Looking for a delicious and healthy tofu marinade that will tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than this Thai-inspired recipe that features the irresistible creaminess of almond butter!

Thai marinated tofu baked until crispy on a plate with lime wedges.
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Whether you’re new to tofu and trying to find a way to enjoy it or a seasoned veteran just looking for a recipe to change things up, this tofu marinade is a recipe that will wow you.

We’re meat eaters through and through in our household but I still like to enjoy a tofu meal at least once a week. If I’m not adding it to a soup, chances are it’s getting roasted or air fried for the best crispy texture.

What I’ve learned over the years of baking tofu, however, is that if you have the time to marinate it, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

Ingredients to make creamy tofu marinade in bowls with cubed tofu on a cutting board.

I’ve played with many different types of marinades and two have risen to the top. One is the exact same recipe used in this marinated tempeh.

And the other is this Thai inspired creamy almond butter marinade. If you’re a lover of things like peanut noodles and Thai cuisine, I can pretty much guarantee you will fall in love with this simple tofu marinade.

It’s perfect for when you want added flavor to baked tofu (I don’t recommend this marinade for stove top cooking) to make it the star of the show. If you’ve previously thought of baked tofu as some boring meatless meal, this recipe will have you reevaluating that opinion after the first bite.

Whisking creamy almond butter tofu marinade in a glass bowl.

TOFU MARINADE INGREDIENTS

  • extra firm tofu – drained, pressed and cubed
  • creamy almond butter – swap out peanut butter or another nut butter if desired
  • coconut aminos – or soy sauce/tamari
  • maple syrup
  • lime juice
  • rice vinegar
  • garlic
  • fresh ginger

As you can see, there’s an obvious Thai vibe in these ingredients. Once the tofu is baked, serving it with fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro will complement the marinade really well.

Cubed extra firm tofu marinating in a creamy almond butter, ginger, garlic and lime sauce.

HOW TO BAKE THE TOFU

Once the tofu has been drained, pressed and cubed, add it to a large bowl or a sealable plastic bag.

Whisk all the remaining marinade ingredients together until smooth then pour over the tofu.

If you’re marinating in a bowl, gently toss the tofu with a rubber spatula to make sure each cube is well coated. If marinating in a plastic bag, gently massage the marinade around with your hands to coat.

Let the tofu sit to absorb the marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. If marinating longer than 30 minutes, keep chilled in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the tofu out onto the baking sheet in an even layer so that no cubes are touching eachother.

Reserve any excess marinade as it can be used as a sauce after cooking if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes flipping the tofu half way through until the edges start to crisp up.

Remove from the oven once crispy and serve with lime wedges.

Marinated tofu on a plate with a fork and lime wedges.

WHY MARINATE TOFU?

Tofu is very mild flavored. Chances are, if you’ve thought you don’t enjoy it, you will once you try marinating it.

Marinating the tofu gives it the ability to absorb flavor. Think of it just like you would when marinating chicken wings or venison backstrap, the more opportunity given to take on added flavor, the better it will taste in the end.

HOW LONG TO MARINATE TOFU?

Ideally, an hour or two is enough time for the tofu to marinate and really absorb flavor well. That said, I often don’t have the foresight on busy nights to do so and even just 30 minutes will make a big difference in the end result.

EXPERT TIPS

  • Be sure to use extra firm tofu. Silken tofu, while great for recipes like mapo tofu or soup, will not crisp up when baked.
  • Always press the tofu. This makes a big difference in the final textural outcome of marinated tofu. You’ll be amazed at how much water comes out from just pressing for 15 minutes.
  • Try this in the air fryer! I have a basic go-to air fryer tofu recipe I love but this marinated tofu is also great in the air fryer, especially if your oven does not have a convection setting.
  • Don’t try this recipe on the stove-top. This creamy type of marinade is really more suited to baked tofu than pan-fried tofu.
The best tofu marinade made of almond butter, lime juice, garlic, ginger and soy baked until crispy on a white plate with a fork.

HOW TO SERVE MARINATED BAKED TOFU

Because of the bold flavors in this marinade, the tofu really shines. Make it the star of your plate by enjoying simply with rice and a vegetable for an easy dinner.

Alternatively, it’s great on top of salads like this Pad Thai salad or bok choy salad, two recipes that lean towards the Thai cuisine.

Noodle dishes like this Thai red curry soup or swapping out the beef in these spicy udon noodles are perfect for this tofu as well.

If you’re doing some tofu meal prep, use this marinade for the tofu along with the veggies.

Crispy marinated tofu on a plate with lime wedges. Baking sheet with more tofu and spatula in the background.

MORE TOFU RECIPES TO TRY

For takeout lovers, I can’t recommend this sweet and sour tofu recipe enough.

This balsamic tofu pasta salad is a fun meatless idea for summer cookouts. Can’t go wrong with pasta salad and throwing tofu in there is a great way to amp up the protein content without any meat.

Looking for another baked tofu recipe? I also love this BBQ mango baked tofu. It’s sweet, sticky and smoky all at once and you get BBQ vibes without the usual meat.

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5 from 9 votes

The Best Tofu Marinade

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Marinated tofu on a plate with a fork and lime wedges.
This simple creamy Thai inspired tofu marinade is a delicious and simple option for making flavorful tofu every time. Serve in a noodle bowl or on top of your favorite salad.

Ingredients 

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cubed
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter, or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, sub soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger

Instructions 

  • Place tofu in a large bowl or sealable bag.
  • Whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour over tofu and gently toss to combine making sure each cube is coated in the marinade.
  • Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. If marinating for longer (up to 8 hours), cover and place in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the tofu out onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way through until the edges of the tofu start to crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 15gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 141mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried tofu marinades, but no great flavor. This one is really amazing. Never thought I’d like tofu by itself. Now I do. Thanks!!

  2. 5 stars
    I always want to eat tofu that doesn’t taste like tofu. LOL! YOur recipe (the peanut butter version) nailed it! So yummy. TY!

  3. 5 stars
    Wowww this was amazing! I used SunButter (allergic to almond butter and peanut butter) and it worked perfectly. The tofu was amazing. We served it with some stir fry veggies.

  4. 5 stars
    This flavorful peanut marinade made a skeptic love tofu! That person would be my husband lol! I’ve been trying to convert him for year. Thank you for this delicious recipe! I used soy sauce like you suggested and it was perfect. I’ll look for coconut aminos for next time.

  5. This was so good – loved the lime and ginger flavour. I was amazed that even my nine-year-old ate the tofu with this marinade!