Sheet Pan Tofu is baked in a sweet-and-savory sauce and served over a hearty mix of grains and lentils in this easy dinner recipe that also happens to be completely plant-based.
Now that it’s officially December, I’d be willing to bet you could use a new weeknight-friendly meal to get you through the holiday season.
Did I read your mind? I had a hunch.
These sheet pan tofu bowls are equal parts convenient and comforting—exactly what I’m craving for dinner right about now.
There are three basic layers to these sheet pan tofu bowls:
- a hearty mix of lentils (members of the protein-rich and environmentally-sustainable pulse family) and farro (a type of ancient whole grain)
- crispy, golden-brown tofu and vegetables baked in the most delicious, sweet-and-savory sauce and
- an extra drizzle of said sauce with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and toasted seeds.
Do I have your attention yet? Because this is good.
If you prep most of your meals ahead of time (or want to), this recipe is for you.
For partial prep, cook the lentils and farro a day or two in advance. They only take about 15 minutes to cook yourself, and it’s nice to not have to worry about them later on. I cooked both in the same pot to cut back on dishes. Serve at room temperature or reheat in the microwave (or over the stovetop) while the tofu and vegetables are in the oven.
Now let’s talk about that deliciously crispy, baked tofu.
Make sure to press your tofu before you mix with the sauce (check the recipe notes for my how-to), and spread it out on the baking pan so it’s not touching any other pieces for ultimate crispiness.
Baked at 450 degrees, it’ll get nice and toasty after 40 minute in the oven. Set a timer so you don’t forget to flip and stir throughout the cooking process. (You can also reheat cooked tofu and vegetables on a sheet pan if you’re a meal prepper.)
All bowled up, you’ll get a satisfying mix of whole grains, veggies, and plant-based protein to fuel yourself through the full week ahead.
Consider it an early gift for your tastebuds.
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil or cooking oil of choice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1- inch piece ginger, grated
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for spicy flavor)
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 16 pieces (see note)
- 6 carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces (such as rainbow carrots, see note)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups cooked farro
- 2 cups cooked red lentils
- Fresh basil
- Chopped green onions
- Pumpkin seeds, toasted if desired (see note)
- Sesame seeds, black and white, toasted if desired (see note)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking pan.
- Whisk grapeseed oil, cider vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, grated ginger, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using).
- Put tofu pieces in large mixing bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons sauce into bowl and carefully mix with hands until evenly coated. (You may need to whisk the sauce each time before using to prevent separation.)
- Spread tofu pieces on baking pan and place on center rack of oven. Cook 10 minutes, or until bottom of tofu is golden and easily separates from baking pan with a spatula. Remove baking pan from oven, flip tofu pieces, and return to oven. Cook 10 additional minutes, or until both sides are golden in places.
- While tofu is cooking, put carrots and cauliflower in the same mixing bowl, and use hands to coat vegetables with remaining sauce from tofu.
- After tofu has been cooking for a total of 20 minutes, remove baking pan from the oven, stir in carrots and cauliflower, and return pan to oven. Cook 10 additional minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
- Remove baking pan from the oven, stir tofu and vegetables, and pour about half of the remaining sauce on top. Stir again and return baking pan to oven. Cook 10 additional minutes, or until carrots are fork-tender and tofu is browned and crispy on edges.
- Mix cooked farro and lentils and divide between bowls. Place cooked vegetables and tofu in bowls and drizzle with remaining sauce. Garnish with basil, cilantro, green onions, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds, if desired.
Preparing tofu: Drain liquid from tofu container and wrap whole tofu block in paper towel. Put on a plate and place something heavy (such as a cast iron skillet) on top of the wrapped tofu top press out any remaining liquid. Wait at least an hour (refrigerate if you plan to press overnight), and then remove the paper towel and slice tofu into pieces.
Carrots: Cut carrots in half lengthwise and then cut into quarters to create 2-inch pieces. Use orange carrots if rainbow carrots aren’t available.
To cook lentils and farro: Rinse lentils and farro and place in pot. Fill pot with water to cover the lentils and farro. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender, drain excess water (if any) and remove from heat.
To toast seeds: Add to a hot, dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat immediately to prevent burning.
Gluten-free variation: Substitute gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos for soy sauce. Substitute quinoa for farro.
Recipe inspired by and adapted from JoyFoodSunshine.