Tofu Scramble- Basic

When I first started transitioning to a plant based diet 7 years ago, a tofu scramble was one of my first “staple” dishes.  I liked it, and still do, because it is easy and you can incorporate whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator, and it appropriate for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It is nice with a side of greens or roll it into a wrap.  For brunch, add some veggie sausage on the side.  I highly recommend Dr. Upton’s or Field Roast brand sausages. 

Play with the seasonings, and find what works best for you.  The attached recipe is a basic recipe so don’t be limited by what is in the recipe, try curry spices, or Mexican blends.  

If you are wondering just what nutritional yeast is you are not alone.  It is dried yellow flakes that add a cheesy flavor to dishes.  It is very low in fat and calories and is rich in B vitamins.  You can find it in the bulk section at Clark’s Market in Aspen or you will find it at Whole Foods.  

Tofu Scramble- Basic

Serves 4


Spice blend:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Fresh black pepper to taste


First stir the spice blend together in a small cup.  Add water and mix. Set aside.

Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Saute the garlic in olive oil for about a minute. Break the tofu apart into bite sized pieces and saute for about 10 minutes, using a spatula to stir often. Get under the tofu when you are stirring, scrape the bottom and don’t let it stick to the pan, that is where the good, crispy stuff is. Use a thin metal spatula to get the job done, a wooden or plastic one won’t really cut it. The tofu should get browned on at least one side, but you don’t need to be too precise about it. The water should cook out of it and not collect too much at the bottom of the ban. If that is happening, turn the heat up and let the water evaporate.

Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and fresh black pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm.

You can include these additions to your scramble by themselves or in combination with one another.

Broccoli – Cut about one cup into small florettes, thinly slice the stems. Add along with the tofu.
Onion – Finely chop one small onion. Add along with the garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Proceed with recipe.
Red Peppers – Remove stem and seed, finely chop one red pepper. Add along with the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Proceed with recipe.
Mushrooms – Thinly slice about a cup of mushrooms. Add along with the tofu.
Olives – Chop about 1/3 a cup of sliced olives. Add towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast.
Spinach – Add about 1 cup of chopped spinach towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast. Cook until completely wilted.
Carrots – Grate half of an average sized carrot into the scramble towards the end of cooking. This is a great way to add color to the scramble.
Avocado – I almost always have avocado with my scramble. Just peel and slice it and serve on top.