This tofu buddha bowl recipe is full of delicious ingredients and flavors! It’s made with crispy baked tofu, broccoli, carrots, and brown rice, all smothered in a spicy peanut sauce. Serve this vegan recipe for lunch or dinner.
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This new dish is my first recipe with tofu on the blog! I have to admit that I’m really not a big tofu eater. But over the past few months, I’ve started experimenting with this protein-packed ingredient.
What I learned is that tofu can be super delicious if it’s prepared well. Crispy tofu is definitely the best preparation if you ask me! I always enjoy it in restaurant dishes, but I didn’t know how to create it on my own.
After some trial and error, I think I figured it out. Of course, then I wanted to create a recipe that used crispy tofu, so all of you could enjoy this yummy ingredient too! That’s how this tofu buddha bowl came together.
If you’re not familiar with buddha bowls, they’re vegan or vegetarian meals made with whole grains, legumes or another protein source, and veggies. A yummy sauce is also involved, and I chose a spicy peanut sauce for this dish! Buddha bowls are great for a quick meal and can be made ahead of time as part of meal prep.
How to Make a Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl
Scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredients and instructions. In the meantime, here’s a preview of the recipe followed by expert tips.
- Prep the tofu. Start by pressing the tofu to remove excess water. Usually, I let the tofu sit for about 20 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into cubes, then place it in a bowl or container with a lid. Drizzle the cubes with olive oil and soy sauce, put the lid on the container, then gently shake until the cubes are well-coated. Open the container, sprinkle the cubes with cornstarch, put the lid back on, and gently shake again.
- Transfer the prepared tofu cubes to a baking sheet. Spread them out in a single layer, and add the broccoli florets to the sheet too. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tofu is browned and crispy.
- In the meantime, prep the brown rice, shredded carrots, and peanut sauce.
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Then, drizzle your tofu buddha bowl with the peanut sauce!
Tips for Making Crispy Tofu
The first steps in making a crispy tofu buddha bowl are buying extra or super firm tofu and getting rid of as much water from the block of tofu as possible. If you have a tofu press, use that, but you can also create a makeshift one. I put the block of tofu in between two plates and then stack cookbooks on top. This works very well.
If you let the tofu sit for at least 20 minutes in the press, you should see a good amount of water on the plate. Drain this water, then take the block of tofu in between your hands and squeeze it with your palms to get out any leftover water.
I’ve also heard, from readers and other bloggers, that freezing tofu then letting it thaw releases more of the water in the block. I have yet to try this method, but please report back if you do!
After you squeeze out the water, you will want to cut the tofu into cubes and then coat them in olive oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Here’s how to do that:
- Use a bowl or container with a lid, such as large glass Pyrex bowl with its lid.
- Place the cubes in the bowl. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the cubes as evenly as possible. Put the lid on the bowl, and gently shake. Repeat with the soy sauce.
- Once they are as evenly coated as possible in the liquid, sprinkle the cornstarch as evenly as you can over the cubes. Put the lid on the bowl, and gently shake again.
Prep Ahead and Storage Tips
This peanut tofu buddha bowl recipe can be made in advance. You can either store the bowl components in separate containers or assemble a few bowls and store them that way. The separate ingredients will probably last longer than the fully assembled bowls, but either way they will keep for at least a few days in the fridge.
If you love this spicy peanut tofu buddha bowl, check out my other bowl recipes. You may enjoy the Cauliflower al Pastor Bowls, Sweet Potato Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls, Healthy Chicken Fajita Bowls, and Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts and Chickpea Bowls.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Spicy Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl
For the bowls
- Remove the tofu from its package. If you have a tofu press, put the block of tofu in there. If not, place the tofu in between two plates, then stack books on top of the plates to create a makeshift press. Let the tofu sit in the press for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour to remove excess water. There should be a good amount of water that drains out onto the plate. After letting the tofu sit, take it between your hands and squeeze it with your palms over a plate or the sink. This is a good last step to take to remove any extra water.
- In the meantime, prep the other ingredients. Make the rice if needed. I like to use microwaveable packets of brown rice that you can get in the freezer section at grocery stores. You can make the rice a few days in advance, too. Prep the veggies. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- When the tofu is finished draining, slice it into slabs and then into cubes. Place the tofu cubes in a glass bowl or a container that has a lid (like a glass Pyrex bowl with a lid). Try to use a large bowl or container, so that the cubes aren't all on top of each other. Drizzle a tablespoon of the olive oil over the cubes as evenly as possible. Put the lid on the container, then gently shake to coat the cubes. Repeat this step with the soy sauce. Finally, sprinkle the cornstarch on the cubes as evenly as possible, put the lid on the container, and gently shake again.
- Spread the cubes out in a single layer in the center of the lined baking sheet. Toss the broccoli florets in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the florets out around the tofu on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tofu is browned and crispy and the broccoli is cooked.
- While the ingredients are baking, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, red curry paste, lime juice, and garlic. Add a small amount of water, about a tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.
- When all of the ingredients are ready, arrange the bowls by combining some tofu, broccoli, rice, carrots, and peanuts. Drizzle with peanut sauce to taste, and enjoy!
- These bowls can be prepped a few days ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Store the ingredients and sauce in separate containers to keep them as fresh as possible, but you can also just assemble the bowls and store them like that too. They should last for a few days. You can enjoy them hot or cold.
Happy tofu-eating! – Lizzie