Baked Italian Herb Tofu Recipe + How To Press Tofu Like a Champ (2024)

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I am going to confess something really shameful to you right now. When I decided to make this recipe, I realized that the dried rosemary in my pantry was 12 years old. Escandalo! If my rosemary were a person, she would have Justin Bieber posters in her room and be sass-mouthing me when I ask her to do her chores. Herbs! They grow up so fast! I think you're supposed to keep dried herbs for a year, so this is pretty embarrassing. In my defense, I hardly ever use dried rosemary in my cooking. Which is good because when I opened it up, it smelled like dust and nothing instead of smelling like rosemary.

Whenever I post a tofu recipe, people ask me how to press it. There are some cooking techniques that I never know if I should take the time to explain because I'm not sure if people know about them already. I don't want you guys to be like, "Duh, thanks, I knew that." But I don't want you to be confused either! So I thought I'd post another baked tofu recipe and explain how to press tofu. Then when I post a tofu recipe in the future, I can link back here.


In my opinion, the best way to press tofu is with a tofu press (which you can read about here). But pressing tofu with a tofu press is self-explanatory and if you have a tofu press, odds are, you know how to use it. So if you don't have a tofu press, all you need to do is:

1. Take two paper towels and fold them in half and in half again.

2. Place one of the folded towels on a cutting board. Make sure the cutting board is on a surface that can get wet, like your countertop.

3. Take the tofu out of the package, drain off the water, and put it on top of the first paper towel.

4. Put the second paper towel on top of the tofu.

5. Place something heavy on top--either a plate, another cutting board, or a skillet. I usually put additional weights on top of that too. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed or the plate/skillet/cutting board will fall off, usually smashing one side of your tofu in the process.

6. Let this sit for 30 minutes. You can change out the paper towels once or twice if needed.

Is this worth it? HECK YES IT IS WORTH IT. When you press out all that tofu water, the tofu can better absorb the flavors you add to it. Even if a recipe doesn't call for me to press my tofu, I still press it. I can't stress enough how important this is.


So this gave me a good excuse to make Baked Italian Herb Tofu, which had been on my to-make list for a while. I used to buy it, but they stopped selling it locally, which was a bummer. This tofu is simple to make and it's a delicious addition to pasta, sandwiches, and salads. You can bake the slices for 30 minutes, which results in tofu that's soft and golden brown in color, or you can bake them for a full 40 minutes, which makes the tofu browned and chewy.

Recipe

Baked Italian Herb Tofu Recipe + How To Press Tofu Like a Champ (5)

Baked Italian Herb Tofu

This easy baked tofu is perfect for adding to salads, pasta, and sandwiches!

Total Time: 1 hour hour 10 minutes minutes

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: Baked Italian Herb Tofu, baked tofu, tofu recipe

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 95kcal

Author: Oh My Veggies

Ingredients

US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, oil, water, vinegar, garlic powder, herbs, and pepper in a small baking dish. Place the tofu slices in the baking dish and marinate for 30 minutes, turning the slices over after 15 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Transfer the tofu slices to a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Rub any remaining marinade onto the tofu and season with a few sprinkles of salt. For softer baked tofu, bake for 30 minutes; for chewier tofu, bake for 40 minutes. Flip the tofu over halfway through cooking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 2gCalories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 544mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg

Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, including our new Vegan Thanksgiving and Vegan Christmas cookbooks!

Baked Italian Herb Tofu Recipe + How To Press Tofu Like a Champ (2024)

FAQs

How do you press tofu? ›

Wrap the block of tofu in a clean tea towel then put it on a large plate with a lip. Put something heavy such as a frying pan on top, weight it down further with cans and jars, and leave for 30 mins. The tofu will be about two-thirds its original thickness, and up to 100ml water will have been removed.

How do you press tofu without paper towels? ›

Place heavily-weighted objects on the top sheet pan. A few 28-ounce cans or a heavy bowl full of onions are a great choice. Try to space the weight across the surface for even pressing. Press the tofu for 30 minutes, ideally, or up to 1 hour.

How long to press tofu before marinating? ›

While not necessary for all recipes, pressing tofu is a common step to improve its overall texture and taste. How long to press tofu? Pressing tofu can take up to one hour. The longer it's pressed, the more moisture will be drawn out, making it a better consistency for recipes that call for marinades.

Why isn't my tofu getting crispy in the oven? ›

Why won't my tofu get crisp? This could likely be a result of not drying out the tofu enough to drain out the extra moisture. It's also possible that your oven temperature is not hot enough. Make sure it's preheated and heat the pan in the oven for extra crispness.

How do you know if tofu is pressed enough? ›

Depending on how the product is packaged and marketed, it may have some of the moisture already squeezed out of it. Firm and extra-firm tofu is still moist but has been pressed enough that the tofu holds its shape fairly well.

Do you have to press tofu before baking? ›

Do You Need to Press Tofu? Not all types of tofu need to be pressed. For example, Japanese-style silken tofu and Chinese-style soft tofu are not pressed. Firm and extra-firm tofu, which is typically sliced or cubed, should be pressed.

How do you press tofu quickly without a press? ›

Wrap the tofu block in paper towels and place it on a shallow plate. Grab a heavy pan like a cast iron and place it on top of the wrapped tofu. Place a few cans inside the pan and gently press down with your hands. Be careful not to press too hard where the block splits or breaks.

How long should tofu be pressed? ›

For the best results, I recommend pressing tofu for at least 30 minutes before cooking, though longer is great if you're able to plan ahead. In a pinch, even less time can make a big difference. I pressed the left block of tofu in the photo above for just 20 minutes. An unpressed block of tofu is on the right.

What happens if you don't press tofu? ›

And if tofu is vacuumed packed or firm already, you definitely don't need to press it. Here's why: moisture in tofu is a good thing. Tofu is over 80% water, and that moisture is what makes it such a succulent, juicy source of protein. Pressing it can make the tofu unnecessarily dry and strip it of its intended texture.

Can you press tofu too long? ›

Can you over-press tofu? You don't have to worry about over-pressing tofu when you follow instructions, and only do it when the recipe calls for it. If you press tofu for recipes when you don't really have to, it can result in crumbly and even mushy tofu.

Do you have to refrigerate tofu while pressing it? ›

You do not need to refrigerate the tofu while pressing, although you can if you have space. Just make sure your pressing and marinating time comes in under 2 hours if you're not refrigerating during that time.

What not to mix with tofu? ›

What to not serve with tofu? According to studies, a high volume consumption of tofu and spinach together can increase your risk of kidney stones. Tofu and spinach contain calcium and oxalic acid respectively and the combined can form kidney stones.

What not to do with tofu? ›

Once you find what you're doing incorrectly, your next batch of tofu dishes might come out right.
  1. Not seasoning your tofu. ...
  2. Choosing the wrong tofu for the recipe you're making. ...
  3. Only thinking about tofu as a meat substitute. ...
  4. Not using enough salt. ...
  5. Forgetting to use nutritional yeast. ...
  6. Not pressing your tofu before cooking it.
Jan 21, 2024

Why is my baked tofu rubbery? ›

Why does tofu get rubbery? Because it was probably overcooked, it was probably exposed to too much heat. I don't know if it was roasted baked air fried or sauteed, but when it becomes, uh, overcooked, it's gonna get very, very tough.

How do you press tofu without a presser? ›

There are several methods for how to press tofu without a tofu press. My favorite is simple: you just need a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and a cast-iron skillet. Wrap the tofu block in the kitchen towel, and place it on a flat surface. The towel will absorb much of the excess liquid the tofu releases.

Is pressing tofu worth it? ›

A block of tofu is like a big saturated sponge: Blotting it dry with towels may help the surface crisp and brown, but using pressure to squeeze out the water from the interior produces firmer, chewier, denser, creamier pieces that don't fall apart as you're cooking.

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