My usual dinner is a side that I treat like a main. Some might think that’s kind of weird, but I’ve never been a meat and potatoes kind of eater.
Even though I’m not a vegetarian, veggies always come first when I’m planning a meal. Grains/carbs are second, and then my mind jumps straight to dessert!
Meat, poultry and fish feel more optional to me. I can take them or leave them.
Lately, I have been wanting to up my vegetarian main dish game with things that make more sense for the feature dish.
Sheet pan dinners are popular for a reason. They are easy, and cleanup is minimal. You get pretty much everything on a single pan.
Tofu is not on my regular shopping list, but on my last trip, I stopped and picked up a package. As I continued strolling through the aisles, I brainstormed about what I could do with it.
Kung pao chicken is one of my favorites when we go out for Chinese food, which really isn’t that often. I love the vegetables and peanuts, but most of all, I like the spicy sauce.
Instead of using a wok, I made sheet pan kung pao tofu. I started by whisking together the sauce, a combination of soy sauce, hoison, sesame oil, rice vinegar, minced garlic, fresh ginger and red pepper flakes.
Sheet Pan Kung Pao Tofu: The Heat
I searched high and low for dried Sichuan peppers, but I had no luck. That’s why I used red pepper flakes instead. You can adjust how much you add to the sauce depending on how much heat you can handle.
The tofu got a head start in the oven. Then I added the red bell peppers, broccoli florets and peanuts to the sheet pan to finish roasting.
Once it was out of the oven, I sprinkled on sliced scallions and cilantro. I served my sheet pan kung pao tofu with a quinoa & millet super grain blend, but brown rice would work, too.
Sheet Pan Kung Pao Tofu
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
- Total Time: 45-50 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
Non-stick cooking spray
1-14 ounce package extra firm tofu
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoison sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1 handful cilantro leaves, whole and roughly chopped
Brown rice or quinoa for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pat the tofu with a paper towel. Wrap with a dry paper towel and place a cast iron pan or cutting board on top to remove more liquid. Let stand for 15 minutes. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoison, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
Toss the tofu in the sauce. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tofu to the prepared sheet pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 10-12 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, and flip the tofu to the other side.
Toss the red peppers and broccoli in the sauce. Use a slotted spoon to spread the vegetables across the sheet pan around the tofu. Bake 5 minutes before scattering the peanuts on the pan. Continue cooking until the tofu is browned and the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Sprinkle the scallions and cilantro on top. Serve with rice and the remaining sauce.