These Tofu Taco Crumbles get their flavor from a pre-packaged taco seasoning as well as other seasonings, and tahini paste. They are a perfect accompaniment to sprinkle on vegetable dishes needing a little bit of Mexican flavor.
Tofu has a certain kind of magic – it has the ability to turn into any flavor you ask of it! This is certainly true with these Tofu Taco Crumbles. You can use them as an accompaniment in almost any vegetable-based Mexican dish. I top my Loaded Nachos and Loaded Potato Nachos with these Tofu Taco Crumbles.
If you've never made tofu crumbles before you are in for a real treat! You can turn an ordinary block of tofu into meaty little flavored nuggets you can use to top salads, soups, baked potatoes, and more.
The first tofu crumbles recipe I made was a savory-sweet snacking tofu loaded with seeds, nuts, and dried cranberries and was perfect for topping salads to add a little crunch and flavor. I learned that I could make tofu crumbles that taste like pepperoni and tofu sausage too. Both are perfect for pizza!
As a plant-based eater, I wouldn’t use the tofu crumbles as the “main event” in any dish though, because as plant-based eaters we aren’t necessarily about using fake meats but rather finding delicious vegetable-based alternatives.
Even still, sometimes it’s nice to have a little familiar flavor in your food like tofu bacon bits or bbq flavored tofu crumbles. And Asian-inspired tofu crumbles are yummy when featured in a lettuce wrap or on a salad.
Ingredients needed to make taco tofu crumbles
- extra firm tofu – The recipe calls for a 16-ounce block of tofu. Sometimes I can only find a 14 ounce block. Just use that. It will be a little more flavored and will not yield quite as much (2 ounces less) but will still work.
- tahini Paste – Tahini adds texture and gives a savory depth of flavor.
- vegetable broth
- soy sauce – The recipe calls for low-sodium soy sauce. if you only have regular soy sauce then use that but wait to add the salt till after tasting.
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning – This can be the taco seasoning you buy in a jar or package. Read the label to make sure it does not include dairy. You you can make your own taco seasoning mix if you’d rather.
- smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, black pepper
The Tofu Taco Crumbles get their savory taste from a little soy sauce, smoked paprika, and a secret ingredient: tahini paste. Tahini paste is ground sesame seeds and is typically used in hummus. It also lends a rich flavor to sauces, gravies, and as it turns out, “meaty” tofu. I use it in most of my Tofu Crumble recipes as well as some salad dressings and sauces and such as Smoky Tahini Tomato Sauce.
How to make taco tofu crumbles
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Pressing and crumbling the tofu
The most important step to making tofu crumbles is to start with an extra firm tofu and then really squeeze the liquid out. It took me a really long time to go ahead and buy a tofu press. I gotta tell you, it’s a game changer! Using an actual tofu press is so much quicker and less labor-intensive than pressing with weight.
It’s okay if you are still pressing your tofu the old-fashioned way – with weights and plates. It’s just more work and takes a little longer. I can press the same block of tofu in about 10 minutes -vs- an hour with the weight method.
Preparing the seasonings
While your tofu is being pressed, prepare the other ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir together the tahini paste, vegetable broth, soy sauce, taco seasoning, smoked paprika, onion powder, and salt and pepper.
You might need to stir aggressively to fully incorporate the tahini paste. Depending on the brand you buy it might be smooth or clumpy and chunky.
Crumble the pressed tofu
Crumble the pressed dried tofu into the bowl. I really don’t know a better way to do it other than by hand. I’ve tried cutting it and mashing it but the hand method really gives the best-sized, most natural-looking crumbles. It is a little labor-intensive but worth it.
Baking the taco tofu crumbles
Spread the tofu mixture evenly onto the pan and then put it into a 375° oven. The taco tofu crumbles will cook for about 40 minutes but you can’t just leave it. You’ll need to check it and stir around at set intervals for even cooking.
At 15 minutes remove the mixture from the oven and stir it around. Flip the pieces over with a spatula and move the darker edge pieces to the middle and the undercooked middle pieces to the edge. Repeat in another 15 minutes.
You can continue to cook the tofu crumbles for another 10 minutes if it’s not browned enough – but do check and stir every couple of minutes because it overcooks very quickly. Note: This will NOT brown up as much as hamburger meat does. If you wait for that to happen, it will dry out.
Your tofu taco crumbles are nicely browned and ready to go. You can use them right away or save them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to a week. If they dry out, add a little veggie broth to revive them before heating and using them in your favorite dishes.
And now I’ve gotta tease you with the Loaded Nachos!
And the Loaded Nacho Potato dish🙂
Taco tofu crumbles are great to use in street tacos or to top your favorite Mexican salads or soup. Bake a sweet potato, add some black beans and taco tofu crumbles for a quick and easy high protein hearty meal.
The printable recipe card for tofu taco crumbles
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Tofu Taco Crumbles
- 1 16 ounce block extra firm tofu get non GMO/organic if possible
- 1 Tablespoon tahini Paste
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce low sodium
- 2 Tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° fahrenheit.
- Press and drain tofu, pouring off liquid as necessary until no more liquid drains off. If you have a tofu press this should go quickly – about 10-15 minutes. If you need to use the weight method then put between plates and put weight on top. This will take longer – up to an hour.
- While tofu is pressing, stir together all other ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl.
- After tofu is thoroughly pressed and drained, crumble into bowl with other ingredients and toss to fully incorporate.
- Spread mixture evenly onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Cook in a 375° oven for a total of 30-40 minutes. You will need to check and stir at the 15 minute point and at the 30 minute point. When stirring, move the tofu from the outer edges into the middle and the middle tofu to the outer edges. After that, check and stir every 2 minutes as it over-browns and dries out quickly.
- If you don't use right away then put into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. Pay attention the expiration date on the tofu and if it expires during that week then don't keep beyond that. Add a little vegetable broth if it gets too dry.