Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets

These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are massively meaty, full of balsamic-tomato-garlic-y flavor thanks to a delicious tofu marinade, and very easy to make! Our easy balsamic tofu recipe is meal-prep and freezer-friendly and pairs beautifully with pasta, on a sandwich, or straight off the baking sheet.


These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are crazy meaty, full of balsamic-tomato-garlic-y flavor thanks to a dynamite tofu marinade, and very easy to make! They are meal-prep and freezer-friendly and pair beautifully with pasta, on a sandwich, or straight off the pan. #vegan #tofu #balsamic #plantbased #veganrecipes #tofurecipes // plantpowercouple.com

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[This is the 3rd recipe in our tofu cutlet series. Click here to see all of them!]

Way back in May, I bought a bottle of balsamic vinegar with dreams of creating all types of summery balsamic delights for the blog (and, you know, my mouth).

And then, what always happens happened. Summer arrived in all its beach-bronzed (haha, jk, I don’t do sun) and cocktail-by-the-pool (ok, guilty on that one) glory and suddenly, it’s Labor Day Weekend, and I’m like…WHERE DID THE TIME GO?!

If this situation doesn’t sound familiar to you, who are you and will you please teach me your ways?

Anyway, getting back to the point, I realized in this moment that my forgotten bottle of balsamic vinegar would be a heavenly addition to a tofu marinade for our cutlet series.

And here we are…

Just look at all that gorgeous crispy-on-the-outside / meaty-on-the-inside + PACKED with so much flavor decadence. Pin this one to the “meal prep staples” board, my friends. I have a feeling it’s going to become a regular in your house!

Click here to Pin this post for later.

Overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make crispy balsamic baked tofu: frozen and defrosted extra firm tofu, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, bouillon powder, salt, pepper, dried basil, tomato paste, and water.

Ingredients for Balsamic Tomato Tofu

Obviously, the main ingredient in this recipe is extra-firm tofu (Note: not silken tofu).

These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are made with the exact same freeze / press / marinate / bake method as our other tofu cutlet recipes, just with different ingredients for the garlicky balsamic marinade.

Here, we’ll walk you through the ingredients you need along with some notes to ensure you achieve the best results. The full recipe with ingredient amounts can be found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

The simple ingredients you’ll need for the marinade are:

  • Balsamic vinegar – In a pinch, you can use balsamic vinaigrette if needed.
  • Tomato paste
  • Fresh garlic – Feel free to load it up with garlic if you’re a big fan (we are!). You could potentially replace this with garlic powder if needed, but you’d have to play around with the amounts.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Use the good quality stuff here! This adds a deep savory flavor to your cutlets.
  • Vegan chicken bouillon powder – You can use store-bought bouillon, but we HIGHLY recommend trying our homemade bouillon powder because it will actually change your life and is stupid-easy.
  • Spice Cabinet – Salt, pepper, and dried (or fresh) basil to round it all out!

With this combo of flavors, how can you go wrong?

Oil-Free Note: You can sub water for the olive oil in the marinade, but be aware this will change the texture of the tofu. You also may need to cook the tofu a little longer, as the water adds excess liquid.

How to Make Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets

If this is the first tofu cutlet recipe you’ve made from our site or your first time using the “freeze + press” method for preparing tofu, you may want to check out some of the awesome info in our first two posts of the series: lemon pepper tofu cutlets // sweet chili tofu cutlets.

Step 1: Prep your tofu.

You’ll prep the tofu to start. This part is super important to the texture of the final product! We have a full explanation of this method (and why it works so well!) in our How to Make Tofu Taste Like Chicken post, but we’ll summarize the process for you here!

Place the whole tofu container (do not open it) in the freezer overnight. In the morning, remove it from the freezer and set it in a shallow dish on your counter to thaw. This will take several hours.

When the tofu is thawed, squeeze it gently over the sink and press tofu with a tofu press or on paper towels with a heavy object on top to remove any excess water.

Two photos showing the first two steps of making crispy balsamic tofu cutlets: First, mix the marinade. Then, pour the marinade over the sliced tofu.

Step 2: Marinate the tofu.

Place your block of tofu on a cutting board and slice it into 8 equal “cutlets”. I do this by slicing it in half, then slicing those halves in half, then cutting each of those slices in half. 

Alternatively, you can turn this recipe into crispy cubes of tofu, but making tofu cubes will affect the cooking time.

Mix up all the ingredients for the simple marinade in a small bowl with a whisk or large fork. Pour the marinade over your tofu cutlets, making sure they are all nice and coated. Place them in your fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Two photos showing balsamic tomato tofu cutlets on a parchment-lined baking sheet before and after baking

Step 3: Bake the tofu.

When you’re ready to bake your marinated tofu, preheat your oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cutlets on this baking sheet, about an inch or so apart. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 

Depending on the thickness / brand of extra firm tofu you’re using, you may want to flip and cook them another 10 – 20 minutes until they are browned and meaty. We end up cooking ours an extra 10 most times.

Finally, let your cutlets cool slightly before slicing them up for all your salads or pasta or bowls throughout the week. They will firm a bit as they cool.

How to Serve These Tofu Cutlets

My favorite way to eat these irresistible Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets is straight off the pan, but they also make a great addition to:

These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are crazy meaty, full of balsamic-tomato-garlic-y flavor thanks to a dynamite tofu marinade, and very easy to make! They are meal-prep and freezer-friendly and pair beautifully with pasta, on a sandwich, or straight off the pan. #vegan #tofu #balsamic #plantbased #veganrecipes #tofurecipes // plantpowercouple.com

How to Store Leftover Crispy Tofu

Store leftover balsamic tomato tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freezer for up to 12 weeks.

Since these cutlets are such a staple in our kitchen, I will usually marinate a large batch of them at a time, separate them into several containers and freeze them in the marinade BEFORE baking. 

This makes it easy for me to defrost and pop a batch in the oven for an easy meal when I need one. AND I’ve found it gives them an even better texture. Highly recommend this method!

More Tofu Recipes:

I have a feeling these cutlets are going to be the key to sooo many of the cozy fall dinners we plan to make in the coming months. We can’t wait to see what you do with them too!

When you make these balsamic tomato tofu cutlets, be sure to let us know! You can rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your tofu-licious creations on Instagram. If you’re not already following along there, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.

We hope you enjoy this one, friends. Until next time!

These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are crazy meaty, full of balsamic-tomato-garlic-y flavor thanks to a dynamite tofu marinade, and very easy to make! They are meal-prep and freezer-friendly and pair beautifully with pasta, on a sandwich, or straight off the pan. #vegan #tofu #balsamic #plantbased #veganrecipes #tofurecipes // plantpowercouple.com

Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets

Brittany Roche
These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are crazy meaty, full of balsamic-tomato-garlic-y flavor thanks to a dynamite tofu marinade, and very easy to make! They are meal-prep and freezer-friendly and pair beautifully with pasta, on a sandwich, or straight off the pan.
4.82 from 16 votes
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 day 50 minutes
Course Tofu
Servings 8 cutlets
Calories 230 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • PREP THE TOFU: First, freeze your tofu: Place the whole container (do not open it) in the freezer overnight. In the morning, remove it from the freezer and set it in a shallow dish on your counter to thaw. This will take several hours. When the tofu is thawed, squeeze it gently over the sink and press it with a tofu press or on paper towels to remove any excess liquid.
  • MARINATE THE TOFU: Place your tofu on a cutting board and slice it into 8 equal “cutlets”. I do this by slicing it in half, then slicing those halves in half, then cutting each of those slices in half. Place the cutlets in a shallow dish or container and mix the rest of the ingredients in a large measuring cup with a fork. This is your marinade; pour it over the cutlets, making sure they are all nice and coated. Cover + place them in your fridge for at least an hour or overnight.*
  • BAKE THE TOFU: When you’re ready to bake your cutlets, preheat your oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cutlets on this baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Depending on the thickness / brand of tofu you’re using, you may want to flip and cook them another 10 - 20 minutes until they are browned and meaty. We end up cooking ours an extra 10 most times.
  • SERVE: Finally, let your cutlets cool slightly before slicing them up for all your salads or pasta or bowls throughout the week. They will firm a bit as they cool. You can store them in an air-tight container in the fridge or freeze them for up to 8 weeks!

Video

Notes

Oil-Free Note: You can sub water for the olive oil in the marinade, but be aware this will change the texture of the tofu. You also may need to cook the tofu a little longer, as the water adds excess liquid.
*Since these cutlets are such a staple in our kitchen, I will usually marinate a large batch of them at a time, separate them into several containers and freeze them in the marinade BEFORE baking. This makes it easy for me to defrost and pop a batch in the oven for salads each week, AND I’ve found it gives them an even better texture. Highly recommend this method!

Nutrition

Serving: 2cutletsCalories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 12gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gSodium: 336mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3g
Keyword baked marinated tofu, baked tofu, baked tofu marinade, balsamic tofu, balsamic tofu marinade, balsamic vinegar tofu, crispy baked tofu, crispy garlic tofu, easy baked tofu, garlic tofu marinade, garlic tofu recipe, tofu and tomato recipe, tomato tofu
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pin this tofu cutlet recipe for later:

These Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets are crazy meaty, full of balsamic-tomato-garlic-y flavor thanks to a dynamite tofu marinade, and very easy to make! They are meal-prep and freezer-friendly and pair beautifully with pasta, on a sandwich, or straight off the pan. #vegan #tofu #balsamic #plantbased #veganrecipes #tofurecipes // plantpowercouple.com

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19 Comments

  1. What a timely recipe! Our tomatoes are plentiful. Always looking for new ways to use them. These Balsamic tomato tofu cutlets are perfect for a main course or cut up smaller for snacks.

    5 stars

    1. Hi, Beth! We're going for 8 equal rectangles. You want to lie the tofu flat on its largest side (surface-area-wise) and cut it into eight slices from left to right. The slices are usually about 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness. I hope that helps! Let me know if I can clarify more. :)
  2. I made this recipe probably once every 2 or 3 weeks now, it has absolutely become a staple for me! The tofu comes out perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Extremely easy but very flavourful. Keeps great for meal-prep. Highly recommend :)
  3. Hi.. this recipe makes tofu taste amazing! Was wondering if you have tried this with tempeh as well? Would it pair good?
  4. These were delicious! I left out the oil and just added 2 tsps of broth and these turned out great. I was so surprised at the chewy texture of these! I ate them on a salad with balsamic dijon dressing.

    5 stars

    1. Hi, Issa. Freezing the tofu helps to change the texture of the tofu to help it mimic the texture of chicken more easily. We have a link about midway through this post to "the tofu freezer trick" that takes you to an article I wrote explaining how the process works and why. If you want to get the same meaty results you see here, you'll definitely want to freeze the tofu. Hope this helps!
  5. When you make these in batches to freeze before cooking, what’s your process? Freeze, thaw, press, slice, coat in marinade and then Re freeze? I’d love to have more ready made proteins or semi ready made in my freezer so I would appreciate details on this process! Thanks!
    1. You've got it right, Melody! The only thing I would suggest is letting the sliced tofu sit in the marinade at least an hour before putting it back in the freezer so the flavors really settle in.
  6. This looks promising. I am in the middle of making it right now. Pro tip: Definitely double off the marinade. The recipe as it’s written is just not enough for a cutlets. I’m looking looking for This looks promising. I am in the middle of making it right now. Pro tip: Definitely double the marinade. The recipe as written is just not enough for eight cutlets. I’m looking forward to tasting it tomorrow night.

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