This baked tofu with peanut sauce is made with extra-firm tofu that is baked until crispy and coated in a creamy, savory peanut butter sauce.
Baked tofu with peanut sauce brings together sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. If you're new to cooking tofu, I have included simple steps below to achieve the best results.
Prep the tofu by pressing it to remove the excess water. Then, dice the tofu into bite-sized pieces. A mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic powder will marinate the tofu before it's baked. The tofu is then coated in corn starch so it can bake to golden brown perfection.
The star of the show is the tangy peanut sauce made with creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and sriracha. The sauce has the power to elevate any dish, be it a stir-fry or a tofu bowl. Bookmark this delicious peanut sauce to try with chicken, tempeh, tofu spring rolls, and more.
Serve the baked tofu with peanut sauce over a bed of white rice, brown rice, rice noodles, steamed veggies, and more. Customize your meal by adding stir fry vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, bok choy, and sweet onions.
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- Comfort food: This is a tasty, comforting, reliable, and easy recipe you will make time and time again.
- Simple ingredients: All of the ingredients used are common pantry staples that are easy to find in any grocery store.
- Vegan: Tofu is a great plant-based protein served in a vegan peanut sauce.
- Tofu: Extra firm tofu or super firm tofu. Press the tofu (see detailed instructions further below) to remove excess liquid and cube it into small, bite-sized cubes.
- Soy sauce: This salty and savory condiment is used twice in this recipe, once in the tofu marinade and once in the peanut sauce.
- Olive oil: Olive oil helps the tofu crisp up as it bakes.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder adds a hint of garlic flavor.
- Corn starch: Corn starch coats the tofu and helps it become crispy in the oven.
Peanut Sauce Ingredients
- Peanut butter: Creamy peanut butter is the main ingredient in peanut sauce.
- Soy sauce: This adds a salty and savory flavor to the sauce.
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is brewed from rice. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and is often used in Asian and sushi dishes.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar is made from white sugar and molasses. It adds a rich sweetness.
- Sriracha: Sriracha is a hot chili sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- Water: To thin the sauce and make it easier to coat the tofu.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Press Tofu
- Open the package of tofu and drain off any liquid. Place the tofu on a clean plate or cutting board. Cover the tofu with several layers of towels or paper towels.
- Add another plate, cutting board, or a tofu press on top of the paper towel-covered tofu. Apply gentle pressure to the top plate or tofu press. You can use heavy cans, books, or other weighted objects to do this.
- Allow the tofu to press for at least 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water, making the tofu firmer and better at absorbing flavors.
- After pressing, discard the paper towels and cut the tofu as desired.
Note that super firm tofu that is vacuum packed does not need to be pressed. You can simply pat the outside of the tofu block dry with towels and prep as desired.
Bonus tip: You can freeze tofu to give is a meatier texture. Just freeze it overnight directly in its original packaging, thaw it in the fridge, then drain the liquid and prepare as usual. Frozen and thawed tofu is also easier to drain (just give is a few gentle squeezes instead of pressing) because it becomes more sponge-like and less crumbly.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the pressed and cubed tofu (see notes) in the soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic powder. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 minutes, then drain the excess liquid.
Sprinkle the corn starch over the tofu, tossing as needed to coat evenly.
Transfer the tofu to the lined baking sheet, spreading into a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping over about halfway through.
While the tofu bakes, microwave the peanut butter in a microwave-safe dish for 20 to 30 seconds.
Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, brown sugar, and water to the softened peanut butter, whisking until smooth.
When the 20-minute bake is complete, brush the tofu with half of the sauce and return to the oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes. Then flip the tofu, coat the other side with the remaining sauce, and bake for a final 5 minutes.
Add toppings (optional) such as green onions and chopped peanuts and serve over rice, noodles, or veggies.
- Green onions
- Chopped peanuts
- Red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds
- Tofu: Super-firm, extra-firm, and firm are the top tofu options for a crispy tofu recipe, but you can use any protein like tempeh, seitan, chicken, and more.
- Soy Sauce: Tamari, coconut aminos, and teriyaki sauce are great substitutions for soy.
- Olive Oil: Avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, or sesame oil can be used in place of olive oil.
- Garlic Powder: Use onion powder or a salt-free seasoning blend.
- Corn Starch: Arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, and potato starch are possible substitutes for corn starch.
- Rice Vinegar: Try apple cider vinegar.
- Brown sugar: Maple syrup can be substituted 1:1 for brown sugar.
- Sriracha: Use your favorite hot sauce or omit hot sauce for no heat.
- Stir fry: For a veggie-forward dish, try this tofu stir fry with peanut sauce.
- No heat: The sriracha adds a touch of spicy for a lightly spicy peanut sauce. If you're not a fan of the heat, omit the sriracha.
- More heat: Add more sriracha or try adding chili sauce for an extra-spicy flavor. You can also top the dish with red pepper flakes.
- Baking sheet - To bake the tofu.
- Parchment paper - To line the baking sheet. This makes it easier to flip the tofu as needed. Alternatively, you can use a silicone baking mat.
- Mixing bowls - One to marinate the tofu and toss it in corn starch and one to whisk up the peanut sauce.
- Whisk - To whisk the peanut sauce until smooth.
- Basting brush - To baste the tofu in peanut sauce.
To store leftover peanut tofu, let it cool, place it in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Reheat as needed, or enjoy cold.
The peanut sauce can be frozen on its own in a storage bag or airtight container for up to 3 months, but I do not recommend freezing the complete dish as it will dry out the dish.
There are a few tricks to crispy baked tofu. First, press it to remove excess moisture. Second, coat it in corn starch before baking or frying. Third, use high-eat to crisp up the edges.
Yes, you can freeze tofu in its original packaging.
Baked Tofu with Peanut Sauce
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu pressed and cubed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss the pressed and cubed tofu (see notes) in the soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic powder. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 minutes, then drain the excess liquid.
- Sprinkle the corn starch over the tofu, tossing as needed to coat evenly. Transfer the tofu to the lined baking sheet, spreading into a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping over about halfway through.
- While the tofu bakes, microwave the peanut butter in a microwave-safe dish for 20 to 30 seconds. Then add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, brown sugar, and water, whisking until smooth.
- When the 20-minute bake is complete, brush the tofu with half of the sauce and return to the oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes. Then flip the tofu, coat the other side with the remaining sauce, and bake for a final 5 minutes.
- Add toppings (optional) such as green onions and chopped peanuts and serve over rice, noodles, or veggies.