Recipe: Tofu Chickpea Stir-Fry with Tahini Sauce

updated Jan 29, 2020
Tofu Chickpea Stir Fry with Tahini Sauce
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(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

When I mention that I develop vegetarian recipes, the most frequent reply is, “You must eat a lot of tofu!” However, I am actually a late adopter of tofu. I’m a texture person, and I’ve only recently found ways to prepare tofu that are not only easy, but also result in a great taste and texture. In this recipe for tofu and chickpea stir-fry with its creamy tahini sauce, you’ll find all of the above.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

I like baking the tofu even when I’m going to be adding it to a stir-fry. Baking helps crisp up the outside while keeping the inside soft and tender. Add a few extra minutes in a wok with hot oil, it only gets better. Plus, baking the tofu seals in the marinated flavor, giving the tofu depth before adding it to the stir fry. If you don’t have time to bake your own, look for packages of baked tofu in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)
(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

While the tofu is the star of the show, do not discount the tahini sauce. I could easily eat a vegetable noodle bowl smothered with the sauce every day of the week. Peanut butter is nice, but the unique flavor of sesame works wonders when paired with soy sauce and ginger.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

Tofu Chickpea Stir Fry with Tahini Sauce

Serves 3 to 4

Nutritional Info


For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup


  • 1/4 cup


  • 2 tablespoons

    tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons


  • 1 teaspoon

    minced fresh ginger

For the stir fry:

  • 1 tablespoon

    peanut oil

  • 1 cup

    cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned

  • 2 teaspoons

    chopped fresh ginger

  • 1/2

    medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1

    medium red or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

  • 8 ounces

    baked tofu, cubed (store-bought or homemade, or see Recipe Notes)

To serve:

  • 3 to 4 cups

    cooked rice or other grains (see Recipe Notes)

  • Toasted sesame seeds

  • Minced chives


  1. Make the sauce: Stir together the ingredients for the sauce and set near the stove.

  2. Make the stir-fry: In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chickpeas, stirring and tossing for about 2 minutes, until the chickpeas start to pop. Stir in the minced ginger and continue to cook for 1 minute more.

  3. Add the onion and the peppers to the pan and cook until onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the baked tofu, cooking and stirring until the tofu is golden and chickpeas are browning, 4 to 6 minutes.

  4. Pour the tahini sauce over the tofu and cook mixture for 60 seconds, just enough time to heat the sauce. Serve over grains and top with minced chives and toasted sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

Tofu: I prefer the extra-crisp and unique texture of the baked tofu. However, 8 ounces of firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes, will also work as well.

Grains: I'll mix up the grains depending what I have on hand at the time. Picture is a mixture of quinoa and millet.

Make ahead: The sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Storage: Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.