This vegan-friendly tofu tacos recipe is perfect to make for meatless monday without sacrificing on taste or protein content. It contains crumbled tofu marinated in flavorful spices with customizable toppings of your choice! Options to either air fry or bake the tofu.
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Table of Contents
Why you’ll love it
These tofu tacos are a tasty and satisfying alternative to traditional meat tacos. The crumbled tofu absorbs the Mexican-inspired marinade, resulting in a savory and flavorful filling similar to ground meat. Plus, these tacos are incredibly versatile, allowing you to use whatever toppings you like best. This is even a great option for parties where you can create a “taco bar” with all the various toppings for guests to choose from.
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, these tofu tacos are a fantastic choice.
Is tofu healthy?
Tofu is the star ingredient of these tacos. It’s an excellent source of plant-based protein with 8 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving. It’s also packed with essential amino acids (protein build blocks) and minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Firm or extra firm tofu – This versatile soy-based protein is widely available in grocery stores and can be found in the refrigerated section next to other plant-based products and dairy alternatives.
- Low sodium soy sauce – Opting for low sodium soy sauce helps to reduce sodium intake without compromising flavor. If you are gluten-free, use tamari in place of soy sauce.
- Nutritional yeast – This plant-based ingredient is made from deactivated yeast. Sounds weird, right? It’s actually packed with nutrients such as vitamin B12 which is often lacking in a vegan diet. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, nutty flavor to the tofu.
- White onion and bell pepper – These vegetables add texture and freshness to the tacos. Try picking them up at a local farmers market if you have access to one!
- Oil of your choice – Use a high-quality oil like olive oil or avocado oil to sauté the onions and bell peppers.
- Corn tortillas – Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free and have a great flavor to compliment the tofu. You could also use flour tortillas if you prefer.
How do you press tofu?
For this recipe, we recommend pressing the tofu before crumbling to achieve a crispier texture. You can even cut your tofu in half before pressing it to make it more efficient.
You can press the tofu by hand, by using a heavy object, or with a press made for tofu. Read my guide for full instructions on each of these methods!
How do you make tofu tacos?
Making this recipe is a breeze! Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and bake or air fry until crispy. You can even make the mixture ahead of time and let “marinate” overnight.
Should I make air fried tofu or baked tofu?
Ultimately, this decision boils down to your personal preference and kitchen equipment.
Air fried tofu: If you’re looking for a quicker cooking time and crave that crispy texture, air frying is the way to go. Air frying uses hot, circulating air to cook the tofu, resulting in a deliciously crispy exterior without the need for excessive oil. I use my air fryer in the summertime to avoid heating up the house with the oven.
Baked tofu: If you prefer a slightly more tender texture and don’t have an air fryer, baked tofu is a fantastic choice. Baking allows the tofu to retain more moisture, making it softer on the inside while still developing a delightful chewiness. Plus, it’s a super simple method that just requires a large sheet pan.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Serving Tips: While the tofu is cooking, it’s the perfect time to make a side dish. These tofu tacos pair well with a variety of dishes such as Mexican rice, black beans, or a refreshing salad. As for drink options, a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade or a fruity mocktail can complement the flavors of the tacos perfectly.
- Troubleshooting Tips: If the tofu seems too moist after baking, try baking for a few more minutes. Everyone’s oven is different!
- Scaling Tips: Feel free to double or triple the recipe to accommodate larger gatherings or for meal prepping. Simply adjust the quantities of the ingredients accordingly, and make sure to use multiple large baking sheets or do multiple batches in the air fryer.
Customize it your way
Like all of my other recipes, these tofu tacos are completely customizable. You get to choose what toppings and fillings you want to use. These tacos are vegan friendly but you can add on non-vegan toppings if you’d like.
Here are some ideas to suit different dietary preferences:
- Diced avocado/guacamole: Creamy avocado adds a rich and buttery texture to the tacos.
- Diced tomatoes/salsa: Fresh tomatoes or salsa provide a burst of acidity and brightness.
- Fresh chopped cilantro: Sprinkle some fresh cilantro for a vibrant herbal note.
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt: For those seeking a tangy protein boost, plain Greek yogurt is a fantastic addition to these tofu tacos.
- Lime slices: Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the tacos for a refreshing citrus twist.
- Black beans – If you want even more protein than the tofu provides, feel free to sprinkle over black beans.
Can I make these tofu tacos ahead of time?
Yes, you can! These tofu tacos are an excellent option for meal prep or making ahead of time. Prepare the tofu filling as instructed and store it separately from the tortillas and toppings. When ready to serve, simply reheat the tofu filling on the stovetop or in the microwave, warm up the tortillas, and assemble the tacos with your desired toppings.
How do I store leftover crumbled tofu?
Store leftover tofu in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. To reheat, you can either warm up the tofu filling on the stovetop or in the microwave. The tortillas and toppings are best when assembled fresh, so consider storing them separately and assembling just before serving.
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- 1 - 14 ounce block firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed*
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced (about 1/2 small onion)
- 1 small bell pepper of your choice, diced (red, orange, yellow)
- 1 tablespoon oil of your choice (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)
- 8 corn tortillas
Toppings of your choice:
- Diced avocado/guac
- Diced tomatoes/salsa
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Lime slices, for squeezing over
- Preheat your oven or air fryer to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, crumble the pressed tofu into small pieces the size of a dime using your hands or a fork.
- To the same bowl, add over soy sauce, nutritional yeast, ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, diced onion, diced pepper, and oil and mix to combine. You can cook this mixture right away or let marinate for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
- Oven instructions: Spread the tofu mixture evenly on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tofu is slightly browned. Be sure to rotate the pan and stir halfway through. Remove the pan from the oven and let the tofu rest for 5 minutes to firm up before serving.
- Air fryer instructions: Spread the marinated tofu evenly on a large air fryer basket lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tofu is slightly browned. Be sure to remove the tofu and toss around halfway through cooking. Let tofu rest in the air fryer basket for 5 minutes to firm up before serving.
- Warm up corn tortillas by placing them on a pan (with no oil) over medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side or microwave tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel for 20 seconds.
- To assemble tacos, spoon about 1/4 cup crumbled tofu mixture onto the tortillas and add over any desired toppings.
*Note on pressing: You can press the tofu by hand, by using a heavy object, or with a press made for tofu. Read my guide HERE for full instructions on each of these methods!