It’s a vegetarian’s tofu dream! This recipe is crispy and bursting with flavor. Eat it as a snack or serve it Italian style over brown rice with a side salad and Parmesan shavings. Superb.

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Crispy Italian Baked Tofu

Balsamic vinegar is the real flavor maker in this recipe. I recommend splurging on a high-quality Italian balsamic vinegar. But if you don’t want to break the bank, I LOVE this affordable brand.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into about 1 inch by 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, finely minced fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, finely minced fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

garnish:

  • fresh basil

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl or tupperware, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the tofu.
  2. Add the tofu to the sauce and marinate for about 30 minutes or more in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Spread the tofu on a baking sheet and pour the sauce over the tofu, coating the tofu evenly.
  5. Bake the tofu for 15 minutes, and then turn the oven onto high broil and continue to cook for 8 minutes. (If you don’t have a broiler, raise the heat to 450 and cook for 10-12 minutes until the tofu appears crispy and browned).
  6. Serve with a side of rice and a hearty salad. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.

Notes

Box graters can be a pain, this microplane is my go-to for zesting citrus, grating garlic, nutmeg, or shredding mountains of Parmesan cheese!

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10 Comments
Sarah April 24, 2021 at 11:07 PM

This recipe is excellent! I am always suspicious of tofu recipes because I feel like they are hit or miss, and I was nervous since this didn’t really have any reviews. But it was absolutely delicious! I doubled the sauce since I was using a whole 14oz pack of tofu. When I make it again, I’m going to use less oil and more tomato paste. With 8 tablespoons of oil it was just wayyyy too much. I’d probably use like 5-6 when I double, so I’d guess 4 tablespoons is also a lot for the normal recipe. I also didn’t use the full 8 minutes at broil as a few pieces were starting to burn at 5 minutes. Overall really great recipe, thanks!

Emma Frisch April 27, 2021 at 7:07 PM

Thanks, so much for your feedback, Sarah! I’m so happy you made the recipe work for you. We’re actually in the works of testing this recipe so your suggested tweaks will be helpful in the test kitchen. All the best!

Cindy Stellar January 17, 2021 at 5:41 PM

When making the Crispy Baked Tofu recipe, do you press the tofu before adding to recipe?

Emma Frisch January 18, 2021 at 5:26 PM

Yes! That would absolutely help. This article has great tips on how to maximize crisp: https://cookieandkate.com/how-to-make-crispy-baked-tofu/

[…] squares, I tossed them in a tofu marinade, which I’ve altered slightly from this recipe here, and then let them crisp up in the air fryer. I tried these basil chickpea tofu squares air fried, […]

Emma Frisch December 2, 2020 at 2:19 PM

LOVE your variation on this! I’ll have to try it one day 🙂 Thanks for the link to my site.

Renée October 20, 2020 at 11:38 PM

Hi there, should the tofu be pressed prior to making this? Or will the liquid cook off during the baking?

Emma Frisch October 21, 2020 at 1:02 AM

Hi! I didn’t press it when I made this recipe and it wasn’t an issue, but I have since learned that pressing the tofu can yield a crispier result. I say try it!

Kathleen Civell February 15, 2018 at 8:02 PM

Hi Emma
I need to make 80 portions for a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch next Wednesday for Ithaca Welcomes Refugees. My budget is pretty low & I need to make all vegetarian. Can I freeze the baked tofu and reheat later?
Also, would you know where I could get some donations? Thanks
Kathleen covell. Ithaca welcomes refugees.org

Emma Frisch February 16, 2018 at 3:57 PM

Hi Kathleen! Great question, and so honored that you’re making this for such an incredible cause. Yes, you can freeze the baked tofu and reheat later – no problem. Here’s another great article on freezing tofu: https://www.thekitchn.com/leftover-tofu-freeze-it-for-later-167830. As for donations, I would see if Greenstar would be willing to offer donations – this seems like a very aligned cause. Additionally, you could contact the Ithaca Farmers Market and see if they were willing to send a memo out to vendors asking for donations. Hope this helps! Xo, E

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