Go Back
+ servings
square photo of lemon tofu over pasta
Print Recipe
5 stars (5 ratings)

Creamy Lemon Tofu

One-pan creamy lemon tofu, ready in about 15 minutes from start to finish! Perfect for busy weeknights. Crispy, fried slabs of tofu smothered in a delightful creamy lemon sauce, served over pasta or rice.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 476kcal
Author: Nora Taylor


Creamy Lemon Tofu

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu 14.5-16 oz
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water, optional for thickening sauce

For Serving

  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package
  • OR cooked rice, mashed potatoes
  • chopped fresh parsley, optional


  • If serving with pasta, get the water boiling in a large pot. When it's boiling, cook the pasta according to package instructions, then drain and set aside. I do this at the same time the tofu is frying.
  • Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick rectangles. Cut the block in half, then into about 3 slices each. You could also slice the tofu into triangles or smaller cubes, if desired. Pat the tofu dry with paper towels and lay evenly on a large cutting board or piece of parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle each side with salt, a few shakes black pepper, then sprinkle on cornstarch, rubbing it in with your fingers, on both sides.
  • In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the tofu and cook for about 2-3 minutes until crispy, then carefully use a spatula to get under the tofu and flip it to the other side. To prevent sticking, do not move it once you place it on the pan, wait 2-3 minutes before touching it. Also, use a quality pan that is not prone to sticking, and a thin spatula to get under the tofu. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side, then remove from the pan and place on a plate nearby.
  • To the pan, add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Now pour in the broth, coconut milk and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and stir for about 3 minutes. Taste, and add more salt as desired (I added another 1/2 teaspoon).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, then add to the sauce and stir to thicken. You could skip this for a thinner sauce, but I liked it a bit thicker.
  • Return the tofu to the sauce. There will be a lot of extra sauce, which is good because it's delicious mixed into pasta (or rice), with a few pieces of tofu on top.
  • Serve over cooked pasta, rice or even mashed potatoes. Spoon additional sauce over the top and sprinkle with parsley if desired. I like to have a green vegetable on the side, such as roasted asparagus, roasted brussels sprouts or cooked kale. Enjoy!


  1. Nutrition information is an estimate only and was calculated using regular pasta. If you serve with rice or something else, or don't use all the sauce it will change.
  2. If you only have regular firm tofu, press it for 30 minutes first. I wrap it in a clean tea towel and place my cast iron pan on top.
  3. You could probably use arrowroot instead of cornstarch here.
  4. If you prefer to bake the tofu, you could. Season with salt, pepper and rub in cornstarch, then place on a parchment lined pan and spray with oil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, flip and spray the other side with oil and bake for 10-15 more minutes until crispy and golden.
  5. Can't have coconut? Use cashew cream instead! The sauce will be much thicker, but it will be so good!


Serving: 1of 4 servings | Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg