What to CookTofu

You Won't Miss the Meat in These 18 Amped-Up Tofu Recipes

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Many people think of tofu as a compromise, a stand-in for meat. It isn't normally thought of as the belle of the ball, at least at first glance. But when prepared with thought (and a little bit of love), tofu can be tender, silky, crispy, and downright crave-able. It is a valuable, versatile ingredient in its own right, and deserves to be appreciated as such.

Lean in to its textures and its wide varieties (silken, firm, extra-firm, smoked, etc.), and tofu just might be your new go-to protein staple. (Or at least it should be.) Pan-fry it to make crispy, poppable salt and pepper tofu, marinate it with soy sauce and bake into a sesame-lidded, crunchy not-sad-desk-lunch, or give silken tofu a try in slippery, ultra-comforting mapo tofu.

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If you, along with many others, are trying to eat a more plant-based diet in the new year, tofu is the delicious, adaptable, and affordable ingredient you want in your fridge, right now. If you need a pathway towards newfound tofu love, here are 18 recipes to get you started:

Silken Comfort Tofu
Silken Comfort Tofu
Spicy Garlic Noodles with Crumbled Tofu and Cucumber Salad

Spicy Garlic Noodles with Crumbled Tofu and Cucumber Salad by Nathalie Nicole

Baked Tofu and Vegetable Egg Rolls

Baked Tofu and Vegetable Egg Rolls by ieatthepeach

Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu
Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu
Dawn Perry's Soba Salad with Cucumbers, Soft Tofu & Quick Chile Oil

Dawn Perry's Soba Salad with Cucumbers, Soft Tofu & Quick... by Sarah Jampel

Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles by Poppies and Papayas

Japanese-Style Fried Tofu

Japanese-Style Fried Tofu by Madhuja

Cabbage Pad Thai with Baked Tofu

Cabbage Pad Thai with Baked Tofu by Alexandra Stafford

Vegan Palak Paneer
Vegan Palak Paneer
Salt and Pepper Tofu
Salt and Pepper Tofu
Kabocha Squash and Tofu Curry

Kabocha Squash and Tofu Curry by Gena Hamshaw

Weeknight Soy Sauce-y, Peanut-y Tofu

Weeknight Soy Sauce-y, Peanut-y Tofu by Nicholas Day

Baked or Pan-Fried Almond-Crusted Tofu Triangles
Baked or Pan-Fried Almond-Crusted Tofu Triangles
Tofu, Aubergine, and Beluga Lentils with Pomegranate Molasses

Tofu, Aubergine, and Beluga Lentils with Pomegranate Mola... by morning glory

Crispy Coconut Tofu with Burning Rings Of Fire

Crispy Coconut Tofu with Burning Rings Of Fire by aargersi

San Bei (Taiwanese Three Cup) Tofu and Ramen

San Bei (Taiwanese Three Cup) Tofu and Ramen by Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing by Sarah Jampel

Crispy Sesame Baked Tofu & Shiitake Mushrooms
Crispy Sesame Baked Tofu & Shiitake Mushrooms

What's your favorite way to make tofu (or seitan, or tempeh) crave-worthy? Give us some meatless inspiration in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Vegetarian, Winter, Tofu