This skillet apple cider tofu just might be your new favorite fall dinner! It comes together in one pan in 30 minutes, and all you need are 8 ingredients plus a few spices. Savory shallot and herbs combine with the acidity and sweetness of apples and apple cider for a truly irresistible, easy vegan dinner recipe you'll want to make all season long!
Why You'll Love It
The flavors in this apple cider tofu are surprisingly perfect together - we're talking restaurant-quality! So you'll have to forgive me for sounding a bit dramatic, but we were honestly surprised how much we loved it!
It's comforting, balanced, and just perfect in every way. I can see this recipe as a fun alternative to plant-based roasts, meatloaf, and vegan "turkey" for Thanksgiving. But it's also easy enough to just whip up any old night of the week during apple season.
I've spent most of my life declaring that I don't like fruit in savory dishes, but this apple cider tofu is forcing me to rethink things.
Earlier this fall I spotted a recipe for apple cider chicken by Sally's Baking Addiction.
Having just purchased a giant bottle of apple cider at Trader Joe's, I felt inspired to try a vegan version. Tofu seemed like the best fit and one I figured most of you would like, too.
I altered a few of the ingredients (just barely) to account for the differences between chicken and tofu, and it ended up being perfect! The balance of flavors, amount of seasoning, chewy texture of the pan-seared tofu, and tender apples.... amazing.
And I can't wait for you to try it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- tofu - I used super-firm tofu since it's very sturdy and dense and doesn't need to be pressed. Extra-firm tofu could work, but you may want to freeze it first, then thaw, drain, and press so it has a meatier texture and is easier to work with.
- shallots - I love shallots and was happy to see them in Sally's recipe. Their milder flavor works so well with the herbs and apple.
- dried herbs and spices - Each piece of tofu is coated in a delicious dry rub. To make it you'll need coriander, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper.
- apples - Any firm, crisp variety you like is fine, such as Honeycrisp, Gala, or Granny Smith. I used 1 ½ Gala apples, but you can also do a combination of one sweet and one tart variety. Avoid softer varieties like Red Delicious since they may get mushy during cooking.
- apple cider - Important! We're NOT talking about apple cider vinegar here. If you use vinegar you will be quite disappointed. 🙂 Apple cider is fresh, unfiltered, and often unpasteurized; it has a more robust, pure, and fresh apple flavor than apple juice.
- maple syrup - Just a touch of maple syrup adds sweetness and thickens the apple cider sauce. You can substitute brown sugar, or skip the sweetener if needed.
- fresh rosemary - Adds that extra bit of cozy fall flavor and tastes amazing with the sweetness of apple. If you don't have rosemary on hand it's fine to omit it.
For amounts and full instructions see the recipe card below.
How to Make Apple Cider Tofu
Prep really is simple! Here's an overview of the steps.
First, mix together the dry rub and slice the tofu. Sprinkle both sides of the tofu with the spice mixture and pat into the tofu.
Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or other pan, and add the oil. Sear the tofu on both sides until golden, then transfer the tofu to a plate.
No need to wipe out the pan. Next, add the butter, and cook the apple and shallot for 3 minutes. Add the rosemary and maple syrup and cook for another minute or two.
Add the apple cider and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the apples are tender.
Finally, return the tofu to the pan, gently tucking the pieces in with the apple mixture and letting it get hot. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and serve.
Choose a firm, crisp variety like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Granny Smith. You can use sweet apples, or go with one sweet and one tart. Avoid soft, mealy apples like Red Delicious and McIntosh since they don't hold up as well when cooked.
Coriander adds unique flavor to the tofu, so I recommend using it if at all possible. If you must substitute, try ground caraway or a combination of oregano and cumin.
Store leftover apple cider tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
More Tofu Recipes:
I hope you enjoy this easy, 1-pan apple cider tofu as much as we do. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
Skillet Apple Cider Tofu
- cast iron skillet - or other large 12-inch skillet
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 16 ounces super firm tofu - see Note 1
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon vegan butter
- 2 small apples, cored and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (no need to peel) - any firm, crisp variety; I used Gala
- 1 large shallot, diced - about ½ cup
- heaping ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup - or brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider - NOT apple cider vinegar; see Note 2
- Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cast iron works well for this dish, but any other large skillet this size is fine.
- In a small bowl combine the salt, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Slice the tofu into triangles or rectangles approximately ⅓-inch thick. You should have about 14 pieces. Sprinkle the dry rub on both sides of the tofu and gently rub into the surface.
- Add the oil to the pan and let it get hot. Place tofu in the pan in a single layer, and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer tofu to a plate. You'll add it back to the skillet in step 6.
- Add the butter to the skillet, and tilt the pan to swirl it around. Add the apples and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until the apples begin to soften. Add the rosemary and maple syrup and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the apple cider into the pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until reduced and the apples are tender. Return the tofu to the pan, gently spooning some of the apple mixture over top. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary, if desired, and serve hot with mashed potatoes or rice.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.