; Emma Christensen; Melissa Ryan; Guest of The Kitchn; Dana Velden; Kelli Foster)