Nothing says big, cozy brunch quite like a tofu scramble. Loaded with vegetables and spices, it’s a hearty start to the day that is also packed with protein, fiber, and flavor. A filling & satisfying vegan & gluten-free breakfast.
When I really want to lean into those brunch vibes, I set to work on this tofu scramble recipe.
It’s a breakfast that is entirely satiating. But it also has lots of good-for-you stuff in it – like kale, bell peppers, onions, seasonings & spices.
Which kind of tofu should I use?
My all-purpose tofu and the kind I use in this tofu scramble recipe is the high protein variety in vacuum packaging. I usually use the Trader Joe’s or Wildwood brands.
(Note that the Trader Joe’s brand is 20 ounces. So you’ll only need half a block for the recipe as listed below.)
But if you only have access to the water-packed variety, that will work too. Just drain it from the package. Then dry it off a little with a clean kitchen towel before crumbling it into the pan. (Wet tofu doesn’t brown as nicely.)
Water-packed packages are usually 14 ounces. And you can use the whole thing. The difference is water weight.
Even with the water-packed variety, you don’t really need to press it for a scramble since you’re not marinating it. It will just have a softer texture, which a lot of people enjoy.
Tofu doesn’t have much flavor on its own. But when you season it right with lots of flavorful spices, it takes on a life of its own.
For my scrambles, I like to use ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, nutritional yeast flakes, and kala namak.
What is kala namak?
One seasoning that may not be in your pantry already is kala namak.
Kala namak is a sulfuric mineral salt. It gives an eggy flavor to anything it touches. That makes it a pretty magical ingredient for adding that sulfurous flavor to dishes like vegan eggs, vegan quiche, vegan egg salad, or vegan breakfast tacos.
Kala namak is also known as black salt. But it’s actually pink right out of the package. (However, don’t confuse it with Hawaiian pink salt. They are two different things.)
You can find kala namak in Indian markets. It usually sells for $2-3. It’s also available on Amazon.
If you don’t have kala namak, no worries. You can easily leave it out and add a sprinkle of table salt instead. It just won’t have that eggy flavor, obviously.
How to make this tofu scramble recipe
For this tofu scramble recipe, a large non-stick skillet works best. (This is the ceramic pan I use.)
Drizzle on a little oil. Then crumble tofu across the pan.
Don’t move it for about four minutes. You want it to get nice and brown on one side. It adds some texture to the dish. If you move it, it won’t brown as nicely.
Then flip it, and let it sit for several more minutes.
Now it’s time to sauté some vegetables!
Scoot the browned tofu to one side of the skillet. Drizzle oil on the empty side. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté for a couple minutes.
Then incorporate everything, and sauté for a minute or two more.
Once the onion is fragrant, add kale, water, ancho chili powder, granulated onion, paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt.
The kale will quickly wilt as it comes into contact with the heat of the pan.
The water helps the kale to steam a bit. And it aids the spices incorporating through the scramble and not getting stuck in one spot.
Once the kale has softened, it’s time to add kala namak and nutritional yeast. If you don’t have access to these two seasonings or you don’t care for them, leave them out. Just add more table salt to taste.
(Or you can let people add them to their own plates individually. A sprinkle of kala namak goes a long way. But with nutritional yeast, you can be generous.)
Finally, finish the scramble with fresh avocado. I also like to add a drizzle of hot sauce right before tucking into my breakfast. (Here’s my current favorite hot sauce.)
Make it your own
Tofu scramble is similar to a stir-fry in that almost any vegetable in your crisper drawer will work.
Make this recipe with the vegetables listed. Or put together your own combo in roughly equal amounts as to what’s listed here.
Just remember that some vegetables take longer to cook than others. So if you have denser vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, or broccoli, you will need to cook those longer.
What should I serve with it?
Tofu scramble is packed with vegetables. So you could easily eat it all on its own as a meal. But it also goes well with any of the following side dishes:
- Breakfast potatoes in the oven or air fryer
- Homemade hash browns or hash brown patties
- Seitan bacon or veggie breakfast sausage (I like the breakfast sausages from Gardein, Field Roast, and Herbivorous Butcher.)
Does tofu scramble reheat well?
Absolutely! Simply reheat in the microwave for a quick weekday morning meal. While it heats, put a piece of bread down in the toaster, and you’re good to go!
Tofu scramble is also really nice in a vegan breakfast burrito. Simply roll the scramble into a warmed tortilla.
Or if you like a crispy burrito, air fry it for about 8 to 10 minutes until crisp. Or bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Breakfast burritos are especially nice with some kind of potatoes inside. Use leftover breakfast potatoes, hashbrown patties, or tater tots.
Tofu scramble with kale & avocado (vegan)
- 1 teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral flavored oil, divided
- 10 ounces vacuum-packed super firm tofu* I use Trader Joe's or Wildwood
- 1/2 onion chopped medium
- 1/2 bell pepper red, orange, or yellow, chopped medium
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 to 3 leaves kale removed from ribs, chopped (About 2 cups loosely packed)
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch salt
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon kala namak black salt**
- 1 avocado pitted & sliced
- Bring a skillet to medium heat with 1/2 teaspoon organic canola oil (or other neutral flavored oil).
- Use your hands to crumble the tofu block into the skillet. Scatter it evenly across the skillet. Then don't move it for about four minutes, so that it can get nice & brown. Then flip the tofu with a spatula, and let it sit for about 3 more minutes, so that it can brown more.
- Move the browned tofu to one side of the skillet. Then put the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil onto the empty side of the skillet. Put onions, bell pepper, and garlic onto the empty spot. Saute for a couple minutes. Then incorporate it with the tofu, and saute for a minute or two more, until the onions are fragrant and softened.
- Add kale, water, cumin, ancho chili powder, granulated onion, paprika, and a pinch of salt to the pan. Combine with a spatula, moving it around the pan for even combining of the spices. The kale will wilt and soften as it comes into contact with heat.
- Cook for a couple minutes more and turn off the heat. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes and kala namak on the scramble and combine.
- Transfer the tofu scramble evenly onto four plates. Top each portion of scramble with sliced avocado.
Content, recipe, photos updated January 2020. Originally posted September 2017.