Plant-based eating is one of the best ways to find new and exciting recipes like this red lentil tofu. The original recipe comes from PowerHungry, but we’ve put our Plant-Based Whole30 twist on it.

Red lentil tofu is an excellent option if you avoid soy due to allergy or preference. This recipe is soy-free and has around 11 grams of protein per serving. Getting enough plant-based protein is easy! Plant-based protein is one of the top questions. Here are some additional articles on protein if that is one of your questions, too;

Protein Boosters Are Your New Plant-Based Best Friend
Seek Out These High-Protein Plant-Based Foods
Plant-Based Protein Explained—How Do Plants Even Have Protein?

What are red lentils?

Red lentils are a legume, a word derived from the Latin word “legumen” meaning vegetable or plant. Other legumes include beans and peas. Red lentil’s color can vary from pinkish to red, but regardless of what the actual color shade is, they are referred to as red lentils.

Traditional culinary uses for red lentils are in soups, stews, and curries. Today, we are taking an unconventional approach to using lentils and making a simple red lentil tofu that you can make easily for the week.

Health benefits of red lentils?

Small but mighty, red lentils are loaded with nutrients we need. Here are some of the key nutrients that can be found in red lentils.

  • Iron: what our bodies use to produce hemoglobin that transports oxygen.
    One serving of this red lentil tofu gives you about 6mg of iron.
    According to the National Institute of Health, the daily need for iron in Women 19-50 is 18mg daily. Men 19-50 need 8mg per day, and those over 51 need 8mg per day. 
  • Fiber: necessary for healthy digestion and reducing the risk of heart disease.
    This recipe gives you 7grams per serving
    Women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 28 grams per day.
  • Protein: how we grow, repair, and maintain tissue in our bodies.
  • Folate: plays an important role in cell division, which is especially important during pregnancy and childhood. 
  • Zinc: supports our immune system and promotes wound healing. 
  • Phosphorous: gives our teeth and bones a strong structure 
  • Magnesium: important for nervous system function and very involved in many enzymatic reactions. 
  • Potassium: is part of regulating our heartbeat and keeping the fluid in our body balanced.

What is red lentil tofu?

Unlike soy tofu, this is made with red lentils, water, and spices! Making it naturally soy-free.

What you need:

  • Dry red lentils
  • Water
  • Spices
  • Blender

How to make and use red lentil tofu

The base ingredients for this recipe are red lentils and water. During the recipe testing, adding seasonings to the mixture gives it way more flavor and keeps it from tasting bland. The last thing we want is bland “nofu”.

When adding spices, you can change and adjust them based on your personal preference. Plus, after you’ve done it once, you’ll know what you like. Some recipes say the salt is optional, but I highly recommend not leaving that ingredient out.

To cook this red lentil tofu, the best way is on the stovetop with a little bit of avocado oil. For more flavor, you could use an infused oil. The process is unique, as you don’t want to disturb the cubes once you put them down. Let them cook until golden brown, and they come loose from the pan. If they don’t come loose, the crispy side will pull off.

When cooked in the air fryer or baked on the stove, the red lentil tofu puffs up and loses the crispy texture.

Easy Red Lentil Tofu

Plant-Based Whole30 Red Lentil Tofu Blog Image

Easy Red Lentil Tofu

This recipe is made with red lentils, water, and spices, making it an excellent option if you avoid soy due to allergy or preference. Small but mighty, red lentils are loaded with nutrients, and each serving of this no-soy tofu has a whopping 11 grams of protein!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Fridge time to firm: 2 hours
Course dinner, lunch
Servings 3 people

Equipment

  • Blender must be equipped to handle hot liquid

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup red lentils (dry, don’t cook these)
  • 1.5 cups boiling water
  • 1.5 cups room temperature water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • First, boil water 1 and ½ cups of water in a saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, rinse the lentils in cold water using a small holed colander.
  • Ensure the blender you have is made for blending very hot things. Not all blenders are, so check with the owner's manual or manufacturer's directions. If you have the green light, add the boiling water and lentils into the blender and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Once they have sat and expanded slightly, add the spices and blend until smooth. You may have to scrape the sides down occasionally.
  • Once it is blended smoothly, pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan along with the remaining 2 cups of water.
  • Stir frequently for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is thick and gooey.
  • Add the gooey mixture into an ungreased square baking dish and place uncovered in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. The longer you leave it in the fridge, the more firm the texture will be.
  • Remove the tofu from the fridge and cut into cubes! It’s ready for cooking.

Notes:

  • To cook this red lentil tofu, the best way is on the stovetop with a little bit of avocado oil. For more flavor, you could use an infused oil. The process is unique, as you don’t want to disturb the cubes once you put them down. Let them cook until golden brown, and they come loose from the pan. If they don’t come loose, the crispy side will pull off.
  • The original recipe notes that this can be left in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days if you want to prep and prepare beforehand.
Keyword Plant-based
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Rhyan Geiger

Registered Dietitian

Rhyan is a registered dietitian and two-time vegan author who specializes in vegan nutrition. She is the owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian where she helps others easily transition to vegan living. She has many years of experience in vegan nutrition and believes in positively impacting the world one bite at a time. Rhyan is an expert in this field and has been featured in many media outlets including Women’s Health and Business Insider. You can connect with her at www.phxvegandietitian.com or on Instagram @phxvegandietitian.