While firm or extra-firm tofu will hold up best in vegetable stir-fries and baked tofu dishes, silken tofu has its own place in the vegetarian kitchen. From creamy sauces to low-fat or vegan desserts, many recipes use silken tofu to add character to the dish without overpowering the flavors you want to enhance. It provides a creamy texture and protein to smoothies, pies, and sauces; acts as an egg replacer in meatloaf, and can be used in place of ricotta or mascarpone in pasta dishes and bakes.
Get inspired to use this softer type of tofu by exploring some of our favorite vegetarian and vegan silken tofu recipes.
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Silken tofu can transform a traditional pie recipe into a low-fat dessert that can be prepared in minutes. In recipes like chocolate pies or pumpkin pies, the silken tofu serves as the base which carries the other flavors. Instead of creating a rich and fat-filled base out of cheese, dairy, butter, or eggs, use tofu instead.
This tofu peanut butter pie just needs 5 ingredients and 2 hours in the fridge. Simply blend peanut butter, silken tofu, sugar, soy milk, and vanilla. To decorate, use vegan chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate shavings, or chocolate chips and whole peanuts. Ready in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
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Silken tofu is an essential ingredient in just about every dairy-free cheesecake recipe you'll find, including this vegan pumpkin cheesecake. This quick preparation will put a fully baked pie on your table in under 1 hour. Simply process silken tofu, vegan cream cheese, canned pumpkin, sugar, flour, and spices and pour into a vegan pie crust. Bake, cool, and serve!
Some people find that tofu cheesecakes aren't quite as rich as dairy cheesecakes, but a quick fix is to top it off with a fruity or chocolatey topping, like strawberry marmalade or a vegan chocolate ganache made with coconut oil or nut butter. Ready in 1 hour and 5 minutes.
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Silken tofu is a great addition to Italian pasta and rice dishes. Our artichoke risotto can be vegetarian when using real butter and parmesan cheese, or totally vegan by using vegan margarine and vegan cheese like this vegan artichoke risotto recipe.
Cook the rice in vegetable broth, continuously stirring in the Italian way, and make a mixture of tofu, onion, and garlic to add to the rice after it's fully cooked. Decorate with artichoke hearts and serve. Ready in 35 minutes.
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Silken tofu is a fantastic addition to vegan bean-loafs (and bean burgers, too!) because it gives texture, acts as a binder, and adds great protein with very few grams of fat.
Turn an American favorite like meatloaf into a vegan dish like this vegan TVP and tofu "meat" loaf by using silken tofu and texturized vegetable protein (TVP). Rehydrate the TVP in vegetable broth and combine with veggies, tofu, spices, and flour. Bake for 45 minutes and serve.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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A little silken tofu makes a great ricotta cheese substitute when making a vegetarian lasagna. Try it out in this dairy-free sweet potato lasagna and see that a dairy-free diet isn't lacking anything. You get all the good flavors but none of the saturated fat.
This unconventional lasagna comes courtesy of the Engine 2 cookbook, in which health advocate Rip Esselstyn presents a varied, fabulous collection of plant-based recipes, like this one. Use sweet potatoes, spinach, Roma tomatoes, and silken tofu to layer a casserole of goodness. Herbs and spices complement the Italian flavors, while cashews add protein and crunch. Optional nutritional yeast on top adds a tangy cheese flavor. Ready in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
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For this beautiful creamy vegan ranch dressing, blend silken tofu, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, spices, and fresh parsley. Depending on the preferred consistency, add soy milk to make it thinner. This great mixture can be used as a salad dressing, to dip crudités, to make a cold potato salad or even a pasta salad. Ready in just 10 minutes.
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Pureed silken tofu makes the perfect base for smoothies, shakes, or lassis. It's a quick substitute for yogurt or milk that works in any recipe, adding a thick fat-free protein boost.
For our blueberry tofu smoothie, you need blueberries, soy milk, silken tofu, and honey. Use agave or maple syrup for a vegan version. If you happen to have frozen bananas already in your fridge, make this smoothie in just 5 minutes. Otherwise, peel and freeze a banana for at least 15 minutes before blending it with the rest of the ingredients.
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Silken tofu allows vegans to avoid milk or cream in plenty of desserts, making them healthy and low-fat, too. Enjoy custards, mousses, popsicles, or even make super moist chocolate brownies or vegan frosting using this secret weapon.
If pudding is what you're craving, few recipes can beat this quick, easy and tempting vegan chocolate banana pudding. Blend bananas, silken tofu, cocoa powder, and sugar, chill and enjoy. Prep in 5 minutes and refrigerate until set for at least 1 hour.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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This fast vegan banana coconut pudding uses silken tofu to add creaminess to a banana and coconut cream mixture. Use full-fat coconut milk: discard the liquid, conserving the full-fat layer to make the base of your pudding. Add bananas, tofu, maple syrup, vanilla and salt, blend and chill.
This preparation is a great base to add other flavors to and experiment. Use powdered semi-sweet cocoa or chocolate chips to make a chocolate version. Add beet powder to make it bright red and add mixed berries to decorate. Use matcha powder to make it green and top with coconut flakes. Ready in 5 minutes, chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
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Give your Sunday pancakes a twist by using silken tofu to make a thick and creamy batter. Mix tofu with vegetable shortening, flour, spices, apples and pecans and cook on a griddle until golden brown on both sides. Use coconut oil to cook for a nutty flavor or more neutral canola oil if you'd prefer.
Use any non-dairy beverage, like soy or oat, and replace the pecans for almonds or pine nuts if you want to experiment with other flavors. Serve these apple pecan pancakes with a side of berry marmalade and fresh fruit. Ready in 20 minutes.