Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

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Big plate of Crispy Tofu over cauliflower rice for a healthy GF vegan dinner

One bite in and I knew I hit the jackpot with this one. If you’ve been in search of the perfect crispy, baked tofu recipe, this is the one for you! I’m so excited to share this with you guys I can hardly stand it. Let’s do this!

Chopped head of cauliflower with part of it turned into Cauliflower Rice

For starters, this dish is served over cauliflower “rice” instead of regular rice because 1) Cruciferous veg for the win, and 2) You can eat an ENTIRE head of cauliflower instead of 1/2 cup of rice and STILL only consume a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates, so why not?!

Cauliflower rice is SO simple and you absolutely must try it! It doesn’t pass completely as rice since the textures and flavors are slightly different. But it looks just like rice and in my opinion, tastes even better as it absorbs the sauce perfectly and takes WAY less time to cook.

Baking sheet of Baked Crispy Tofu and a plate of it served over cauliflower rice

You guys know the deal: My favorite way to crisp up tofu is pre-baking it before sauteing – a little trick I picked up at a vegetarian cafe in San Antonio (Yes, I hounded the waitress for the technique – you’re welcome). This gives it that crisp outer edge and perfectly tender center.

Plate of cauliflower rice and bok choy topped with Easy Crispy Baked Tofu

Once your tofu is baked, add it to your sauce, which acts as an all-in-one marinade and sauce for the cauliflower rice, veggies and for serving! It wears many hats and it’s oh-so delicious and Thai-inspired. Once your tofu is marinated, it’s ready for a quick stir fry to give it that perfectly golden brown, crisp, mega-flavorful coating. Then all that’s left to do is saute up your veggie of choice – baby bok choy for the win – and your cauliflower rice!

Chopsticks resting on a plate of cauliflower rice, bok choy, and Easy Crispy Tofu with Peanut Glaze

All in all this dish takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, which is a little longer than I prefer. But the pay off is so worth it! Plus, it only requires 8 ingredients – many of which you likely already have on hand. You’re going to love this dish! It’s

Savory
Satisfying
Super Peanut-y
Perfectly sweet
SUPER flavorful
Packed with veggies
Entirely vegan + gluten-free (with GF soy sauce)
& Perfect for a night in

I made this dish and ate half, then reheated the leftovers the next day and I swear it got better! I love it when that happens. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did. Cheers!

Plate of Peanut Glazed Crispy Baked Tofu over cauliflower rice and bok choy

NOTE: Recipe updated 11/6/20 for improved tofu texture and creamier peanut sauce.

Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

Crispy tofu that's baked, not fried, and tossed in a 5-ingredient peanut glaze! Serve over cauliflower rice with sautéed veggies for a flavorful meal that's entirely vegan + gluten free!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Chopsticks resting on a plate of Crispy Peanut Tofu over Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry
4.84 from 332 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2
Course Entree
Cuisine Asian-Inspired, Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Indonesian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

TOFU

  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu (organic & non-GMO if possible)

SAUCE

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free // or sub coconut aminos but use more as it's less salty)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce

CAULIFLOWER RICE

  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced // 2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp or 6 g)
  • 1-2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free // or sub coconut aminos but use more as it's less salty)

VEGGIES optional

  • 1 cup thinly sliced baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, or broccoli
  • 1 dash sesame oil
  • 1 dash tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free // or sub coconut aminos but use more as it's less salty)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • If your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down. Then drain your tofu and use a tofu press or wrap in an absorbent towel several times and place something heavy on top to press for 15-20 minutes.
  • Once pressed, slice tofu into roughly 1/2-inch cubes and arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Ensure they aren't touching so they will crisp up. Bake for 20-25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu. NOTE: At 20 minutes, the tofu should be chewy, and at 25 minutes, the tofu should be more crispy. Bake according to preference.
  • In the meantime, prepare sauce by adding peanut butter, sesame oil, tamari, maple syrup, and chili garlic sauce to a medium mixing bowl and whisking until combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili garlic sauce for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, or tamari for saltiness.
  • Add baked tofu to the peanut sauce and toss to coat. Let marinate for 10-15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.
  • In the meantime, prepare cauliflower rice by using a large grater or the grater attachment on a food processor. Set aside. Mince garlic if you haven’t already done so, and wash and slice any veggies you want to add to the dish (optional).
  • Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sesame oil (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering serving size), cauliflower rice, garlic, and tamari. Stir and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender. Transfer to a serving platter.
  • If adding any veggies to your dish (optional), cook them now in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of tamari until just tender. Add to the cauliflower rice.
  • To the preheated pan, add the marinated tofu with most of the sauce (reserving a few spoonfuls for serving). Cook, stirring frequently for ~3 minutes until browned. The sauce will caramelize and may stick to the pan a bit – this is normal and adds more flavor to the dish. Stir with spatula, scraping up any caramelized bits. Then transfer tofu to the cauliflower rice platter.
  • Serve with any leftover sauce. Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*Tofu method adapted from my Tofu That Tastes Good Stir Fry.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*Learn more about the history of stir fries here, and the origins of peanut sauce here.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 525 Carbohydrates: 29.1 g Protein: 32 g Fat: 36.2 g Saturated Fat: 6.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8.26 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1351 mg Potassium: 911 mg Fiber: 4.8 g Sugar: 18.5 g Vitamin A: 0.27 IU Vitamin C: 64.8 mg Calcium: 707.2 mg Iron: 6.09 mg

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  1. adriana says

    Made this tonight and it was excellent. Used reg soy sauce, baby bok choy, red/grn bell peppers, grn onions, and canned baby corn. Will def make again, tysm for posting it.

  2. Ivy says

    The sauce is so delicious, you may be tempted to drink it! I loved this dish, especially the crispy baked tofu. I added some grated fresh ginger to the sauce. I didn’t have bok choy, but I had spinach, leek, zucchini and a few leftover mushrooms that needed to be used. These veggies, added to the cauliflower rice, really worked. I sautéed and seasoned as I went, with the riced cauliflower being the last ingredient I added. My husband (who loves his meat) had three helpings and said that he could have easily mistaken this for chicken and rice. Lastly, this recipe has the right amount of texture, sweet, and a kick from the chili paste.

  3. CYNDY says

    Delicious! My family is trying to eat more vegetarian and this was a hit. I added a teaspoon of garlic to the peanut sauce and found I had to add a little more sesame oil then called for. Baking the tofu was what really elevated this dish and then stirfrying it in the peanut sauce until it caramelized- amazing!
    I rated this recipe 4 stars instead of 5 because I struggled with cooking the bok choy and had to look up how to cook it from another recipe.

  4. Kaz J says

    Yummo! I used frozen cauliflower rice as a shortcut. Finished the dish off with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime juice. Definitely going to make this one again!

  5. Diane says

    This is absolutely delicious. We just devoured the entire meal. Sadly no leftovers. Baking the tofu this way is so easy and it came out nice and crispy. In the past I have coated with corn starch. No need to do this any longer. The peanut sauce is perfect, the cauliflower rice was a nice change and I roasted some bok choy to go with. Thank you for a great dinner recipe. Loved it!!

  6. Becky Fujioka says

    It was good! I toasted the tofu as per the recipe, but I think it could just be left untoasted. I enjoyed the peanut flavor and the stir-fried cauliflower was an interesting taste addition. This recipe reminds me of the mapo dofu mixes we have here in Japan. Those are miso-based with fermented black soy bean sauce.

  7. Ellie says

    Loved this! Added a bit of cayenne, Chinese five spice, garlic powder, sweet chili sauce and korean chili sauce since I didn’t have garlic chili sauce recipe calls for. Was excellent and will definitely make again!

  8. Kristen says

    Omg this was terrific!! You’re killing me with these recipes! I made this sauce tonight to pour over roasted cauliflower florets and tempeh. I didn’t have chili garlic sauce, so I used sriracha and it came out great.

    Next time I’ll remember to roast the garlic with the cauliflower instead of adding it to thee sauce, but it’s still amazing. Excuse me while I go down a head of cauliflower and a package of tempeh…by myself….

  9. Francheska says

    I love this recipe and am now making it regularly although wish there was a low salt alternative to the Tamari as am worried about my blood pressure

  10. Mo says

    This recipe turned out amazing! My 14 year old daughter is a vegetarian so I’m always looking for delicious nutritious recipes and this one hit the mark! I used bok choy and green onions for the veggies and together with the cauliflower rice and tofu, it was quite filling! We have some left overs which my daughter has claimed for tomorrow night’s dinner! 😀

  11. Trina says

    Made this tonight. We enjoyed it very much. Used almond butter, tripled the sauce to have some for another meal and served with book choy. Very good and quick.
    Thank you,
    Trina

  12. ELEANOR says

    Wow! Amazing. Absolutely fabulous recipe! I used coconut aminos so added a dash of salt, adding more aminos would have made it too sweet. Equally so, I wasn’t sure what chilli and garlic sauce was so used sirracha…half a cauliflower was ample “rice” too.
    Can’t wait to make this again. Thank you for the recipe ☺️

  13. Jaymie says

    This dish was so amazing that my husband said he thinks it’s the best dish I made in over 30 years of marriage! The only thing I changed was using almond butter instead of peanut butter.
    Thank you so so much Dana for all of your wonderful recipes and for sharing them!
    I look forward to another great recipe to make for supper tomorrow night!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wow! That is incredible, Jaymie! We are so glad you enjoy our recipes! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! xoxo

      • Judith says

        This recipe is part of our regular rotation & we love it! I’ve passed it on to several vegetarian friends who concur. My husband finds that the cauliflower rice isn’t substantial enough to fill him up, so I tend to bulk it up with equal amounts of cooked quinoa or rice. If I’m pressed for time, I might use a store-bought peanut satay sauce (eg PC Blue Menu) plus a tsp of crushed hot chili pepper sauce. Yum!

  14. Arya says

    Delicious!! the sauce is YUM! this is my first time eating cauliflower rice and it wasn’t my favorite, next time i will simply roast some veggies on the side!

    • nicole says

      I loved this recipe.It says it makes 2 servings but it fed 3 with enough leftovers for 1. It was easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner. I added baby bok choy, red pepper, bean sprouts and snow peas. My husband says he doesn’t like tofu but he really enjoyed this. Even my 12 year old picky eater had seconds. Next time I would double the amount of tofu and sauce to go with all the cauliflower and veggies.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Nicole. We are so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  15. Tara says

    Soooooo delicious! I modified this a bit, as I baked a double batch of the tofu ahead of time and put it in the fridge for other recipes. I added lime juice and garlic to the sauce and the flavor was fantastic! No weird flavor from baking and refrigerating the tofu before I marinated and sautéed it. I served with whole grain brown rice and sauteed some frozen veggies and added the extra sauce. Mmmmm I will be making this often! Thank you so much!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Tara. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  16. serane says

    I tried the tofu (180g tofu, 1tbsp almond butter, 1tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce, 1tsp olek, 2g maple syrup (!), 1tbsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp lime juice) and it was the best tofu i ever ate. An absolute dream!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Serane! xo

  17. Valentina says

    Scrumptious recipe! I used frozen cauliflower rice to made it quicker, and added bok choy, mushrooms, and bell pepper strips. Healthy and delicious. I will be making it again!

  18. Jujubee says

    This recipe is one of my family’s all time faves.
    We also make it for guests it’s that good.
    I did notice when I made it last night the sauce consistency was different.

    Any chance you could share the original sauce directions? Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoy it! The original sauce recipe was:
      1 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
      1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (tamari for GF eaters)
      1/4 cup light brown sugar (or honey if not vegan)
      1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
      2 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter (natural, salted)

  19. Kelly says

    Hello! I noticed that in the video you use brown sugar; should I use that instead of maple syrup? And how much? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kelly, we originally used brown sugar, but prefer maple syrup here. If using brown sugar, it would be the same amount. Let us know how it goes!

  20. Renee Kraus says

    This is one of our stable recipes! We have been making it almost every week for the last few years. It is very good with almond butter subbed for peanut butter (how we prefer it). We have also used the sauce on tempeh, baked, marinated, and sautéed in the same way. You cannot go wrong!

      • Cam says

        My partner loves peanut sauce, so I tried this recipe. Made with some broccoli, perfect. I love how the tofu turns out when you bake it first.
        We both loved it and would definitely try again.

  21. Sondi says

    This recipe is AMAZING! I made the peanut sauce as instructed and it is delicious. I have been cooking more with meatless options lately and kept having a soggy tofu issue until your technique of baking followed by pan frying. This recipe is truly a game-changer for me and will definitely be apart of my meal rotation! Thanks!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed the peanut sauce and tofu method, Sondi. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  22. Lina says

    Me and the fam loved this!
    Made some rice for my husband and daughter and gobbled the caulirice myself.
    I used 1,5 times the sauce and would recommend everyone else doing the same so you have some extra sauce to drizzle over rice/caulirice.

  23. Katie says

    I’m always skeptical of tofu but this recipe is absolutely delicious! The texture of the tofu is meat-like and the sauce is salty, sweet, and spicy. This will become a staple in my meal rotations. Thank you!!

  24. Lisa Lee says

    As a new tofu eater I wanted to combine my new love tofu and my favourite peanut satay sauce and your recipe did not fail!

    The trick is to cook the sauce and it becomes sweeter and beautiful with a stir fry!

    I also still have loads of tofu left to be marinated! Week meals = Epic!

  25. Megan says

    I did brown rice, because cauliflower rice never leaves me feeling satisfied. Also did mushrooms, red onion, celery and bell pepper for the veggies. I followed everything else as directed. My 2.5 year old gobbled down the tofu & my 5 year old ate all his veggies and rice! Husband is warming up to tofu as something we have in place of meat a few nights a week. Love getting new ways to season and prepare it! ❤️

  26. Nadia says

    I swapped in sun butter for the peanut butter and it was delicious. Followed the directions and ingredients otherwise except I turned the oven to convect for the last 5 minutes. Loved how crispy and flavorful the tofu turned out!

  27. Lynn says

    Love this! It was so delicious. I followed the recipe except for the rice cauliflower. I forgot the cauliflower at the grocery store but had a prepackaged brown rice pack so I used that. I wanted to eat the whole thing but saved enough to have another serving or two. I’ll definitely make this again and soon! So good!

  28. Carrie says

    Hello, does the Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower bowl recipe really have 36.2 grams of fat per serving? Or is that a misprint? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carrie, that is accurate, but it’s for a large serving. You can reduce it by decreasing the sesame oil. Hope that helps.

  29. Geo says

    The baked tofu works great for making tofu pad Thai instead of using plain, bland tofu. I used cashew butter instead of peanut butter it was delish.

      • Tina K says

        I am usually not a tofu fan but I just loved this. I didn’t have cauliflower rice just used leftover regular rice and kept it plan. Also I used frozen veggies. It was a hit!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed this one, Tina. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

    • Boze says

      I made it tofu exactly as recipe said and it’s definitely rubbery. ? Don’t understand why? Rest was very tasty though

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi, so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the texture! It sounds like it may have gotten overcooked. That can happen if the pieces are cut too small, if the tofu has been previously frozen, or it’s otherwise extra dry before cooking. Hope that helps for next time!

  30. Hannah says

    Oh wow…this recipe…perfection. I have been on a real tofu kick recently and this recipe is a winner—and my whole family agrees! I have been loving making some extra sauce to pour over leftovers (I have made this recipe probably around 5 times now) but am wondering how long the sauce might be good for if stored in the fridge?

      • Megan says

        Another delicious recipe! I used broccoli, celery, and bok choy, and added a cup of cooked brown rice to the cauliflower rice + garlic, for some extra texture and heft. Tofu caramelized so terrifically, sauce was on point, I will make this again!

  31. Rebecca says

    Before cooking the riced cauliflower, I sauteed the greens from the head of cauliflower in the sesame oil and garlic. I added a little more garlic before adding the cauliflower to the pan.

    I already said this on a different recipe, but this peanut sauce is fantastic!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Love the resourcefulness with using the cauliflower greens. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!

  32. Lindsey says

    I made this almost exactly as written, except I didn’t feel like dirtying another kitchen appliance so I just finely chopped the cauliflower. So good! Even my meat-loving boyfriend loved it!

  33. Julia says

    Made this on NYE, enjoyed it so much that I made it again tonight (4 January). I used broccoli as the veg and added a squirt of lime on top, but for the record ate the left over tofu dipped in leftover sauce, cold, the next day, it’s that delicious!

  34. Dora says

    We really like all your tofu recipes but I only made this one tonight for the first time and it is gorgeous! The smallest thing I added to the peanut sauce is a squeeze of lime and some fresh grated ginger. Loving the prebake method of cooking tofu. Will make this regularly. :)

  35. Laura Laudick says

    We absolutely LOVE this recipe and make it at least once or twice a month. I just noticed tonight the recipe changed a bit – and this updated version is definitely a bit more streamlined, and I like the adjustments to the sauce (the new version has less soy sauce and less sugar, and more spice!). I always add lime juice (about 1/2 a lime) to the peanut sauce which gives it a nice tangy-ness. Our favorite veggies with it are baby bok choy, baby broccoli (or regular broccoli), red bell pepper and green onion. SO TASTY! One thing I miss from the old version is putting some sauce in the cauliflower rice to coat – so I think I will do that again for next time. We LOVE Dana’s recipes!

  36. Emily says

    This recipe is in our regular rotation, we love it so much.
    I went to prepare tonight and noticed the sauce has changed a bit. Do you have a link to the original recipe for future reference?
    Tonight I’ll try it the new way and see if anyone notices ;)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks for sharing. Emily, the original sauce recipe was:
      1 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
      1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (tamari for GF eaters)
      1/4 cup light brown sugar (or honey if not vegan)
      1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
      2 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter (natural, salted)