Baked Tofu With Vegan Pesto Sauce

Tofu pesto flatbread
Angelinag00dman / Twenty20
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
528 Calories
47g Fat
14g Carbs
18g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 528
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 61%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 689mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 355mg 27%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 401mg 9%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for baked tofu with pesto sauce is so simple to prepare yet so flavorful. Serve it over brown rice, pasta, salad greens, or quinoa, or even layer leftovers in a sandwich stacked with veggies. (Or you can just eat the baked tofu right off the pan and dip the pieces in extra pesto.)

If you're new to purchasing tofu, make sure you know the different kinds of tofu so you don't buy the wrong type. This recipe requires Chinese-style extra-firm tofu which can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery, often near the organic products.

Read the note after the instructions about the importance of pressing tofu.


For the Basil Cashew Pesto:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the Tofu:

  • 1 pound tofu, extra-firm, pressed, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Pesto Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, garlic, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt, pulsing until finely chopped.

  3. With the machine still running, drizzle in a steady stream of the olive oil until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. (You might not need to use the full 1/2 cup of olive oil or you might need more.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Store pesto in a covered dish in the refrigerator until ready to use. Any leftover pesto will keep for two to three days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Marinate the Tofu

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a glass dish, gently toss the pressed tofu (see Note below) with 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and about 4 to 6 tablespoons of the basil cashew pesto sauce. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to marinate.

  3. Before baking, toss the tofu with the liquid ingredients to make sure the cubes are evenly coated and then continue with the recipe.

Bake the Tofu

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or oil it lightly and set aside.

  2. Arrange the tofu cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

  3. Remove the pan from the oven and serve the baked tofu over rice, pasta, or salad greens with a dollop of the remaining pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.


  • When baking tofu, it is important to press your tofu before tossing with liquid ingredients. Pressing tofu is a way of draining the excess liquid from the tofu so that it can best absorb flavors. Check out this simple article on how to press tofu. It's easier than you think.

Recipe Variations

  • Serve over cooked brown rice with sun-dried tomatoes, steamed veggies, and a pinch of lemon zest.
  • Serve over salad greens with an extra splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Serve in veggie wraps with extra pesto.
  • Serve over cooked pasta tossed with extra pesto or melted garlic-infused dairy-free/vegan margarine.
  • Toss the baked pesto tofu with stir-fried vegetables and rice or quinoa.