Try Crispy Baked Tofu Bowls with sweet potatoes and kale for a hearty and satisfying vegan dinner.
What's the one meal you always go back to when you're not sure what else to make?
For me, it's grain bowls. I won't take just any ho-hum combination, though.
Then, I finish all of that off with a flavorful maple-turmeric sauce.
Yep. You could say this bowl has it all.
This Baked Tofu Bowl is the type of meal I could (and probably will) eat over and over again throughout the fall and winter seasons. It's warm, comforting, and still packed with nutrition.
With a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fats, this isn't one of those vegan meals that leave you hanging. Enough to fill you up and keep you going without giving up all the best of this season's flavors.
What's not to love?
For me, these Baked Tofu Bowls are just right for a comforting weeknight dinner. I make a version of this recipe whenever I need to use up veggies or leftovers. Grain bowls are also convenient to pack for lunch since you can prep all or parts of the recipe in advance. You can't go wrong with this one!
This vegan grain bowl has five main components:
- Farro for a hearty base
- One batch of Crispy Baked Tofu (but you may want to prep more—it's that good)
- Sautéed sweet potatoes and kale (sub in squash or another seasonal veggie if you want)
- A drizzle of maple-turmeric vinaigrette sauce
- Toasted pecans and tart dried cherries for topping
How to Cook Farro
I like to cook farro the same way I make pasta.
First, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Add dry farro and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook until the farro is tender but still has a little chewy bite. You should reach this point after about 15-20 minutes. Cook the farro longer if you want it to have a softer feel.
Once the farro is ready, drain out the excess water, fluff the grains with a fork, and set aside.
How to Make Crispy Tofu
I shared all the details for making crispy tofu in a previous post, but I'll give you another brief rundown here in case you missed it.
First, press the tofu and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk oil, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Then, chop the tofu into pieces.
Brush (or gently toss) the tofu pieces with the sauce. Once all of the tofu is evenly coated, spread the pieces on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven.
I usually bake tofu for about 30 minutes total, but I break it down into three steps, setting a timer for each so I don't forget.
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Flip the tofu pieces over and bake another 10 minutes
- Stir the tofu pieces gently and bake another 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are brown and crispy
Once the tofu is cooked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool while you make the rest of the bowl components.
Next, whisk the sauce.
Just whisk melted coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, cumin, turmeric, maple syrup, soy sauce, and garlic powder and you're good to go.
Then, sauté the vegetables:
First, melt coconut oil in a 12-inch fry pan that has a lid.
Stir in onion and ginger and cook 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Stir in sweet potatoes, cover the frypan with the lid, and cook 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes or so. Add additional oil and adjust the heat on the burner as needed to prevent the vegetables from burning or sticking to the pan.
After 10 minutes, or whenever the sweet potatoes are softened and beginning to brown on the edges, stir in kale and cook 5 more minutes.
In the end, the sweet potatoes should be tender and cooked all the way through, and the kale will be wilted and darker in color.
It'll look something like this:
Once the veggies are cooked, all the main components of these Baked Tofu Bowls are finished, but I also like to add a couple of optional toppings to seal the deal: toasted pecans and dried cherries.
How to Make Toasted Pecans:
I like to prep the toasted pecans ahead of time so they're already ready to go for bowls, oatmeal, and snacks. You can also toast the pecans right before you make the crispy tofu.
Just preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit first.
Then, spread pecan halves on a rimmed baking sheet and bake about 7 minutes, or until they have a strong, nutty aroma. Check the nuts often in the final minutes. They can burn easily.
How to Serve This Recipe
Now, each component of these Baked Tofu Harvest Bowls is ready to go and it's time to assemble.
Divide the cooked farro, sautéed sweet potatoes and kale, and crispy tofu pieces between bowls. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with toasted pecans and dried cherries or cranberries if you want. (Trust me, you want.)
Assembling is where you can really let your creativity shine. Your bowl doesn't have to look exactly like mine.
Can you make this recipe gluten-free?
This recipe is already naturally vegan and dairy-free, but you can also make a couple of really simple substitutions so it's gluten-free, too.
Substitute brown rice (or your favorite gluten-free grain) for the farro. You could also omit the grain completely and add extra sweet potato to replace the missing carbs and fiber.
Instead of soy sauce (which usually contains wheat), use gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos. Tamari and liquid aminos have similar umami flavor to soy sauce, but in a pinch, you could also omit it altogether. Just add in a little extra salt.
Making This Recipe in Advance
I love these Baked Tofu Bowls for meal prep. You can cook the entire recipe in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
If you don't want to make the whole thing ahead of time, but still want to make this weeknight-friendly, prep some of the parts in advance. You can make the tofu, farro, sauce, and pecans up to a week ahead of time if you want.
Looking for more tofu recipes? Try these.
- Sheet Pan Tofu Bowls
- Pumpkin Curry with Crispy Tofu and Broccoli
- Roasted Chickpeas with Tofu Feta and Freekeh
- Chipotle Tofu Jerky
- 1 batch Crispy Tofu
- 2 cups cooked farro or grain of choice
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari/liquid aminos
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or oil of choice as needed to coat pan
- ½ cup diced onion (¼ large)
- 1- inch piece ginger, grated
- 3 cups chopped sweet potatoes (about 2 medium chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 pound kale, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Toasted pecans or walnuts
- Dried cherries or cranberries
If needed, prepare Crispy Tofu and farro and set aside.
Whisk coconut oil, cider vinegar, cumin, turmeric, maple syrup, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Set aside.
Melt coconut oil in a 12-inch fry pan with lid. Stir in onion and ginger and cook 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Stir in sweet potatoes, cover, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional oil and adjust the heat as needed to prevent vegetables from burning or sticking to the pan.
After 10 minutes, or once the sweet potatoes are softened, stir in kale and cook 5 additional minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender and kale is wilted.
Divide cooked farro, sautéed vegetables, Crispy Tofu, and sauce between bowls. Garnish with toasted pecans and dried cherries if desired.
Find the full recipe for the Crispy Tofu here.
To toast pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 7 minutes, or until they have a strong, nutty aroma. Toast pecans up to a week in advance.
Gluten-free variation: Substitute brown rice for farro. Substitute gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos for soy sauce.
Meal prep: Make Crispy Tofu, farro, and sauce up to a week in advance if desired.
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Save these Baked Tofu Bowls on Pinterest.
Did you try this recipe?
Rate and leave a comment below or tag me (@GratefulGrazer) on Instagram.