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.