Tofu Tacos: The Best Vegetarian Staple Meal

Tofu tacos. Photo courtesy of


Amanda Wampler '24, Staff Writer

Since switching to a plant-based diet, the hardest thing for me to give up has been tacos. As one of my favorite comfort foods, I was desperate to find a recipe that was just as good as the one with real meat. 

I have finally stumbled upon a recipe from for tofu tacos that was the perfect replacement. The browned tofu, hearty fillings, and perfect seasoning was exactly what I was looking for in a dish. After a few modifications to fit my desired results, this has become my ideal taco recipe. This filling can be saved in the fridge for a couple days for great reheated leftovers.


For the fillings:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained and dried
  • 1 cup lentils, cooked in your preferred way
  • ½ cup salsa

For serving:

  • Soft or hard tacos shells 
  • Your favorite taco toppings—cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, or whatever you prefer.


Step 1: Using a medium bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the garlic powder, chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, and soy sauce.

Step 2: After draining and drying the tofu, put the block of tofu into the bowl and use a fork to break it into small crumbles. Be sure to fully coat the tofu in the sauce. Turn the oven broiler to high.

Step 3: In an ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining olive oil on medium high heat. Add the tofu mixture and stir until all the liquid has cooked off, around 7 minutes. 

Step 4: Add the lentils and salsa into the pan and cook until that liquid has cooked off, around 3 minutes. 

Step 5: Spread the tofu layer out in the pan evenly and put in the oven. After 4 minutes, it should be brown on the top. Mix the tofu and put back in the oven for another 4 minutes, repeating this step four times in total. 

Step 6: Once the tofu is cooked and browned, the final steps are to set up your toppings. Heat your taco shells, add all the fillings, and you are good to go.

Recipe courtesy of