Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Easy Cheezy Tofu Loaf (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option)

When you become a vegan or vegetarian, holiday dinners don't have the allure they once did. If everybody else is looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners centred around a big (let's face it, dead) bird, the herbivore might feel a little left out. Whether you are said herbivore or you are welcoming one to dinner (son has a new girlfriend, huh?), this Easy Cheezy Tofu Loaf is a simple addition to your festive food menu.

This tofu loaf recipe involves mashing up extra-firm tofu with other simple, natural ingredients in a big bowl, and then flattening the mixture into a loaf pan with olive oil. Bake for one hour. So easy. You could even make the tofu loaf the day before and reheat it on the day of dinner, if the demands of timing 10 vegetable side dishes are going to send you over the edge.

We have been enjoying this Easy Cheezy Tofu Loaf for years in our home. This recipe is modified from an old but good recipe in the classic Tofu Cookery. The "cheezy" factor in our recipe comes from shredded vegan cheddar and a touch of nutritional yeast, which is also a good source of vitamin B12.

I like to serve this tofu loaf with mushroom gravy or this simple vegan gravy. Serve with roasted carrots, mashed potatoes (made with vegan margarine and non-dairy milk) and my 3-ingredient Simple, Natural Cranberry Sauce and you've got yourself a festive holiday meal sans animal products.

To make this Easy Cheezy Tofu Loaf friendly to the gluten-free folks, omit the Panko bread crumbs and add more oats or use gluten-free bread crumbs. It's a pretty forgiving recipe, so feel free to switch up the flavours. Leave out the "cheese" if you wish. Add your favourite herb. Whatever. Just ensure that the mix still feels like it's going to bind together in the pan. You'll be able to tell when you press a bit of it together in your hands.

This tofu loaf is so easy to make that you can even prepare it on a weeknight. While the loaf cooks, change out of your work clothes, assemble a simple salad and bake a couple of potatoes. We often have tofu loaf for Sunday dinner too.

So, are you the veg-head at your holiday dinner, or will you be welcoming a vegan or vegetarian guest? (Good for you for including everybody in your feast plans!)

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This tofu loaf recipe involves mashing up extra-firm tofu with other simple, natural ingredients in a big bowl, and then flattening the mixture into a loaf pan with olive oil. So easy. Great for the vegan or vegetarian folks at your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Can easily be made gluten-free too. #vegan #tofu #veganchristmas #veganfood #Thanksgiving

You might also like to try...

Simple, Natural, 3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

Easy Cheezy Tofu Loaf (vegan)

by Joann MacDonald
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: vegan vegetarian Christmas Thanksgiving
Ingredients (8 servings)
  • 2 lbs extra-firm tofu
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid soy seasoning or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dry parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Crumble tofu into a large bowl. Add all ingredients up to and including garlic powder. Mix together with a spoon, or use your hands to bring the mixture together.

Pour the olive oil into an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" (approx 1 1/2 quart or 1 1/2 litre) loaf pan. Press the tofu mixture firmly into the loaf pan.

Bake for 60 minutes. The top will be golden brown and the edges a bit crispy.

Let cool for 10 minutes or so before removing from pan (or slice in pan).


  1. This looks delicious! Tofu is one of my fave ingredients & I love a Christmas recipe.

    1. Thank you so much! I love tofu too. I hope you get a chance to try the recipe. :)

  2. Wonder if I can make this the night before and bake it next day? Should be ok, right? I’d like to do it on a weeknight.

    1. Hi Donna, Yes, for sure! Cover it up tight and put it in the fridge until you bake it and it should be fine. Enjoy!

    2. Oh cool!...I'm gonna get the ingredients at the store this weekend. Thanks so much!!

    3. Awesome! Let me know how it goes. :)

    4. I make it and bake it for half the time, then store it in the fridge covered, until the next day. It cuts down on oven time when I have multiple things to bake.

  3. Okay, this is going to be a dumb question so forgive me in advance.

    You say up to the garlic powder. Does that mean the garlic powder goes in with the rest, or it's reserved on the side? If it's reserved, what does one do with it?

    1. Not a dumb question! I have changed it to say up to and including the garlic powder. Yes, it goes in with the rest. Thank you! :)

  4. Delicious! And you can cut in slices and freeze also +++

  5. This looks really good! I am vegan and gluten free because of health reasons and i will enjoy this.

  6. No need to press the extra-firm tofu ahead of making the recipe?

    1. No I usually don't. But you certainly could. :)

  7. Joan,
    I came across your recipe today, while scratching my head and trying to figure out my solo Thanksgiving dinner, in deference to the pandemic. Is this what you had for your Canadian Thanksgiving? An even nosier question...do some people in Canada sneak in a 2nd Thanksgiving in November when all the parades are on TV, etc? Thanks for sharing your recipe! -Greg Onnen

    1. Hi Greg, I think it's great that you are making something celebratory for your solo Thanksgiving! We didn't have the loaf this year for Thanksgiving. We had a store-bought roast and also I made a shepherd's pie that my son likes, with Beyond Beef. I personally don't have a second Thanksgiving but Canadian retailers certainly have adopted the Black Friday sales over the years! And I'm all for a sale. ;) I really hope you enjoy the recipe, and your Thanksgiving!

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  9. Looks beautiful and delicious! I do some prep ahead meals but not that many. I think this is very worthwhile and nice to know you always have a meal on hand!
    Jayme Silvestri

  10. Is there anything I can substitute for the yeast? How about vegemite or Marmite for example :-)

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