Basil Balsamic Pan Fried Tofu

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Basil balsamic pan fried tofu is flavored with a delicious marinade and then cooked in a frying pan. This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, plant-based, and vegetarian.

basil balsamic pan fried tofu on a blue plate with white rice and chopped parsley. A black kitchen towel and fork are beside the plate.

Basil Balsamic Pan Fried Tofu

This is an easy 30-minute meal idea made with marinated tofu and rice.

The basil balsamic marinade smells so good while the tofu is cooking and adds a wonderful flavor.

Pan-frying tofu is easy. The entire meal, including rice, can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

This recipe can be served as a vegetarian dinner. You can also meal prep a few batches in glass containers for easy lunches throughout the week.

If you’re not familiar with cooking tofu, there are a simple few tips to know before you get started. I’ll walk you through those below.

Close up of cooked pan fried tofu on a plate with white rice.

Basil Balsamic Pan Fried Tofu Ingredients

This recipe uses tofu, homemade marinade and rice. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Extra Firm Tofu – Look for a 14-16 oz container of “extra firm” tofu. This will produce the crispiest results.
  • Marinade – To make the marinade, you’ll need cooking oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, dried basil and salt.
  • Rice – I served my tofu with white long grain rice. You could also use quinoa, brown rice or pasta.
cooked basil balsamic tofu in a frying pan with wood spatula

How To Cook Tofu In A Frying Pan

One of the easiest ways to cook tofu is in a frying pan. Here’s a quick overview of how to do it:

  1. Add a bit of cooking oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the pressed and cut tofu to the pan. Brown on all sides and cook until sides start to look a bit crispy. This will take about 8-10 minutes in total.
  3. Remove from heat and serve with rice, quinoa, pasta or anything else you’d like.
Why Does My Tofu Stick To The Pan?

If your tofu is sticking to the pan, there might be too much moisture in your tofu. Be sure to use extra-firm tofu and press it before cooking. You can see simple pressing instructions below in the recipe card.
Also, make sure to heat the frying pan with a bit of oil before adding in the tofu.

basil balsamic pan fried tofu close up

Want more tofu flavors? Try my 7 Easy Tofu Marinades that will give your tofu incredible flavor. You can use these in a variety of recipes – including salads, wraps and grain bowls.

Basil Balsamic Pan Fried Tofu

Basil balsamic pan fried tofu is flavored with a delicious marinade and then cooked in a frying pan. This recipe is gluten-free, sugar-free, plant-based, and vegetarian.
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 2 servings



Press Tofu:

  • Remove the tofu from the package and drain any excess liquid.
    Place the tofu on 3-4 paper towels. Then add another 3-4 paper towels on top.
  • Place a clean heavy frying pan or pot on top of the tofu for 30 minutes. This will "press the tofu" and squeeze out any excess moisture. If your pan isn't too heavy you can add canned beans to create more weight.
    Replace the paper towels halfway through if they become too wet.
  • Once the tofu has been pressed, chop it in to 1-inch squares and place in a bag.

Marinate The Tofu:

  • In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients: avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried basil and salt. Pour into the bag with chopped tofu and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes or longer.
    Note: These marinades work best when tofu can be soaked for at least a few hours – I prefer to marinate overnight.

Pan Fry The Tofu:

  • Heat a frying pan with a bit of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Pan should be hot before adding in the tofu and sauce. Cook until the tofu is browned on each side, about 8-10 minutes.
  • The sauce will reduce during this time and the tofu will get crispy.
  • Serve on a bed of rice with salt and pepper and sesame seeds (optional). Enjoy!

Storage Instructions:

  • Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight glass container. You can reheat the tofu leftovers in the frying pan or microwave.


Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 380mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 4mg
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