The search for the perfect tofu burger recipe is OVER! These juicy vegan burgers are sturdy, grillable, and packed with smoky burger flavor. Just cut into patties, marinate, and cook!
Vegetarian burgers are destined for so much more than black beans or mystery mush or highly priced Impossible meat alternatives.
But I wanted to make a classic vegan burger. And what’s more classically vegan than tofu?
Reasons Why You’ll Love This
- It’s study because we’re using super firm tofu and not blending/reshaping it into burgers. Just cut into circles and grill!
- It looks and taste like a burger. I went deep on the sensory science with this one to make sure everything about this recipe tricks your brain into thinking it’s a burger.
- You’ll have leftover marinade which you can use to make even more burgers later or marinate other vegan proteins (marinated tempeh anyone?)
Tofu Burger Ingredients
The ingredients for these tofu burgers are simple, but you may need to hunt for some in your grocery store. If you have issues finding anything, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with tips on where to find it or substitutions (I check comments daily!)
- Super Firm Tofu: Maintains its shape and texture during grilling, resulting in grillable burger patties. This tofu variety is vacuum packed in the refrigerator aisle (unlike firm and extra firm tofu, which are packed in water).
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is used to infuse the tofu with a savory and umami-rich flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the burgers.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil helps the marinade soak into the tofu, contributing to the texture and taste of the tofu patties.
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce: This ingredient introduces depth and a subtle tangy note to the marinade, enhancing the complexity of flavors.
- Spices: Garlic powder and smoked paprika bring a punch of flavor. Feel free to add more or different seasonings you may have on hand!
- Beefless Broth Base: Brands like Orrington Farms or Better Than Bouillon vegan broth base bring a savory and umami-rich quality to the marinade, intensifying the overall taste.
- Browning Sauce: The browning sauce enhances the appearance of the tofu, giving it a rich, browned color and contributing an extra layer of flavor. I love this stuff for mock meats!
- Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke imparts a delightful smoky essence to the tofu, replicating the charred flavor associated with traditional grilled burgers.
How to make Tofu Burgers
The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for the tofu to marinade!
- Press the tofu to help it soak up more flavor later
- Cut the tofu into patties
- Make the marinade
- Marinate the tofu for at least an hour (but the longer the better)
- Grill tofu burgers on a well greased grill pan or grill
- Serve with your favorite burger toppings!
- Prep In Advance: This recipe is PERFECT for making in advance. Just place the marinating tofu in a sealed container or jar in the fridge until ready to cook (it can sit in the marinade for up to 2 days)
- Cutting With A Cup: I like using a glass to stamp our the circles in the tofu. This can cause the tofu to get stuck in the glass sometimes. If this happens, just wedge the flat handle of a fork between the tofu and glass to work it out.
- Don’t Skip The Press: Pressing the tofu for at least 15 minutes (up to 2 hours) before marinating is crucial. It removes excess moisture from the tofu, allowing it to absorb the marinade better and preventing it from becoming too mushy during grilling.
- Storage: If you have leftover grilled tofu patties, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated or used in various dishes like sandwiches, wraps, or salads.
Can I use a different marinade for the tofu?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different marinades to suit your taste. You can try teriyaki, barbecue, or your favorite sauce to add variety to your tofu burgers. Our guide to tofu marinades here (8 different flavors to choose from!)
Do I need a grill to make these tofu burgers?
While grilling adds a nice smoky flavor and char marks, you can also cook these tofu burgers on a stovetop grill pan or even in the oven. Just make sure to grease the cooking surface well.
Can I freeze these tofu burgers?
Yes, you can freeze the uncooked tofu patties for later use. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Thaw before grilling.
Serve It With
We love serving these burgers with other foods made on the grill, like:
- 2 16-oz blocks super firm tofu this variety should be vacuum sealed, not packed in water like firm and extra firm tofu
- ¼ cup soy sauce 60 mL
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp water 30 mL
- 1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce 15 mL
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp beefless broth base look for Orrington Farms or Better Than Bouillon vegan broth base
- 1 tsp browning sauce look for Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce
- ½ tsp liquid smoke
- Press Tofu: Cut each tofu block evenly down the middle to make 4 thinner slaps. Wrap each piece in a few paper towels, set them on a counter or cutting board, and place a heavy pan on top. Let them press for at least 15 minutes (up to 2 hours) to remove extra moisture.2 16-oz blocks super firm tofu
- Cut Tofu: Use a small glass or round cookie cutter to cut each slab into a circular puck. Cut each puck evenly to create 2 thinner pucks. You'll end up with 8 patties. Save tofu scraps for another recipe (see notes). You can also just make rectangular tofu burgers if you don't want the fuss!
- Make Marinade: Whisk together remaining ingredients.¼ cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp beefless broth base, 1 tsp browning sauce, ½ tsp liquid smoke
- Marinate Tofu: Transfer tofu patties to a bowl or jar (I love using a wide mouth mason jar for this). Pour in the marinade and let soak for at least 1 hour, up to 48 hours (the longer the better).
- Grill: On a well greased grill or grill pan over medium/high heat, cook tofu patties, flipping once, until char lines develop, about 3 minutes per side.
- Serve: Serve warm with your favorite burger toppings!