These healthy vegan sticky orange tofu lettuce cups are my favorite quick dinner recipe that is not only easy, but fresh, full of flavor and so satisfying! Not a fan of lettuce cups? Throw the orange tofu over a bed of rice with your favorite veggies and you’re done! These can be made low carb, gluten free, and is super versatile to hopefully support your dietary needs!
Orange chicken was always one of my favorite take-outs when I was growing up. I’ve been making this plant-based option with tofu for years now and couldn’t believe I hadn’t gotten it on the blog! It’s incredibly easy and absolutely delicious you guys.. The sticky orange sauce is to die for. Not plant-based? Make this recipe using chicken or your favorite protein instead!
Why you’ll love this sticky orange tofu:
-It’s bursting with flavor! The orange sauce is so easy to make and DELISH.
-This recipe is super quick, making a great week night meal!
-It’s versatile. You can use lettuce cups, swap in rice, etc.
-Tofu is a great plant-based protein option!
-Packed full of nutrients.
-The lettuce cups make this a great low carb option. However, you can always throw it over rice for a heartier meal!
-It saves well! You can reheat it the next day, making it a decent meal prep option!
How to press tofu
I always recommend using high protein extra firm tofu as you don’t have to press it and I prefer the texture of it. I find it at Trader Joes, whole foods, and even walmart! But if you don’t have access to that type of tofu, you’ll need to press your tofu block. It’s easy!
You’ll want to wrap the tofu in a towel or a bunch of paper towels and place it on a plate. Place another plate on top of the tofu block. Then, put something heavy on top of the top plate. This is going to slowly release the water from the tofu and will absorb into the towel. You’ll want to leave it for 20-30 minutes.
Ingredients & substitutions
Tofu: a great high protein option! I highly recommend using high protein extra firm tofu, as you don’t have to press it so it’ll save you some time. It also gets extra crispy and the texture is way better, in my personal opinion!
Oranges: This is the hero of the sauce! It adds a natural sweetness to the recipe, that I love!
Liquid aminos: You can substitute soy sauce, coconut aminos, etc.
Dates or maple syrup: This is used to naturally sweeten the recipe. I like using dates, but you can maple syrup for an easier option. Substitute monk fruit for a lower sugar option.
Sesame seed oil: I like using toasted sesame oil for more flavor!
Arrowroot or tapioca flour: This is used to thicken the sauce and create that sticky texture.
Olive oil: Can substitute coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.
Butter lettuce: You can also use romaine for a crunchier texture! If you’d rather, you can also make rice bowls by using rice!
Cauliflower rice: I just buy frozen cauliflower rice and heat it on the stovetop. But again, you can sub in rice.
Lets make some Healthy sticky orange tofu!
- If you’re not using extra firm high protein tofu, you’ll need to press it for 20-30 minutes to release most of the water content. Then, cut the tofu into cubes. Add them to a bowl and coat with the oil, seasoning, and flour.
- Place the tofu on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, you’ll make the sauce by adding everything to a blender and blending until smooth. You can taste it and adjust if you’d like. Pour the sauce into a large pan and heat it over medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens and because a sticky mixture.
- Once the tofu is done, throw it into the pan with the sauce and toss well.
Lettuce cups: I love using butter lettuce or romaine for a crunchy option. I add some cauliflower rice (or regular rice) to the lettuce with the tofu, some avocado, sesame seeds, and top with cilantro and green onions. I love topping it with hot sauce!
Rice bowl: Add some rice to a bowl with your favorite veggies (we love using steamed broccoli), avocado, sesame seeds, cilantro, green onion, and the tofu! Top with your favorite hot sauce or sriracha.
More recipes you’ll love
Healthy vegan sticky Orange tofu
- 1 block extra firm high protein tofu
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp liquid aminos
- 2 1/2 tbsp arrowroot or tapioca flour
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp liquid or coconut aminos *can sub soy sauce
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot or tapioca flour
- Butter lettuce leaves or romaine
- green onion chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- If you need to press your tofu, see blog post above. If not, go ahead and cut your tofu into cubes. Add to a bowl and toss in the olive oil, liquid aminos, and flour. Pour onto the parchment paper, making sure there is space between each piece. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing half way through.
- While the tofu is baking, add all of the sauce ingredients in a blender, blending until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stirring frequently, heat the sauce until it begins to thicken, 3-4 minutes.
- Once it's thickened up a bit, add the tofu to the pan and give it a good toss, cooking another two minutes longer. Serve immediately!