Get this simple tofu recipe in meal prep workflow STAT! Tender, frozen-and-pressed tofu is marinated in an intoxicating combo of spicy sriracha + sweet agave with a kick of fresh garlic. It’s baked ‘til crisp on the outside + meaty on the inside. Serve these sweet chili tofu cutlets over rice, on a sandwich, or cut up and thrown into a salad!
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Ever since we posted this lemon pepper tofu cutlet recipe, we have been getting tons of messages from you about how delicious and useful it is.
Which, for the record, 100% made our whole month. 🙂 🙂
And we totally understand your obsession: This method for cooking tofu is perhaps the tastiest / easiest methods we’ve ever tried. Like, ever.
When I find a recipe that gets my lazy butt in the kitchen for meal prep every single week, I know we have something special on our hands.
I’ve been dreaming about more delicious ways we could utilize this life-changing (no hyperbole, this is legit) tofu method, and these sweet chili tofu cutlets were the first idea to really get me excited.
Sweet Chili Tofu Inspiration
The marinade is inspired by an earlier recipe on the blog for Air-Fried Sweet Sriracha Tofu (another blog favorite). I changed a few of the ingredients around based on what we had in the kitchen at the time. I also added a dash of chicken(less) bouillon powder to give it more of chicken-y vibe.
The result? The most heavenly mix of sweet + spicy, garlick-y, savory, wonderful-ness. It is crazy simple to make with ingredients you likely have in your kitchen right now!
This sweet chili tofu cutlet recipe is a dinner winner, my friends.
How to Make Sweet Chili Tofu Cutlets
There are four basic steps to making these tofu cutlets:
How to Freeze Tofu
We go into this a little more in-depth in this post and below ⤵️, but basically, you want to freeze your tofu before you cook with it.
At this point, our freezer is always filled with a couple tofu containers – especially when there’s a big sale! And yes, we buy the tofu that comes packed in water and just place the whole container in the freezer. Easy-peasy!
How to Press Tofu
Once the tofu thaws, it will have a tougher, almost sponge-like texture to it. This is good. I like to give mine a firm but careful squeeze over the sink before I press it. If you’ve never pressed tofu before, you can use an actual tofu press like this or do it the old school way with a dictionary + some paper towels. Honestly, I still use the latter which works just fine!
Sweet Chili Tofu Marinade:
For our oil-free friends, it is possible to sub water for the oil, but be aware this will change the texture of the tofu and you may have to bake a bit longer.
Time-Saving Tip: This is totally optional, but I really love to freeze my cutlets after this step. I find it produces an even meatier texture. Plus, it feels amazing to have a freezer stocked with marinated tofu, ready to bake and eat at my tofu-loving will!
How to Bake Tofu
Baking used to be my least favorite way to cook tofu. This was back in my brand new baby vegetarian days when I didn’t have the first clue what to do with those big squishy blocks of I-didn’t-even-know-what.
My, how far we’ve come because baking is now perhaps my FAVORITE way to cook tofu, especially for meal prep. It’s incredibly hands-off and creates a fantastic meaty result!
How to Serve Sweet Chili Tofu
Serve these sweet chili tofu cutlets over rice with some steamed or roasted veg or as the finishing touch to an epic vegan stir fry. Pile it on a sandwich topped with an Asian-inspired slaw. Or, slice ‘em up for salads with a simple dressing!
Store these cutlets in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for 2 months.
Sweet Chili Tofu Wine Pairing
Try these tofu cutlets served with a German riesling like this one from Dr. Loosen. This is a classic pairing for a good reason. The sweetness in the wine will counter the spicy in the tofu in the most beautiful way. And the spicy flavors in the tofu will temper the sweetness in the wine and bring out all these crisp awesome tastes.
When you try these bad boys, we would love to hear what you think and how you used them!
You can rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your gorgeous creations on Instagram. If you’re not already following along, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.
And finally, also tell us if you want more of these cutlet recipes!
Hope you get as much of a kick out of this recipe as we have. Until next time!
Other Tofu Recipes You’d Dig:
- Lemon Pepper Tofu Cutlets
- Balsamic Tomato Tofu Cutlets
- Restaurant-Style Vegan Chicken(less) Parm
- Tequila Lime Tofu Cutlets
- PREP THE TOFU: First, you’ll want to 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: 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. Use a fork to mix all the ingredients for your marinade in a large measuring cup. Place the cutlets in a shallow container and pour the marinade over them, making sure they are all nice and coated. Cover and place them in your fridge for at least an hour or overnight.*
- BAKE: 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, 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 10 - 20 minutes until they are browned and meaty. We end up cooking ours an extra 10 most times.
- FINAL TOUCHES + STORAGE: Finally, let your cutlets cool slightly before slicing them up for all your salads or stir frys 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!
*Vegetable or sunflower oil can also be used for a more neutral taste. We like a mix of chili + sunflower oil for a touch of spicy!
TO MAKE THESE OIL-FREE: You can sub water for the oil if you want to make these cutlets oil-free, but be aware this will alter the texture of the final product. You may also want to cook the cutlets longer.
*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!
Serving Size:2 cutlets
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 654mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.