BLACKENED TOFU WITH SAUTEED KALE & QUINOA
Blackened Tofu seared with a spicy cajun-creole style seasoning and served with savory sauteed kale and quinoa makes a quick & easy weeknight or weekend meal ready in 30 minutes!
Blackened tofu features tender slabs of tofu dredged in a cajun style seasoning and cooked until blackened and crispy.
It pairs perfectly with this sauteed kale cooked with savory nutritional yeast and garlic. It’s my absolute favorite way of eating kale!
And then there’s quinoa, my favorite grain of all time, making an appearance and rounding out this meal with added fiber and protein.
Blackened tofu, sauteed kale and quinoa….I’m loving these Superfoods. :)
How To Make Blackened Tofu
- Start by slicing the tofu into 4 large slabs.
- Place the tofu slabs in a flat bottom dish with tamari, and let marinate while your making the seasoning blend.
- In a flat bottom bowl, add paprika, cornstarch, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and mineral salt.
- Mix the spices and herbs.
- Press the tofu into the mix, coating it well on all sides.
- Cook in flat bottom skillet until blackened and crispy on each side as shown below.
What Is The Best Tofu For This Recipe?
My favorite tofu for this blackened tofu recipe is super firm high protein tofu. It’s solid, making the texture firmer and ‘meaty’. Another plus, because it’s so solid it doesn’t need to be pressed, just open the package and cut into slabs. After trying firm, extra firm and high protein tofu (if available in your area), the latter wins hands down and makes a world of difference!
Why Is Cornstarch In The Seasoning?
Adding cornstarch to seasoning mix keeps the spices from clumping. And it helps the mixture stick to the tofu, creating a crust while cooking. If you don’t have it on hand, no worries you’ll be fine without it. I’ve made this several times without cornstarch with no issues.
What To Serve With Blackened Tofu?
This cajun inspired blackened tofu is pretty versatile and can be served with a variety of sides making it a complete & satisfying meal. Here are a few of my favorite serving suggestions:
- Veggies: Serve with a side of Sauteed Kale or Skillet Asparagus & Tomato Medley.
- Grain: Pair with a serving of quinoa, brown rice or rice pilaf.
- Pasta: Serve with Baked Mac & Cheese or Creamy Broccoli Pasta.
- Salad: Serve with classics like this Vegan Macaroni Salad, Vegan Potato Salad, or Vegan Coleslaw.
- Soup: Serve with a bowl of Kale, Quinoa + White Bean Soup or Split Pea Soup.
- Bread: It’s great with Vegan Cornbread or Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Blackened Roasted Cauliflower ‘Steaks’
- Grilled Tofu, Asparagus & Ginger Cauliflower Rice
- Portobello Fajitas (30 Minutes)
- Kung Pao Tofu
- Grilled Baja Tofu Tacos
If you make this easy tofu recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
CRISPY BLACKENED TOFU WITH KALE + QUINOA
Blackened Tofu with savory sauteed kale and quinoa makes a quick & easy weeknight or weekend meal!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 1 cup dried quinoa (I used tri-color from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt, to taste
- 1 block (14-16 oz) organic tofu, super firm (pref) or extra firm
- 2 tablespoons tamari, coconut amino’s or light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- chopped kale, I used 10oz organic package from Trader Joe’s
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water or veg broth
- salt, to taste
- Rinse your quinoa under cool running water to remove dust (if you forego this step your quinoa may have a bitter taste).
- In medium pot add quinoa, garlic powder pinch of salt and water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 min.
- Once done, uncover, stir and let set for 10 minutes to cool and soak up any excess water.
- Fluff before serving. It will be a perfect quinoa, fluffy and sprouted.
- Open and drain tofu.
- Slice tofu into 4 large slabs, or whatever size you prefer.
- Press tofu between paper towels or kitchen cloth to remove excess moisture.
- In a shallow dish place tofu and tamari and let set while mixing the blackening seasoning, turn after a few minutes to let the other side soak.
- In a flat bottomed medium size bowl, combine all spice blend ingredients and mix until blended. This is fairly spicy so you may consider using less black pepper and/or cayenne.
- Place tofu pieces in spice blend, press gently to get a good coating, turn and repeat on all sides.
- In saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, add coated tofu and cook 5 minutes on each side.
- In large wok or saute pan heat oil over medium heat, add kale and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle nutritional yeast and garlic powder over top, turning and moving the kale around to get all the spices mixed well throughout the kale.
- Continue stir frying for another four to 5 minutes, or until bright green and just wilted. You may leave a cover on for a minute here and there in between stir frying to help soften the kale. When kale turns bright green it’s about ready to be removed from heat. Test a piece and see if it’s too your liking, if not saute a little longer. Some may like it crisp and some may like it softer.
For a change, the blackened tofu would also be great with classic sides like this Vegan Macaroni Salad, Vegan Potato Salad or Vegan Cornbread.
Store: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, in a covered container.
Cornstarch is optional. It helps to keep the spices from clumping, and also works to help build up a crust on the surface of the tofu. But I’ve made this several times without it with great results.
Nutrition information is calculated using 1 tablespoon oil.
Keywords: blackened tofu, vegan tofu recipe
Updated: This Blackened Tofu recipe was originally published in August 2012. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in January 2020.
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Delicious & easy. I baked the tofu at 400 for 20 minutes instead of on the stove, turning once.
This is a winner. Doubled the recipe. Sauteed some red peppers and mushrooms before putting baby kale in the wok. Added a little water. The blackened tofu came out great, and went well with white quinoa that was made in the rice cooker. A little tricky to get the kale and tofu ready at the same time, but it worked! (I pressed firm tofu wrapped in paper towels for about 20-30 minutes, and it was a great consistency!)
We lived near New Orleans for a decade, so I’m a snob when it comes to this cuisine.
The recipe: This. Was. Amazing. And so easy. I think that we found a new favorite way to eat tofu. The sides were great too. Cooked up your vegan cornbread too. Another excellent recipe.
This was the first recipe I made of yours and I LOVED it! I served it on a rice and lentil blend. 3/4 cup cooked brown rice to 1/4 cup canned lentils instead of quinoa. I also choose to use some cooked, plain, chopped, broccoli florets (frozen, thawed, and water squeezed out) instead of the kale. Then I topped it off with the blackened tofu which I had cut into 6 slabs and then after cooking it, I chopped it into smaller cube size pieces. That way I could enjoy the lovely Cajun favor over everything. I reduced the thyme down to 1/2 tsp because I’m not a huge fan of that herb.
You’re right that the blackened tofu does have quite a kick to it but once it’s added to the rice and broccoli it had just the right amount of heat.
Dieters can delay the rate at which sugars in the circulation are absorbed by eating lentils with rice.
Delicious and worked great. Will never cook quinoa differently!
Tofu really good!!
Awesome! Works just as well with non-organic tofu!
Made it all tonight, delicious! We think the blackened tofu would also make a great taco filling. Thank you for sharing.
Made this for dinner tonight and it was so good! My husband even liked it and he never likes tofu.
Did this tonight and it was delicious! Thank you!
Wonderful! Thank you so much for stopping to share your thoughts. :)