Moosewood’s Classic Tofu Burgers

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Favorites-Cover-252x300Burger 420x280Our all-time favorite, luscious burgers the way we make them now. Vegan and wheat-free. Tofu burgers have been a favorite at the restaurant since we can remember. Our customers often call to ask, “Are tofu burgers are on the menu today?” They love ‘em! In the early years, we almost always served them on a thick slice of whole wheat toast with lettuce, tomato slices, and Russian dressing. Now we serve them various ways, for example, on brown rice, on a toasted bun, topped with sautéed onions, tomato, ketchup, mustard, or melted cheese.

Because of the increase in the number of our customers who are either gluten intolerant or trying to reduce their consumption of wheat, we’ve developed ways to make our various kinds of tofu burgers without the bread crumbs we used to use in our published recipes and in the restaurant. Dicing the vegetables small, grating the tofu in a food processor, and grinding the walnuts all help to make a mix that will hold its shape. This recipe makes 8 large burgers, but you can shape the mix into smaller patties or “meatballs”. We made this recipe to yield more than we usually use for a meal at home because when we make tofu burgers at home, we like to make extra to freeze for later (see note).

Moosewood’s Classic Tofu Burgers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 blocks of firm tofu (14 to 16 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • ½ cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup coarsely ground toasted walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  1. Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes by placing it between two plates and resting a heavy book or can on the top plate.
  2. While the tofu presses,prepare the rest of the burger mix, and when you’re ready to grate it, discard the expressed liquid.
  3. In a covered skillet, warm the oil.
  4. Add the onions, sprinkle with the salt and oregano and cook on low heat for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the carrots and peppers and cook covered until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
  7. Finely grate the pressed tofu in a food processor and add it to the cooked vegetables with the walnuts, soy sauce, mustard, sesame oil, tahini, pepper, and basil.
  8. Mix well and add soy sauce to taste.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  10. Using one cup per burger, shape the mix into 8 burgers.
  11. Set the burgers on the prepared baking sheet and bake until firm and browned, 30 to 40 minutes.
-The burgers will be a little sturdier if you use bread crumbs, about ⅔ cup for this recipe, especially if the tofu you use is soft. Gluten-free bread and bread crumbs are available, so if you're avoiding wheat and gluten you have that option. -To freeze these burgers, simply wrap cooled, baked burgers in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. To reheat, bake on an oiled baking sheet, right from the freezer, at 350° F for 20-30 minutes until heated through--the time will depend on how fat your burgers are.
7 Responses to "Moosewood’s Classic Tofu Burgers"
  1. Debra natal says:

    I have been to Moosewood many times and I have loved every thing I have ever ordered. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

    • laura says:

      I think you’ll enjoy it. We bake tofu burgers, with many variations from our books, every week. This is our basic recipe. If you’re not used to making tofu burgers from scratch, try adding some bread crumbs to help everything hold together, and make sure to use firm tofu.

  2. Alana says:

    I love this cookbook and I’ve made this recipe several times now. IT IS DELICIOUS! I do cook my at a bit higher temp and for a bit longer. One trick we learned for flipping the burgers since vegan burgers can usually be pretty fragile: get out two small plates (about the size of the burgers), use spatula to take one burger off the cookie sheet, put on plate, top with other plate, flip, return to cookie sheet. Less chance of breaking!

    • laura says:

      Thanks Alana!
      Your burger-flipping tip is brilliant. But honestly, Moosewood Restaurant cooks never flip our burgers. They brown on both the bottom and top, and yes, the have a semi-domed shape, rounded on the top side, but definitely browned all over. Less work, less chance of breaking the burgers.

  3. Mike says:

    I have been looking for a great tofu burger recipe for a few years. I’m SOO glad I found yours. These burgers are truly amazing! Definitely worth the effort.
    I made some hummus the day prior and decided to use that as the condiment for the burger. It was fantastic! If you have some lying around, give it a go.

  4. Joy says:

    My favorite Tofu Burger recipe by far!

  5. Fatima says:

    I added hemp hearts to make the patties sturdier without adding wheat. I also added black sesame seeds (about 1/2 tsp) and I thought it went well with all the other sesame flavors.

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