30 Minute Almond Butter Tofu Bowls with charred broccoli, scallions, and a creamy almond butter drizzle. These vegan, gluten free bowls are perfect for meal prep or weeknight dinner.
Tofu Rice Bowls:
If you’re on the hunt for a nutritious, better-than-takeout bowl that also happens to vegan, this recipe is for you. It’s the perfect balance of fueling carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber-packed veggies. Plus, it reheats better than Friday night’s pizza and will convince your coworkers you splurged on Asian takeout for lunch.
Crispy and thoroughly coated in an addictive, creamy sauce, this tofu will impress even the devout carnivores. You can serve it over white or brown rice, quinoa, soba noodles, or even in lettuce wraps. And if you’re new to cooking tofu at home, this recipe proves just how simple and rewarding it can be. But, let’s first talk about this craveable, creamy almond butter situation.
Almond Butter Sauce For Buddha Bowls:
This Asian-inspired sauce is delicious drizzled over your favorite salad, grain bowl, or roasted veggies. Almond butter has somewhat of a sweet flavor, which balances the zest of ginger and lemon. Sesame oil plays well with soy sauce, adding nutty depth plus a hit of umami.
All nut butters are rich sources of heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Not to mention a wide variety of key health-promoting compounds like carotenoids, polyphenols, and phytosterols. However almond butter especially stands out since this nut has more vitamin E than any other nut.
When shopping for nut butters, look for ones without added sugar or palm oil; the only two ingredients should be nuts and salt. I especially love Trader Joe’s brand of creamy almond butter for its taste and low price point. However if you’re not near a TJ’s, Whole Foods 365 brand is also a great option.
What is Tofu Made Of?
These plant-based blocks of goodness are made from soymilk that has been coagulated and either curdled and pressed into blocks (firm or extra-firm tofu) or left in its coagulated state to retain moisture (silken tofu). As a result, tofu has a soft, creamy mouthfeel and a mild flavor. It’s available in an assortment of moisture levels, however I prefer extra-firm for sautéing. Silken, on the other hand, is great for blending into creamy soups and sauces. Look for tofu in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.
Is Tofu Good For You?
- Tofu is rich in calcium and protein (which ranges from about 4g in 3 oz. of silken tofu to 10g in 3 oz. of extra-firm tofu). It’s also a complete protein, therefore it contains all nine essential amino acids. Additionally, it’s a top source of isoflavones, a type of flavonoid that has estrogen-like effects and may help lower the risk of certain cancers.
- When it comes to buying organic vs. conventional tofu, organic will ensure that the soybeans are non-GMO, so in my opinion, worth the negligible extra cost.
The Best Way to Cook Tofu:
It may seem intimidating at first, however I promise it’s one of the easiest proteins to cook. Tofu can be a suitable stand-in for most meats and take on just about any flavor profile you throw its way. When purchasing blocks of tofu packed in water (which help preserve and keep it fresh), be sure to drain the water and press any excess moisture out using a kitchen towel.
Tofu has a tendency to latch onto pans, therefore using a nonstick pan will help better set you up for success when it comes to sautéing. Use medium-high heat and a neutral cooking oil (for example, grapeseed, canola, or vegetable) for best results. Oh, and most importantly, avoid over-crowding the pan if you’re looking for that crispy layer on the outside.
This recipe is great for the novice tofu eater since it’s texture is crispy and flavor is rich. Serve it over rice, soba noodles, quinoa, or your grain of choice for a nutritious, well-rounded meal. It also holds up exceptionally well for leftovers (especially with a little sauce reserved on the side).
Give this easy, make-ahead friendly recipe a try for workday lunches or weeknight dinners. And lastly, don’t forget to post a photo and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your delicious creations!
Other Meal Prep Tofu Recipes:
30 Minute Black Pepper Tofu — reader favorite!
- 1 (14-oz.) block extra-firm tofu, drained
- ⅓ cup creamy almond butter
- 2 Tbsp. lower-sodium tamari (sub soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 4 Tbsp. neutral cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or avocado), divided
- 1 medium head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets
- 1 bunch scallions
- Cooked jasmine rice or soba noodles for serving
- Slice tofu width-wise into 6 slices. Use a kitchen towel to gently press each slice to remove excess liquid; cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Prepare almond butter sauce by combining almond butter, tamari, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 2 to 3 Tbsp warm water to reach desired consistency; set aside.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Chop two-thirds of the scallions into 1-inch pieces (reserve remaining). Add to skillet, along with broccoli florets and ½ tsp salt. Toss vegetables with oil and cook, undisturbed, until broccoli is well charred on one side, about 4 minutes. Toss and continue cooking until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 2 more minutes. Transfer veggies to a bowl.
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to pan. Add tofu and cook, undisturbed, until crisp and golden brown underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss and continue cooking until crispy and golden on all sides, about 8 to 9 minutes total. Pour in half of almond butter sauce and toss continuously until sauce coats tofu and crispy browned bits form. Remove from heat.
- Top rice or noodles evenly with broccoli, scallions, and tofu. Drizzle remaining almond butter sauce overtop, and finely slice remaining green onions for garnish.