The ready-to-use variety of baked tofu, is a firmer, flavored variation of its bland tub cousin. This roundup of easy, tasty vegan recipes, including sandwiches, spreads, salads, and much more, demonstrates how to use baked tofu in a variety of versatile ways.
I’ve long considered baked tofu a great product and have wondered why it has taken so long to make its way onto supermarket shelves. Finally, it’s gotten there! As always, it’s easy to find at any natural foods store. In both cases, it’s shelved alongside the tofu tub varieties.
If you’re unfamiliar with this product, it’s a firmer, chewier, flavored variety of tofu. It comes in cellophane-wrapped packages (usually 8 ounces or thereabouts), and is ready to eat as is or to combine with other ingredients in hot or cold dishes. Because it contains less water, baked tofu is higher in protein than tub tofu, with an average of 16 to 18 grams per serving.
Some of the major brands of baked tofu
There are several brands of baked tofu, each a little different in flavor and texture, but all quite good! And one more handy bonus, unlike the tub varieties, this type doesn’t need to be drained and pressed before using. It’s ready to use right out of the package. Brands include:
- Fresh Tofu, Inc (Organic Baked, Lemon Pepper)
- Hodo (Organic Braised)
- House Foods (Teriyaki, Savory Orange, Spicy Garlic)
- Soy Boy (Tofu Lin Asian Flavor, Smoked, Caribbean)
- White Wave (Thai, Italian, Garlic-Herb, Sesame-Peanut)
- Wildwood (Savory, Sriracha, Teriyaki)
- Nasoya (Teriyaki, Sesame-Ginger, Chipotle)
- Trader Joe’s (Teriyaki, Sriracha, and more)
There are also tons of Asian brands, which you can look for at Asian groceries. In some of the recipes that follow, it’s used as a substitute for tuna or chicken; but you don’t have to use it or consider it as an analog for anything; it’s fantastic in its own right.
Make your own: Use tub tofu for DIY Homemade Teriyaki Baked Tofu. You can eat it plain (yum!) or in any of the recipes following.
Baked Tofu and Broccoli Salad with Mango and Chutney Dressing: This sturdy cool-weather salad has a double dose of mango (both the fruit and in the chutney dressing), for a feast of flavor, color, and texture.
Vegan Niçoise-Style Salad: Bearing its French elegance beautifully, vegan Niçoise salad is a composed dish that may look fancy, but is incredibly easy to make. The traditional version is often made with tuna, but in this version, it’s replaced with baked tofu, which makes a great stand-in.
Ridiculously Easy “Tofuna” — Tofu Salad or Sandwich Spread: “Tofuna,” aka tuna-style tofu salad made with baked tofu is my go-to recipe as a sandwich spread — maybe it will become your favorite vegan lunch, too! It’s as good at home as it is a portable midday meal.
“Tofuna” Vegan Tuna Melt Sandwiches: Tuna melt is a classic sandwich that’s so easy to veganize. I like to use this sturdy type of tofu for vegan tuna melt sandwiches, but you can use some of the new plant-based tuna alternatives for a change of pace.
Baked Tofu Wraps with Greens, Apple, & Avocado: The title gives away most of what makes these fast and easy wraps so good — baby greens, avocado, and the surprising pop of tart green apple.
Easy Asian Noodle Bowls with Avocado and Baked Tofu: These easy bowls are as welcome for a quick lunch as they are for dinner. Flavored with sesame-ginger dressing and embellished with avocado, this quick recipe will have you eating in no time.
Vegan Pasta Tuna Salad (aka “Tofuna”): Made with baked tofu or plant-based tuna this old-fashioned cold dish brings a nostalgic classic into the 21st century. Now, even more veggies have been added to this family favorite. Incorporating cucumber, celery, cabbage, scallion, and parsley, it’s a great warm-weather main dish.
Vegan “Tuna”-Noodle Casserole: This vegan “tuna”-noodle casserole is a plant-based version of the classic old-fashioned casserole, taking it straight from the 1950s into the present. It’s an even better, fish-free rendition of a cozy, family-friendly dish.
New England Vegan Clam Chowder: This vegan clam chowder (more accurately, clam-less chowder) is a creamy, plant-based version of the classic New England soup. Filled with potatoes, corn, and carrots, the protein is provided by plant-based seafood alternatives or, in my mind even better, baked tofu.
Vegan “Chicken”-Noodle Soup: Vegan “chicken” noodle soup, or chick’n noodle soup if you prefer, is truly a bowl of comfort. You can make this recipe with a variety of chick’n-style plant proteins, or opt for baked tofu.
Vegan Moroccan-Style “Chicken” Stew: Using plant-based protein or baked tofu, this recipe riffs off a classic dish packed with veggies and fragrant with spice. This fragrant stew is a wonderful way to enjoy the characteristic flavors and ingredients of Moroccan cuisine—including carrots, tomatoes, dried fruit, chickpeas, and cinnamon.
Moroccan-Inspired Tofu with Apricots, Almonds, & Olives: Bursting with an a combination of traditional Moroccan flavors—salty, sweet, and tart — apricots, olives, and almonds was inspired by a classic recipe from that cuisine.
More tofu roundups …