1-Ingredient Red Lentil Tofu Recipe

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: December 13, 2023

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Home-made red lentil tofu in a bowl

You know I absolutely love tofu, and, contrary to some online discussions about soy’s health implications, it has actually been shown to have many beneficial health effects. Let me know if you’d like to hear more on this! I use tofu in many of the recipes I share and have received a few messages from some of you asking for an alternative. I also recall seeing several lentil and chickpea tofu recipes, also known as Burmese Tofu, on my feed last year, which inspired this recipe. So this one’s for those of you with a soy allergy! It’s also an enjoyable and cost-effective way to incorporate lentils into your diet. This recipe is extremely inexpensive at about 30 cents (USD) and very simple to prepare, making it a great addition to your meal plans.

Make sure to go through the soaking and cooking phases as mentioned below, as legumes (including lentils) are not fit to be consumed unless cooked properly. For this reason, the red lentil tofu needs to be cooked once it sets. I recommend cutting it into cubes and air frying it or baking it in the oven. It becomes a delightful little fluffy pillow with a crunchy outer layer, and I’ve been loving it so much that I’ve been snacking on it with just some sriracha mayo. I’ve also had good results frying it on a pan for a couple of minutes on each side. You can also marinate it! I do not recommend using it to shred, scramble, or in a saucy dish, as the texture is still different.

If you love this one, you’re bound to love our other soy-free tofu alternative One-Ingredient Chickpea Tofu!

Why This Recipe Works

Simple Ingredients: Made with everyday items for easy accessibility.
Soy-Free Alternative: Perfect for those with soy allergies or preferences.
Rich in Protein: A great source of plant-based protein.
Texture Delight: Offers a unique, fluffy texture with a crunchy exterior.
Customizable: Versatile in use, from air frying to baking.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Rinse and Soak the lentils, ensuring they’re fully prepared for blending. Blend with fresh water to achieve a smooth consistency. Cook the mixture until it forms a thick paste. Set in the fridge overnight to firm up. Cook using your preferred method, such as air frying or sautéing, to enjoy its unique texture.

Ingredient Notes

Split Red Lentils: A versatile and protein-rich base for this tofu alternative.
Water: Essential for soaking and blending the lentils.
Salt: Optional, but can enhance flavor.


  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free.
  • Can I use other types of lentils? Red lentils work best for their texture and cooking time.
  • Do I need to soak the lentils? Yes, soaking is crucial for the right consistency.
  • Can this be frozen? Yes, you can freeze it for later use.
  • Is this suitable for meal prep? Absolutely, it’s great for prepping in advance.

Variations and Tips

Herb Infusion: Add herbs to the blend for extra flavor.
Spice It Up: Incorporate spices like turmeric, paprika or cumin for a kick.
Marinate: Soak in your favorite marinade for added taste.
Storage: Keep refrigerated for up to a week.
Texture Tip: For a firmer texture, allow to set longer in the fridge.
Cooking Options: Experiment with baking, air frying, or pan-frying.

Why You’ll Love This Red Lentil Tofu Recipe

  • Nutrient-Rich
  • Allergy-Friendly
  • Flavorful
  • Easy Prep
  • Versatile
Home-made red lentil tofu in a bowl

1-Ingredient Red Lentil Tofu

4.9 from 9 votes
A simple and cost-effective alternative to tofu, this Red Lentil Tofu is perfect for those with a soy allergy or looking to incorporate more lentils into their diet.
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time4 hours 50 minutes


Servings 3



  • Rinse the lentils well, then soak them for a minimum of 4 hours to overnight. After soaking, drain the water and rinse the lentils again.
  • Add the soaked lentils to a blender with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend until the mixture is perfectly smooth.
  • Transfer the blended mixture to a pot and place it on medium heat. Bring the mixture to a soft boil. Once boiling, stir constantly until a thick and smooth paste is formed.
  • Transfer the thick paste to a glass container and let it set in the fridge overnight.
  • Cook the lentil tofu the same way you’d use regular tofu. You can marinate it, air fry it, sauté it, etc. Enjoy your homemade Red Lentil Tofu!

Per Serving

Calories 169kcalCarbohydrates 30gProtein 11gFat 1gSodium 3mgFiber 5gVitamin A 1IUCalcium 22mgIron 3.5mg
COURSE Main Course
CUISINE Burmese-Inspired
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  1. Hi! Thank you for the recipe. I made lentil tofu many times, but with green lentil. I will try with red lentil, I hope it will work.

    1. Sorry to hear that! It’s hard for me to say what went wrong without knowing your exact process. Did you add more water by any chance? Was the paste very thick when you cooked it?

      1. The paste was very thick but I realised maybe I didn’t blend it fine enough. I will try again. It seems like a worthwhile thing to get right. Thanks for your reply.

        1. Yes I would make sure to blend it until perfectly smooth for best results, if you do not have a high speed blender, soaking really helps to soften the lentils. Let me know how you go next time 💚

4.89 from 9 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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