Sheet-Pan Sesame Tofu and Red Onions

I love sheet pans. I love the way they look on my kitchen counter and how easy it is to toss them in the oven. Sheet pans are also great because they come with a lid that fits perfectly, so you can cook your tofu without having to worry about it drying out or burning.

For this recipe, I decided to make an easy weeknight meal of pan-fried tofu and red onions cooked in a swirl of sesame seed oil.

This recipe uses simple ingredients to create a dish of delightful contrasts: savory and sweet, crisp and soft. The nuttiness of the roasted tofu is enhanced by a coating of turmeric and sesame seeds, while onions—often relegated to the role of supporting act in vegetable dishes—are cooked until soft, crackly edged and sweet.

Herbs dressed with citrus juice add freshness to this dish, which goes well with many different vegetables (including sweet potatoes and squash), grains (like rice), pita or tortillas—and creamy foods like hummus, yogurt or avocado.

The tofu is marinated in soy sauce, mirin (Japanese rice wine), and garlic for about 30 minutes before being sauteed with ginger, scallions and garlic on each side until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Then the tofu gets tossed with chopped green onions, sesame oil and some chili flakes.

Section: Serve over white rice or brown rice if you’d like!

Takeaway: A simple dish that’s made even better when served over white rice or brown rice!


Yield: 2 to 3 servings

  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained
  • Cut 2 medium red or yellow onions through the root into 8 wedges.
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1½ cups parsley or cilantro leaves and tender stems, tough stems thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice


1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on top of your sheet pan, and then place tofu in a single layer on top of it (so that all pieces are touching).
  • Drizzle with oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; place red onions around tofu in an even pattern (I used about 1/4 cup red onion per piece).

2. Prep all of your ingredients

  • Prepare all of your ingredients: Cut tofu into 8 even pieces, and then cut the pieces in half. Slice the red onions and garlic.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

3. In a Small Bowl

In a small bowl, combine sesame seeds and salt blend (I like Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel). Make sure you mix it as much as possible. If you are using large salt grains, I highly suggest you grind these into a finer pieces. Set aside for later use.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. This will make it easier to slide the tofu onto the pan and make sure that you don’t burn yourself!

5. Combine tofu, onions, garlic, and oil

  • Combine tofu, onions, garlic, and oil in a medium bowl, tossing gently to coat evenly (I like avocado oil).
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats; spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Toss sesame seeds and salt blend over on one side of each sheet pan (you should have about 1/2 cup per pan). Arrange tofu mixture on top of this mixture on each sheet pan in even layers—be sure not to pack it down too much! Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown around edges—check frequently because they can burn quickly if not cooked properly!

6. Transfer mixture onto baking sheet

  • Transfer mixture onto baking sheet, arranging tofu pieces tightly over one side of the baking sheet to make room for the red onions/garlic on the other side of the baking sheet; be sure not to touch too much as touching leads to soggy tofu.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top (the edges will be browned first).

7. Roast for 15 minutes (or until tofu is fully cooked)

Roast for 15 minutes (or until tofu is fully cooked). You can check to see if your tofu is golden brown by cutting into it. If it’s not ready yet, keep roasting for another 5 minutes.

8. Remove tofu from oven

  • Remove tofu from oven and sprinkle Everything But the Bagel mixture over top of roasted tofu pieces until covered evenly and evenly distributed; return pan to oven for 3-5 minutes (or until golden brown). Serve immediately when golden brown or enjoy cooled if you would like a less crispy middle!
  • To make your own sesame seed paste, mix together sesame seeds, soy milk powder, honey and salt in a small bowl. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking (about 350 degrees F), add dried red chile flakes if desired then stir mixture into pan for about 30 seconds until fragrant then remove from heat.

This healthy and delicious recipe is vegan-friendly!

This healthy and delicious recipe is vegan-friendly! It’s easy to make, can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

1 package extra firm tofu (about 14 ounces)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, divided use

2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar (optional)

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, dried chives or parsley flakes (optional)



This healthy and delicious recipe is vegan-friendly! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. For those who cannot eat anything dairy related, then I highly suggest that you include some chopped or sliced avocado as an awesome substitute for the halloumi. It should have a different type of texture but it will engage your taste buds!

Please add a comment to any suggestions for a great substitute for anyone else not able to eat dairy or are on a non-dairy diet. Like and share this recipe and site to support a small time creator!

I will be introducing video content in the upcoming months which include the step-by-step instructions and maybe some side remarks about how to better prepare meals.


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