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Close up of creamy tomato orzo served with some crispy tofu on top.

Creamy Tomato Orzo with Crispy Tofu Cutlets

  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This dairy-free Creamy Tomato Orzo comes together in less than 30 minutes with simple ingredients and can be served with some satisfying Crispy Tofu Cutlets. A tasty and healthy meal for the family.



Breaded Tofu

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil or spray oil
  • 1, ~400g block extra firm tofu, drained from package
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • Zest of one lemon, optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Creamy Tomato Orzo

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes from a jar packed in oil, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free cream of choice (cashew cream, plain oat milk, cheap homemade vegan cream or canned coconut milk)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and evenly spread the oil on the bottom of a sheet pan. Cut the tofu block into 4 thin cutlet shapes lengthwise then set aside. Add the tofu to a shallow dish and drizzle over with the soy sauce to coat.
  2. In a separate shallow dish add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, seasonings, zest and salt then whisk to combine. Grab a tofu slice and shake off excess soy sauce then place into the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Place the coated tofu onto the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining tofu slices.
  3. Place the tofu into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the tofu and return to the oven to finish baking for 10 minutes.
  4. While the tofu bakes, prepare the orzo. Place a medium sized skillet over medium low heat. Add in the oil and allow it to warm through then add in the cherry tomatoes and stir. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to blister and release some of their juices.
  5. Add in the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch of salt and continue to sauté until the shallots begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and continue sauteing until fragrant.
  6. To the pan, add the orzo, nutritional yeast and oregano and stir to combine. Pour in the vegetable broth and your cream of choice and stir well. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir frequently for about 10-12 minutes or until the orzo has absorbed a good portion of liquid. If the orzo appears to be drying up quickly, reduce the heat and add an extra splash of water or reserved vegetable broth as needed.
  7. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the spinach, allowing the natural heat of the orzo to wilt the spinach then season to taste before serving with some of the crispy tofu.


Make this gluten-free by swapping the bread crumbs for gluten-free bread crumbs (I do recommend placing in a food processor to make these finer in texture), soy sauce for a gluten-free tamari, and the pasta for gluten-free pasta. Note, if you are vegan you will want to also make sure that the gluten-free bread crumbs are vegan as well.

Skip the tofu. If you are allergic to soy, skip the breaded tofu and roast some chickpeas to add on top. You can follow the steps for these roasted chickpeas in this recipe.

Speed the cooking process up by cutting your cherry tomatoes in half before adding them to the pan to sauté. This will save a couple of minutes versus waiting for the tomatoes to burst.

Once you add the orzo, continue to stir. This will help prevent your orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pan as it cooks.

To make a cheap dairy-free cream at home, combine 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or almond milk with 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon neutral oil. Whisk or blend to combine and use as the cream alternative.

Keywords: creamy tomato orzo, tomato orzo