Roasted Tofu with Easy Peanut Sauce

To serve as a main dish, make the tofu as described in the recipe. However, I regularly make the roasted tofu alone—without the peanut sauce—but cut it into cubes before cooking. This makes a great add-in for curries or stir-fries.

Ingredients - Roasted Tofu:

1 block (10 to 16 ounces [280 to 450 g]) of extra-firm tofu (do NOT use silken style), drained
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil, optional
1 tbsp (15 ml) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp (5 ml) honey or agave
1 clove garlic, minced, optional
1 tbsp (15 ml) arrowroot starch or cornstarch, optional

Ingredients - Easy Peanut Sauce:

½ cup (120 ml) unsalted, natural creamy peanut butter
1 ½ (22.5 ml) tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar or date paste
½ lime, juiced
1 tsp (5 ml) chili garlic sauce (can substitute 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper plus 1 clove minced garlic)
½ tsp (2.5 ml) freshly grated ginger
Approximately 4 tbsp (60 ml) hot water
¼ cup (10 g) chopped cilantro, optional
¼ cup (25 g) thinly sliced scallion, optional


  1. The key to making good baked tofu is to press out the excess water. To do this, wrap with a paper towel or clean, absorbent kitchen towel, then set on a plate and put something with at least a couple pounds of weight on top of it (I use a stock pot, large can, or another plate with something on top to weight it down). Let sit for at least 15 minutes, but the longer the better, and then unwrap, drain off excess water, and cut into ½-inch thick slices or 1-inch cubes.
  2. While tofu is being pressed, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Prepare a baking sheet with one of the following to prevent sticking: parchment paper, silicone mat, non-stick spray, or wipe with oil.
  3. In a shallow baking dish or mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil (optional), soy sauce, honey and garlic. Add tofu and gently turn to coat the tofu on all sides. Use your hands if it starts to break up. Arrowroot or cornstarch makes the tofu extra crisp and helps it to soak up sauce if served in a stir-fry or other saucy dish; if using, sprinkle it over tofu now and turn over a couple of times to make sure the tofu is evenly coated.
  4. Place tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet, making sure that no pieces are touching. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, turn tofu over and bake another 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (If omitting oil, it will not brown as much.)
  5. While tofu is baking, whisk together peanut sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add hot water until the sauce is the thickness that you want. It will still be fairly thick with 4 tablespoons of water added. If you like your sauce thinner, add another 1-2 tablespoon (15-30 ml) of water.
  6. Serve tofu with peanut sauce on the side or drizzled over top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced greenn onions, if desired.


  • Make this a meal by including steamed veggies and brown rice.
  • Use the leftover peanut sauce as a dip for fresh vegetables.
  • To use tofu as an add-in for another dish, follow instructions making sure to cut tofu into cubes rather than slices.

This recipe is from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's Culinary Medicine Curriculum. It was designed by Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA, FACP, FACLM, DipABLM, Chef.