Best Alternatives to Tofu

Whether you don’t like the texture of tofu or you are looking for a  soy-free alternative, we’ve got alternatives to tofu that will give you plant-based protein and other great nutrition!

5. Tempeh

What We Love: Tempeh has a firmer, nuttier texture than tofu and holds up well being sautéed or even grilled. You will need to add a lot of seasoning and better yet, soak it in a marinade for the flavor to really seep in but this hearty plant-based protein is great with BBQ sauce for a quick week-day meal. It doesn’t have a ton of fiber but it’s easy to meet your protein needs with this delicious tofu alternative. Check out other tempeh options HERE. 

Considerations: Tempeh is made from fermented soy beans (and sometimes includes other grains) and wouldn’t be a soy-free option for those looking for one.

4. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

What We Love: This high protein crumble is pure soy protein and is naturally low in fat. It’s a great option to throw into chili or tacos as it has a crumbled like texture. Check out TVP HERE – it cooks super fast and basically just has to be reconstituted in water/broth and then added into your favorite recipe.

Considerations: This is soy alternative to tofu and would not be a great option if you are looking for a soy free option.

3. Smashed Garbanzo Beans (or whole)

What We Love: You can use whole garbanzo beans in place of tofu in a spinach curry. You can also roast chickpeas to make them a bit crispy and add into a stir-fry or sheet pan dinner. Garbanzo bean flour is another great alternative for silken tofu in recipes like quiches or frittatas. Find our favorite garbanzo beans HERE for some plant-based tofu alternative goodness. 

Considerations: The only consideration is if you don’t like chickpeas!

2. Lentils

What We Love: We love lentils because they are inexpensive, super versatile, and cook in no time! Lentils can be mashed into a curry in place of tofu or can be mixed into a vegetable stir-fry with rice instead of tofu. With 9grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per half cup cooked, these plant-based powerhouses should be a staple in your diet and can absolutely replace tofu in many recipes. Check out the array of lentil options HERE

Considerations: Lentils wouldn’t be a great replacement for tofu in some recipes, like a tofu quiche or if you were doing a sheet pan dinner roasting tofu. Certainly you could serve lentils on the side, but you wouldn’t want to roast them. 😉

1. Vital Wheat Gluten

What We Love: Vital Wheat Gluten is the protein found in gluten products (like bread, etc.) but once it’s isolated and then cooked in broth/seasoning, it gets a chewy, with a bit stringy, meat like texture. In fact, many meat alternatives on the market use some vital wheat gluten to achieve the desired texture. Using it by itself means that you’ll have a super high protein plant-based option on your plate with about 20g of plant-based protein per serving. Definitely look for recipes using vital wheat gluten before trying on your own. Check out Vital Wheat Gluten HERE. 

Considerations: If you have Celiac Disease or you don’t tolerate gluten, this would not be the tofu alternative for you.

Hope that helps find a tofu alternative for your next vegan, vegetarian, or predominately plant-based meal!


The Vegan’s Pantry participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, so by clicking on the links, if you choose to purchase anything, we will receive a minimal amount at no additional cost to you. Pretty cool, right?? And this means that we can continue to improve this site to help better serve you!

Best Alternatives to Tofu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *