How to Replace Tofu

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: FAQ

I often get questions about replacing tofu or soy (generally) in recipes, so if you're allergic to soy, this post is for you! (Here is a great article about soy, debunking all the mainstream myths, in case anyone is looking for that info!).

cheesecake with blueberries on top

Tofu Substitutes

Unfortunately, there is no easy or direct replacement for tofu, it really depends on how it's used. If tofu is cubed and tossed into something (like a salad or stir-fry), you can omit it or replace it with your favorite bean - my fave choice is chickpeas.

If the tofu is being used *in* something, it gets a little more tricky. If the recipe calls for silken tofu (soft tofu), you can try using a vegan yogurt - such as rice, almond or coconut milk based yogurts. You may need to add a little cornstarch or a binder, though.

If firm or extra firm tofu is being used; you could tried mashed beans, but that doesn't always work (I find it works okay in small amounts in baked goods, however). I've also seen a few recipes online for making your own soy-free tofu using chickpea flour, but I'm not sure how they work, and I've never tried them myself.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a little harder to substitute. My friend uses this recipe, using vegetable broth instead of beef broth. I tried it with mushroom broth and found that worked even better.


There is a soy-free miso made from chickpeas and my sister actually prefers it over other misos.

mixed vegetable stir-fry in a bowl over rice


My go-to replacement for TVP is quinoa! Works like a charm in any recipe that requires cooking/rehydrating the TVP! You can also cook brown rice and chew it up in a blender or food processor.

Soy Milk, Soy Cheese, etc.

There are so many soy-free alternatives now -- almond milk, rice milk, and hemp milk, just to name a few. There are also almond and rice based cheeses, and daiya, which is tapioca based.

You can also see this post on being a soy-free vegan with recipes and meal ideas.

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