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Maybe it’s because Meatless Mondays are growing ever more popular; maybe it’s because more and more people are becoming aware of the costs of eating factory-farmed meat; or maybe it’s because the U.N. keeps warning that meat lovers will soon need to start eating insects (or skip the meat altogether). Whatever the explanation, alternative proteins are all the rage these days—and tofu is no exception. Stay ahead of the curve with these 52 healthy recipes for preparing delicious tofu at any time of day and in any season.

Breakfast

1. Tofu Scramble
Photo: Vegan Yumminess

What to use: Extra Firm
Think of this hearty breakfast as scrambled eggs—only swap out the eggs for tofu and add in some produce (think bell pepper, red onion, and spinach if you’re in the mood for greens) and good-for-you seasonings such as garlic and turmeric.

What to use: Silken
It’s simple: blueberries (or a fruit of your choice), tofu, pomegranate juice, and agave. The result is a protein- and antioxidant- packed, beautiful bright-blue smoothie that’s great for breakfast, a post-workout snack, or any other time you’re in the mood for something light and delicious.

What to use: Extra Firm
Burritos aren’t just for lunch or dinner. Combine some tofu, salsa, and Monterey Jack cheese in a whole-wheat tortilla, season with black pepper, and wrap it all up for a hearty, protein-rich start to your day. For an extra health kick, throw some veggies into the mix (spinach, tomatoes, and onions are solid picks).

What to use: Firm or Extra Firm
Think of these cute little breakfast bites as savory muffins. They pack some serious flavors and nutrients thanks to garlic, onion, red bell pepper, spinach (a superfood!), and fresh basil.

5. Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches
Photo: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

What to use: Silken
These melt-in-your mouth vegan quiches are packed with flavor thanks to a host of nutritional ingredients, including superfoods garlic and turmeric as well as bell pepper, mushrooms, chives, rosemary, tahini, and nutritional yeast. Pair them with a big salad to make a meal or eat a few for an easy make-ahead savory breakfast.

What to use: Your choice!
Here’s a savory way to start the day: Sautée onion, garlic, and olive oil for a few minutes before tossing in tofu, tomatoes, turmeric, and curry powder. Toss on some spinach; you’ll know breakfast is ready when the green leaves wilt.

What to use: Silken
Yep, you read that right. Tofu, whole-wheat flour, soy or rice milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and vegetable shortening (paired with vegan French bread) make for a gooey, chewy, and delicious take on French toast. This recipe is suitable for vegans, too.

Salads, Soups, and Light Bites

8. Baked Tofu
Photo: The Kitchn

What to use: Extra Firm
Here’s a basic baked tofu recipe that pairs well with virtually any marinade and acts as a substitute for meat in most baked meat dishes. Simply grab soy sauce (or your favorite marinade) and a block of extra firm tofu, drain it, cube it, marinate it, and then bake it right up in the oven.

What to use: Firm
These cute, simple snack bites aren’t just tasty—they’re also vegan, full of healthy fats (courtesy of avocado), and extremely flavorful. A combination of chili powder, agave (or maple syrup), lemon juice, and a dash of black pepper lend exciting, complementary flavors.

What to use: Extra Firm
For a healthier take on the perennial potluck favorite, add protein-rich tofu, superfood garlic, onions and peppers, and a light, citrusy dressing. Top it all off with a sprig of mint (and prepare to be asked for the recipe).

What to use: Extra Firm
Tofu proves itself a worthy competitor of meat in this simple, citrusy, vegetarian-friendly take on tandoori. Feel free to use store-bought tandoori paste or follow the recipe’s instructions for a tasty, flavorful, (and healthy) homemade paste. The homemade variety is made from garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, a bit of oil, and a host of other seasonings (If you do go the homemade route, we recommend skipping the food coloring.).

What to use: Firm
Bright-green broccoli combines with sesame seeds, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, and (of course) tofu for a light, refreshing salad perfect for a small appetite or as an accompaniment to another dish.

13. Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup
Photo: Steamy Kitchen

What to use: Your choice!
This delicate soup combines tofu, mushrooms, leafy vegetables, green onion, an egg—and that’s pretty much it. Pair a bowl with sushi or a hearty salad for a filling lunch.

What to use: Extra Firm
A vegan egg salad sandwich? Yep, it’s possible. Tofu, celery, olives, mustard, vegan mayo, and seasonings combine to form a classically delicious egg salad—minus the eggs.

What to use: Silken
What’s better than (or at least just as good as) avocado dip? Tofu-avocado dip, of course. A heap of protein, seasonings, and flavors (including Greek yogurt, lime zest, curry powder, chopped mint, and honey) make this dip a real showstopper.

What to use: Extra Firm
This hearty stew is chock full of vitamins thanks to carrots, kale, onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes. Tofu and white beans add a healthy serving of protein. The recipe calls for chicken stock, but any cook can easily sub in a vegetarian broth to make this recipe completely meat-free.

What to use: Your choice!
This light, springy tofu dish will taste good any time of year, especially if you can get your hands on some fresh herbs. The ingredients list is remarkably short: Olive oil, red onion, chile, peas, tofu, and your choice of herbs make for a spicy, crunchy meal that’ll leave you satisfied without weighing you down.

Main Meals

18. Tofu Lentil Salad
Photo: Door Sixteen

What to use: Extra Firm
The creator of this recipe describes it as “dinner for lazy people,” and that may be true—but it’s still healthy and delicious. Salad greens, cooked lentils, and tofu combine for a protein-rich dish that’s topped with peanut dressing and spicy Sriracha. It’s fit for the lazy and non-lazy alike.

What to use: Firm
Garlicky noodles combine with tofu, a host of seasonings (think soy sauce, garlic sauce, and five-spice powder) as well as crunchy scallions and tofu. It’s a triumph of textures and flavors that’ll make any down day a little better.

What to use: Firm
This colorful stir-fry packs in several superfoods (including broccoli, garlic, and ginger) as well as some healthy fats from cashews and a touch of sweetness from honey.

What to use: Extra Firm
Three main ingredients are all it takes to make some traditional (kind of) Southern comfort: tofu, canola oil, and a homemade Cajun seasoning rub (made from salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and sweet paprika).

What to use: Extra Firm
Coconut milk, tofu, cilantro, brown rice, and spices combine in a creamy, flavorful dish that’ll leave you so comforted you might just spring for a post-meal nap.

What to use: Firm
Superfoods kale and ginger combine with onion, sweet potato, tofu, mustard, and lime juice for a zesty, nutrient-packed lunch or dinner. The result looks surprisingly like fish fillets, but we assure you it’s actually tofu.

24. Sesame-Crusted Tofu With Nuoc Cham
Photo: Alexandra Cooks

What to use: Extra Firm
This Vietnamese-inspired dish is quite simple: Drained tofu gets coated in egg, bread crumbs (choose whole-grain for a healthier option), and black and white sesame seeds before getting pan-fried (and gobbled down).

What to use: Firm/Extra Firm/Super Firm
Apparently, this healthy recipe is the creation of Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen combines a whole bunch of produce—including celery, tomatoes, mango, avocado, onion, cilantro, and lime juice—with tofu and Celtic sea salt. The result is a light, citrusy dish perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

What to use: Firm
Burgers aren’t just for carnivores. Tofu packs in the protein for this meal while mixed with onion, mushrooms, garlic, cilantro, whole-grain flaxseed breadcrumbs, tomato paste, chili garlic sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Top these flavorful burgers with spinach, a little mayo, and sun-dried tomatoes, and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal that’ll keep you nearly as full as a steak would have.

What to use: Soft
This pretty little dish resembles flan in appearance… If flan were drizzled in soy sauce and topped with red pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions, that is.

What to use: Firm
Holy colors, batman! Creamy-smooth coconut milk combines with a whole bunch of vegetables (including broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes) as well as delicious seasonings such as garlic, turmeric, basil, and jalapeno for a spicy kick.

29. Soba Noodles With Kale, Tofu, and Furikake

What to use: Extra Firm
Sweet-and-sour noodles draw flavor from soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey and nutrients from kale, carrots, and scallions. Furikake, a rice seasoning, adds unique flavor.

What to use: Extra Firm
This crusty tofu looks like it’s been breaded and fried—but it’s actually just been marinated in some healthy sauces and seasonings (think apple cider vinegar, rosemary, sage, and thyme). And don’t forget to dunk it in some delicious homemade hummus.

What to use: Extra Firm
This recipe had us at “sweet potato fries.” While fries and breading might not sound like the healthiest choice, this recipe keeps things light by baking and broiling (instead of frying) the tofu and fries. Superfood seasonings such as cinnamon and cumin round out the flavor profile.

What to use: Silken
Superfoods garlic and ginger pack a one-two punch of flavor in this spicy, hearty meal. Peanuts, peppercorns, broccoli, and scallions contribute interesting textures, some healthy fats, and a full serving of vitamins.

What to use: Firm
Soba noodles, peanut butter, soy sauce, chili paste, sesame seeds, carrots, and scallions combine to create a colorful, flavorful noodle bowl. The peanut butter adds a rich, creamy texture that’ll keep you full for hours.

What to use: Firm or Extra Firm
Craving a burger the day you decide to go vegetarian? No worries. Cook up tofu burger seasoned with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, maple syrup, and pepper, and we’re pretty sure you won’t miss the meat-based variety one bit.

35. Roasted Tofu With Quinoa
Photo: Cookie and Kate

What to use: Extra Firm
Here’s something unusual to do with tofu: Roast it. And if you marinate it in a combination of sesame oil, tamari, agave, ginger, garlic, and spices beforehand? Well, the results are fabulous. Layer the roasted tofu over a bed of quinoa for a protein-rich, comforting meal.

What to use: Your choice!
Choosing tofu over meat doesn’t mean you can’t get your grill on. Marinate tofu triangles in soy sauce, garlic, coriander, and honey or agave, slap ‘em on the grill, and then layer them over a bed of sautéed field greens and quinoa. It’s a meal fit for anyone and any time of year.

What to use: Extra Firm
This crunchy dish uses a base of cauliflower and protein-rich chickpeas and tofu to showcase a big variety of flavors, including cumin, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cayenne, cilantro, and lemon juice. The result is tasty, filling, and light.

What to use: Firm
The classic veggie-and-tofu stir fry gets a kick from a flavorful marinade plus a whole host of colorful vegetables, including broccoli, onion, carrots, mushrooms, and snow peas. Garnish with peanut dipping sauce (yum!) and “stir fry” no longer sounds boring.

What to use: Extra Firm
This crispy, sweet-and-savory tofu gets its flavor from simple ingredients: soy sauce, honey, thyme, dill, and cumin. Use the tofu in stir-fries, quinoa dishes, and rice bowls.

What to use: Firm
These colorful little tostadas make a for a flavor-packed lunch or dinner thanks to onions, garlic, red bell pepper, cumin, cilantro, chili powder, and lime juice. Garnish with grape tomatoes and superfood avocado for an extra healthful kick.

Sweets

41. The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie
Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie

What to use: Silken
A sweet, chocolaty, delicious, and relatively healthy pie in less than ten minutes? Apparently, it can be done. Vanilla extract, cocoa powder, a milk of your choice, chocolate chips, agave, and silken tofu combine to make a melt-in-your mouth pie best served cold.

What to use: Silken
Here’s a fancy way to enjoy your coffee: Mix it up with vanilla extract, maple syrup, tofu, stevia, coconut butter, a pinch of salt, and some optional chocolate chips, then bake for a relatively healthy, crustless pie with a caffeine kick.

What to use: Silken
Ripe bananas, vanilla, agave, cinnamon, tofu, and (optional) crushed graham crackers are all that’s needed to make a creamy, gooey, sweet-but-not-sugary dessert.

What to use: Silken
This beautiful little dessert is made with protein-rich tofu, some chopped frozen banana, a little bit of coconut flour, and just a tiny bit of cocoa powder and maple syrup. Yum!

What to use: Silken
This gorgeous dessert is so pretty you might not want to cut into it (just kidding; you will). Cacao powder, beer, and a whiskey ganache make this vegan cake extra special.

46. Healthy Two-Minute Chinese-Inspired Dessert
Photo: The Iron Cheftress

What to use: Silken
Tofu, honey (or agave), your favorite fruits, and a sprinkle of sliced almonds make for a light, simple—if somewhat unusual—dessert.

What to use: Silken
This refreshing dessert is remarkably simple: Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate combines with tofu, eggs, some instant coffee, and a small bit of butter and agave. Toss in a handful of chopped walnuts and you’ve got yourself a light, chocolaty dessert that will delight sweet teeth without weighing you down.

What to use: Your choice!
This delicate dessert gets its lightness from lemon zest, lemon juice, a touch of honey, some tofu, and fresh blackberries. The best part? Those are the only ingredients.

What to use: Silken
This fudgy, cakey dessert owes its moistness to tofu, applesauce, jam, and soy milk. It owes its added deliciousness to cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips.

50. Chocolate-Espresso Tofu Mousse
Photo: You Beauty

What to use: Extra Firm
Bananas, chocolate, espresso, oh my! Add in a little agave nectar and vanilla extract for sweetness and flavor, blend up some tofu, and you’ve got yourself a delectable, good-for-you mousse.

What to use: Silken
Citrusy, vanilla-y, creamy, sweet, and comforting are all words that could describe this cute little pudding (and only one of them is made up). Eggs, soy milk, and flour (use whole wheat pastry flour if so inclined) form the cakey base, which gets drizzled in blackberries and a bit of sugar (or your substitute of choice).

What to use: Silken
Perfect for farmer's market season, this sweet and summery pudding boasts very few ingredients: Tofu, peaches, vanilla extract, and stevia—and that’s it!

Originally published July 2013. Updated November 2015.

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