Simple, delicious, and approved by both kids and adults, this baked peanut tofu buddha bowl is the ultimate weeknight dinner recipe! It’s vegan, gluten free, and smothered in the most delicious peanut sauce there is.
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*Cue Lizzie McQuire This Is What Dreams Are Made Of.* Because seriously you guys, this baked peanut tofu really IS what dreams are made of. Crispy, salty, subtly sweet, savory, easy to make, I could go on.
I was never a big fan of tofu until I learned to a) cook it properly and b) flavor it well.
In order for tofu to actually taste good, it needs to have an irresistibly crispy outside, a soft and fluffy inside, a delicious sauce, plus more delicious sauce.
The sauce is KEY here you guys, and I’m going to teach you how to make the best crispy peanut tofu ever. This sauce is creamy, rich, easy to make and honestly tastes good on anything, but this tofu is one of my favorites.
How to make this recipe
There are lots of ways to cook tofu, but this baking is one of my favorites, especially if you want it crispy. While tofu in a skillet is easy and all, I always find it leaves the tofu mushy and it can be a pain to ensure all sides cook properly. When you bake tofu, you definitely don’t have this problem since there is plenty of time to ensure all sides get crispy.
It also requires no pressing, just a quick marinade, some time in the oven, and a simple peanut sauce and you’re good to go!
To make this peanut tofu, you first want to remove the tofu from the package and drain out all excess liquid. If you have a tofu press, great! Definitely use it. Otherwise, you can place the block of tofu between to towels and use your hands to gently press out any liquid. Pressing the tofu for an extended period of time isn’t necessary, but it will make it crispier.
Place the tofu on a cutting board and cut into small cubes. The smaller the cubes, the faster it will cook and crispier it will be. I usually do about 1/2-1 inch cubes.
Make sure all pieces are covered in sauce and let the tofu marinate for about 20 minutes. This is going to give it LOTS of flavor. No boring tofu is allowed here ya’ll.
Drain out any excess liquid from the tofu bowl and slowly toss with the arrowroot starch. Make sure every piece is coated well, since the arrowroot is what will make the tofu nice and crispy.
Add the tofu to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Try to leave space between each piece. If they’re touching, they can stick together which will prevent the sides of the tofu from getting crispy.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until nice and crispy. Once it’s done, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. If you add the sauce right away, it can get soggy, so it’s best to let it cool first.
After about 5 minutes, toss with the peanut sauce and enjoy!
Recipe tips & tricks
- Once prepared, the tofu will keep in the fridge for about 3-5 days, though it is best fresh. To reheat, add the tofu to the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes.
- The veggies for this peanut tofu bowl are merely suggestions, feel free to get creative! Broccoli, carrots, cucumber, bok choy, or butter lettuce would also be delicious with these bowls.
- I generally recommend pressing tofu for the best results. However, since we’re using extra firm tofu, it’s not entirely necessary for this recipe. You can just wrap the tofu between a towel and very gently squeeze out the excess liquid.
- The three main keys to making this tofu crispy are 1) the oil, 2) the starch and 3) the baking.
- Even without the peanut sauce, this tofu is delicious. You can leave the sauce off and add it to salads, noodles, or anything else! The options with baked tofu are endless.
Try these recipes next!
Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl
- 2 cups cooked rice (quinoa or noodles)
- 1 avocado
- 2 red bell peppers
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 4 green onions (chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Optional: chopped peanuts for garnish
- Remove the tofu from the package and drain out the excess liquid. If you’re using extra firm tofu, you shouldn’t need to press it, but you are more than welcome to.
- Chop the tofu into small cubes, about 1/2 to 1 inch.
- Add to a bowl with the marinade (1 tbsp tamari, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tbsp maple syrup).
- Let marinate for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- Once done, drain out the excess liquid from the bowl and toss with the arrowroot starch and add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, leaving space between each piece.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- While baking, prepare your sauce and veggies. The sauce calls for 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water to thin it out for this recipe, you’ll want to use closer to 1/2 cup. The sauce makes more than you will need for this recipe, but it stores really well in the fridge so you can save it for noodles or use as a dip for veggies.
- Slice the red peppers into thin strips and add to a pan with 1 tbsp of oil. Saute for 10 minutes or until it starts to brown on the sides. Add in the kale and let wilt for 2 minutes.
- When the tofu is done, remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Toss with 1/2 cup of sauce.
- Assemble your bowls starting with the rice, add the veggies, avocado, scallions and tofu and drizzle with the remaining sauce.