Stuffed Tofu-Turkey Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Stuffed Tofu-Turkey

Susan Fekety of Portland, ME, makes this tofu-turkey every year with her sister Sally. We tried it, and the results were delicious! Even skeptical omnivores from our corporate staff kept coming back for more. Note: You'll need a triple thickness of cheesecloth, big enough to line a colander.



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4 16-oz. tubs extra-firm tofu
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2 tsp. ground dried thyme
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2 tsp. rubbed sage
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1 tsp. onion powder
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2 6-oz. pkg. vegetarian stuffing
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¼ to ½ cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
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¼ cup olive oil
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½ tsp. sesame oil


The night before:

1. Let 3 tubs of tofu come to room temperature. Squeeze tofu into small bits with your hands, mixing in thyme, sage and onion powder as you squeeze. This is fun. Good job for kids.

2. Wet cheesecloth, wring it out and smoothly line colander with it—no wrinkles. Dump in the crumbled tofu, and press it into sides and bottom of colander, making a bowl within a bowl. The “tofu bowl” should be about 1-inch thick and almost reach the top of the colander.

3. Hunt around, and find a bowl that will fit perfectly inside the tofu bowl. Gently press it into the colander. It will make an expressive sound. Dig through your pantry, and find something heavy (can of peaches?) to press the bowl into the tofu bowl to help tofu drain.

4. Tuck corners of cheesecloth over top of tofu to keep edges from drying out. Stand the colander/cheesecloth/tofu/bowl/weight construction in a dish to catch liquid. Refrigerate overnight.

The day of:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Remove weight and bowl from colander. Fill tofu hollow with stuffing. Crumble remaining tofu, and use to cover stuffing, pressing flat to edges of colander.

3. Find a large oven-to-table baking dish. Place dish over colander. Hold tightly, invoke the spirit of good cooks, and invert colander so tofu-turkey drops gently onto dish. Peel off cheesecloth to reveal, uh, half a big, white basketball.

4. Combine tamari, olive oil and sesame oil in bowl, and baste tofu-turkey with brush. (Now it’s a big golden-brown basketball. Much better.) Bake 15 minutes. Baste again. Reduce oven to 350F, and bake 1 hour, basting as inspired.

5. To serve, cut once across the middle and then into slabs about 1 & 1/2-inches thick. The turkeys thank you!

Nutrition Information: 

21 g
Total Fat: 
18 g
Saturated Fat: 
3 g
27 g
719 mg
3 g
5 g
Serves 12

Comments on this Recipe

You could use a non-fuzzy "flour sack" type dishtowel just as well. I use them instead of cheescloth all the time. Wash and reuse!

This thanksgiving is my first as a vegetarian. Maybe I can convince my omnivorous family to have tofu instead of turkey?

This sounds exactly like the recipe like this I got from La Dolce Vegan. I've made it for Thanksgiving for the last 6 years. Everyone,even my meat-eating friends and family love it. I highly recommend making this,if this is your first veg*n Thanksgiving,even if you think that no one else will eat it. It's not a huge amount(no where near as much as a turkey) and you'll love having it as leftovers. I always get so disappointed when my in-laws want me to leave some of what's left for them to have the next day. Means less for me.

I have made this the last 2 years in a row, and it's always a HUGE hit! FYI - It may just be my oven, but it usually takes a lot longer then it says here, that is, if you like your tofu basketball crispy rather then mushy. Thanks VT!

I made this the other day and WOW it was delish! I recommend this recipe for anyone, even the meat eaters! I followed it exactly, except I left it in the oven for an extra 15-20 minutes. It was perfect and a little crispy on the outside. Yummy!

I have made this for the last 6 years also. It is absolutely wonderful. Remember to always read the ingredients of the stuffing as most of them contain chicken fat.

Thank you Susan and Sally! I am so happy to have this recipe, and I am sure I will use it for years to come! It sounds a little more complicated than it is to make (quite easy!). All I needed to buy was cheesecloth. It turned out better than anything I could buy in a store. Also, I was able to make it wheat free by using wheat free tamari and using a gluten free stuffing.

I made this on Thanskgiving, and it was seriously so good. Even my omni guest liked it. I can't wait to make it again for Christmas.

Trying this for our first veg. Thanksgiving. Can't wait to try it!

What size colander?

this sounds fantastic! photo?

I had high hopes for this, but it was really just tofu that tasted like stuffing - I guess I was expecting the consistency to be different after the squeezing/colander/baking, but it was still that spongy tofu-texture. The flavor wasn't bad, but we didn't think the end result was worth the process...

I have been making this recipe for the last seven years and it has been a great hit for my vegetarian friends and family. Then again I have a nice vegetarian stuffing I make for the turkey and the tofu. One year we made the stuffing put in in a baking dish and topped it with the tofu mixture, it worked just as well.

Carolyn made this last night for us... oh my goodness was it delish! She basted it often while cooking...the yummy goodness that the basting created at the bottom was wonderful. She also added garlic to the basting liquid. We came up with all kinds of wonderful variations as we enjoyed this amazing dish ! Thanks Susan Fekety... love you! Thanks Sally for sharing it with us !

I just made this. Followed the recipe exactly. It's revolting. Mind you, I pretty much hate tofu and somehow thought this magically would not be warmed tofu, which is exactly what it is. It's bland and has that terrible sponge like texture which drives my Asperger sensitivity through the roof. I was recently diagnosed with Celiac's disease and thought this might be a substitute for the vital wheat gluten seitan I miss so much. It is horrific in comparison. At least my kids like tofu "eggs", so I will slice this up, coat it with organic corn, and fry it for breakfasts so it doesn't get wasted. I'm disappointed I wasted the time and organic tofu to make this disaster. Sorry but no thank you.

I really love your last sentence ... Ending your recipe with, 'The turkeys thank you' puts tofu turkey back into perspective as a kind & humane alternative to the traditional factory-farmed and slaughtered turkey (dinner) the mass majority of Western civilization doesn't think twice about. The turkeys thank YOU!

I am certain the turkeys also appreciate your keeping non-human animal well-being the focus of tofu "turkey" dinner, rather than supporting the organic-gluten free-no carb-whatever the latest marketing trend is, which focus so many people on ONLY THEIR health and well-being, while non-human beings are so widely viewed as less valuable or less important or existing solely for the purpose of bettering mankind. That one little sentence keeps it in perspective; it's not always about "YOU", people.

I'm new to enjoying tofu, so still learning how to cook with it. We created a variation of this dish and learned a lot. Added minced onion (dried), parsely flakes, and vegetable broth to glaze. Completely forgot to buy cheeses cloth so moulding didn't work for us Instead we layered in baking dish: tofu stuffing,tofu. Learned I'm not crazy about thyme if prominent flavor; will be experimenting with alternative find more palatable. Approximate 3/4 inch top layer was perfectly golden with perfect tofu "skin" (?) with glaze seeping perfectly into the layer until just before stuffing began. Perfect! Had I been able to Mould it for glazing all over...AH, yum! I look forward to cheese cloth!!

Just wanted to let you know I shared this recipe on my blog ( Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the first holiday season meat free, so we are going to try this recipe this year. Thank you, Diana