Crispy Tofu With Balsamic Tomatoes Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Crispy Tofu With Balsamic Tomatoes Recipe (1)

Total Time
40 minutes, plus at least 15 minutes’ draining
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You don’t need to fry tofu to get it crisp-edged and golden brown. Drizzling it with a mix of cornstarch and oil, then roasting it will deliver a closely crunchy approximation that won’t splatter oil across your countertop. Here, the tofu is roasted alongside balsamic-glazed cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic and red onions, all of which caramelize as they cook. Top everything with a handful of fresh herbs, then serve it over rice, quinoa or another grain for an easy, plant-based meal. Note that the recipe serves only two to three. To double it, use two sheet pans and add a few extra minutes to the cook time.

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Yield:2 to 3 servings

  • 1(14- to 16-ounce) package extra-firm or firm tofu, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
  • teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
  • ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • 1tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1pint cherry tomatoes, halved if large, kept whole if small
  • 1large red onion, cut into ¼-inch wedges (about 2 cups)
  • 3garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for finishing
  • ½cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (3 servings)

389 calories; 26 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 13 grams monounsaturated fat; 9 grams polyunsaturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 24 grams protein; 778 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Crispy Tofu With Balsamic Tomatoes Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Step


    Arrange tofu slices on a clean kitchen towel or on paper towels. Cover with another kitchen towel (or paper towels) and place a flat cutting board or baking pan on top. If your cutting board or pan is lightweight, stack a few cans or a skillet on top to weigh it down. Let tofu drain for at least 15 minutes, and up to 45 minutes.

  3. Transfer tofu to a cutting board and cut slabs into 1-inch cubes. Pat them dry with paper towels and season both sides of the tofu with ¾ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

  4. Step


    In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil, cornstarch, garlic powder (if using) and ½ teaspoon of the oregano. Add tofu to cornstarch mixture and gently toss until tofu is evenly coated. Dump tofu onto one side of the prepared sheet pan.

  5. Step


    In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, remaining ½ teaspoon oregano, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil, tossing to combine.

  6. Step


    Arrange vegetables on other side of the prepared sheet pan. Bake until tofu is crisp and golden brown, and tomatoes are condensed, 25 to 35 minutes. Halfway through baking, flip tofu and toss vegetables while keeping the tofu and veggies separate.

  7. Step


    To serve, sprinkle cilantro on top and drizzle with balsamic and oil, if you’d like.



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Cooking Notes


I bake tofu a lot with assorted veggies and I will try the cornstarch but my only concern is 1 tbsp of cornstarch adds about 7-8 grams of carbs. If you are counting them every one counts. I get great results with a bit of avocado mayonnaise mixed with olive oil. The egg protein in the mayo does the same thing as the corn starch. You get a great browning on anything from chicken & fish or roasted potatoes. With less carbs.


For those who own one, you can make very good crispy tofu in an air fryer. There are literally millions of recipes online and other than the prep time it takes about 10 minutes. An interesting alternative to cornstarch is nutritional yeast. It adds a slightly cheesy taste, in a good way. Just keep an eye on the cooking time.


i made this with a large leek and half of a large tomato. i elevated the tofu side of the pan to keep the veg juices away from the tofu. it took about 45 min to get crispy tofu and needed A LOT more salt on the tofu but definitely has promise. The carmelized veg on orzo was great, with a lot of parmesan! PS to dry the tofu faster, cook the whole block in the microwave for 2 minutes! wster comes out MUCH faster


I cook and eat tofu frequently for health and simplicity, primarily stir fries. Pan frying cubed towel dried tofu in oil just doesnt work. It takes a mess and loads that clean tofu with oil, and never develops a good crust. At the advice of Kate ( I now roast all my cubed tofu with a mixture of a TBSP or two of EVOO, soy sauce and cornstarch!. I then add at the end of any of the stir fry recipes here on NYT.--- Just tonight : Saag Tofu! Can't wait to try out this recipe by MC

Laura Busheikin

Here’s a secret: to press tofu, you don’t need to use kitchen towels, paper towels, or any sort of fabric. I press mine on a cutting board (on my counter next to the sink) which has one of those little grooves around the perimeter to catch juices. The liquid fills the grooves and now and then I tip the whole thing slightly into the sink. (There is another cutting board on top with heavy things on it.) Easy peasy, no wet cloths to deal with.


I look forward to trying this - but also wanted to share a way for crisp oven tofu that I found at goop. Preheat your sheet pan so that the tofu (and everything else) sizzles when it goes onto the hot pan. Delicious!

Jennifer D

My brother is a vegetarian and has made a similar recipe using nutritional yeast. It's terrific, and tastes a little like fried chicken. I always look forward to it on our summer BBQ get-togethers. I highly recommend it.


I, too, highly recommend a tofu press. It transformed all my tofu preparations.Regarding the oil and cornstarch mix being messy--could I not just spray the cubes with oil and then coat them??

Max Shapiro

Instead of cubing the tofu before coating, I coat the slabs then cut off strips and coat them, then cube, and coat the remaining side. This is because the tofu is so fragile and seems to hold together when I do it this way. I also used chilly crisp instead of garlic powder.


I use arrow powder instead of cornstarch :-) and it works great


Tofu presses are inexpensive and much more efficient at extracting the water from your tofu. If you have a convection toaster oven, you can get the same affect as an air fryer with easier cleanup.


Made it last night and it was delicious! I agree it will take a bit longer in the oven for the tofu to get really crispy...I used two red onions, and next time I would consider adding mushrooms...


I toss “squeezed” tofu in plastic bag of cornstarch seasoned with salt and pepper, shaking off extra cornstarch in a colander. I fry it in a single layer in a small amount of oil. This works well for eggplant cubes too.I will try the baking method, but will toss the tofu in a bit of oil before shaking in the cornstarch. I think this will distribute the oil more evenly. I agree about the snacking. It takes a lot of will power to get the tofu to the table.


My neighbor taught me that cubing the tofu (or any shape you like) then freezing it first makes it great for absorbing any marinade, sauce or seasonings you use after it's thawed.

Mary Alice

If you cook with tofu with any regularity, get yourself a tofu press. They're inexpensive and way more efficient than the old paper towels/heavy pan system.


Made with half tofu and half hamCooked some spinach for more veggieServed with pasta and parmWas good/fine


This recipe was flavourful & simple but I cooked for 35 minutes and the tofu was not close to crispy. I would make it again but plan to cook for 45 minutes or give it a broil at the end.

Paul Asman

Step 3 calls for seasoning both sides of tofu cubes. What does it mean to season both sides of a cube (with its six sides)?

Rachel M

Delicious and easy. This is in heavy rotation.


I suggest adding a grain as the meal could use additional calories/substance.


Excellent. I would use two cookie sheets. As tomatoes roasted they release liquid and that ran into tofu


Love this recipe! I used previously frozen tofu which makes the texture much chewier and easier to get the water out. Then I press it between two half sheets and with a quick wipe, I am able to use the two half sheets later on to roast the tofu and veg separately.


Not as crispy as I would like. Will stick to frying

Susan Dasso

This was delicious all by itself. No rice or quinoa needed. I had a few wild cabbage leaves from the farmer’s market, so chopped them up, added oil and salt and pepper and made them a base for the onion and tomato mixture. Fabulous!


Increase amount of tomatoes, maybe add red pepper to roasting. Could be served with rice or other grain.


Add soy sauce to tofu marinade


Fairly bland, I'd say. Certainly low cal. Made the recipe verbatim adding basmati rice as a bed of grains.Liquid aminos added a little uplift, but all-in-all, I don't think I'd make this again, as is. If you cook often with tofu, you can probably stand to be more adventurous than what's written here.


Very good as a filling for pita (cut tofu cubes in half).


This is a good idea. Tossed the tofu in a bit of oil, then dipped each end in the mix of cornstarch, oregano, garlic powder (a must), salt and pepper. Baked on a separate pan for 45 min. It didn't crisp so much as it developed a crust, but it was tough, not crunchy. Flipping it halfway is imperative. The onions and tomatoes melted down and had great flavor, but it wasn't saucy enough for me.


I will use 2 blocks of tofu next time, so maybe there will be leftovers. Ha! This is so good!

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Crispy Tofu With Balsamic Tomatoes Recipe (2024)


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