Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken (Vegan)

This crispy tofu with a pineapple glaze is one of our favorite hands-off meal prep recipes. It’s perfect served over rice with chopped red onion, grilled pineapple chunks, and a spicy teriyaki mayo sauce. Frozen and thawed tofu is marinated, slow baked, and dipped in a glistening reduction of pineapple juice. This plant-based baked tofu recipe is sure to become a repeat recipe in your house just like it has ours!


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Ever since we made our Vegan Teriyaki Burger recipe, I’ve been obsessed with the pineapple teriyaki flavor combo. It’s the perfect blend of salty and sweet, savory and tangy!

One day, I thought it would be a good idea to add this flavor combo to our tofu cutlet series to make a vegan chicken version, and these pineapple tofu chicken teriyaki cutlets were born!

And I was right – extra-firm tofu was the perfect vehicle for this flavor! Over white rice or brown rice, as part of a stir fry or sandwich, you’re going to love this! 

This vegan teriyaki tofu with a spicy-sweet pineapple glaze is a fantastic sub for the chicken versions I see abound on the internet. Give it a try, and I think you’ll agree this might just be your new favorite way to eat tofu!

Pin this recipe for later.

Why You’ll Love Vegetarian Teriyaki Chicken

  • Hands-off process. Baked pineapple tofu with plant based teriyaki sauce takes a little planning ahead to freeze and defrost the tofu, but the whole process requires very little active time. This means you can get things done (or just relax!) while the marinade / oven does the rest.
  • A dazzling taste and texture. The tangy, salty, sweet, and savory flavors are so well-balanced, you’ll be licking your plate! And the tofu texture is so chicken-like when you use our Tofu Freezer Trick, you’ll convert even the staunchest tofu skeptic!  
  • Amazing for meal prep. If you’re a meal prepper (or an aspiring one!), this spicy pineapple tofu recipe is the perfect place to start. Freeze it while still in the marinade or after baking, or store it in the fridge for up to a week!
Overhead photo of all the ingredients you need to make pineapple teriyaki tofu

Ingredients in Vegan Chicken Teriyaki Cutlets

You’ll need 8 simple ingredients to make this vegan teriyaki pineapple tofu, starting with a block of extra firm tofu that you’ll freeze (in the package!), defrost, and press. 

We call this the Tofu Freezer Trick, and you can read a full guide on it called How to Make Tofu Taste Like Chicken. We’ve included summarized instructions in the recipe card below!

For the pineapple tofu marinade, you’ll need:

  • Toasted sesame oil and olive oil – These will be the base for our marinade. An oil-based marinade helps the cutlets crisp up in the oven and creates the best texture because it’s not adding additional liquid to the tofu (we’re trying to remove that through this process, so it’s not a squishy block!).
  • Vegan chicken bouillon powder – We used our homemade vegan bouillon powder to create the perfect chicken flavor.
  • Teriyaki sauce – Check ingredients, but most are vegan. Some can have honey though (especially if it’s a homemade recipe) which is easily replaced with agave nectar.
  • Garlic – minced
  • Red onion – minced

And for the pineapple glaze, you’ll just need some pineapple juice!

What to Do With Leftover Pineapple Juice

Leftover pineapple juice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. It’s important if the pineapple juice comes in a metal container to move it to a glass or plastic container so it doesn’t become acidic when storing.

You can also freeze leftover pineapple juice! We like to use 2 Tbsp or 1-cup Souper Cubes for this option because they are stored in perfect portions that can be defrosted as you need them!

Recipes Using Pineapple Juice:

Close up overhead photo of a sliced pineapple glazed tofu cutlet on a plate with one slice turned on its side to show the meaty interior

Substitution Options

If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any substitutes and how they work out for you! 

For the extra firm tofu: Depending on the brand, firm tofu could work, but it could become too chewy in the freezing process. We haven’t tried this recipe with super firm tofu, mostly because it usually comes in vacuum-sealed packaging and not in water. Freezing the tofu in the water is what makes it so porous, so I don’t know if this would work either! Chickpea tofu may work for a soy-free version, but I don’t know enough about it to say for sure.

For the bouillon powder: You can sub 1 ground-up vegan chicken bouillon cube or half as much bouillon paste.

To replace the pineapple juice: If you don’t like or can’t find pineapple juice, experiment with orange, mango, or even apple juice for a different flavor.

For the garlic: If you don’t have garlic, more minced red onions could work for a different vibe. Or substitute 1/2 tsp minced garlic for each clove or 1/8 tsp garlic powder for each clove.

For the red onion: Shallots or yellow onion could also work, but would give a different flavor. Green onions could be a cool addition too!

Oil and no-oil options:

You can use avocado oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil to replace the olive oil. Although, it will have a different flavor. Subbing all olive oil for the sesame oil will also create a different flavor but will work. Do not use coconut oil because it hardens when chilled.

I do not recommend making this tofu recipe with water or broth because that will only add excess water to the tofu, and that’s what we’re trying to cook out so we can get a meaty texture!

Teriyaki Sauce Substitute:

You can use a vegan oyster sauce, or make your own teriyaki sauce using soy sauce, mirin or rice wine vinegar and a little sugar.

How to Make Spicy Pineapple Tofu Cutlets

Crispy baked pineapple tofu is the perfect plant-based protein option. The recipe takes a little planning but is super hands-off!

Overhead photo of a glass Pyrex mixing cup with teriyaki marinade in it and a fork diving into that

Step 1: Marinate the tofu.

Place your defrosted 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. 

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over your tofu cutlets, making sure they are all nice and coated. Place them in your fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Four photos showing the process of layering tofu cutlets in teriyaki marinade

Step 2: Bake the tofu.

When you’re ready to bake your cutlets, preheat your oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with tin foil. 

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 tofu you’re using, you may want to flip and cook them another 5-10 minutes until they are golden brown and meaty (not overly squishy when you press them with a spatula).

Step 3: Make the pineapple reduction.

While the cutlets are cooking, make your pineapple reduction by bringing the pineapple juice to a boil on the stove. 

Once boiling, remove the cover and turn to medium low heat. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes to reduce it by at least half and turn into viscous syrupy liquid stirring occasionally.

Overhead photo of a clear glass bowl filled with baked tofu slices being tossed in a pineapple glaze

Step 4: Glaze the tofu with pineapple reduction.

Before serving, place your cooked tofu cutlets in a bowl and drizzle on the pineapple reduction. Toss gently to coat. 

Alternatively, you can just brush each cutlet with the pineapple reduction before serving.

Air Fryer Teriyaki Tofu

You can make this Pineapple Tofu in the air fryer if you want! I would follow the instructions in our Sweet Sriracha Tofu recipe and use the marinade in this recipe (mixed WITH the pineapple reduction) as the sauce. (You can also turn this tofu into a fantastic Asian-inspired skewer!)

Vegan Teriyaki Chicken Meal Prep

Good news for the truly ambitious meal-preppers out there: You can freeze these tofu cutlets in the marinade. That way, you can make a big batch of these at the beginning of the month to make weekly meal prep as easy as can be.

Overhead close up photo of a pineapple tofu bowl with rice, pineapple salsa, and spicy teriyaki mayo

How to Serve Plant Based Teriyaki Chicken

Serve this baked vegan pineapple chicken hot or cold with your favorite sides or all on their own! Honestly, they’re so good I often eat them right out of the fridge for a quick snack.

Here are some of the ways we like to serve vegan pineapple teriyaki chicken:

  • Vegan Teriyaki chicken sandwich with spicy teriyaki mayo, greens, red onion, and pan-fried pineapple chunks
  • In a bowl over steamed rice with grilled pineapple rings or pineapple salsa, red bell pepper, and some of the remaining reduction.
  • As part of a rice or noodle tofu stir-fry with spring onion and sesame seeds or red pepper flakes and your favorite various veggies! And of course, more fresh pineapple cubes!

How to Store This Vegan Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

These vegan teriyaki chicken cutlets make incredible leftovers and spectacular meal prep!

In the fridge: Store leftover pineapple tofu in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. 

In the freezer: Let pineapple teriyaki tofu cool completely before transferring to the freezer in an air-tight freezer-safe bag or container, separated by a square of parchment paper to keep them from freezing together.

Reheating: Reheat in the oven or air fryer until warmed through at 350F for maximum crispness. If they’re crispy enough, the microwave is a fine way to heat them. Toss in more pineapple reduction sauce after reheating for best (and sauciest) results!

Overhead photo of a sliced pineapple glazed tofu cutlet on a plate

Teriyaki Pineapple Tofu FAQs

Have more vegan teriyaki / pineapple questions? Here are some of the most common questions we get about these subjects and our best answers! If we don’t answer them here, feel free to ask in the comment section below!

Is teriyaki sauce vegan?

Traditional teriyaki sauce is vegan as are most bottled versions, but read the sauce ingredients of any brand you might be unsure of to check for the presence of any dairy or fish sauce. It’s rare, but it happens.

Can you freeze canned pineapple?

Yes, but it is highly recommended you remove the pineapple from the can and place in an airtight container or freezer safe bag before freezing. Also, freeze the juice and the fruit separately.

Can you freeze pineapple juice?

Absolutely! But freeze it in plastic or glass and be sure to leave an inch or two for expansion of the liquid when it freezes.

What can I substitute for teriyaki sauce?

You can use a vegan oyster sauce, make your own teriyaki sauce using soy sauce, mirin or rice wine vinegar, and some sugar.

Is teriyaki sauce vegetarian?

Yes. Most teriyaki sauces found at the grocery store are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Is sweet onion teriyaki sauce vegan?

Yes, the sweet onion teriyaki sauce popular at Subway is vegan, and it goes GREAT on a hoagie loaded with ALL the veggies!

Why is teriyaki sauce not vegan?

Almost all teriyaki sauces available at the store are vegan, but there is a rare occasion where you might find a brand that uses fish sauce or some form of dairy. Again, it’s rare, but read the ingredients anyway.

Does teriyaki sauce contain pineapple?

Traditional Japanese teriyaki sauce does not contain pineapple. That addition, along with brown sugar, became a popular ingredient among Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i using local ingredients to replicate the traditional recipe.

What is teriyaki sauce made out of?

Traditional Japanese teriyaki, which is not nearly as popular in Japan as it is in America, is made using soy sauce, mirin or Sake, and sugar. American teriyaki sauce is sweeter and thicker and usually uses soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, scallions, and occasionally, pineapple juice.

Overhead photo of a plate of pineapple tofu with rice, pineapple salsa, and spicy teriyaki mayo. There's a jar of teriyaki mayo behind the plate

I am so excited for you to try this vegan chicken teriyaki recipe with pineapple glaze! I mean, come on, how fancy and tantalizing does that sound?!

When you do try it, please let us know what delicious vegan dish you made with it! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and review in the comments section below. It helps more people find our recipes, and we get so pumped up cheering you on on the path to making your vegetarian teriyaki dreams come true!

Close up overhead photo of a sliced pineapple glazed tofu cutlet on a plate

Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu Recipe

Brittany Roche
This crispy tofu with a pineapple glaze is one of our favorite hands-off meal prep recipes. It’s perfect served over rice with chopped red onion, grilled pineapple chunks, and a spicy teriyaki mayo sauce. Frozen and thawed tofu is marinated, slow baked, and dipped in a glistening reduction of pineapple juice. This plant-based baked tofu recipe is sure to become a repeat recipe in your house just like it has ours!
4.70 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Cuisine tofu
Servings 8 tofu cutlets
Calories 188 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the pineapple tofu marinade:

For the pineapple reduction:

Instructions
 

First, freeze and defrost the tofu.

  • First, freeze and defrost 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.

Next, 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.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and pour this over your tofu cutlets, making sure they are all nice and coated.
  • Place them in your fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

Then, bake the tofu and make the pineapple glaze.

  • When you’re ready to bake your cutlets, preheat your oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with tin foil. Place the cutlets on this baking sheet, about an inch or so apart. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 
  • While the cutlets are cooking,  make your pineapple reduction by bringing the pineapple juice to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, remove the cover and turn the heat to medium low. Let cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to reduce it by at least half and turn into viscous syrupy liquid.

Finally, glaze and serve the tofu!

  • Before serving, place your cooked cutlets in a bowl and drizzle on the pineapple reduction. Toss gently to coat. Alternatively, you can just brush each cutlet with the pineapple reduction before serving.
  • Serve in a big salad, bowl with rice and pineapple salsa, or as a sandwich with spicy teriryaki mayo. You can store them in an air-tight container in the fridge or freeze them for up to 8 weeks!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 2cutletsCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 891mgSugar: 8g
Keyword pineapple tofu, pineapple tofu recipe, plant based teriyaki chicken, teriyaki chicken vegan, teriyaki tofu recipe, vegan chicken teriyaki, vegetarian chicken teriyaki, vegetarian teriyaki chicken
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