Pan-Seared Tofu Atop Kale Pesto Quinoa

Ever since the last time I pan-seared tofu, my mind’s been thinking of other ways I could serve this restaurant-esque transformation of tofu. The crispy, salty and spice-encrusted exterior of the tofu gives way to a moist, supple inside that makes this cooking method of tofu a mega-hit for my taste buds. All this style of tofu needs is a little sauce action to turn what started out as a slimy block of white stuff into a gourmet meal.

After testing out the vegan kale pesto previously posted, I knew it’d be an instant hit in combination with my new favorite way to serve tofu. I figured the pesto’s slightly nutty flavor, paired with an already nutty grain, quinoa, would go perfectly beneath the crusted, tender tofu.

And a success it was. Top the meal off with some sauteed shallots and mushrooms, and you’ll have your tofu-phobe friends screaming, now that’s some “Killer Tofu.” Who would’ve thought?

Pan-Seared Tofu Atop Kale Pesto Quinoa

(Serves 2)

-2/3 of a 1-lb. block of firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into 2 1-inch thick pieces
-1 cup cooked quinoa
-3 Tbsp. kale pesto
-1 cup mushrooms, sliced
-1 shallot, minced
-Balsamic vinegar, splash
-Salt and pepper, to taste
Horizon’s Tofu Spice
-Olive oil

Saute mushrooms and shallot in a skillet over medium-high heat, until mushrooms are tender, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add splash of balsamic vinegar and saute for an additional minute.

Stir pesto into quinoa, and heat until warm.

For the tofu: Place a shallow layer of olive oil in a saute pan. Heat until very hot (you’ll see slight ripples, but don’t let it smoke.) Turn off heat and gently lay in the tofu, spice side down. Return to heat, spice the other side, and cook until the bottom side looks golden. Turn off heat and carefully flip tofu slices with a spatula. Turn the heat back on and cook the other side until golden brown.

Serve tofu atop quinoa mixture divided between two plates. Top with mushrooms and shallots.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Simply Life
    May 14, 2011 at 8:41 am

    yum! I love how elegant this looks!

    Also, congrats – you won my NuNaturals giveaway! Please send me your mailing address at!

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Sounds very flavorful! Great dish!

  • Reply
    One Pot Curried Quinoa « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    November 6, 2011 at 5:40 am

    […] Regardless, this recipe’s a good one for even when you’re busy. You’ll have to wait for it to simmer and stew, but the prep. steps are minimal, and all that will be dirtied is one pot and a cutting board. Use as a side, or serve as is, topped with a pan-fried egg or seared tofu. […]

  • Leave a Reply