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+ servings

Balsamic Braised Tofu with Tomato, Fennel, and Olive Relish

This easy, fresh, gluten-free and vegan tofu recipe is the perfect thing to make for date night or meal prep. The tofu is marinated and braised in a delicious, herby balsamic sauce, then topped with a zippy, slightly sweet, and flavorful tomato, olive, and fennel relish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course, Entree
Cuisine: Italian, American, Vegan, Healthy!
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Gluten-free, meal prep, Vegan option, tofu, fennel, easy recipes, tofu ricotta, easy vegan recipes, vegan dinner, tofu recipes, vegan dinner ideas, tomato relish, vegan dinner recipes, gluten free vegan recipes, baked tofu, olives, tomatoes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 247kcal
Author: LM


Tofu and Marinade:

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. fresh garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground basil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon thinly sliced

Tomato, Olive, and Fennel Relish:

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh fennel chopped with some fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. raw sugar
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


For the tofu and marinade:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Press tofu for a few minutes by wrapping it in a clean towel and placing something heavy on top of it. While the tofu is pressing, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, fennel seeds, ground basil, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Cut tofu into eight equally sized steaks. They will be about the size of the palm of your hand and about 1/2 - 1 inch thick.
  • Grease a 12 X 10 glass baking dish with olive oil and place the tofu steaks in it, making sure they are equal distances apart and not touching each other.
  • Spoon about 1/3 of the marinade over the tofu steaks, making sure each piece is has been covered. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • At the end of the 15 minutes, remove the tofu from the oven, flip it to the opposite side using tongs, and spoon another 1/3 of the marinade over the tofu steaks, making sure to coat each steak. Place back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Finally, once the 15 minutes are up, remove the tofu from the oven, flip it again to the opposite side, nestle the lemon slices amongst the steaks, spoon the rest of the marinade over the lemons and tofu, and place back in the oven for a final 15 minutes.

For the tomato, olive, and fennel relish:

  • While the tofu is baking, place olive oil in a large cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  • Add chopped fennel and sauté until it just begins to become translucent.
  • Add halved tomatoes and sauté until they release their liquid and the skins become slightly wrinkled.
  • Add olives, sugar, cumin, and lemon zest, and toss to combine. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes longer.
  • Add fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and immediately remove from heat.

To serve:

  • Place 2 tofu steaks on the plate and spoon desired amount of relish over them. Place one lemon slice on top and garnish with a few reserved fennel fronds. Serve this dish by itself or with a light salad. It also goes well with brown rice or quinoa.


Sodium: 1175mg | Calcium: 156mg | Vitamin C: 28mg | Vitamin A: 1200IU | Sugar: 12g | Fiber: 4g | Potassium: 696mg | Calories: 247kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 13g | Protein: 12g | Carbohydrates: 23g | Iron: 5mg
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