January 4, 2016
Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl! A gluten-free and vegan lunch or dinner. Brown rice, the BEST peanut tofu, vegetables and roasted broccoli in a simple peanut sauce. If you are looking for a healthy buddha bowl recipe, this is it! Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

Is there such thing as vacation coma? Even though BL and I arrived home from our New Zealand trip earlier in the weekend, I feel like I’m been in a foggy daze for the past 48 hours. A mix of insomnia, apathy, fatigue and excitement.

We arrived back home late Friday night, wired with caffeine and buzzing from the post-vacation high. After plowing through 5 episodes of Making a Murderer (obsessed) with take-out pizza, we greeted the sunrise by finally heading up to bed.

I’m relishing these moments of zero-responsibility. Sure, there are suitcases to unpack, emails that need responding, and a zillion other to-do tasks, but right now I just want to ease back into the busy pace of life as slowly as possible.

the BEST peanut tofu with vegetables and rice

Of course, when your vacation ends on New Year’s Day, there’s a slight sense of anxiety that follows. Is everyone making plans and goals without me? It seems like my facebook and instagram have been taken over with pledges to do better, be better, look better.

I totally get the desire to want an overhaul come January 1st. I’ve spent the last three weeks sustaining on take out, cheese, and more Sauvignon Blanc than I’d care to admit. I’m sure there were vegetables in there somewhere but when you are relying on restaurant meals three times a day, healthy isn’t always what you get.

Once BL and I finished polishing off the last of the pizza, I got up the courage to head out to the grocery store to put together something that would nourish us both. These buddha bowls are my favorite way to get back on the healthy eating track. They are packed with nutrition, flavor and contain enough protein and fiber to keep me full for hours. Exactly the kind of fuel I need if I plan to continue my Netflix binge. 

healthy vegan and gluten-free buddha bowl

How to Make Peanut Tofu

This tofu. Please try it. Please try it. 🙏 Make this your New Year’s resolution, the year you will love tofu at home. I forget where I learned this technique but it’s pretty foolproof in creating chewy, crispy chunks of tofu that aren’t drenched in oil.

To achieve the faux-fried texture, bake the tofu until it’s almost dry then remove from the oven and marinate in peanut sauce! From there, you’ll lightly sauté the marinated tofu in more sauce until hot and crispy and then pile on top of cooked grains and vegetables.

Or eat the entire thing straight out of the skillet. I’ve done both and they are equally good.

Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl on serving board

While we are on the subject of New Year, New You, can we pledge to enjoy food more? It’s almost impossible to have a healthy relationship with food with the words Master Cleanse, detox, diet or fasting. I can almost promise that those fads will leave you hungry, unsatisfied and more hard on yourself.

There is an easier way. Love food that loves you back. Fill your plate with colorful produce, lean protein, healthy fat and complex carbs. Eat until you are satisfied, enjoying each bite with acceptance and not punishment. I plan on sharing more of my thoughts on this idea later in the week but for now, these buddha bowls await.

Vegan and gluten-free buddha bowl

Watch How to Make these Vegan Buddha Bowls!

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Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Buddha Bowl, Healthy, Dinner
  • Method: Oven, Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Buddha Bowl, Vegan

Description

Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl! A healthy lunch or dinner, perfect for the New Year! Brown rice, the BEST tofu, vegetables, roasted broccoli in a simple peanut sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Buddha Bowl, Healthy, Dinner
  • Method: Oven, Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Buddha Bowl, Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Buddha Bowl, Healthy, Dinner
  • Method: Oven, Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Buddha Bowl, Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

Tofu Buddha Bowl

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or additional sesame oil, divided
  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
  • salt/pepper
  • 16 oz extra firm tofu, pressed and drained

Peanut sauce

  • 12 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cube tofu and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. If you aren’t using a non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove from oven and place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter) until creamy and smooth. Add 1/2 of the sauce to the tofu bowl and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Toss the broccoli with 1 teaspoon sesame or olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until just tender.
  4. Heat remaining olive or sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, in batches, along with the marinating sauce until crispy and golden browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. To assemble, divide the brown rice among 4 bowls, top each bowl with 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cup spinach leaves, 1/4th broccoli, 1/4 cup garbanzo beans and a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce.

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If you like this buddha bowl recipe, then try these other bowls: Instant Pot Burrito Bowls, Ultimate Goddess Bowls, Vegan Green Rice Bowl, Vegan Gado Gado Bowl

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

182 comments
LEAVE A COMMENT
  1. I love your recipe and use the peanut sauce quite often! Just wanted to know if I can make the peanut sauce ahead of time and how long would it last refrigerated? Thanks!

  2. OH MY HOLY PEANUT SAUCE!!!!! I cant get enough of this! I even cheated and used Walden Farms’ sugar free “pancake” syrup (lol) thinking it may not be as good, but it’s still DELICIOUS! (And a fraction of the calories for anyone watching their sugar like me). This is my favorite peanut sauce recipe – I’ve tried SEVERAL – and so simple to make. Thanks!!

  3. Wow- this is such an inspired and delicious recipe, and endlessly flexible. I loved that you baked the tofu first; it made all the difference to the texture of the dish. The peanut sauce is perfect – I will make it again and again, and can put It on top of anything. Thank you!

  4. This is hands down my new favourite tofu dish. The peanut sauce is amazing and I could literally eat it on everything. Thank you!

  5. This recipe is so good. I use black rice instead of white rice. My entire family loves it. This way of making the tofu is the best! Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Delicious! The whole family loved this dish! I added a squeeze of lime, chopped peanuts, and sliced green onions to the finished bowls. I wondered if you thought it would be ok to drain, bake, and then freeze the tofu in big batches? My kids love tofu. Go figure! 🙂

    • I love that! Mine does too 🙂 He always asks for “tof”

      I haven’t baked and then frozen tofu, so not sure how it would work. I’ve frozen blocks of tofu several times and love the texture- it’s much firmer after defrosting. If you try this, will you let us know how it goes?

  7. Ok, couple of things. First, this is a fantastic way to cook thr tofu, it had some nice texture on the outside from the bake.

    Secondly, I have tried countless peanut sauces and this is BY FAR the best one I’ve tried so far. My husband puts this on literally everything now!

  8. Alex I made the Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl recipe as you suggested saying this is a good way to prepare tofu for beginners. I think you are right! The texture is not so mushy and the peanut sauce is really good. I am the only one eating it here so after refrigerating the components separately, can the next day’s bowl be assembled and heated in the microwave? Minus the carrots and spinach of course.:) If you have any other suggestions from your blog that would make use of the tofu being prepped this way I would love to hear about them. Thank you!! You have helped so much

      • Thanks, Alex. I am ridiculously excited to have made that Buddha bowl and like the tofu. I already knew peanut sauce was a win and yours is excellent. I had my tofu cubes on the small side so there were plenty chewy which is fine but next time I think I will try to make them a little bit bigger. I will check out those other recipes for sure! Thanks again!

        Thank you, Alex! I am ridiculously excited to have made tofu that turned out great. Love the peanut sauce, too. So good. I will check out the recipe links you sent and I appreciate that very much.My tofu cubes were on the small side so the texture was definitely chewy but that is better than tasteless and mushy. This recipe had great flavor. Thanks again!

  9. Hi. I absolutely love this recipe – thanks for sharing. It is the only tofu meal that my boyfriend consistently requests 🙂

    Only issue that I had is that the timing is off. Cook time is listed as 15 minutes, but the tofu alone bakes for 25.

  10. This was crazy good! I’m not a vegetarian, but I love tofu when it’s done right and I try to eat as healthy as possible. Anything with whole grains, loads of veggies, and great tofu is bound to catch my attention. This was so amazing! I only wish I had made more because I wanted to eat this non-stop!

  11. This is my most favourite Buddha bowl in the whole entire world!!!! This is the most delicious tofu sauce everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I’ve made this recipe 5+ times and tonight I think I’m gonna switch it up and make it with quinoa. Oh boy am I ever excited!!!! Thank you SO much for this.

  12. Good. PS- in the instructions the chickpeas disappear from the instructions and then are replaced with beans.

  13. I made this last week and it was delicious! The sauce is so yummy. Thanks for the great recipe. I’ll be adding this to my regular meal rotation!

  14. THIS DISH IS DELISH!!! Made it for myself so divided all the ingredients by 4, added some cavolo nero and used bulgar wheat instead of brown rice and it was so tasty!! Will definitely be making this dish again!

  15. Tried this tonight, and it’s absolutely wonderful. My favorite part is the peanut sauce which tastes almost exactly like peanut sauce I used to have in my favorite Vietnamese restaurant many years ago. I’ve been searching for the recipe, and this is very close. I’ll definitely make this again.

  16. Oh wow! I think this is honestly the nicest meal I’ve ever cooked myself! I did switch up the veg to suit what I had growing in the garden so I replaced the broccoli with roasted beetroot, sweet potato and carrot and I sauteed my spinach too. The tofu was absolutely delicious. I will be making this for everyone who comes for tea. Thanks for the brilliant recipe 😉

  17. Hi there! Recipe looks great! I can’t wait to try it this weekend. Any chance if you know if this keeps as leftovers for a day or two or three?

    Thanks so much for the great meal ideas!

    • Thanks Cammie! You can keep this one for a few days as long as you don’t mix it together first. So- prep the vegetables and keep them in a separate container, same with the sauce and the tofu and the rice. Then- when ready to eat- heat and mix!

  18. HI there. Found this on Pinterest and made it last night for the family. Really delicious and easy to make. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  19. This recipe was so good! I just learned a new way to ‘fry’ tofu! I sauteed the spinach with the tofu and the marinating sauce.

  20. We had this tonight…sooooo delicious!!! I made my tofu a couple hours before dinner, and that was a big mistake! By dinnertime, what was originally crispy on the outside and soft in the middle was hard and chewy. Flavor was delish!!! Will definitely be putting this in our regular rotation. (I do think I will cut down on the maple syrup a bit and ramp up the chili sauce. I also added 2 cloves of garlic to the sauce and thought that was good. Thanks for posting!

  21. […] 7. Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowls. These buddha bowls are one of the most popular recipes on my blog- and for good reason. They are incredibly delicious! While they take a little more than 30 minutes to put together, the steps aren’t complicated. Do what I do; make the rice in a rice cooker, roast the broccoli at the same time as the tofu and make extra peanut sauce. That way, you get dinner and leftover lunch from the same meal. […]

  22. […] This right here… you could serve to your “I only eat meat” husband, wife, friend, whatever. It is so freaking good! A real pain to make the first time, but totes worth it. You can substitute the rice for quinoa -OR- no rice at all! This dish is full of veggies (spinach not pictured) and super healthy. A little high on the sodium side, but you can fix that by not adding as much soy sauce to the peanut sauce. You can find the recipe here. […]

  23. […] This right here… you could serve to your “I only eat meat” husband or friend of yours. It is so freaking good! A real pain to make the first time, but totes worth it. You can substitute the rice for quinoa -OR- no rice at all! This dish is full of veggies (spinach not pictured) and super healthy. A little high on the sodium side, but you can fix that by not adding as much soy sauce to the peanut sauce. You can find the recipe here. […]

  24. Just made this and it’s amazing simple flavorful my 18 month old loves it. Def roasting then saueeting the tofu intensifies the flavor. Just beautiful

  25. This was a very easy-to-make, tasty dish. The peanut dressing was delicious, though sweeter than I was expecting. My husband loved it and even my 15-month-old ate all his broccoli with the peanut dressing.

  26. This was a very easy-to-make, tasty dish. The peanut dressing was delicious, though sweeter than I was expecting. My husband loved it and even my 15-month-old ate all his broccoli with the peanut dressing.

  27. […] Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowls from DelishKnowledge.com I’m obsessed with this peanut sauce; it makes everything awesome. And the tofu in this recipe is SO GOOD – even if you don’t think you like tofu, this is worth trying! I use this recipe as a starting point and incorporate whatever veggies I have lying around – I’ve made it with and without garbanzo beans, added baked bok choy, and I love it with roasted sweet potato too. […]

  28. Just made this! It was very very good. The sauce is so yummy. I never thought tofu and broccoli could taste so good. I loved how they were roasted 🙂 5 star recipe, thank you!

  29. Tried this tonight! Despite being a vegetarian, I had never – ever – pressed my own tofu. I know. So that part was a new experience! I’m sure I can do better if I take more time with it. As it is, it turned out well! I sauteed the broccoli instead of roasting it to save time, used jarred peanut sauce for the same reason (I’ll try your recipe next time), and added some Goddess dressing on top because I’m obsessed with the stuff. Overall super yummy!

  30. Tried this tonight! Despite being a vegetarian, I had never – ever – pressed my own tofu. I know. So that part was a new experience! I’m sure I can do better if I take more time with it. As it is, it turned out well! I sauteed the broccoli instead of roasting it to save time, used jarred peanut sauce for the same reason (I’ll try your recipe next time), and added some Goddess dressing on top because I’m obsessed with the stuff. Overall super yummy!

  31. Seriously the best at home Asian I’ve ever made! The sauce is so flavorful and the raw vegetables help to keep it fresh. Great dish for Lent!

  32. Thank you for sharing your amazing recipe, I love the sauce! I’m not sure if I missed something, but did you mean “olive oil” in Step 4? I used the 2T of sesame oil in the sauce & figured you meant olive oil to sauté the tofu?

  33. love food that loves you back! What a great expression! This recipe is totally motivating me to eat more tofu! I’m not a huge tofu person, but when it’s covered in peanut sauce I think I will love it!

  34. love food that loves you back! What a great expression! This recipe is totally motivating me to eat more tofu! I’m not a huge tofu person, but when it’s covered in peanut sauce I think I will love it!

  35. Yum, this looks so delicious. It reminds me of my favorite peanut tofu from a vegetarian restaurant in my hometown. Also, my husband and I are obsessed with Making Murderer as well! In fact we just watched the last episode last night, I don’t know what we are going to do now… Anyway, pining this!

    • It’s incredible. I’m so happy that my jetlagged coincided with it’s release 🙂 It’s been haunting me ever since! Have you started the new Serial? I’m waiting for all the episodes to be released so i can binge watch it.

    • It’s incredible. I’m so happy that my jetlagged coincided with it’s release 🙂 It’s been haunting me ever since! Have you started the new Serial? I’m waiting for all the episodes to be released so i can binge watch it.

  36. Love food that loves you back…I LOVE it! Hehe, when I first got to England, I was definitely relishing my moments of zero-responsibility, too. It looked like you had such a good time in New Zealand! I need to try baking tofu more. I usually pan-fry it to get it crisp on the outside, and then mix the tofu in a sauce. This bowl looks absolutely delicious!

  37. Love food that loves you back…I LOVE it! Hehe, when I first got to England, I was definitely relishing my moments of zero-responsibility, too. It looked like you had such a good time in New Zealand! I need to try baking tofu more. I usually pan-fry it to get it crisp on the outside, and then mix the tofu in a sauce. This bowl looks absolutely delicious!

  38. Great post! “Love food that loves you back” – so, so true, love that line. I always struggle with making tofu at home even though I really enjoy it, and this method sounds so good! You had me at peanut sauce.

    • This method really is foolproof. I make tofu a ton at home and the only way I really LOVED it was when I fried it in a ton of oil. Delicious, but not the healthiest. Baking it, marinating it and then lightly sauteeing is perfect! I’m going to post more recipes in the coming month with more tofu hacks!

  39. Great idea to bake and then sauté the tofu- sounds like such a flavorful recipe, definitely a must make for the new year! I would love to hear more about your trip- the pics on instagram looked amazing 🙂

  40. Great idea to bake and then sauté the tofu- sounds like such a flavorful recipe, definitely a must make for the new year! I would love to hear more about your trip- the pics on instagram looked amazing 🙂

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