So, you’ve prepared a fantastic dinner with a bunch of tofu to enjoy. After everything was eaten, you realize there was way too much tofu made. With much left over, now what? Cooked tofu can only last up to a week in the fridge. Therefore, other than keeping it in the fridge you may ask yourself, can I freeze tofu after cooking it?
Tofu can be frozen after cooking it. Spread cooked tofu on a baking sheet and ensure each piece is not touching each other. Place it in the freezer until the tofu is completely frozen. Once it’s frozen, place the tofu into plastic freezer bags and store them in the freezer up to five months.
Let us have a look at the best way to freeze tofu after cooking it. In addition, what you can do with it after it has been frozen.
Keto Diet Tip: Tofu a great choice for a low-carb diet. It contains less carbs than protein and healthy fat. One of the biggest reasons for failing a Keto diet is not having a plan. Simply follow this plan for only 28 days, The 28-Day Keto Challenge and you can Succeed!
Disclaimer: Some of links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
How To Freeze Tofu After Cooking It
To freeze your tofu after it has been cooked follow these steps:
- Place the tofu cubes or slices on a baking sheet. Make sure they are well spread out to avoid the blocks freezing together.
- Next, place the baking sheet on a flat surface in the freezer. Leave it overnight or until the tofu is completely frozen.
- Once the tofu is frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a plastic freezer bag. Store the freezer bag of tofu in the freezer until you are ready to use it again.
- Frozen tofu can last up to five months in the freezer.
Date the freezer bag and don’t forget to remove it from the freezer by five months 1.
Make sure the plastic bag is a freezer bag. They’re more sturdy and have a better clasp. They also have an area to write the date you freeze it. They may be a little more money but it’s well worth it. I frequently purchase mine on Amazon which you can check by clicking here, freezer bags.
Why Do Some People First Freeze Cooked Tofu Before Using It?
When tofu is cooked and then put in the freezer, the texture of the tofu changes. If you enjoy a silky or smooth tofu 2, then this technique probably is not for you. However, if you enjoy a nice firm and chewy tofu, you’re going to like this method of cooking tofu!
When cooked tofu is frozen, the texture completely changes. Many people have described the texture of the tofu as being more “meaty” after it has come out of the freezer and been used.
Having a meaty texture, tofu could be a great asset in many dishes, as opposed to a soft and spongy texture. For example, when making skewers or kababs for a barbeque, it’s better to have a firm and meaty texture. It will hold up far better on the grill than a softer tofu would.
Tofu smoothie tip: I frequently add packaged tofu to my smoothies! It’s a wonderful addition and helps increase the protein content. I divide the package into four squares and use one square per smoothie. The secret to an easy smoothie is having a blender powerful enough to handle the workload.
The blender I recommend has a 6 blade, multi-tiered blade, check it out and the current price on Amazon, Nutri Ninja BL685 with Auto-iQ Technology.
Are There Any Other Benefits To Freezing Cooked Tofu?
Another known benefit of freezing cooked tofu is when you take it out to use it, it is far more absorbent 3. After it has been frozen, it soaks up sauces and marinades far better than it did before being frozen. This makes it great for dishes that need lots of sauce or need the tofu to be marinated.
Making a tofu stir fry? The pre-cooked and pre-frozen tofu will be perfect for that. It will be able to soak up lots of soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce or whichever sauce you would like to use. In addition, it will have a more chicken-like texture being slightly firmer and nice and chewy.
Can I Reheat My Cooked Frozen Tofu?
You can reheat cooked frozen tofu once you have taken it out of the freezer. When you heat up tofu for the second time, you can consider it a new dish. Since the texture has changed, it’s now better suited for a whole new meal type.
However, since the tofu is technically already cooked, you’re not cooking it for very long the second time around. It’s more like heating it up. You’re only cooking it until it has warmed up all the way through to the center of the tofu. You can then stop heating it and enjoy it in your meal.
Can You Freeze Uncooked Tofu?
Uncooked tofu can be frozen by using the following steps:
- Remove the tofu from the packaging and discard the water.
- Drain the tofu of its water by placing it on paper towels. Place paper towels on top and gently press down on the tofu to drain it. Don’t press too hard so the tofu won’t break.
- Discard the paper towels and place the block of tofu into a plastic freezer bag.
- Place the tofu in the freezer for up to five months.
Always check the expiration date on the package prior to freezing 4. Instead of using paper towels, you can use a tofu press. Check out the different styles of tofu presses on Amazon right here, tofu presses.
What Dishes Can I Make With My Cooked Frozen Tofu?
A number of dishes can be made better with a firm and chewy tofu instead of softer and squishy 5. The soft and squishy nature of regular tofu often limits the meals you’ll be able to cook. Typically, it won’t hold up in the cooking process and ends up falling apart.
A big bonus of freezing cooked tofu is when you defrost it to use again, it has a much more stable and firm structure. This makes it easy to work with in many creative ways.
Here are a few good examples of dishes perfect using cooked frozen tofu once you have taken it out of the freezer and are ready to use again.
Meat Free “Chicken” Tenders
The firm structure of the cooked and frozen tofu has been described as having a very chicken-like texture. This makes it perfect as a meat-free substitute for chicken tenders.
For your tofu “chicken” tenders, all you will need is an egg, some seasoning, almond flour, bread crumbs, extra virgin olive oil and tofu. If you are vegan, you can choose to substitute the egg in this recipe with tomato paste or your preferred egg substitute.
- Put your egg in a bowl and whisk it up.
- In a separate bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of almond flour and whatever other seasonings you would like (For example, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper.)
- Dunk the tofu into the egg and then into the bread crumb mixture, making sure it is well coated.
- Place the tofu strip in a medium-high heated frying pan that has been heating up with about ½ a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Fry it on both sides until golden brown and the tofu is heated to the center. Repeat until you finish with all the tofu.
Since the tofu has a firm and meaty texture, why not use it in a hearty breakfast or a meat-free BLT sandwich by making some tofu bacon?
Here is a simple tofu bacon recipe you can use:
- Slice the tofu into thin slices and place them in a zip lock bag.
- In a small pot, whisk together the following:
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of natural maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 a teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 a teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin.
- Place the pot on the stove and heat the marinade until it begins simmering.
- Pour the marinade over the tofu in the zip lock bag and allow it to cool. Once it is cool, remove air from the bag, seal it and marinate it for a minimum of 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. On a greased baking sheet, lay out all the tofu evenly and add a little extra virgin olive oil to each piece.
- Put the tofu in the oven on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Then turn over each piece adding a little extra marinade and olive oil. Put it back in the oven for about another 5 to 10 minutes making sure they do not burn.
Then enjoy your tofu bacon in any way and meal you want!
Wrapping Up The Frozen Tofu
It’s more than fine for you to freeze tofu after you have cooked it for up to five months 6. In addition to making sure your tofu doesn’t go to waste, it gives you a cool way of experimenting with frozen tofu.
Being able to use tofu as a meat substitute meat because of its texture is a great idea. You may be able to convince some meat-eating friends to give tofu a real chance!
Therefore, the next time you have too much tofu on your hands and are struggling to figure out new ideas, bookmark and refer back to this blog post.