Smoky Miso Maple Tofu Sandwich

By Alexandra Caspero on March 21, 2022
Homemade miso tofu strips, perfect for sandwiches.
4 Sandwich

Smoky slabs of miso maple tofu with avocado, arugula and tomato. Healthy, simple and the perfect plant-based swap for turkey sandwiches.

When I stopped eating meat (more than 15 years ago!), one of the things I missed the most was easy sandwich options. I was a senior in college at the time and practically lived on turkey and hummus sandwiches back then, an easy grab from the campus dining hall in between classes. 

While I’ve come up with dozens of plant-based sandwich recipes since that time, I wanted to create a tofu sandwich that had the same feel as a traditional turkey sandwich. Loaded with smoky maple tofu, avocado, peppery arugula and juicy tomatoes. 

It’s the tofu sandwich for deli sandwich fans— and while I’ve only tested this one on my vegetarian family, I have a feeling that everyone is going to love this simple tofu sandwich recipe. 

Halved tofu sandwich with avocado, arugula and tomato

Ingredients For the Smoky Miso Maple Marinade 

For the tofu sandwich marinade, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons miso paste. I prefer a more mellow white miso, but red miso will also work. 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. The bright lemon juice really helps to balance the salty miso paste and soy sauce. 
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup. Brown sugar, agave or honey will also work. 
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast. If you aren’t familiar with nutritional yeast, you can usually find it in the spice or baking aisle of most grocery stores; it’s not the same as baker’s yeast. It has a nutty, cheesy flavor that I love in this sandwich! 
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke. This is what gives the sandwich the smoky taste; if you don’t want the smoky taste then you can omit it all together. I typically use a hickory liquid smoke, but almost any kind will do. A little goes a long way! Start small, you can always increase if you feel like you need more. 
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika. miso maple tofu with marinade

Other ingredients for the Tofu Sandwich

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu 
  • Whole grain bread. I love a hearty bread for this. My favorite brans are a sprouted whole-wheat bread, like that from Ezekiel or Silver Hills, a sourdough bread, or the Whole Food’s brand whole-wheat sandwich bread. 
  • Ripe avocado for creaminess. I also love a smear of mayo for additional creaminess, regular or vegan mayo will work. 
  • Ripe tomato
  • Leafy greens, like arugula, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce or other crunchy lettuce. 

Miso Maple Tofu Sandwich Half

How to Make the Tofu Sandwich Recipe 

Start by pressing the tofu using a tofu press or a quick DIY version: remove the tofu from the package, rinse and pat dry. Wrap in paper towels or a kitchen towel, then place a heavy object on top. I usually use a cast-iron pan weighted with a few heavy cans. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes, until most of the water is removed from the tofu.  

Slice the tofu widthwise into small slabs, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick mat, like a silpat. Place the tofu on top and set aside. 

Next, whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade, making sure to fully whisk the miso into the mixture. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, brush the marinade onto all of the tofu slices, then flip and brush the other side. Let sit for 5 minutes. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degrees F oven until tofu is slightly dry and chewy but not hard. Alternatively, you can pan fry the tofu in a skillet if you prefer a chewy and crispy tofu, more similar to a bacon slab than cold cuts. Remove and let cool slightly while you prep the rest of your sandwich. 

Toast your bread, if preferred, then layer with a smear of regular mayo (or vegan mayonnaise) and a generous scoop of avocado. Use a fork to gently press the avocado down, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Layer with cooked tofu, sliced tomato, arugula and other piece of bread. Slice and enjoy! 

Miso Maple Tofu on Bread with arugula and avocado

More Delicious Vegan Sandwich Ideas:

Tempeh Bacon BLT Sandwiches
Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
The Vegan Bahn Mi
Cashew Cheese Sandwich
Vegan Egg Salad
Curry Tempeh Salad Wrap
Vegan Italian Panini
Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Tofu Chicken Salad Sandwich 
Fried Green Tomato BLT Sandwiches
The Ultimate Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Vegan Cauliflower Sandwich with Romesco Sauce 

layers of tofu, avocado and arugula in bread with chips

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge. I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

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Miso Maple Tofu Sandwich

Smoky Miso Maple Tofu Sandwich

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: lunch, sandwich
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Smoky slabs of miso maple tofu with avocado, arugula and tomato. Healthy, simple and the perfect plant-based swap for turkey sandwiches.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: lunch, sandwich
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: lunch, sandwich
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

Smoky Miso Maple Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

Other Ingredients: 

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 2 cups arugula or other leafy greens
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Mayo or vegan mayonaise
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Start by pressing the tofu using a tofu press or a quick DIY version in notes below. Slice the tofu widthwise into small slabs, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick mat, like a silpat. Place the tofu on top and set aside.
  3. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade, making sure to fully whisk the miso into the mixture. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, brush the marinade onto all of the tofu slices, then flip and brush the other side. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tofu is slightly dry and chewy but not hard. Remove and let cool slightly while you prep the rest of your sandwich.
  5. Toast bread, if preferred, then layer with a smear of regular mayo (or vegan mayonnaise) and a generous scoop of avocado. (I usually do ~1/4 avocado per sandwich.) Use a fork to gently press the avocado down, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Layer with cooked tofu, sliced tomato, arugula and other piece of bread. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

To press tofu without a tofu press, remove the tofu from the package, rinse and pat dry. Wrap in paper towels or a kitchen towel, then place a heavy object on top. I usually use a cast-iron pan weighted with a few heavy cans. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes, until most of the water is removed from the tofu.  

did you make this?

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Emilia
      August 15, 2022 AT 6:15 am

      So tasty, even my non vegans pals love it

    2. Emilia
      August 15, 2022 AT 6:14 am

      This is my fave sandwich ever Alex. So good ♥️

    3. Debi
      August 10, 2022 AT 4:09 pm

      This is good, but mine does not look like yours. The tofu in your photos looks very thin. In the recipe you say to slice the tofu 1/4-1/2 inch thick. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick and cooked it much longer, and it’s still not thin or dry. Also, the recipe makes quite a bit of marinade, which I used most of, putting more on the tofu during cooking, I flipped it over and put more marinade on.

    4. Sarah
      March 22, 2022 AT 11:23 am

      This is sooooo good!!! I had it on a sandwich as a recommended but then the leftovers I put on a salad the next day with some honey mustard and it was amazing too! I liked it so much that I’m headed back to the store to get some more tofu to make more of this for my lunches for the rest of the week!