Tofu? Might just be more exciting than you think.
The most well-known, tried-and-true fixture of plant-based eating has been packaged on grocery store shelves for a very long time—but despite its staple status, tofu isn’t exactly considered a groundbreaking choice when you’re looking to prepare a protein-packed meal. You may even be thinking it’s—gulp—boring.
While we admit that tofu isn’t always incorporated into dishes in ways that get the mouth watering, we also know that tofu represents one of the most versatile, tasty plant-based options in the supermarket…if you know what to do with it.
There are plenty of ways to inject tofu with a punch of flavor: you can marinate it, sear it, bake it, pan fry it, grill it—the options are endless. But the truth is, there are plenty of recipes out there to help you do all of the above. What we’d like to show you instead are dishes that showcase some outside-the-box uses for tofu, any of which is sure to kickstart your culinary creativity.
Here are seven recipes that will have you thinking about tofu in a whole new light:
Use it as a dessert: Tofu crème brûlée
Surprising as it may sound, tofu is actually a heavy hitter of plant-based desserts—its silken variety is a key ingredient in many rich, creamy confections. Put a soybean spin on a French classic with this easy-to-make tofu crème brûlée, a solid selection to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Make it cheesy: Tofu ricotta lasagna
Dinner looking a little too plain? Add a dash of texture and give your meal a comfort-food feel by exploring the many ways tofu can be downright cheesy—try our favorite tofu ricotta lasagna, a hearty dish that’s also much healthier than its conventional counterpart.
Blend it: Strawberry banana tofu smoothie
If you’re a fan of quick-and-easy, it doesn’t get much quicker and easier than a smoothie. Whether you’re looking for breakfast on-the-go or a post-workout boost, silken tofu can pack the protein punch you need to take your smoothie to the next level. Start out with this tofu-infused take on a classic strawberry-banana.
Sauce-ify it: Pasta with creamy tofu sauce
Just as it bolsters desserts from cheesecakes to mousses, tofu can also thicken and enrich sauces of all kinds—perfect for pasta lovers like us. Give this creamy tofu sauce a try and drizzle it over the pasta of your choice (veggies optional, but encouraged!).
Throw it in the pot: Tofu noodle soup
There’s nothing more gratifying than a hearty bowl of soup, whether you’re fighting the winter chill, fighting off a cold, or just crave some classic comfort food. In this plant-based take on chicken noodle soup, the chicken is replaced with delicious, bite-sized savory tofu sure to satisfy.
Use it in place of egg: Edamame “egg” salad
If you’re in the early stages of eating plants, for a change, you’ll know that eggs can seem somewhat difficult to replicate at first. Luckily—among many innovative new plant-based products now available—there’s tofu to the rescue. Plant-ify the eggiest of egg dishes by swapping in some strategically-seasoned firm tofu for this alternative take on egg salad.
Supplement your side dishes: Tofu garlic mashed potatoes
Mmm, starch. There’s nothing we love more than a heaping side of mashed potatoes alongside just about any entrée, and this recipe uses silken tofu to make these spuds extra decadent and filling—not to mention six cloves of garlic to amp up the flavor. Try it at your next family gathering!
Decide to make one of these for your next dinner party? Or even for just a night in at home? We wanna see! Be sure to share it on social media with #EatPlantsForAChange and tag us @CompassionUSA. Enjoy!