Get dinner on the table in a hurry with this One Pan Tofu Curry recipe. Crispy pan-fried tofu is tucked into a creamy yellow curry sauce, then served over rice. An easy 30-minute recipe!
While stir fry and pad Thai are two of my favorite quick and easy vegan meals, this vegan tofu curry is quickly moving up the list. My One Pan Tofu Curry recipe comes together in no time and doesn’t require any complicated ingredients. Just pan-fried tofu and frozen peas in a creamy coconut curry sauce!
The crispy chunks of tofu in this easy vegan curry are nice and meaty, not to mention very filling. They’re tucked into a lavish curry-spiced coconut sauce and bejeweled with frozen peas – a simple and convenient vegetable that you can easily replace or pair with all of your other favorite veggies.
Best of all, the entire meal comes together in one pan on the stove and is ready in 30 minutes! Enjoy with rice and vegan naan on the side, and dig into this easy and filling dinner.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Tofu – I recommend using extra firm tofu. It contains very little water, which means you don’t have to press it ahead of time. The tofu is ripped into chunks and pan-fried until crispy and golden, but you can air fry the tofu instead to save a little more time.
- Cornstarch – It’s sprinkled over the tofu to help the chunks become crispy and golden in the pan.
- Canola oil – For sauteeing the tofu, garlic, and ginger. You can use any neutral vegetable oil you already have at home.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic cloves are best and give the curry a savory baseline of flavor.
- Ginger – Try to use fresh ginger if you can. If not, use ginger paste or just 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Coconut milk – Canned full fat coconut milk is the best option because it makes the curry sauce deliciously creamy, thick, and luscious. You can substitute any other plant milk, like soy, oat, or almond milk, but the results won’t be as rich. Or use a little cashew cream + vegetable broth instead.
- Curry powder – This gives the curry its signature warmth and vibrant flavor, as well as its yellow color. Use a brand you like, mild or spicy.
- Peas – Frozen peas are great here. Head to the Variations section for ideas on other vegetables you can add to this vegan curry.
- Cilantro – For garnish. Feel free to leave it out if you don’t like cilantro, or use fresh parsley instead.
- Rice – My favorite way to serve tofu curry is in bowls with basmati rice!
How to make tofu curry
Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
There’s no need to press extra firm tofu for this recipe. It already contains very little water, which means the pieces will crisp up nicely! If you’re using a different variety of tofu, like medium-firm tofu, then the water will need to be pressed out and drained first.
To start, rip the brick of tofu into 1-inch chunks. Toss them in a bowl with the cornstarch until they’re well coated.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the tofu chunks. Pan-fry in a single layer until they’re browned on all sides.
Tip: Don’t move the chunks around when they first land in the pan! They’ll be much easier to flip when a crust forms around the edges. And please use a quality non-stick pan.
Lower the heat and add the garlic and ginger to the pan. Saute until fragrant, then add the coconut milk, curry powder, and salt.
Stir it all together and bring it up to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Leave the curry to cook until it slightly thickens.
Add the frozen peas and cook until they thaw and are warmed through. Scoop the finished curry into bowls with rice, garnish with cilantro, and enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Pan-fry in batches – The best way to help the tofu chunks crisp up and turn golden brown is to pan-fry them in a single layer. Piling them on top of each other will cause them to steam rather than crisp. Work in batches if your pan isn’t big enough.
- Instead of tofu – Other kinds of plant-based protein, like tempeh, soy curls, and edamame, can be used as an alternative to tofu.
- Add more vegetables – I kept the tofu curry simple with just frozen peas. However, you can easily add any veggies you like! Use cauliflower, sweet potato, bell pepper, broccoli florets, or any other vegetables already in your fridge or freezer.
Storing and freezing
The leftover curry keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge. Store individual servings in airtight containers and enjoy for healthy lunches, quick dinners, and meal prep!
It freezes well, too. Once the leftovers are cooled to room temperature, pack them into airtight containers and freeze them for up to 3 months.
Want more vegan curry recipes?
One Pan Tofu Curry
- 14.5 ounce block extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- chopped fresh cilantro
- cooked rice, for serving or noodles, quinoa, steamed vegetables
- Remove the tofu from the packaging and press dry with a clean tea towel. If you have extra-firm tofu, there is no need to press it.
- Rip the tofu into 1 inch chunks and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle on the cornstarch and gently stir to coat the pieces.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet and add the oil. Once hot, add the tofu in a single layer if possible (do this in batches if your pan is too small).
- Let the tofu brown on all sides. When you first place the tofu in the pan, try not to move it for a few minutes. Once a crust forms, it will be easier to flip without ripping.
- Once the tofu is golden and crisp, add the garlic and ginger to the pan. If the pan is dry, add another tablespoon of oil. Sauté for about 1 minute, then stir in the coconut milk, curry powder and salt.
- Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let the mixture simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the peas and cook for a few more minutes, then taste. Add more salt if desired.
- Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, over rice, noodles or even steamed vegetables.
- To make this a bit lighter, use light coconut milk. To make the curry without coconut, use just a bit of cashew cream (perhaps 1/2 cup) and 1 cup of vegetable broth in place of the coconut milk.
- I like using the little frozen cubes of ginger and garlic for an even easier recipe. The tubes of garlic and ginger work as well for an easy shortcut.
- Feel free to add in other vegetables if you like, peas are just really easy to throw in straight from the freezer and they taste good! Cooked carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or kale would all work as well.