This tofu tahini scramble is deeply savory and packed with plant protein! A combination of tahini and hummus contribute creamy texture and flavor, while chickpeas add extra nutrition to the dish. The tofu in this scramble is cubed, rather than crumbled, which is a nice texture contrast from regular tofu scramble.
For years, I’ve been making my tofu scramble the same way, with only small variations in ingredients and add-ins. I crumble the tofu, sauté it in a little oil, then scramble it with vegetables, turmeric, mustard, nutritional yeast, and spices.
This tofu tahini scramble is a little different. It’s inspired by a tofu scramble that I tasted at a restaurant called Open City, back when I lived in DC. That scramble incorporated tahini, which is one of my favorite all time ingredients.
My friend said that she thought the tahini gave the scramble an almost feta-like flavor. When I tried a bite, I knew what she meant. The combination of tahini, tomatoes, and lots of lemon juice gave the scramble a creamy and umami-rich quality.
As soon as I got home, I knew that I would try my own version of a tofu tahini scramble. I did, and the recipe that I created has become one of my favorite tofu scrambles ever. It’s especially great in the summer, when grape tomatoes are juicy, sweet, and fresh.
This tofu tahini scramble puts both tahini and hummus, which is usually made with tahini, at front and center. But I now make it a habit to add tahini to all of my tofu scrambles, even when I’m not making this exact recipe.
Why? Creaminess! On its own, tofu can become a little dry in scrambles. It’s also usually quite crumbly, which isn’t a bad thing. But if the goal is to pay homage to eggs, which hold together without getting crumbly, even as they scramble, the addition of tahini makes a really big difference.
Tahini will gently coat your tofu, giving it a slight creamy quality that’s more reminiscent of real egg. It adds healthful fats and other nutrients from sesame seeds. And those healthful fats also help to carry flavor, so the spices and nutritional yeast you might use in your tofu scramble recipe will shine.
This vegan protein “double hitter” helps to make the tofu tahini scramble even more filling than it would be otherwise.
In addition to adding extra protein to the scramble, the chickpeas contribute fiber, folate, and trace minerals. They also add textural contrast, a hearty bite to offset the soft quality of the tofu.
Normally the tofu that ends up in a tofu scramble is crumbled into pieces. Those crumbles can be relatively fine or more substantial. That’s a personal preference, and I’ve used both types of crumbles in my own tofu scramble experiments.
The tofu in this tofu tahini scramble gets a different preparation. This is in keeping with the scramble that inspired it at Open City, which featured tofu that had been cut into small cubes.
While I love using crumbled tofu in my tofu scrambles, I’m also a big fan of the cubed preparation. It gives the tofu scramble a different kind of texture. I’d say that it’s a cross between classic tofu scramble and a lunch salad.
This tofu tahini scramble comes together quickly, and it features a short list of ingredients.
I choose extra firm or firm tofu for this and all of my other tofu scramble recipes. I do recommend pressing the tofu a little before scrambling.
You don’t need to press it as thoroughly as you would if you were making baked tofu cubes or a stir fry, because the texture doesn’t need to be as firm or crisp. Just place the tofu between two tea towels (or some paper towels) and give it a firm, yet gentle squeeze. This will remove excess water that the tofu is packed in.
You can use any tahini that you have at home for this recipe. I personally prefer tahini made with roasted sesame seeds. I think that it’s less bitter than raw tahini. My favorite brand is Seed + Mill—I like it so much that I order it online in packs of three!
I love the texture that chickpeas add to this tofu tahini scramble. And I love their health benefits. However, you can substitute another type of bean for the chickpeas if you need or want to. I’ve made this recipe with cannellini beans, and they work very well.
If tahini is the first secret weapon ingredient in this tofu scramble, then hummus is the second! It adds creaminess along with the tahini, and it also adds some flavor. I think it helps to marry all of the ingredients together.
Any plain flavor of hummus will work here. However, it’s also fine to add a flavored hummus, so long as you don’t think that the flavors will compete with the scramble. Roasted red pepper hummus and sun-dried tomato hummus both work well.
You can use either homemade hummus or store-bought hummus for the recipe. Keep it simple, and use what you have.
I don’t use a lot of garlic in the tofu tahini scramble, because I tend to be sensitive to strong garlic flavor in food. With that said, I find that one clove of garlic brings the Mediterranean flavors of the scramble to life.
I tend to use either grape or cherry tomatoes for this recipe. (If you’re confused about that distinction, you’re not the only one—this article clarified it for me.)
I like the size and sweet flavor of these smaller tomato varieties. However, it’s fine to use a whole, roughly chopped tomato in place of the little ones. One small beefsteak tomato should give you about 3/4 cup chopped.
I’m a big fan of using tamari in place of salt to season my tofu scrambles, and this tofu tahini scramble is no exception. I think that the tamari gives a deeper flavor than regular salt does, and it’s also easy to fold and distribute the liquid seasoning into the recipe.
Lemon juice adds acid and brightness to the recipe. It offers a lovely contrast with the slight bitterness of tahini, and it’s an essential part of what I love about this recipe. Using fresh lemon juice will give you the most vibrant flavor.
There are so many great ways to serve this savory dish!
My favorite accompaniment is some sort of green, like the baby spinach in the pictures or steamed kale. I’ve served the scramble with roasted broccoli in winter and fresh, sliced summer tomatoes when it’s warm out, and grilled asparagus in the spring.
The tofu tahini scramble is also really nice with some toast, pita wedges, or a cooked whole grain, like quinoa, brown rice, farro, or barley.
Sesame seeds are a common allergen, which means that some readers may need to substitute the tahini in this recipe.
Not to worry! Cashew butter is a nice replacement for the tahini. I recommend using the same amount: two tablespoons. If you have a batch of my cashew cream on hand, you can use a couple tablespoons of that as well.
The tofu tahini leftover scrambles keep very well, which means that this dish is a great option for make-ahead breakfasts. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
You can also freeze leftovers of the tofu scramble for up to six weeks.
What a healthful, nourishing breakfast this scramble is. While I enjoy a huge variety of breakfasts, both savory and sweet, I always feel the most strong and satiated when I have something savory and rich in protein.
And yet, one of the best thing about tofu scramble for breakfast is that the leftovers work for any time of day. Enjoy this morning, noon, or night—no matter what, I hope you’ll be won over by its simplicity and flavor.