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Plate of tofu, white rice with greens and zucchini set on a striped napkin.

Lemon Basil Tofu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Lemon Basil Tofu recipe is quick, easy to make and only uses 10 ingredients. A perfect healthy dinner meal that is completely vegan.  



Baked Garlic Tofu

  • 1 (450g) block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely

Lemon Sauce

  • 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Juice and zest of one large lemon
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp neutral oil
  • 89 fresh basil leaves, rolled and cut into ribbons
  • Salt to taste


  1. Set oven to 400F. After pressing your tofu, pat your tofu dry and cut into 16 even cube pieces. Place tofu pieces into a large tupperware container and add in soy sauce, white wine vinegar, nutritional yeast and garlic. 
  2. Seal tupperware container tightly and gently shake to coat tofu evenly. 
  3. Add tofu onto a line baking sheet, making sure each pieces is spread out and isn’t touching another piece of tofu. 
  4. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the edges become golden and set aside. 
  5. In a small bowl combine the remaining soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice and zest, brown mustard, garlic, and cornstarch and mix well with a fork to combine making sure there are no additional clumps of cornstarch remaining.
  6. In a pan over medium heat, sauté your onion with a pinch of salt until softened. Add in your tofu and your lemon sauce and sauté for about a minute until sauce thickens. 
  7. Remove pan from heat and stir in basil. Taste and adjust salt as desired. 


For the optimal texture, I do recommend pressing your tofu before getting started. Pressing your tofu will help to remove excess water and allow it to achieve optimal chewy texture while also allowing it to bake to golden perfection. 

Use super firm tofu as a short cut. This tofu is very chewy does not need to be pressed in advance, just pat dry with a clean cloth and you are good to go.

The sauce is meant to be cooked quickly. Avoid overcooking your sauce to avoid the lemon from becoming bitter.

Don’t skip on zesting your lemon. The natural oils in the zest provide extra lemon flavor in the dish.