Tofu can get a bad rap. But once you know how to cook it, you'll quickly realize it's an easy (and delicious) meat alternative.

By Katlyn Moncada
Updated June 23, 2020
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Tofu is currently gaining popularity beyond the vegetarian eaters of the world with sales at an all-time high due to the pandemic. So whether you're considering going vegetarian or trying to add some plant-based protein to your meals, don't skip on tofu due to misperceptions. Tofu is beneficial for more than just adding protein to vegan or vegetarian lifestyles. It's also naturally gluten-free, low in calories, and may help lower (bad LDL) cholesterol. Thanks to tofu's neutral flavor, it's the perfect blank canvas to add whatever flavors you like to make everything from stir-fries to soups. You can even hide it in your cookies or smoothies! To get acquainted with cooking it at home, here are some flavorful tofu recipes that you'll actually want to add to the regular menu.

Credit: Jason Donnelly

1. Bibimbap Casserole with Tofu

Instead of the bulgogi beef usually found in bibimbap, we made it into a tofu recipe with eggs for a hearty vegetarian version of the traditional Korean rice dish. This easy casserole packs a ton of flavor thanks to spicy-sweet mixture of gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey.

Try the Vegetarian Bibimbap Bake
Credit: Andy Lyons

2. Spiced Tofu Spring Rolls

If you frequent your local Vietnamese restaurant, you have to try making your own spring rolls from scratch. The marinated bean curd takes on a chicken-like texture in this crispy tofu recipe after getting fried in a skillet ($30, Target). Wrapped in chewy rice paper with crunchy veggies and herbs, it's the perfect vegetarian recipe to kick-off a meal.

Get the Fresh Spring Roll Recipe
Credit: Andy Lyons

3. Mushroom and Poblano Vegetarian Enchiladas

Give your tofu a kick with some poblano peppers in this quick and easy Mexican dish that comes together in 30 minutes flat. Top your vegetarian enchiladas with some fresh tomato and green onion or take it a step further and make some homemade guac.

Make the 30-Minute Tofu Recipe
Credit: Blaine Moats

4. Hoisin-Glazed Tofu and Green Beans

Hoisin sauce is a thick, tangy-sweet sauce that creates a delicious glaze for this tofu recipe. You'll find it in the Asian section or condiment aisle of larger grocery stores as well as your local Asian market. For a complete meal, serve the tofu and green beans over hot cooked rice or rice noodles.

Make the Sweet and Salty Tofu Recipe
Credit: Blaine Moats

5. Breakfast Pita Pizzas

If you're vegan or have an egg allergy, tofu is a great alternative to ensure you get a protein-packed breakfast. Here we've used whole wheat pita as a healthy pizza base for a veggie-loaded combo of mushrooms, peppers, green onions, and (of course) tofu. Swap the veggies with whatever you've got on hand.

Try the Breakfast Pizza Recipe
Credit: Blaine Moats

6. Noodle Bowl with Tofu and Poached Egg

Gourmet ramen and noodle bowls gained a lot of popularity in the past few years, and thankfully it's actually pretty easy to recreate right at home. Marinate the tofu up to one day in advance to absorb the most flavor. The slightly spicy broth gets extra rich texture thanks to the runny yolk from the poached egg.

Try the Vegetarian Noodle Bowl

7. Crispy Tofu "Stir-Fry"

Missing your favorite Asian takeout dish but trying to cut out the grease? This is the stir-fry recipe for you. Instead of actually frying up the tofu, we've given it a run in the air fryer ($130, Bed Bath & Beyond) to get all nice and crispy. Use low-sodium soy sauce to keep the salt levels in this air fryer tofu recipe down.

Get the Air-Fryer Tofu Recipe
Credit: Karla Conrad

8. Banana Pudding with Shaved Dark Chocolate

Yes, you can use tofu to create a healthy dessert! Made with fresh bananas, silken tofu, and a few pantry ingredients, this easy tofu recipe comes together in just 10 minutes (though you'll have to give it time to chill before you enjoy). Bonus: it's completely dairy-free and vegan!

Get the Healthy Pudding Recipe
Credit: Andy Lyons

9. Tofu & Pickled Vegetable Sandwich

Quick pickled cucumbers, radishes, and carrots will add a satisfying tangy crunch to your veggie-packed meal. Fans of spice will love the sriracha-mayo combo that gets seared into the tofu. You'll want to shmear some extra mayo on top for good measure.

Try This Delicious Sandwich Recipe
Credit: Blaine Moats

10. Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

If you've enjoyed chicken-filled lettuce wraps at your local Asian restaurant, you'll be shocked to find tofu takes on a similar flavor and texture in this meatless version. Not only does it come together quickly (just 20 minutes!), it's a really healthy snack. Each wrap contains just 88 calories, 2 g total fat, and a whopping 5 g of protein!

Make Some Healthy Lettuce Wraps

Now that you've actually enjoyed eating tofu, it's time to take a chance on some other plant-based proteins. Get a rich and meaty umami flavor by making mushrooms the main star of your vegetarian dinner. Or try making some pulled jackfruit for an unforgettable vegan BBQ.

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