Baked tofu sandwich with fresh vegetables

Baked tofu sandwich with fresh vegetables

A satisfying sandwich doesn’t need meat or cheese. It needs flavor and texture. My baked tofu sandwich with fresh garden vegetables on toasted sourdough bread is a great example of how a vegan sandwich can be just as tasty and filling as a deli meat sandwich. Only this sandwich has a lot less saturated fat and cholesterol – basically zero because the ingredients are mostly plants. This sandwich comes together easily and will surprise you and your guests by how flavorful it is. Let’s start cooking.

About the ingredients

Tofu: Firm tofu or extra firm tofu is best for this recipe because it keeps its structure while it marinades and bakes in the oven. I wouldn’t recommend anything softer than firm tofu for this recipe. 

Fresh vegetables: Vegetables are more than just fillers in this sandwich, they are one of the main stars. They add crunch, flavor, and color to this recipe. I pile on a handful of fresh mixed greens, thinly sliced radishes, carrots, and cucumbers, which give the sandwich body and heartiness. I also like adding avocado to this recipe because it adds creaminess and richness, and it a good replacement for cheese if you want to keep this sandwich vegan.

Hummus: For added protein, I love smearing hummus onto my toasted sourdough slices while assembling this sandwich. I like using plain hummus or garlic hummus because the combination goes well with the other flavors in this recipe. 

Tamarind paste: The sweetness and tanginess from the tamarind paste gives the marinade for the tofu a depth of flavor that sort of reminds me of barbecue sauce. If you don’t have this ingredient, you can use a little bit more soy sauce and add a little sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice to the marinade to help balance the saltiness. 

Sourdough bread: You can use any kind of bread for this recipe, but sourdough adds great flavor and texture to this sandwich. If you want to boost the nutrients, I suggest using whole wheat or multigrain bread.

What are the benefits of tofu?

Tofu is made from soybeans and it’s a versatile ingredient in cooking and recipes. Tofu is a complete protein. It contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs. A 3.5-ounce serving of firm tofu provides about 17 grams of protein.

Tofu is also rich in nutrients, packed with calcium, manganese, iron, and vitamin B12. Additionally, some research shows soy protein could help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and increase HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, which could aid in reducing risk of heart disease.

It’s also good for the bones. Tofu contains isoflavones, which are plant compounds that have estrogen-like effects. Isoflavones may help to protect against bone loss in menopausal women. If that wasn’t enough, it has cancer-fighting properties. Some studies suggest that soy intake may be associated with a lower risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer, although more studies need to be done to confirm this. Finally, it’s a good source of fiber, which is important for digestive health.

How to cook tofu?

There are many ways to cook tofu. In this recipe, I teach you how to bake tofu in the oven. One of the key processes in cooking firm tofu is to press out moisture. This will help it to achieve a crispier texture. Here's a general guide:

Pressing the tofu: The most common method is to use a tofu press. Place the tofu block in the press and add weight on top for 30 minutes to an hour. If you don't have a press, wrap the block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and place something heavy, like a cast-iron skillet, on top for a similar amount of time.

Cutting and seasoning: Once pressed, cut the tofu into your desired shape, such as cubes, slices, or crumbles. To add flavor, marinate the tofu in a sauce or marinade of your choice for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking methods:

Baking: Preheat your oven and toss the tofu with oil and seasonings. Spread the tofu on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crispy.

Pan-frying: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown on all sides.

Air-frying: For a healthier option, you can also air-fry the tofu cubes with a little oil for a crispy exterior.

Recipe: Baked tofu sandwich with fresh vegetables on toasted sourdough bread

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Marinade time: 10 to 30 minutes

Baking time: 30 minutes 

Assembly time: 10 minutes 

Servings: 1 sandwich | enough cooked tofu for 3 people 


Tofu marinade/sauce

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or neutral oil 
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste 
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • ⅛ teaspoon cracked black better 
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch 

Sandwich ingredients 

  • 2 slices of sourdough 
  • Slices of mini Persian cucumber 
  • Shaved carrot 
  • Slices of radishes 
  • Pickled red onions
  • ½ avocado 
  • 1 tablespoon hummus (use any flavor you want)
  • 1 teaspoon mayonnaise (vegan option is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of mixed greens
  • Firm tofu, 16 ounces 
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice 


Step 1 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain and press your firm tofu between clean paper towels for at least 20 minutes. Slice the tofu lengthwise to be the same size as the bread and set aside as you make your marinade. I usually get 3 slices out of 16 ounce block of firm tofu. That means you can make about 3 sandwiches with the amount of tofu you cook up. 

Step 2 

Add your avocado oil, tamarind paste, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cornstarch to a wide and shallow bowl. The cornstarch helps with crisping up the tofu in the oven as it bakes. Whisk all the ingredients together until combined. It might not combine homogeneously, but that’s OK. Add your tofu slices to the marinade and like everything soak for at least 10 to 30 minutes.

Make sure the tofu is coated in the marinade on either side before transferring your tofu slices to a lined baking sheet. Add your leftover marinade on top of the tofu slices and place in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. 

Step 3 

When your tofu has baked for 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it rest. The marinade should have given the tofu a slightly crispy and caramelized look. 

Step 4

Prep your fresh vegetables. I like to use whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand. For instance, I like using cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and avocados. Adding some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro would be nice in this sandwich too, if you want that. During this time, also wash and dry your mixed greens. 

Step 5 

Toast your bread. I like to toast my sourdough in a pan heated to medium with a little olive oil. You know your bread is toasted when it is nicely golden and crispy. 

Step 6 

Let’s assemble. Put your first bread slice down on a cutting board and smear a thick layer of hummus onto the bread. Next, lay your mixed greens on top of the hummus-covered bread. Pile on your fresh vegetables before adding a slice of your crispy tofu. Add your sliced avocado on top, add your pickled red onions, and squeeze some lemon juice over your sandwich filling. For your second slice of bread, add your mayonnaise and Dijon mustard and top off your sandwich. 

Step 7

Cut your sandwich in half and dig in. I recommend eating this sandwich in one sitting, especially if you toasted your bread. The remaining tofu slices can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container. Enjoy! 

Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you think by adding your comments below!

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