This easy baked tofu recipe will make you wonder why you ever bought those prepared slices. It’s so low fuss to make it at home. Vegan & gluten-free.
It’s interesting how things subtly morph and change over time. Even if you make the same recipe again and again, you’ll find shortcuts, add-ins, and ways to tweak it to improve the recipe in one way or another.
Whether you’re adjusting to your changing preferences or finding ways to streamline it, so that it can be made with less time on task, we’re always shifting in one way or another.
It’s kind of like language.
We may basically speak the same language we did when we learned it all those years ago. But there are constantly shifts in colloquialisms, slang, and even intonation. It’s the same, but it’s different in ever changing ways.
This easy baked tofu recipe has had a similar life cycle. I’ve had one version or another of it on my blog many times over.
When I first started making it back in 2010, I didn’t have access to vacuum-packed tofu. So I would buy water packed tofu, press it, and then marinate the tofu for at least an hour. Then I’d bake it, and have it for dinner.
Easy baked tofu recipe
That required a lot more prep time than my current method, which uses vacuum-packed super firm tofu instead.
Wildwood makes vacuum-packed tofu. So does Trader Joe’s. (It’s one of my favorite vegan Trader Joe’s products.)
Since it’s not packaged in water, no pressing is required. Then instead of marinating the tofu, I bake the marinade into it.
(Don’t have access to vacuum packed tofu? No problem. Just press a 14-ounce package of water-packed tofu first. Then continue the recipe as written.)
While it can be tempting to go the pre-made route and buy tofu that has already been flavored and sold in slabs at the store, it’s a lot cheaper to make your own. You could have 20 ounces of tofu for about the same cost as a couple of prepared slices.
(Of course, I do buy the prepared slices on occasion if it’s a matter of convenience, like when I’m traveling and eating from the hotel fridge. But when I’m at home, making my own takes very little active time. Most of the “work” happens while it’s baking in the oven.)
I start by baking the tofu with just a smidgen of oil and tamari. Those twenty minutes in the oven cook any remaining water out of the tofu.
Then I add in lemon juice, rosemary, and pepper, and bake those into the tofu for another 20 minutes.
There’s almost no prep time, meaning that the tofu is ready in less than 45 minutes. In the old version, it wouldn’t have even been done pressing and marinating by then.
David and I love this tofu cold best of all – straight out of the refrigerator. It’s a great protein packed snack when you want something substantive to tide you over.
Easy baked tofu with lemon & rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and tamari into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Tilt the dish, so that the bottom is evenly coated. Put the tofu slices into the dish, making sure each side gets coated.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and flip the tofu slices. Pour lemon juice into the dish. Use your fingers to break up the dried rosemary, as you evenly sprinkle it across the tofu. Grind black pepper evenly over the slices.
- Bake the tofu for 20 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Here are more baked tofu recipe ideas:
Bake it without the rosemary and serve it in a Buddha bowl with kale chips and lemon tahini dressing.
Bake it in lime juice instead of lemon, cut it in sticks, and roll it into a spring roll wrap.
Marinate the tofu and then pop it on the barbecue for grilled tofu.