This versatile baked tofu can be used in salads, sandwiches, Buddha bowls, or a stir-fry. It can even be served as an appetizer or snack with dip! This homemade baked tofu recipe is easy to make and tastes much better than the packaged variety. It's vegan and gluten-free.
I love how versatile tofu is – it can be crumbled and cooked a scramble for breakfast, mashed and used as ricotta in a pasta dish, and marinated cooked in a stir-fry. Baked tofu is incredibly versatile in its own right. I like to dice it into cubes and toss it into salads, slice it into thin cutlets and add it to sandwiches, and cut it into thin strips for spring rolls or wraps.
Homemade Baked Tofu
While I do sometimes take shortcuts and buy packaged baked tofu, both the flavor and texture pale in comparison to the homemade. When you make it yourself, you can cut it according to how you’re going to use it before baking, ensuring that it will soak up as much flavor as possible. I also prefer the denser and chewier texture of homemade to the packaged kind.
There are a few different types of tofu. The one that works best in this recipe is extra firm, which comes in a water-packed container. To prepare it, you need to drain the water from the container and squeeze any excess out of the tofu. You can do this the night before by wrapping it in a clean towel and placing it in the fridge until you're ready to use it. The towel will soak up the excess water. If you're going to cook with it right away, you can wrap it in a towel and place it under something heavy, like a cast iron pan. You can also use a tofu press. I have a TofuXpress, which I also use to drain frozen spinach and kale.
If you're going to use this recipe in a salad or buddha bowl, it's best to cut it into cubes. When making spring rolls or wraps, it works best cut into strips. If you want to use it in sandwiches, cut it into slabs.
The tofu will soak up the marinade pretty quickly. I usually let it sit for about 15 minutes and flip the tofu every five minutes or so, to make sure all of the sides get chance to soak it in.
When cooking tofu cubes in an oven, you should bake it for about half an hour, flipping them every 10 minutes. Strips and slabs only need to be cooked for about 20 minutes in an oven, flipping the pieces after 10 minutes. You can also make this recipe in an air fryer, just cut the baking time in half. The tofu will seem soft when it's first taken out of the oven or air fryer, but it will firm up after a few minutes.
Making Homemade Baked Tofu is Super Easy!
- First, you drain and press the tofu.
- Next, you mix together the marinade and pour it over the tofu. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
- And then you bake it!
It couldn't be easier than that!
Pretty much any marinade can be used for baked tofu. This recipe, which I make more often than any other, has an Asian flair, and it’s great in Buddha bowls or spring rolls. It pairs really well with Spicy Peanut Sauce, and the two are fun to serve together as a snack at parties.
What’s your favorite way to serve baked tofu?
My Favorite Baked Tofu
- 14-ounce container extra firm tofu pressed and drained
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- If you're cooking your baked tofu in your oven, preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the tofu. If you’re planning on using it in salads or a Buddha bowl, cubes work best. If you’d like to use it in sandwiches or a wrap, try strips or thin cutlets.
- Mix together the sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar and water. Marinade the tofu in the mixture for about 15-30 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Toss the tofu occasionally so all sides absorb the liquid.
- To cook in an oven, place the tofu on the baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. If you’re making cubes, flip them after 10 minutes. Bake for another 10 minutes and flip the cubes to an unbaked side, and bake for another 10. If you’re making strips or cutlets, flip the pieces after 15 minutes and then bake for another 15.
- To cook in an air fryer, bake tofu cubes at400°F for 15 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes. Strips and cutlets should be baked for 10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes.
- Allow the tofu to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The tofu will get denser and chewier after it cools.