Sweet and sour tofu is flavorful, easy to make at home, and so much healthier than take out! With sweet pineapple, bell pepper, and any other veggie you'd like to toss in, sweet and sour tofu is a welcome dinner any day of the week! Vegan and nut-free.
This sweet and sour tofu recipe comes to us from Dianne Wenz's cookbook Eating Vegan: A Plant-Based Cookbook for Beginners. Right off the bat I need to tell you, I'm in LOVE with this cookbook.
So before we get to the recipe, I want to share a few things with you about Eating Vegan and why I love it so much.
Dianne is a certified vegan health and lifestyle coach and has been a plant-based chef, food blogger, and vegan for almost twenty years. So to put it plainly, she knows her stuff!
Dianne's knowledge, experience, and desire to help others with all aspects of a vegan lifestyle are evident very quickly in the first two chapters of the book. As an experienced vegan coach, Dianne knows exactly what newbies need (and want) to know.
She wrote this cookbook with beginners in mind, but the recipes are anything but basic or boring. These are classic vegan recipes you'll return to again and again.
Some of the recipes in Eating Vegan that I can't wait to try:
- Spinach Quiche
- Apple Cinnamon Granola
- Peanut-y Mandarin Salad
- Miso-Glazed Maple Sweet Potato Fries
- Seitan Shawarma
- Kung Pao Seitan
- Blueberry Peach Cobbler
See what I mean? These dishes have universal appeal. Whether you're an omnivore, new to plant-based eating, or a long-time vegan, these are recipes you want in your arsenal.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Tofu
Sweet and sour tofu is a classic dish everyone knows and loves but may not realize how EASY it is to make at home. The homemade sauce in and of itself is just perfect. You will never turn to another recipe!
If you are new to vegan cooking, this is a great recipe to make today. Simple and delicious, you really can't go wrong.
The basic process flows like this (scroll down for the full recipe):
- Press and cube the tofu. Chop the onion and red and green bell peppers.
- Season and sear the tofu cubes in a large pan till they are golden brown, then transfer them to a plate.
- In the same pan, sauté the onion, peppers, and canned pineapple. Return the crispy tofu to the pan.
- Whisk together the vegan sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a small bowl (tomato paste, maple syrup, cornstarch, tamari, rice vinegar, and reserved pineapple juice), and add the sauce to the pan. Cook until thickened, and serve.
Options and Substitutions
I had a small amount of broccoli that needed to be used up, so I tossed that in at the end. This is one of those great dishes that can take on pretty much any vegetable you have on hand, so feel free to experiment.
Other vegetables perfect for sweet and sour tofu:
- green beans
- snow peas
- baby corn
- spicy peppers
If you follow an oil-free diet, this sweet and sour tofu can easily be made oil-free. Simply sauté the tofu and veggies in your favorite non-stick pan, and use a bit of broth or water as needed to prevent sticking.
Keep this recipe refined sugar-free by opting for tomato paste over ketchup, or go with your favorite healthy barbecue sauce.
And if you don't have any tofu on hand or just want to switch things up, this dish would also be great with chickpeas, tempeh, Butler soy curls, or seitan!
If you try this Sweet and Sour Tofu, I'd love for you to leave a comment and star rating below. And head over to Dianne's Facebook or Instagram page to tell her how much you love it!
You might also like:
- Air Fryer Tempeh
- Szechuan Tofu
- Sticky Sesame Tofu + How to Dry-Broil Tofu
- Green Curry Tofu
- Sweet Mustard Tofu with Millet Pilaf
- Roasted Broccoli Bowl with Sunbutter Sauce
- 20-Minute Miso Noodles
Sweet and Sour Tofu
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided - See Notes section for oil-free tips.
- 3 Tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce, divided
- 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar, divided
- 1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup canned diced pineapple, juice reserved
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup - I had an open bottle of BBQ sauce in the fridge so I used that instead.
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 4 cups cooked rice of choice
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, along with 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Add the tofu to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan along with the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and the pineapple to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 more minutes. Add the tofu back into the pan.
- Whisk together the tomato paste, maple syrup, cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and ½ cup of the reserved pineapple juice in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan and gently stir to coat everything well. Cook for a few more minutes, until the sauce thickens and is heated through.
- Serve over the cooked 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.
Lauren Eller Vaught
Terrific recipe that comes together fairly quickly, and easily. I used a yellow pepper, and zucchini. Lovely, umami and bright sweet and sour sauce. Thank you for all the great recipes!
Thank you so much, Lori!!! I'm so glad you like the book!
You're so welcome. Thoroughly enjoying it! Congratulations on a job well done! 😀