Vegan Ranch Slaw with Baked Crunchy Buffalo Tofu

Created by Laura Wright
4.89 from 18 votes

Vegan ranch slaw is creamy and colourful with cabbage, kale, and carrots. Mayo-free ranch dressing coats the vegetables, which are then topped with crunchy and spicy bits of baked Buffalo tofu.

An up close, overhead shot shows a wide serving bowl filled with vegan ranch slaw and topped with crunchy baked Buffalo tofu pieces. A set of wooden tongs is perched int he slaw as well.

Cool ranch dressing and zingy Buffalo-style hot sauce are such a classic combination. Spicy and mellow flavours come together for the perfect match! This recipe for vegan ranch slaw (no mayo in the dressing) is creamy, crisp, and filled with flavours of fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon. The vegan ranch dressing recipe features a cashew butter base for an ultra lush texture that only requires a quick whisk with the other ingredients. Serve with some crunchy baked bits of spicy Buffalo sauce-coated tofu on top for a dose of plant-based protein. The Buffalo tofu is inspired by my crispy baked tofu bits!

An up close, overhead shot shows a wide serving bowl filled with vegan ranch slaw and topped with crunchy baked Buffalo tofu pieces.
An overhead shot shows ingredients for a vegan ranch slaw with crunchy baked Buffalo tofu: arrowroot starch, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, carrot, celery, cabbage, maple syrup, cashew butter, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, kale, dill, chives, Dijon mustard, Buffalo-style hot sauce, lemon, and firm tofu.
An overhead shot shows pieces of tofu soaking in water in direct, harsh light.

Buffalo-style hot sauce and ranch together is such a comfort for me. When you bring them together in a veggie-packed vegan ranch slaw and satiating tofu pieces, it’s a win. I’m no stranger to sharing ranch-y things here! If it can be worked into a recipe, I will work it in. I like this particular vegan ranch salad dressing because it has no mayo. You simply whisk it together in a bowl! It has all of the zippy and creamy qualities of the classic.

The dressing formula is very similar to the one in my creamy mustard slaw recipe, which relies on raw cashew butter. The preparation is a lot like making classic tahini sauce in that you’re working the nut butter into cold water until creamy. From there, I add dill, chives, garlic, lemon, and more for that familiar flavour profile.

The tofu bits with their craggy and crunchy edges provide the perfect contrast. I use my go-to salt water soak and oven bake method. It sounds strange, but letting the tofu sit in boiling salted water will draw out moisture from the interior while also seasoning. Just remember to thoroughly blot dry! The arrowroot in the coating is key for achieving the final texture. Cornstarch is a great substitute though. After baking with oil, spices, and arrowroot for 30 minutes, I toss the tofu in spicy Buffalo sauce, and bake for another 10 minutes. My favourite sauce for Buffalo style tofu is by Primal Kitchen. It has the perfect heat level and great ingredients.

Some tips for making this vegan ranch slaw:

  • If you have a nut allergy, I recommend substituting the cashew butter with tahini.
  • I used a mix of red and green cabbage in the photos, but using one of either is great!
  • Purchasing pre-shredded cabbage and carrots (if your grocery store sells them) will cut down on prep time. I do this often :)
  • The dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept in the fridge. You will need to thin it out with a bit of water before serving as it thickens quite a bit in the fridge.

You can really plus this slaw up with some sliced ripe avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, maybe a handful of crumbled vegan feta! So many options with such a tasty base.

An overhead shot shows the following in a bowl: shredded red and green cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced celery, and sliced kale.
An overhead shot shows a creamy dressing being poured over shredded cabbage, carrots, sliced kale, and chopped celery.
An overhead shot shows a colourful and creamy vegan ranch slaw being tossed up in a bowl with some tongs.
An up close, overhead shot shows a wide serving bowl filled with colourful vegan ranch slaw that's topped with crunchy baked Buffalo tofu pieces.
An overhead shot shows a wide serving bowl filled with vegan ranch slaw and topped with crunchy baked Buffalo tofu pieces. A set of wooden tongs is perched int he slaw as well.

Vegan Ranch Slaw with Baked Crunchy Buffalo Tofu

Vegan ranch slaw is creamy and colourful with cabbage, kale, and carrots. Mayo-free ranch dressing coats the vegetables, which are then topped with crunchy and spicy bits of baked Buffalo tofu.
4.89 from 18 votes
An up close, overhead shot shows a wide serving bowl filled with vegan ranch slaw and topped with crunchy baked Buffalo tofu pieces. A set of wooden tongs is perched int he slaw as well.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Baked Crunchy Buffalo Tofu

  • 1 (500 gram) block firm or extra firm tofu, drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce

Vegan Ranch

  • 3 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated with a Microplane
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup/agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • dash of hot sauce, optional

Slaw

  • 5 cups shredded cabbage (about ½ regular cabbage)
  • 2 cups sliced kale
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 1 large carrot)
  • 2 sticks celery thinly, sliced
  • extra chives and dill, for garnish

Notes

  • You can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot here.
  • My favourite Buffalo-style hot sauce is by Primal Kitchen.
  • The raw cashew butter by Artisana is my favourite. It’s creamy and silky smooth–no other brand compares.
  • If you have a nut allergy, I recommend substituting the cashew butter with tahini.
  • I used a mix of red and green cabbage in the photos, but using one of either is great!
  • If your grocery store sells pre-shredded cabbage and carrots, using them will cut down on prep time. I do this all the time :)
  • The dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept in the fridge. You will need to thin it out with a bit of water before serving as it thickens quite a bit in the fridge.

Instructions

Prepare the tofu:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Tear the tofu into 2-inch (ish) pieces. Place the tofu pieces in a medium bowl.
  • In a small saucepan bring the water and salt to a boil. Pour it over the tofu and leave it for 5-10 minutes.
  • Drain the tofu and thoroughly blot it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Wipe out the bowl it was soaking in as well.
  • Transfer the dried tofu pieces back to the bowl and toss with the avocado oil, arrowroot, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  • Spread the coated tofu bits out on your prepared baking sheet, giving each piece as much space as possible. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • At the 15 minute mark, remove the tofu from the oven and give it a stir, flipping some of the pieces over. Spread the tofu out again, and slide the baking sheet back into the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the pieces are golden brown and crispy.
  • When the timer goes again, pour the Buffalo-style hot sauce directly onto the tofu on the baking sheet. Give the tofu a toss until all pieces are coated. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the edges of the tofu have dried out a bit.

Prepare the vegan ranch:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cashew butter, onion powder, garlic, nutritional yeast, water, avocado oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, maple syrup, chives, dill, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using). Use the whisk to break up the little bits of cashew butter and to integrate it into the rest of the ingredients. It should be thick, creamy, and pourable. Give the ranch a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary before setting aside.

Assemble the slaw:

  • In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, kale, carrots, and celery with the vegan ranch and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are evenly coated int he dressing. Top the slaw with the crunchy baked Buffalo tofu bits. Finish the slaw with extra chives, dill, and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!
A head-on shot shows a wide serving bowl filled with a colourful vegan ranch slaw. The slaw is topped with crunchy little bits of Buffalo sauce-coated tofu. Wooden tongs are sticking out of the bowl.
21/02/2024
Posted in: autumn, carrots, cashews, creamy, gluten free, grain-free, main course, roasted, salad, salty, sauce, spicy, spring, summer, tofu, vegan, winter

13 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Tiera

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this. Definitely using this tofu prep in the future! Also, as another commenter noted I just threw raw cashews in the food processor to make the ranch instead of cashew butter; worked perfectly.

  • Meghan Stevens

    5 stars
    I made this and a friend and parent of a long-time vegan couldn’t stop eating it. He said it was the best tofu he had ever eaten! Absolutely delicious and in the rotation! Thank you so much!

  • Meredith

    5 stars
    Delicious!
    I made this with tahini and no lemon (the one I had stashed got used ) and it was still amazing!
    The tofu method is great.. definitely going to use that in the future
    Thank you!

  • Michele

    5 stars
    The tofu was fantastic – we will absolutely be making it again! I recommend making a double batch, it’s so tasty that I think my husband and I ate half of it before we even plated it. I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make the slaw but I’m sure that is great too – next time!

  • Emily

    5 stars
    This was excellent!!! I skipped the boiling tofu part and added a small head of cauliflower (treated the same as the tofu) to the roasting tray for extra heft.

    Doubled the sauce, as we are sauce folk around here and threw in 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar and couple stalks of green onions.

    Took a while but very tasty and looking forward to leftovers!

  • Niko

    3 stars
    Ok, but the salted water boiling made these tofus unbearably salty. Way too much sodium.

  • Meghan Stevens

    5 stars
    We loved this! My husband raved about it ! And it was actually pretty easy. I used a bag of coleslaw and added chopped baby kale and celery. I added some avocado when I plated it. So delicious!!! Can’t thank you enough! My husband said, “with meals like this, we are definitely not suffering on our new plant based plan.” Highly recommend!

  • Sherryn

    5 stars
    This was hella good and even *better* than I anticipated. As so often happens, when I am tasting separate ingredients as I go, I can be skeptical of the overall outcome. I did two things that I think might have also complemented this recipe: I let the ranch dressing and the buffalo tofu rest in the fridge overnight. I also doused the buffalo tofu with some more Frank’s (sorry, Laura ;-D) and then reheated the tofu in the micro for 1 minute. I have no idea how you pulled this off with the dressing, Laura, but there is a *hint* of bleu cheese flavor to the ranch that just wow’d me! This is definitely going to be a go to, year round meal. Thanks so much!

  • Cassie

    5 stars
    I made this recipe two nights ago and cannot get enough of it. Next time I will make double the tofu because I LOVE the buffalo tofu in this recipe (and I’m not a huge tofu person). I used extra firm and it worked really well. My slaw was a little too watery the first night so it tamped down the flavor of the dressing. I should have drained it. The second day it was drier and perfect. You have so much talent Laura! Thank you for making my transition to veganism delicious!

  • Camille

    Delicious! Easy to sub out as needed too, I had frozen/defrosted tofu so skipped the boiling water and used cornstarch rather than arrowroot, kale in place of cabbage, cashews in the blender rather than cashew butter – came out beautifully!

    • Laura Wright

      So glad that it worked for you, Camille! And I know that your substitution notes will help folks looking at this recipe in the future, so thank you!
      -L

      • Lisa

        5 stars
        I came here to ask if I could use soaked cashews in the vitamix for cashew butter…. sounds like a yes! Thanks for an awesome looking recipe, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks! <3

  • Elizabeth

    You are the Salad Queen! I am definitely not a salad person, but I love so many of yours. This one looks perfect for this time of year. Can’t wait to try it!