Pesto-Stuffed Tofu Recipe

Searing tofu and stuffing it with a punchy pesto transforms this recipe from ho-hum to yum.

Searing tofu and then stuffing it with a punchy pesto transforms it from ho-hum to yum. Besides, studies show that eating more plant-based protein at the expense of meat is a recipe for longevity. Using quick-cooking quinoa as a sidekick gives you more plant protein along with vital nutrients like magnesium, an often underconsumed mineral used for building bones of steel.

Pesto-Stuffed Tofu Recipe

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • Extra-firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp pesto
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)


Bring vegetable broth, quinoa and a pinch of salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Set aside covered for five minutes and then gently fluff with fork. Line a cutting board with a couple sheets of paper towel. Top with a block of extra-firm tofu and a couple more sheets of towel. Press gently to extract excess liquid. Slice tofu along its width into two slabs and then cut each slab in half. Season each piece of tofu with salt and black pepper. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu squares to pan and heat until golden and crispy on the bottom, about three minutes. Flip and heat until golden on other side, adding more oil to pan if needed. Spread store-bought pesto on each of two pieces of tofu, then top with remaining tofu. Serve stuffed tofu with quinoa.

Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., is an author and journalist who specializes in sports nutrition and is the recipient of the 2013 James Beard Award for Food Journalism.


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