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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
- 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.
Give 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
30 Minute Black Pepper Tofu **reader favorite!
- 1 14-oz. block extra-firm or super-firm tofu
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ 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
- 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 ¼ tsp. salt.
- Combine balsamic, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, Dijon, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and remaining ¼ 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.