This crispy tofu kale salad with broccoli and creamy coconut peanut sauce is easy to make in about 40 minutes and makes a light and healthy plant-based meal.

Large triangles of crispy tofu in a salad with kale and broccoli.

Recipe Features

  • dietary – vegan, can be gluten-free, can be nut-free
  • quick and easy – ready in under 40 minutes
  • meal prep-friendly – can be made in advance and stored up to 3 days

What You’ll Need

Labelled ingredients for a tofu kale broccoli salad with peanut sauce.
  • tofu – use firm or extra-firm
  • kale – any variety works
  • bell pepper – any colour works
  • broccoli – lightly steam or otherwise cook to your preference
  • carrot – grate or julienne slice
  • optional toppings include green onion, nuts and fresh cilantro

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • peanut butter – sub almond butter if preferrer
  • light coconut milk – I prefer light coconut milk here as it’s not as heavy but if all you have is regular coconut milk, that’s fine too
  • sriracha – can be omitted or reduced if you’re sensitive to spice, red pepper flakes are a suitable substitution
  • rice wine vinegar – seasoned or unseasoned is fine
  • maple syrup – substituted agave or stevia for sugar-free
  • garlic – if you don’t have any fresh garlic, use 1 tsp of garlic powder instead

Method

Step 1. We’re going to be using a “dry-fry” method for the tofu – no oil or cooking liquid needed.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Slice the tofu into cubes, triangles or slabs and add to the pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder and dry-fry for a few minutes per side until the tofu is brown and crispy.

Triangles of tofu cooking in a skillet.
Browned tofu triangles in a skillet on a counter.

Step 2. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender or use an immersion blender in a suitable container and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency with a little water, if needed. It should be thick and creamy but pourable.

Coconut milk, peanut butter and garlic in a blender.
Pouring peanut sauce from a blender into a glass jar.

Step 3. Prepare the veggies for the salad:

  • kale – remove leaves from tough stems, finely chop, place in a large mixing bowl and add 1/2 tsp of olive oil, massage with your hands for 1-2 minutes until softened
  • carrot – grate or julienne
  • broccoli – wash, chop and steam until bright green and tender but crisp (about 5 minutes)
  • bell peppers – thinly slice
  • toppings – chop green onion and cilantro, if using

Finally, assemble the bowls, drizzle with sauce and enjoy!

Drizzling a spoonful of dressing over a bowl of tofu, broccoli, bell pepper and carrots,

Additions and Substitutions

This salad is easy to customize with various additions and substitutions:

  • for more protein, add up to 1/2 cup edamame per bowl (or sub edamame for tofu entirely)
  • for more carbs or just a more substantial meal, add cooked rice, quinoa or cubed and roasted sweet potato or potato
  • for more fat and a cool, creamy texture, add up to 1/2 an avocado per bowl
  • top with peanuts, slivered almonds or cashews
  • try marinated tempeh instead of tofu
  • add pickled red onions or cabbage for flavour
  • use spinach or salad greens instead of kale
  • add thinly sliced radish for some crunch
  • for alternative sauces try this peanut sauce or almond satay sauce
Overhead shot of a salad with tofu, kale, bell peppers and broccoli.

Notes and Tips

  • Assembled salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store sauce separately until just before serving.
  • Sauce can be made in advance and stored up to 1 week.

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A bowl of tofu and fresh veggies on a counter with a jar of sauce in background.

Tofu Kale Broccoli Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

The crisped, browned, warm garlic tofu is perfect with fresh, crunchy veggies and creamy peanut sauce in this fresh tofu kale salad.


Scale

Ingredients

For The Coconut Peanut Sauce

For the Tofu Kale Salad

  • 1 350 g package firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale (1 cup per bowl)
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil to massage kale, optional
  • 2 red bell peppers (1/2 a bell pepper per bowl)
  • 3 cups chopped fresh broccoli (3/4 cup per bowl)
  • 1 cup grated carrot (1/4 cup per bowl)
  • sprinkle of finely chopped scallions, optional
  • sprinkle of peanuts or cashews, optional
  • sprinkle of finely chopped cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cut the tofu into cubes, slabs or triangles and toss with the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Add to the pan and “dry-fry” for 5-7 minutes per side until browned and crispy.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil stovetop to prepare for steaming the broccoli. Use a steaming basket to steam the chopped broccoli for 5 minutes until bright green and tender but still crisp. If you don’t have a steaming basket, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a skillet then add the broccoli, cover and steam for 5 minutes. It’s ok to use any other method of cooking the broccoli or even leave it raw but I prefer it lightly cooked.
  4. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender or use an immersion blender in a container and blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, add water 1 tsp at a time to adjust the consistency. You may not need any water to thin, it depends on the coconut milk used. The sauce should be thick and creamy but pourable.
  5. Tear the kale leaves away from the thick stems then finely chop. Optional but recommended: place the kale in a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 of olive oil and massage with your hands for 1-2 minutes until softened. Alternatively, steam for 1-2 minutes to soften.
  6. Chop the bell peppers and grate the carrot. Chop the green onion and cilantro, if using.
  7. Prepare bowls or containers. Divide the tofu and veggies between each serving. Finish with the sauce and optional toppings and serve right away.

Notes

The peanut dressing recipe makes enough sauce for 4 salads. Store any extra in the fridge in a container for up to 1 week or double for other uses.

Since this is served as individual bowls, you can adjust the amount of salad ingredients needed for however many servings you’d like to make by following the “per bowl” amounts.

Assembled bowls can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store sauce separately until just before serving.

Keywords: tofu kale salad, tofu broccoli salad

Update Note: Originally published on August 10, 2017. Updated with new photos and text on August 20, 2020.