Rich & creamy peanut tofu is a savory dish that's perfect for quick weeknight meals. The peanut sauce is made using mostly pantry staples and is so delicious that you'll want to eat it on more than just tofu!
Why this recipe works
- diet-friendly: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free optional (just use tamari in place of soy sauce)
- flavorful: rich, savory and creamy sauce made with just 8 ingredients
- quick & easy: the peanut sauce is made while the tofu bakes
Ingredients and substitutions
Peanut butter. Choose creamy peanut butter for easy mixing. Crunchy peanut butter works but will make it a chunkier sauce.
Coconut milk. Peanut butter and coconut milk combine to make a super rich and creamy sauce. You can use lite coconut milk in place of full fat coconut milk for a lighter dish. Boxed coconut milk beverage does not work here!
Soy sauce. This salty, umami seasoning is an important complement to peanut butter. Use tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.
Rice vinegar. This adds a little tang/acidity to the sauce.
Ginger and garlic. Choose fresh if possible – the smell of garlic and ginger sautéing is just heavenly! If fresh garlic or ginger are not available, skip the sautéing step and add ½ teaspoon garlic power and ½ teaspoon ginger when other ingredients are added.
Sriracha. The first time I tested this recipe without sriracha, I felt that it was missing something. It turns out that sriracha is that little extra “oomph” – bold, warm flavors and a little spice!
Peanut oil adds an extra level of peanut flavor to this recipe, but sesame, canola or olive oil can be used instead.
Step by step instructions
- Sauté ginger and garlic in peanut oil over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic.
- Step two: Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Stir with a whisk to combine.
- Step three: Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Step four: The peanut sauce is ready when thickened and a deep brown. It should be able to coat the back of a spoon without sliding off. Add the tofu and stir to combine.
The tofu is made using the same method as my favorite baked tofu. I skip the marinating step in this recipe because the peanut sauce adds so much flavor.
If you want to marinate the tofu (it will make it even more delicious!) you might like my marinated tofu recipe.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Saltiness: Choose reduced sodium soy sauce to cut down on salt or use tamari for a gluten-free option. Taste the sauce for salt before adding in table salt.
- Variations: Try chickpeas, steamed cauliflower, or tempeh for something different. To do this, simply toss in the sauce and serve when warmed. You might also like my chickpea and peanut sauce bowls.
- Serving ideas: For a complete meal, serve with basmati or brown rice and steamed broccoli or green beans. It also goes well in a stir fry or fried rice.
- Check out more ways to make tofu in my complete guide to tofu.
Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat single servings in the microwave or on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of coconut milk or vegetable broth as needed to thin the sauce.
Yes! The peanut sauce freezes well for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. I recommend freezing the sauce on its own and making tofu as you are ready to eat it.
Yes, you can just sauté the tofu over medium-high heat instead of baking it. I also have a pan-fried peanut tofu that uses this method.
Definitely! All you need to do is cube the tempeh and steam it before tossing it in the peanut sauce. Steaming removes any bitterness that the tempeh might have.
You can make this recipe with almond butter or try sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
Looking for more ways to make tofu?
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Baked Peanut Tofu
- 2 14 ounce containers extra firm tofu see note #1
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola, peanut, etc.
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter see note #2
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk see note #3
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce choose reduced sodium for less salt
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- fresh chopped cilantro for serving
- lime wedges for serving
- Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F. Lightly oil a sheet pan or line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Drain water off of tofu and pat dry with a paper towel/clean cloth. Slice into ½ inch cubes. Transfer to a Tupperware container or large sealable bag. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons corn starch, 2 tablespoons olive oil an ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss to evenly coat.
- Add tofu to the sheet pan, leaving space between cubes. Bake at 420F for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
- Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce. Heat peanut oil in a medium sauce pot (a large skillet also works) over medium heat. Once hot, add ginger and garlic. Sauté until lightly browned and aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Whisk to combine.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to simmer over medium-low, whisking occasionally to prevent sticking. Once thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without sliding off, add the baked tofu. Stir to coat the tofu.
- Serve immediately, or continue cooking if you prefer a thicker sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!
- Tofu: This tofu is prepared using my baked tofu method. You can also use firm or super firm tofu. You can press the tofu if you want but it's not necessary since it will be baked.
- Peanut butter: I prefer creamy for a smooth sauce, but crunchy will work if that's what you have on hand.
- Coconut milk: You can use lite coconut milk for a lighter option. Coconut milk beverage (the kind in boxes) won't work here.
- Leftovers and reheating: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat single servings in the microwave or on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of coconut milk or vegetable broth as needed to thin the sauce.
- Freezing: The peanut sauce freezes well for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. I recommend freezing the sauce on its own and making tofu as you are ready to eat it.
Note: This recipe was originally shared July 11th, 2019. It was updated on April 5th, 2021 with new photos, a video and more tips. The recipe remains the same.