Curious how to use tofu in more tasty ways? Check out these 5 easy tofu meal ideas to get you started

  • 2 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

If you are striving to eat from more plant-based sources, you may be curious about how to use tofu in everyday cooking. Tofu is versatile, nutritious, and adapts well to many different kinds of recipes. Here’s a little bit about the different types of tofu and five tofu meal ideas that are easy to prepare and taste great.

how to use tofu

How to use tofu when cooking

Tofu is made from coagulated soy milk, similar to the way soft dairy cheeses are made. The resulting curds get pressed into a cake. Unlike raw meat, tofu comes ready-to-eat and doesn't require cooking.

Most grocery stores carry three different types of tofu:


Soft or silken tofu has a higher water content, making it more crumbly. It blends well into smoothies or dips, or becomes a tasty breakfast scramble or "egg" salad. The higher water content also means this style of tofu is lower in calories, fat, and protein than firm tofu.

Silken tofu is often found in an aseptic container and has a shelf life of one year, making it ideal for backpacking or camping. However, an open container is good for one week when refrigerated.


The firmer the tofu, the more water has been pressed out. Firm styles are the best choice for slicing or cubing. Try browning them in oil and adding to a stir fry, soup, salad, or casserole. You can season slices with spices or a marinade and cook on the grill. They can also be used in dishes like Coconut Curry with Fish and Greens, a MyNetDiary Premium Recipe.


Firm and extra-firm tofu are quite similar in consistency. Extra-firm tofu has a bit more water removed, making it more calorie-dense. If you are searching the grocery for firm tofu and they only have extra-firm, don’t worry. You can easily swap firm for extra-firm or vice versa, and your dish will turn out fine.

Have you ever wondered how to use tofu in a recipe and ensure it has a lot of flavor?

Tofu is like a sponge. It absorbs the flavor of the foods and seasonings combined with it. Still, you must remove the water from the tofu, so it is ready to soak up the flavors.

Start by draining the water from the tofu package. Next, slice the block of tofu in half and lay each half on two clean kitchen towels. Cover the tofu with another two clean kitchen towels then place a heavy object, such as a cast-iron skillet or dutch oven, on top of it for 10-30 minutes. Doing this presses the water out of the tofu and into the towels. Now you are ready to mix the tofu with seasonings or add it to a recipe with intense flavors. Tofu is an excellent swap for chicken or fish in just about any dish.

5 easy tofu meal ideas that won’t disappoint

Coconut Curry with Fish and Greens

As long as you have the ingredients around the house, this gluten-free and dairy-free recipe comes together quickly and is very satisfying. Serve it over brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal.

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Wondering what to prepare for brunch for folks who don’t eat eggs or meat? This recipe is quick and very flavorful. This scramble is great inside a whole wheat tortilla topped with avocado and salsa.

Zucchini tofu lasagna

Looking for a low-carb lasagna recipe? In place of traditional noodles, this recipe calls for zucchini strips, but you could easily swap out eggplant for the zucchini. Compared to traditional lasagna, you’ll save calories and carbs by using zucchini or eggplant. The fresh parsley, basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese add extra flavor for a twist on a classic dish.

If you have MyNetDiary Premium membership, these three recipes are in the MyNetDiary Premium Recipe collection and are already included and analyzed in the app for you.

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Here’s a flavorful appetizer that’s only 50 calories per serving. The ginger, lemongrass, and mint bring this Asian-fusion recipe to life.

Did you know that MyNetDiary allows you to import recipes from most recipe websites? Yes, MyNetDiary can import recipe ingredients and directions directly into your account! You can then make changes and save the recipe as your own for easy and accurate tracking. Check it out!

An affordable, high-protein plant food, tofu is nutritious, versatile, and adapts well to many different types of recipes.

Adapted from original content by Donna P Feldman.

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Foods & Recipes->"Beans, Peas, & Soy"
Feb 9, 2024
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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