Baked Harissa Tofu [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2-4
Prep: 35 mins + overnight (8-12hrs)
Cooking: 30-35 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), small frying pan, frying spatula, small bowl, rolling pin or large spoon, sharp knife, fork, large measuring jug, kitchen paper, large bowl, kitchen film, baking tray, parchment paper

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and per serving (based on 4) contains a low quantity of added sugar*, saltand saturated fats*. *Depending upon the variety and quantity of paste (or preserve) or the quantity of oil, maple syrup and/or added salt used.

As we approach salad and tasty sandwich (aka picnic) season (although this still seems like a million miles away!), it’s still a good idea to have some new and tasty ideas up our sleeves; such as a new flavour of tofu to throw into the mix! 

Feeling inspired by our latest use of Middle Eastern, N. African and African flavours, we decided to make some baked harissa tofu! We created a marinade by trying to complement the existing ingredients/flavours in our brand of harissa paste. Feel free to do the same by using our ingredient list as a guide or just show some tofu love by giving our tasty recipe a try! The initial prep takes no time at all and the rest of the tofu magic is finished while you sleep or are away at work!

As always, tofu is a small labour of love. We cannot vouch for how the tofu will taste if you only marinade it for a short period of time (as we haven’t done this ourselves), but with all our other types of marinated tofu, a minimum of 4-6 hrs usually produces the best flavours; if possible, 8-12hrs is even is always recommended! 

A few other good things to note include:

  • Depending on what you are using your tofu for, chop it to your desired size before marinating. Tip: Larger and wider pieces could make a tasty layer in a sandwich! If you are making tofu ‘cubes’ and want them crunchier (because maybe you are using them in a soup or salad), try baking them for an additional 5 mins or so. NB: we baked our tofu in a fan-assisted oven. 
  • The harrisa tofu tastes delicious, but feel free to use more of the paste in the marinade (if you can afford to do so). Alternatively you could amp up the flavour by giving it a spicy kick! We might try this next time by adding a ‘hot paprika’ or a hot chilli powder into the marinade.
  • If you do not have preserved lemon, add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice and an extra pinch of salt instead.
  • We were not aware that there are actually two types of cumin seeds (white and dark)! It just goes to show how much we actually paid attention to them because coincidently, we had both types in our cupboard. The ‘white’ seeds aren’t really white, just a lot lighter than the darker ones; feel free to use whatever you have.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂



+++++++++++1                       Block firm tofu (=1 tetrapak)
+++++++++++½ tsp               White cumin Seeds
+++++++++++¼ tsp               Caraway Seeds
+++++++++++6 g                   Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++40g                  Spring Onion (2 large)
+++++++++++2½ tbsp           Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++30g                  Harissa paste
+++++++++++10g                   Preserved lemon paste
+++++++++++1 tbsp               Lemon juice
+++++++++++1 tbsp               Maple syrup
+++++++++++2 tbsp              Balsamic vinegar
+++++++++++½ tsp                Mild paprika
+++++++++++½ tsp                Ground ginger
+++++++++++1/8-1/2 tsp      Mild or hot chilli Powder
+++++++++++                         Pinch of salt & ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂



1. Drain the tofu. Place and press it between two heavy chopping boards or weighted plates to express any excess water. Leave for 30 mins. Tip: You can also line the bottom board or plate with some kitchen paper to help absorb the excess liquid.

2. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add ½ tsp cumin seeds and ¼ tsp caraway seeds. Dry fry until lighted toasted. Tip: They will become lightly golden, fragrant and some might even start popping as they are toasted. Transfer them into a small bowl. Grind them with the flat end of a rolling pin or the back of a large spoon until a coarse powder is achieved. Tip: If you own a pestle and mortar, use this instead! 

3. Peel, slice and then crush the garlic with the back of a fork. Tip: If you have a garlic press, use this instead! Wash, trim the ends and then finely slice and chop the spring onion.

4. Prepare the marinade. Place 2½ tbsp rapeseed oil, 30g harissa paste, 10g preserved lemon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp mild paprika, ½ tsp ground ginger, 1/8-1/2 tsp chilli powder (if using) and the ground cumin and caraway seed mixture into a large measuring jug. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary. Add the garlic and spring onion. Whisk to combine.

5. Drain the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Place in onto the chopping board and chop into ½-¾ inch cubes or whatever size pieces you prefer. Gently transfer the tofu into a large bowl or baking dish. Pour over the marinade. Gently stir and toss the tofu in the marinade until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Cover the bowl (or dish) with a piece of kitchen film and refrigerate the tofu overnight (or as long as possible).

6. Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the tofu from the fridge and give it a good stir. Transfer it onto the tray in a single layer. Pour any remaining marinade over the tofu. When the oven is ready, place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 16mins. Remove, turn the pieces over. Place the tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 15-16mins. Remove and allow to cool.

7. Serve over a vegetable and grain-based salad, as a soup topper (aka tofu croutons!), in a wrap, or over a savoury rice or couscous dish.


Tip: Refrigerate any leftover tofu in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 4-6wks.