Balsamic Tofu (20 Minutes)

4.92 from 25 votes
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Crispy Balsamic Tofu with roasted red peppers is a quick and easy meal that comes together in just 20 minutes. Vegan, gluten free, and perfect for meal prep, this tofu recipe will become your go-to.  Balsamic-Marinated Tofu with Roasted Red Peppers and Rice

Why You’ll Love this Balsamic Tofu

I didn’t think I could love another tofu quite like my Black Pepper Tofu. However, this crazy-delicious recipe with its 20 minute time mark has completely changed the game.

Here’s what we are working with: crispy cubes of tofu, a garlic and herb-infused balsamic marinade, and roasted red peppers. It’s the most heavenly mashup of sweet, salt, and savory flavors with a little kick of heat for good measure.

Not only is this speedy recipe ideal for weeknight dinner, it’s also a great choice for meal prep lunch. It holds up well up to 4 days refrigerated, so you can enjoy it on repeat with your side(s) of choice.

I love keeping it simple and just serving it over Jasmine rice, however it’s versatile enough to be enjoyed any which way. Balsamic-Glazed Tofu with Roasted Red Peppers and Jasmine RiceIngredient assembly including tofu and the makings for balsamic marinade

How to Make Balsamic Tofu

This recipe requires minimal prep work, and comes together in a flash. Here’s how to make it:

Step 1: Press and Cube the Tofu

In order to achieve crispy cubes of tofu, you need to remove as much water as possible. To do this, wrap your block of tofu in a kitchen towel and firmly press it all sides. Alternatively, place a heavy-bottom skillet over it and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Once your tofu is pressed, slice it into equal-size cubes.

Step 2: Prepare the Balsamic Marinade

The star of this marinade is balsamic vinegar, which adds tangy, fruity flavor and just enough bite. One note: It really makes a difference to use a high-quality vinegar here. Lower-quality vinegars are watery and harsh, whereas higher-quality vinegars are more viscous with well-rounded sweetness.

My favorite brand is by The Twisted Olive, which is aged 25 years like a fine wine.

Also in the mix is fresh garlic and herbs, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, soy sauce, and lots of black pepper. This combination creates a beautifully balanced sauce that coats each crispy cube of tofu like a dream.Easy Balsamic Marinade with garlic and herbs

Step 3: Cook the Tofu in a Skillet

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet (I prefer non-stick for tofu) over medium-high. Once shimmering, add the tofu and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides.

Avoid stirring too often, which will inhibit optimal browning, and may even cause the tofu to stick to the pan. (This is why I highly suggest a non-stick–tofu’s moisture content doesn’t bode well for all types of skillets.)

Step 4: Add the Marinade

Once the tofu is golden and crisp, reduce the heat and add the balsamic marinade. Cook for 1 minute, until the harsh vinegar scent starts to dissipate and the marinade coats the cubes of tofu.

Next, stir in the roasted red peppers, adjust the seasonings as needed, and serve!Step-by-step tutorial on how to make tofu with balsamic marinadeBalsamic Tofu in a skillet with roasted red peppers, garlic, and herbs

Here are my answers to some of the questions you may have about how to make Balsamic Tofu:

Which Tofu is Best?

I always suggest extra-firm or super-firm tofu, which will yield the crispiest texture. If you can find it vacuumed-sealed, even better! My favorite is the super-firm tofu at Trader Joe’s, which has a very low moisture content. I use it in most all of my tofu recipes!

Is Tofu a Good Source of Protein?

In short, YES–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. In addition, 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 not GMO, therefore it’s worth the negligible extra cost. (Tofu is SUPER cheap as it is, so another plus!)

What to Serve with Balsamic Tofu:

I love keeping it simple and just serving this tofu with Jasmine rice. However if you want to keep the carbs low and up the veggie ante, you can also use cauliflower rice. This dish is also fantastic alongside my Perfect Sautéed Broccoli for an extra dose of nutrients!

Storage Tips:

  • Store this tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerate for up to 4 days. Its longer “shelf live” (at least compared to most meat dishes) makes it an excellent contender for meal prep lunches.
  • Reheat in the microwave or a skillet over medium heat.

Balsamic-Marinated Tofu Served with RiceGive this simple tofu dish a try this week for a guaranteed family favorite. And be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

More Easy Tofu Recipes

Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Satay Sauce

30 Minute Black Pepper Tofu **reader favorite!

Chicken Fried Tofu Sandwiches

Coconut Curry Tofu with Sweet Potato Noodles

4.92 from 25 votes

Balsamic Tofu

Balsamic Tofu is a vegan and gluten free dish that comes together in just 20 minutes. Perfect for weeknight dinner or meal prep lunch!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients  

  • 1 14-oz. block extra-firm or super-firm tofu
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
  • Jasmine rice for serving
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Instructions 

  • Wrap the block of tofu in a kitchen towel and firmly press on all sides to remove moisture. Slice into equal size cubes, and season with 1/4 tsp. salt.
  • Combine balsamic, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, Dijon, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a glass measuring cup or bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside.
  • Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add tofu and cook 7 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until golden and crisp. Reduce heat to medium-low, pour in balsamic marinade, and cook 1 minute, stirring often until marinade begins to reduce and coat the cubes of tofu. Stir in roasted red pepper; remove from heat.
  • Serve Balsamic Tofu over rice or grain of choice.

Video

Notes

Store Balsamic Tofu in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Balsamic Tofu does NOT freeze well, so try to consume within the first 4 days, if possible!
This marinade is also delicious on chicken and shrimp.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 440mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

 

 

 

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Recipe Rating




31 Comments

  1. Vic says:

    can eat the tofu raw after marinating or does this need cooked?

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I suggest cooking it!

  2. Dee says:

    Is it possible to bake this rather than cooking it in a skillet?

    1. Steve Vachon says:

      I did and it turned out great. I took the oil out and the salt, marinated the tofu and added it to a tray of halved brussel sprouts, carrots and shallots. After baking for 20 minutes I added crushed walnuts and a drizzle of lemon.

  3. vivivian says:

    5 stars
    Sorry, forgot the rating!

  4. vivivian says:

    I am a big fan of tofu and enjoyed this dish very much, both making and eating it. I like that the flavour profile is different from the usual soy, ginger, garlic, sesame that is part of many tofu recipes. I will add a sprinkle of chopped scallions on top next time for both their looks and flavour. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Vivian – I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!

  5. Jo says:

    5 stars
    Such a tasty recipe! I have never managed to get flavour to “stick” on tofu, and this works so much better than marinating before cooking. I used a good balsamic, as recommended, and fresh herbs from the garden. We ate it alongside a chard and cabbage mix, siced with a bit of cumin and mild chilli.

  6. Candice says:

    Is there anything you recommend to substitute the maple syrup with in this recipe? Thank you!

  7. TC says:

    Technically not gluten free with soy sauce. Could sub tamari !

  8. Kathryn McClain says:

    4 stars
    I finally learned how to brown tofu correctly using this recipe. Very easy and tasty. I used dried herbs but t it would have been even better with the suggested fresh ones. (I cut the amount back by 1/2 tsp each) A bit of crunch in it would have been nice- maybe some toasted and chopped nuts or 1/4 c halved snap peas toward the end?