I’m so glad I decided to rebel against the whole Paleo ‘legumes are evil’ idea and started eating tofu again.
It’s such a fun ingredient.
It waits patiently in the fridge for months ready to become a base for whatever big bold flavours you dare to throw at it.
And that’s the trick. Tofu on it’s own. Super bland.
Tofu with a big rich bolognese sauce – now we’re talking.
I love using tofu instead of spaghetti. No waiting for the pot to boil. No heavy I ate too many carbs feelings.
Just don’t tell your kids that it’s actually made from vegetables.
- 450 g ground (minced) beef
- 1 cup tomato passata or canned tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 400 g firm tofu
- small bunch basil or parsley
Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a splash of oil. Cook beef, stirring to break up the chunks until the meat is no longer pink.
Add the tomato and simmer for a few minutes until reduced slightly.
Meanwhile dice the tofu.
Add the butter and tofu and cook, stirring until everything is hot.
Serve tofu bolognese with the herbs and parmesan scattered over.
Variations & Substitutions for Tofu Bolognese
plan-B (pantry) – skip the parsley – or serve with defrosted frozen spinach for greenery.
vegetarian – use cooked lentils or chickpeas instead of the beef. You might want to season with a splash of soy sauce or miso paste for some extra umami.
different protein – any ground (minced) meat will work. I also just had the idea that diced salmon would be great with tomatoey flavours. Sliced chicken thigh or breast fillets are also good.
dairy-free – skip the parmesan or use this Brazil Nut Parm or nutritional yeast flakes. And olive oil instead of butter.
nightshade-free – make a lovely lemon ragu instead.
more substantial (carb lovers) – I serve this with extra spaghetti for my boys.
more substantial (low carb) – extra meat. Extra tofu. Extra parmesan. Also good with some avocado.
more vegetables – feel free to soften some onion, carrot or celery before cooking the beef. OR serve with baby spinach leaves, cooked kale, beautiful broccoli or my fave Wonderful Cabbage Wedges.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
ground (minced) beef – freeze it.
tomato passata / canned tomatoes – keep them in the pantry.
butter – will keep in the fridge for weeks.
tofu – will keep in an unopened packet for a few months (check use by date on packet). Opened packets can be frozen.
parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
basil – make basil oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil. Or you can freeze the leaves, they’ll wilt but will still be delicious.
parmesan – wrap in baking paper and store in the fridge in a sealed paper bag or airtight container. Will keep for months. Can be frozen if you’re going away.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – tofu needs salt! Or a splash of balsamic vinegar. More parmesan. Or add in a flavour bomb.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the parsley separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen.
More Simple Recipes like Tofu Bolognese
- Tofu Not-Pizza
- Addictive Peanut Tofu Scramble
- Slow Mapo Tofu
- Easiest Baked Bolognese
- Greek Bolognese
I love the idea of tofu Bolognese and the option of using salmon is excellent, but using canned salmon is easier and it breaks up like the ground meat! I make a salmon sauce often – I always have a can or two in my pantry.