Get ready for the perfect duo both nutritious and delicious. My Best Spiced Lentils and Crispy Tofu with Brown Rice is a must for your dinner table!
Green lentils are so easy to make as they are bland and absorb all the seasonings very well.
Lentils are loaded with dietary fiber and this is the perfect recipe if you are looking for a filling plant based meal.
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Ingredients for this easy vegan recipe
- green lentils , you can use red lentils if you like
- vegetable broth plus a little water
- red bell pepper
- sweet onion, yellow onion or red onion is a great substitute
- heirloom tomato, any tomato work if you can’t
- spices for lentils: paprika, dried thyme, dried basil, garlic powder, coriander, dried oregano, cinnamon, sumac (if you can’t find sumac, a squeeze of lemon juice works)
- firm tofu, firm or extra-firm tofu is the best
- corn starch, this is what will give the tofu a nice crispy texture
- extra virgin olive oil
- spices for the tofu: garlic powder, paprika, dried oregano, dried basil, ground thyme, cayenne pepper
- brown rice, you can also use plain white rice, jasmine, basmati or omit the rice all together.
- pomegranate seeds, this really is an optional garnish that gives the dish a nice salty sweet balance
- optional salt and pepper, I add salt to the tofu spice blend and I found that to be plenty
Preparing the Spiced Lentils
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for the tofu. Start with placing the dried lentils in a strainer and rinse for a few minutes under cold water. Then drain.
In a large dutch oven pan over medium-high heat, add the lentils, sweet onion and vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil then turn the temperature down to low and let it simmer for about 12-15 minutes. (As the lentils cook, start on the tofu) Then add the chopped heirloom tomato and the red bell pepper along with spices.
Continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Add the water if the lentils need more. Let it cook for another 5-7 minutes.
The best way to check for doneness is to do a taste test. Lentils are done when they are tender. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
Making the Crispy Tofu
For the tofu, have a dry surface ready lined with a paper towel. Place the tofu on it and press out the excess water from the tofu using paper towels. A trick is to place something heavy on top for about 10 minutes and let the towels absorb all the excess moisture. The easiest way is to press the tofu between baking sheets or a cutting board.
Slice tofu into cubes and place on a lined sheet pan with parchment paper. Press out any additional water if needed.
Toss with the corn starch and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Add the olive oil and the spice mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir and then bake it for an additional 15-20 minutes.
The serving size for 4 meals is 3/4 cup cooked lentils, about 1/3 cup rice and about a 1/3 cup tofu.
Store any remaining lefovers in a glass food storage container.
Other ways to enjoy these Spiced Lentils and Crispy Tofu
- fry up some eggs and enjoy it for breakfast
- enjoy a lentil salad
- make some fresh tortillas and serve the lentils as tacos and add some sour cream and avocado slices
- enjoy the lentil bean tofu mix over roasted sweet potato
- use the lentils and tofu as a filling for vegan enchiladas (and yes you can add more avocado!)
- some delicious toppings besides pomegrantes are toasted pine nuts and spiced yogurt
- you can air fry the tofu
- for a little heat add red pepper flakes, jalapeño peppers or Serrano pepper
- other spices are great with this lentil mixture such as curry powder, garam masala or a curry paste
Some tips for this Lentils and Tofu Bowl
When selecting tofu, it is important that you use either firm tofu or extra firm. The soft tofu will not give the same texture. Also, don’t skip over the step of draining the tofu. When I first started cooking tofu, I didn’t realize that and I always wondered why my tofu wasn’t turning out. Then one day my vegan friend was talking about how they prepared tofu and I’m like OMG!!!! LOL
Needless to say, now that I have made tofu a ton of times, it’s really easy and tasty! My Lentil Tofu recipe is gluten free and vegan.
My recipe calls for brown rice but you can use white or basmati if you like.
Baked tofu and lentils are a powerhouse combo of plant-based protein! I wanted to create something high protein yet flavorful and simple. This a great recipe for meatless Mondays! Also I wanted to create a recipe that anyone who wants to dabble in vegetarian/vegan cooking can try without feeling overwhelmed.
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Best Spiced Lentils and Crispy Tofu with Brown Rice
- dutch oven
- sheet pan
- paper towels for draining tofu
- 1/2 pound lentils rinsed
- 1 quarts vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small red bell pepper medium diced
- 1 small sweet onion medium diced
- 1 small heirloom tomato medium diced
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 block tofu firm or extra firm
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup brown rice cooked
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds optional garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for the tofu.
- Place the lentils in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Then drain.
- In a large dutch oven pan over medium high heat, add the lentils, sweet onion and vegetable broth.
- Bring it to a boil then turn the temperature down to low and let it simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Then add the chopped heirloom tomato and the red bell pepper along withe the spices. (Start on the tofu as the lentils cook)
- Continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Have a quick taste test to check for doneness. Add the water in. Let it cook for another 5-7 minutes.
- Lentils are done when they are tender.
- For the tofu, have a dry surface ready lined with paper towels. Place the tofu on it and press out the excess water from the tofu using paper towels.
- Cut the tofu into cubes and place on a lined sheet pan with parchment paper. Toss with the corn starch.
- Drizzle with olive oil and add the spices.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, give it a stir and then place back in the oven and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
- Serve in a medium size bowl and top with the pomegranate seeds.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out! Tag me on Instagram @whensaltyandsweetunite or use #whensaltyandsweetunite.