Garlic Ginger Tofu Stew

A vegan tofu stew infused with fresh ginger, garlic and a touch of spice. The perfect easy weeknight dinner recipe.

Plate of tofu stew topped with fresh cilantro and served with rice.

Want to make a vegetarian or vegan dish more nutritious? Combine two plant proteins together. One of my favorite combos is lentils and tofu. Tofu has an abundance of phytonutrients that provide a load of benefit and combine that with the fiber and additional minerals from lentils, this dish becomes a winning combo.

But don’t stop there. This combo is especially good when it comes to also boosting your meal satisfaction. Bowls like this Latin Nourish Bowl also show a different way to combine proteins for maximum benefit.

Why Make this Tofu Stew?

Easy to make. Nothing makes me more excited to make a dish than when it’s easy. Just roast your vegetables and tofu in the oven and make the creamy sauce. Toss everything together and dinner is ready in less than an hour with minimum hands on time.

A bowl of nourishment. By combining different plant proteins as I mentioned above, you are maximizing on extra nutrition that you might miss out on. It’s also a great option for those that struggle to feel satisfied, which we’ll get into later.

Easy to modify. This recipe is very forgiving. While it’s already gluten free and vegan/vegetarian, this stew can be modified to be coconut-free, nut-free, and soy-free.

Key Ingredients

  • Tofu: Use either extra firm or super firm tofu. If using extra firm, make sure to press it first before use. If using super firm tofu, you can skip pressing and jump straight to flavoring it and baking it.
  • Lentils: I used some leftover cooked small brown lentils.
  • Vegetables: I used a combo of roasted sweet potato and zucchini, but you can change these up to meat your preference. Roasting them in advance gives them a great texture in the stew.
  • Coconut Milk: Make sure to use full fat coconut milk for the creamiest consistency. Ideas for substitutions can be found below.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger and a lot of it at that. Make sure to grate or mince very finely.
  • Garlic: We have garlic in two forms in this recipe. We are including both fresh crushed garlic and garlic chili sauce for a little heat.

How to Make this Garlic Ginger Tofu Stew

Start by flavoring your tofu and placing on a lined baking tray along with some veggies of your choice, making sure those veggies are coated in a little oil to help them brown. Pop them in the oven to bake and start preparing your sauce.

Layer in your flavors by blooming your cumin seeds and then adding in the onion to soften. Stir in your aromatics followed by your remaining dry spices. You can then start stirring in the tomato paste, lentils, baked sweet potatoes and coconut milk.

Stir well to combine and bring a simmer to thicken for a few minutes. Stir in your tofu and any remaining vegetables in and toss to coat before serving.

Tips for Making the Creamiest Stew

  • Use full fat coconut milk. While you can use light coconut milk, I find that this stew is the creamiest when using full fat canned coconut milk.
  • Opt for fresh ingredients. Using fresh ginger makes all the difference in the world when making this recipe. Using powdered ginger will be more muted, which will lead to a difference in flavor in the final resulting stew.
  • Bloom your cumin seeds. If you aren’t a fan of ground cumin, I highly recommend giving cumin seeds a go ahead. They have more flavor as they haven’t been ground yet, and once they are cooked in oil you get the perfect balance of floral and earthy tones that adds more enjoyment to this stew.
Topping stew with fresh cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is tofu healthy?

Soy rich foods like tofu contain isoflavones, which are phytonutrients that may be able to protect from things like heart disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis. To put this note in perspective, I think it is important to note that isoflavone rich foods like tofu, edamame, and chickpeas can be used as a means to limit foods higher in saturated fat that often times these types of plant based proteins are trying to replace in regular diets.

Can you replace the coconut milk?

Yes, you can. I would recommend for those that do not have a nut allergy, to consider making a cashew cream by blending up some cashews and water together in a high speed blender until you have the same creamy consistency. If you have a nut allergy, I also find using Oatly Oatmilk to work really well in place of coconut milk. As the stew thickens, it can still become very creamy.

Can you replace the tofu?

If you happen to have an allergy and need to replace the soy, feel free to use some other beans. I really like the combination of lentils and chickpeas, but this stew can work with cannellini beans as well.

How long will this stew last?

This stew will last for up to 4-5 days in an air tight container in the refrigerator. This stew also freezes very well too. Just portion into individual containers in the freezer for up 3 months. When ready to enjoy, remove from the freezer and thaw then reheat.

What to Serve this Tofu Stew With?

This stew is hearty on it’s own, but also pairs perfectly with rice. This is also a nice stew to load up with when it comes to vegetables. While I used sweet potato and zucchini in this stew, you can always replace with vegetables like spinach or kale that you can stir in at the end of cooking.

More High Protein Plant Based Meals

Plate of stew paired with rice and topped with cilantro.
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Tofu stew in a bowl with rice and fresh cilantro.

Garlic Ginger Tofu Stew

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


A vegan tofu stew infused with fresh ginger, garlic and a touch of spice. The perfect easy weeknight dinner recipe.  



Baked Tofu and Vegetables

  • 1 block extra firm tofu or super firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thick half moons 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided

Coconut Ginger Sauce

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, diced into small pieces
  • 2 inch fresh ginger root, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked small lentils or canned
  • 1, 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 a bouillon cube or 1/2 tsp of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Paste (optional)


Tofu and Vegetables

  1. Set oven to 400F. If using extra firm tofu, press before using to remove excess water. Cut into 16 even cubes and place in a Tupperware container with soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Seal container, give a gentle toss to coat.
  2. Place tofu on a lined baking tray along with the sweet potato and zucchini. Toss the sweet potato and zucchini with half the olive oil and arrange on the tray with the tofu. Place baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes, making sure to flip half way.


  1. To a large pan over medium heat, add remaining oil and cumin seeds. Sauté for about a minute until fragrant.
  2. Add in onion with a pinch of salt and continue to sauté until softened.
  3. Stir in ginger and garlic and continue to sauté for about a minute.
  4. Add in coriander, turmeric and tomato paste and sauté well to coat.
  5. To the pan, add in garlic chili sauce, lentils, coconut milk and the bouillon cube.
  6. Once fully mixed together, add in the tofu and sweet potato, then bring to a low simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken the sauce.


While you can use light coconut milk, I find that this stew is the creamiest when using full fat canned coconut milk.

Using fresh ginger makes all the difference in the world when making this recipe. Using powdered ginger will be more muted, which will lead to a difference in flavor in the final resulting stew.

You can swap the coconut milk for oat milk or cashew cream in case of allergies. 

Did You Try This Recipe?
Then let me know what you thought in the comments below! Share your creations by tagging me on Instagram with the hashtag #plantbasedrdeats



  1. I have tried a few of your recipes and I’ve enjoyed them all. I really appreciate how simple and easy your recipes are to follow without compromising on flavor. I definitely feel like some of them are comfort meals to me. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this recipe. It was so good and flavorful. It definitely reminded me of curry and like how well all the ingredients worked together.

  2. Another fantastic dish by you! The amount of flavor this has after so little time is amazing. We really enjoyed this and served it with pita!

    1. I appreciate you so much Cassidy! Thank you so much for making this dish. Truly makes my day. Love that you served this with pita. 🙂

  3. A friend surprised me with this in my fridge when I returned from a trip, and omg, so good! After a couple weeks of eating out while traveling, this was ultimate comfort and yum. I will be making this myself again soon.

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