Spicy & Crispy Peanut Tofu with Green Beans

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 30 votes

Spicy and crispy peanut tofu is a hearty vegan dinner that’s all cooked in the oven on one sheet pan! Made extra delectable with an 8-ingredient peanut sauce and green beans roasted alongside. This is a vegan dinner with minimal chopping too!

An overhead shot of a bowl containing cooked brown rice, crispy peanut tofu, and green beans. The bowl is topped with drops of chili crisp and sliced green onions. There are also extra drizzles of peanut sauce.

Spicy peanut sauce and crispy baked tofu are made for each other—truly a match made in flavor heaven! This recipe for peanut tofu with green beans emerges from the oven perfectly crispy, tender and browned after just 30 minutes. It’s ready in even less time if you use my crispy tofu in the air fryer method. Serve this with a side of warm brown rice for a simple and scrumptious vegan dinner.

A slight 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of crispy peanut tofu and green beans over brown rice. The bowl is garnished with chili crisp and green onions. A jar of peanut sauce is nearby.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a tofu and green bean dinner with spices, peanut sauce, and green onions.

I personally always prefer to bake tofu rather than pan fry it–I also explore this in my cookbook! This roasting method is especially nice because we can get a vegetable on the baking sheet too! Here, green beans roast up alongside so that you can have a nice peanut tofu bowl in the end! My tofu peanut sauce is a little spicy and comes together simply in the blender.

How to get a crispy crust on tofu:

  • Lately I’ve been tearing my tofu into pieces rather than cutting it. The jagged edges have more opportunity for crispiness!
  • I thoroughly blot the pieces of tofu dry before roasting at high heat.
  • Space out the tofu out as much as possible in the oven so that air can circulate around each piece.
  • After tossing with oil, salt, and pepper, I coat the tofu pieces with arrowroot starch. The starch will absorb moisture from the tofu’s surface, making for a crispier exterior. You can also substitute cornstarch!

The peanut sauce for this peanut tofu recipe is inspired by satay sauce, which originates in Indonesia, but is served in various forms all over Southeast Asia. My version is not authentic to one particular region. The well-rounded sweet, sour, and slightly spicy nature of satay preparations in general is the main inspiration. You can read more about satay and its traditional applications here.

I hope that you give this easy, sheet pan-centric dinner recipe a try soon! I know that sheet pan dinners have been a thing online for the last few years (maybe longer?). Are we still making and loving them? Let me know in the comments.

An overhead shot of roasted tofu and green beans on a parchment-lined sheet pan with a serving spatula nearby.
A slight 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of crispy peanut tofu and green beans over brown rice. The bowl is garnished with chili crisp and green onions. A jar of peanut sauce is nearby.
An overhead shot of a bowl containing cooked brown rice, crispy peanut tofu, and green beans. The bowl is topped with drops of chili crisp and sliced green onions. There are also extra drizzles of peanut sauce.

Spicy & Crispy Peanut Tofu with Green Beans

Spicy and crispy peanut tofu is a hearty vegan dinner that’s all cooked in the oven on one sheet pan! Made extra delectable with an 8-ingredient peanut sauce. I like to serve mine with warm brown rice, sliced green onions, and chili crisp.
5 from 30 votes
An overhead shot of a bowl containing cooked brown rice, crispy peanut tofu, and green beans. The bowl is topped with drops of chili crisp and sliced green onions. There are also extra drizzles of peanut sauce.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 2 -4

Ingredients

Spicy Peanut Sauce (makes extra)

  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (or Sriracha, Gochujang, other hot sauce/chili paste to taste)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Crispy Tofu & Green Beans:

  • 1 lb (454 grams) firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3 ½ tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
  • ¾ lb (340 grams) green beans, trimmed
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • warm cooked rice, for serving
  • chili crisp, for serving (optional)

Equipment

Notes

  • Normally I advocate for pressing tofu prior to cooking. Lately though, I place my blocks of tofu in the freezer as soon as I get home from the grocery store and then thaw them in the fridge one day prior to cooking. I find that the freezing gives me the texture that I love with tofu–chewy and crispy, and it’s less fuss than pressing.
  • You can sub cornstarch for arrowroot.
  • If you’re willing to compromise crispiness, you can toss the finished tofu with some of the peanut sauce and pop it under the broiler for a minute or so–just to get a more outright peanut-y flavour!

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In an upright blender, combine the peanut butter, water, garlic, ginger, Tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, rice vinegar, Sambal Oelek, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  • Tear the tofu into 1-2 inch pieces and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Blot the pieces dry as best you can. Transfer tofu pieces to a medium bowl.
  • To the bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt, and pepper. Give the tofu a toss to coat. Then, to the tofu add the arrowroot, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Toss again to coat. Lay the tofu out on the baking sheet in a single layer. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • Wipe out the medium bowl that you used for the tofu and add the green beans to it. To the green beans, add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil, remaining teaspoon garlic powder, remaining teaspoon onion powder, and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • When the 15 minute timer goes off, remove the tofu from the oven. Using a spatula, stir up the tofu pieces and move them all over to one half of the baking sheet. Add the green beans to the empty half of the baking sheet and spread them out. Slide the baking tray back in and set the timer for 15 minutes again.
  • Once the green beans are tender and lightly browned in spots, and the tofu is crispy and browned, you’re good to go! I like to give the tofu and green beans a quick broil too. Serve the crispy tofu and green beans with warm rice, green onions, chili crisp, and heavy drizzles of the spicy peanut sauce. Enjoy!
19/07/2023 (Last Updated 24/07/2024)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, main course, quick, roasted, salty, sauce, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, tofu, umami, vegan, winter

35 comments

5 from 30 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating




  • Sherryn

    5 stars
    This peanut sauce is genius! I’ve made sauces like this with all the same ingredients but no one ever suggested using a blender — absolute game changer. Sadly, after I tossed the tofu in the oven and grabbed my green beans they had turned :-( Luckily, I had some frozen riced cauliflower which I used as a two-fer sub for the rice and green beans. Simply fabulous! It was impossible to resist noshing on the crispy tofu and peanut sauce while I was waiting for the riced cauliflower to steam in the microwave. Pretty much could be for 1 serving :-D

    • Laura Wright

      Sherryn,
      I snack on the tofu when it’s done too! It eats like a bag of chips for me lol. Glad you enjoyed!
      -L

  • Stephanie

    5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous! Added about 3TBs of sambel olek for more kick!!! Yummmm!!!!

  • Courtney Wick

    5 stars
    I made this almost exactly as written (with cornstarch, not arrowroot) and oh my gosh it is SO TASTY!!! I saved it for future use. I like that it makes a good amount of peanut sauce. AND that it’s a peanut sauce so delicious I could DRINK IT. I did drink a few spoonfuls. I used 1.5 TBLSPNS of sihracha. Perfect blend. Cilantro and crushed peanuts on top is a nice addition too, if you’re feelin fancy.

  • Sasha

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! I used cornstarch instead of arrowroot and I used much less oil, just a drizzle over the (frozen and thawed) tofu and a drizzle on the green beans. The tofu was crispy and the sauce is divine. Served with fresh basmati rice and chopped green onions. Thank you!

  • Ash

    5 stars
    We loved this! Can’t believe how crispy the tofu was. And that sauce is awesome! I did increase the lime a little to our taste, we are accustomed to tangy things :-) I didn’t have tofu in the freezer so I used extra firm, high protein tofu which I pressed whilst I prepped the sauce and veg (added broccoli to the beans, mmm!) – and it was perfect. Put the leftover sauce in the freezer for next time. Thanks for a really easy and delicious recipe!

  • Alex

    5 stars
    This recipe blew me away! The tofu was perfectly crispy and the sauce was so tasty. I’ll definitely be using your method of tearing tofu for other recipes. I didn’t have any rice on hand so I served the beans and tofu on soba noodles. I’ll probably try rice next time but it worked very well with the soba noodles too!

  • Laura

    5 stars
    10/10! LOVED everything about this. Made it last night and had it again for lunch today. The best crispy tofu – the best. I immediately texted this recipe to several friends. One made it tonight and she loved it as well. Will be making this on repeat!!!!

  • Heather

    5 stars
    Wow. I made this with broccoli instead of beans (it’s what i had) and finished the tofu off in the air fryer. It was incredible! Will make this one again for sure!

    • Laura Wright

      Love that you used broccoli! Such a good flavour pairing for the peanut sauce :)
      -L

  • May

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe for ease and flexibility! I have been waiting for a tofu recipe that actually came out crunchy from the oven and these STAYED crunchy after sitting out for 20 mins (and beyond)!

    Made the peanut sauce with apple cider vinegar as I did not have rice vinegar or lime and added an extra Tbsp of white vinegar to get the acidity up. Also used the full 2 Tbsp of spice suggested and I really appreciate the substitutes! I used gochujang and the heat built up to the point my husband asked if he bit into a pepper (in a good way)

  • Shaina

    5 stars
    EXCELLENT! So so good, can’t wait to make this again!

    • Laura Wright

      Thanks for this comment and review Shaina!
      -L

  • Deborah Mahar

    5 stars
    The BEST crispy tofu I’ve ever made! And, the peanut sauce is delicious.

  • Elysha

    5 stars
    This is one of my new favourite meals!! It’s simple and quick enough to make during the week. The peanut sauce was so flavourful… And I loved the texture and flavour of the tofu. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  • Katie

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was incredible!! The flavor combo in the sauce was absolutely perfection and I LOVED this method for making tofu! The texture was so good. Can’t wait to make again :)

  • Michelle

    5 stars
    Delicious! Even my kids loved it. I haven’t gotten such a positive response from a new recipe in so long. Adding this to my regulars. Thank you!

  • Jennifer

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Minimal prep and short ingredient list = a win for easy weeknight dinner! Cooked rice while the rest was in the oven. I hadn’t tried the technique of tearing the tofu into chunks before, but I loved how it turned out texturally! I didn’t end up using frozen tofu, but used an extra-firm pressed tofu and it was just fine. Also appreciated having leftover peanut sauce to add some pizzazz to other meals throughout the week. Will definitely be making this one again. And bonus, it helped me use up some sad green onions I had in my crisper :)

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Jennifer!
      So glad the recipe worked out for you and appreciate your note on using pressed tofu. I know folks will find that helpful in the future! :)
      -L

  • Weekly meals July 24 – July 28 – Three Plates Full

    […] Spicy crispy peanut tofu with green beans from @thefirstmess my garden is bursting with beans, both green and yellow so I will use them for this recipe. […]

  • AMC

    I can verify that this was great! Any particularly good ideas for the leftover sauce?

    • Laura Wright

      I love using leftover peanut sauce for cold noodle and veggie salads, grain bowls, drizzled over a baked sweet potato stuffed with chickpeas, as a dip for summer rolls or even just cut veggies.
      -L

  • Fred

    A mouthwatering delight that combines crispy tofu, zesty spice, and fresh green beans. A taste sensation that’ll leave you wanting more! ️

  • Chris

    5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet (tonight!) – and sheet pan dinners are the best. Love them.

    Thank you for this recipe – can’t wait to try it!

  • Ula

    5 stars
    That’s such a flavour bomb! I’ve just made for dinner and love it :) Thank you for sharing!

    • Laura Wright

      You are so fast! Glad you enjoyed it, Ula :)
      -L

      • Ula

        I got your newsletter while wondering what to cook for dinner, that was a perfect timing! :) And I realised probably I am the first one to make it!

  • Donna

    Will be trying this very soon! I have a question re: freezing the tofu. Do you remove from the package and drain it before freezing, or just simply pop it into the freezer, as is?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Donna!
      I pop it into the freezer as-is! I haven’t had any leaks or issues doing this.
      -L

      • donna

        Perfect! I’ll try it, for sure…now!!

  • Kathleen

    This looks perfect and great timing too — I was looking for a tofu sheet pan recipe, preferably w/ green beans, and voila! Your recipe email popped up. I can’t wait to make this. I LOVE spicy peanut sauce!

  • Kate

    This looks delicious, as always and will make its way on to my weekend Fakeaway menu. I’m intrigued as to what Chili Crisp is. As a UK resident I’ve never heard of it. Can you describe it? If I can’t buy it I might be able to recreate it. It sounds yum.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Kate!
      Chili crisp is an oil-based condiment that originates from China–you can read about it here! And here is a recipe for a homemade version from a site that I love here. Once you try it, you’ll want to put it on everything :)
      -L

      • Debbie

        I love ALL of your recipes. Can’t wait to try this one with fresh beans from the garden. I would love the recipe for chili crisp!

      • Kate

        Thank you so much. I cheated and bought a popular Chinese brand on Amazon before taking the plunge of making it. I might have to add chopped peanuts, because, well, y’know…there can never be enough peanuts..