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Glossy tofu plated with brussel sprouts and rice on a white plate.

Easy Balsamic Tofu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


A balsamic tofu recipe that makes for a delicious easy vegan dinner flavored with fresh garlic, basil and fennel seeds. Comes together in only 20 minutes to make and uses simple pantry ingredients.


  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 78 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and pan fry the tofu on both sides along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Flip tofu as needed until tofu has browned on at least 2 sides.
  2. In a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients except the fresh basil and whisk together to combine and pour into the pan with your tofu.
  3. Sauté tofu with the sauce for about 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced. Remove from heat, stir in the fresh basil and spoon the tofu and some of the sauce onto a plate. 


Don’t skip pressing your tofu. Squeezing out some of the extra water will help prevent your tofu from tasting watery and also help with creating a chewy texture.

If you don’t have time to press tofu, feel free to buy super firm tofu. It’s an item I mention in my Vegan Grocery Guide post. This tofu doesn’t require pressing and can be used immediately. Very chewy in texture.

Use a good quality balsamic vinegar. Yes, good quality vinegar is more pricey than what you would typically get in store, but it makes a big difference in flavor. If you don’t have the means to obtain a quality vinegar, my biggest suggestion is to taste your sauce before adding into the pan. If too acidic add a little bit more maple syrup to help balance out the flavors.