I’ve always enjoyed tofu, but I didn’t make tofu scrambles until I started dating a vegan. I still eat eggs, but on weekends, I now look forward to our easygoing late-morning breakfasts of tofu scramble with slices of well-buttered (or plant-buttered) toast. Don’t get locked into breakfast though—tofu scramble makes a speedy at-home lunch, or a handy weeknight “brinner.”
Think of tofu scramble as a hearty yet healthy dish in its own right, and not a second-class stand in for eggs. Tofu scramble takes minutes to make, utilizes ingredients you have on hand, and is packed with protein.
Is Tofu Scramble Vegan?
Yes! Tofu scramble got a bad rap as bland hippy food back in the days when a lot of vegan cooking was, well, bland hippy food. Tofu is pretty neutral in flavor, but it easily absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients. So when you jazz it up with onion and brightly colored fresh veggies, the taste profile is dynamic and welcoming.
I’m adding a pinch of turmeric to our scramble, which gives it an appealing gold color. The turmeric is optional, though. I also add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to mimic a cheesy flavor.
The Best Tofu for Scrambles
Firm or extra firm tofu, which holds its shape when cooked, is customary. Even though silken tofu will give you the most egg-like texture, it’s not what most people use for tofu scrambles.
I don’t recommend using pre-packed baked tofu, which will be too dry.
Tips and Tricks for Tofu Scramble
This is not the kind of dish where you are aiming for crispy-edged tofu. So you don’t need to press extra liquid out of the tofu first—it’s an extra step not in keeping with the quick appeal of the recipe. I prefer to cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes, but the recipe below crumbles the tofu to resemble scrambled eggs.
Adding a little lemon juice at the end really perks up the flavor. Don’t skip it! If you don’t have lemon juice, do a light sprinkle of apple cider vinegar.
What Is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a pale yellow powder used to add a delightfully cheesy vibe to recipes without adding actual cheese. It’s fortified with B vitamins that vegetarians and vegans can’t easily get from food sources. Nutritional yeast is heat-dried, so it’s deactivated and cannot to be used for leavening. It’s handy to have around, and it keeps for ages.
You can skip the nutritional yeast in this scramble—I usually do, in fact, because I typically load my tofu scramble with a ton of veggies that contribute their own character. But I’m using it here because it’s a shortcut to flavor, and an asset to a minimalist’s tofu scramble.
Swaps, Subs, and Add-Ons
Tofu scrambles were made for improvisation! Dress up your scramble and clean out the fridge in one fell swoop.
- Use a shallot instead of the onion.
- Add minced fresh garlic or a little garlic powder.
- Add diced sun-dried tomatoes or diced fresh tomatoes.
- Use kale, chard, or bits of broccoli instead of the spinach.
- Add chopped mushrooms.
- Add leftover diced cooked potato or sweet potato and make it a tofu hash.
More Ways to Love Tofu
Spinach Tofu Scramble
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 (about 1/2 cup) yellow onion, diced
1 pound firm or extra firm tofu packed in water, drained well
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Cook the onion:
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; when it ripples, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the tofu and seasonings:
Use your fingers to crumble the drained tofu into bite-sized pieces. You can do this directly over the skillet.
Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and turmeric, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is hot, about 3 minutes. You’re not aiming to brown the tofu here, but if that happens a little, it’s not an issue.
Add the spinach, wilt, and finish with lemon juice:
Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the scramble. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Leftover tofu scramble will keep in a tightly covered container up to four days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 8g||29%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 26mg||128%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|