Tofu Orange Veggie Skillet 🥕A savory and delicious one-pan recipe made with seared tofu, cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, and citrusy slices of fresh orange. Vegan, gluten-free, & oil-free.
I'm one of those cooks who loves the simplicity of a one-pot meal, like my favorite rustic veggie soup or our easy lentil soup recipe. A few years ago, my husband ran across a one-pan recipe that caught his attention. It looked really good, but he had some ideas of his own.
The original recipe for called for orange juice. Since we had an abundance of fresh oranges in our yard, he decided to boost the flavor and texture with the addition fresh orange slices and pan-seared tofu cooked without oil. The contrast of juicy sweet orange combined with the flavors and textures of carrots, cauliflower, chickpeas and tofu is so tasty! This tofu orange veggie skillet is loaded with protein, vitamin C and contains no added fat.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- Loaded with fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients
- 100% plant-based
- Delicious and super satisfying
- Gluten-free and no added oil
- Everything cooks in one pan
- It's colorful and so appetizing!
🥕 See the printable recipe below for quantities & details
- Tofu - firm
- Chickpeas - canned or pre-cooked
- Cauliflower - fresh or frozen
- Carrots - fresh or frozen
- Fresh orange - slices
- Sea salt - coarse
- Vegetable broth
- Orange juice
- Orange zest
- Fresh herbs - basil, mint, parsley - your choice
Sometimes people are a bit intimidated by tofu because they don’t know what to do with it or are worried they’ll prepare it incorrectly. Here’s a little tip: Tofu is very forgiving. You can add almost anything you want and it will turn out tasty! It’s hard to undercook or overcook. In fact, you don’t even have to cook it in some recipes.
Tofu is subtle in flavor and is perfectly suited for marinades and seasonings. It absorbs the flavors of whatever you prepare it with. Once you learn the basics about preparing tofu, it will quickly become one of your favorite ingredients.
🥕 Learn more about tofu in our FAQ's below.
Remove the water. Tofu is packaged in water. Before you use it, you will need to drain off all of the water and press any excess liquid out of the tofu. This will make the tofu absorb marinades and seasonings much better.
The simplest and fastest way is by using a tofu press. You can also sandwich the tofu between two cutting boards (I suggest first slicing the block of tofu into 1″- 2″ thick slabs). Press down firmly or place heavy cans or books on top and let it sit for 10-15 minutes (on a slight slant so the liquid drains into a bowl or sink). Learn more about tofu in the FAQ's below.
Cut the drained tofu into approximately ⅓" thick slabs, then into triangles.
Prepare a seasoning rub by combining ½ teaspoon each of paprika and cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle seasonings on tofu and pat down with your hands.
Place the tofu triangles in a baking dish. Combine vegetable broth and orange juice for marinade. Slowly drizzle over tofu.
Cover dish with a lid, foil, or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
After tofu has marinated, place the triangles into a skillet with about ⅓ of the marinade (save the rest of the marinade). Cook over medium - high heat until both sides of the tofu is golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Place drained/rinsed chickpeas into the hot skillet. Cook approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add carrots (and a small amount of marinade if needed.)
Add cauliflower, remaining paprika, cumin, and ⅓ of the leftover marinade from the tofu. Cook for a few minutes until the veggies are slightly tender.
Add the remaining marinade and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered, until the sauce slightly thickens. Gently toss in the tofu triangles and fresh orange pieces. Add extra orange juice and/or vegetable broth if needed. Cook just long enough to reheat the tofu.
Sprinkle with orange zest and fresh herbs and enjoy!
A few basic kitchen tools are all you need to prepare this recipe.
from the Japanese term for bean + curdled or fermented. Tofu or bean curd is often served as a plant-based meat or egg replacement in many recipes. Mild in flavor, tofu readily absorbs seasonings or flavors of any other ingredients it is cooked with. According to Wikipedia, tofu first originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Today, tofu is a staple in many Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea.
Yes! There is good reason why tofu is so popular with vegans and vegetarians. Not only is it perfect for preparing delicious dishes, it is also super nutritious! Low in calories, high in protein and iron, tofu contains all 9 essential amino acids, as well as calcium and magnesium.
Plain tofu is usually gluten-free, but some seasoned tofu products may contain gluten or have been processed with shared equipment. If you have gluten allergies, be sure to purchase only certified gluten-free tofu.
One of the first things you should know is tofu comes in different firmnesses: Silken (for puddings, desserts, and sauces), soft (desserts, dips), medium & firm (tofu scramble, eggless egg salad), and extra firm (braised or seared tofu, strips, sandwiches, barbecue, skewers). The texture and levels of firmness may vary depending on the brands you buy. I suggest trying a few different brands and finding the ones that work best for your particular recipes. For this recipe, you will want to use firm tofu.
I always prepare tofu in a cast iron skillet. In fact, my favorite skillets are cast iron and there are several very good reasons for that. Cooking with cast iron can add iron to your diet, depending on the acidity of the food you are preparing and the length of time it cooks. More important to me, cast iron is chemical-free. Unlike non-stick cookware, I don’t have to worry about accidentally creating a toxic environment in my house if a pan overheats. I’ve heard too many heartbreaking stories about pet birds and small animals succumbing to poisonous fumes caused by teflon-coated or non-stick pans left unattended and over-heating on stovetops. I’ve also seen what happens to coated non-stick cookware when the surface gets scratched or abraded. Teflon in my food? No thank you.
Orange ya glad you saw this recipe? 🍊
Here are some more delicious citrus-centric ideas for you!
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Tofu Orange Veggie Skillet
- Tofu press
- Chef's knife
- 12" or larger skillet
- Medium baking dish
- 1 package tofu firm - completely drained
- 3 cups chickpeas pre-cooked or 2 15 oz cans - drained & rinsed
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 lb carrots cut in rounds
- 1 large orange peeled, sections cut in half
- 1 tsp paprika divided in half
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt coarse
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 - ½ cups orange juice
- 2 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh herbs basil, mint, parsley - your choice
- Prepare a seasoned rub for tofu by combining ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cut drained tofu into approx ⅓" thick slabs.
- Cut slabs into small triangles.
- Rub surface of tofu with spices.
- Place tofu triangles in baking dish. Lightly drizzle with orange juice. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- After tofu has marinated, place triangles into skillet with about ⅓ of the marinade. Cook over medium - high heat until tofu has lightly browned. Remove from pan. Save the rest of the marinade.
- Place drained/rinsed chickpeas into hot skillet. Cook approx. 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add carrots and a small amount of marinade if needed.
- Add cauliflower, remaining paprika, cumin, and ⅓ leftover marinade from tofu. Cook for a few minutes until veggies are slightly tender.
- Add remaining marinade and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, uncovered, until sauce slightly thickens.
- Gently toss in tofu triangles and fresh orange pieces.
- Remove from heat and serve. Sprinkle with orange zest and fresh herbs.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended