Red Lentil Tofu

By SmartyPlants | April 21, 2022
Makes about 6 servings
Yes, you read that correctly. You can make your own tofu by simply using red lentils! We didn’t know that either, until we started experimenting. Tofu is made from soybeans, so technically this is not tofu, but it really and truly does resemble tofu. So, if you are not able to eat tofu due to allergies, you can now make our Red Lentil Tofu as a replacement. How great is that? These tasty little protein-packed cubes do not have the exact consistency of tofu, but they’re really close and can be used in many of the ways we typically use tofu, such as crisping it up or pan-searing it. It’s very easy to make, inexpensive, and fun to experiment with. Give it a try!


3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed well, drained
3 cups water, room temperature, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. First, bring 1 ½ cups of the water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, and set the other 1 ½ cups of water aside for now.

  2. Add the lentils to a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let this sit for 20 minutes.

  3. Pour the lentils into a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Transfer the lentils from your blender to your saucepan and set the heat to medium-high. Whisk in the remaining 1 ½ cups of water, and the salt, and continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes, whisking continuously. They will thicken up considerably around the 5-7 minute mark, and turn into a thick paste.

  4. Pour the lentil mixture into an 8x8 inch baking dish and spread it out as evenly as possible. Give the baking dish a few shakes side to side to get it as even as possible. Let this cool on the counter for 20 minutes and then place in the fridge, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours. It will set to the firm, yet slightly soft consistency of tofu.

  5. When your Tofu is ready, remove it from the fridge and cut it into cubes. It should pull out from the pan very easily. You can now use it in your favorite recipe!

  6. Place your Red Lentil Tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Recipe Notes

Our Red Lentil Tofu does not have the exact consistency of tofu, so we can’t guarantee that it will hold up in the many different ways tofu can be prepared. But, it is great made into our Crispy Tofu or when browned in a pan to toss into stir fries and rice dishes, or eaten as is just by popping them into your mouth!

This recipe makes roughly the equivalent of 2 of the typical 14 ounce blocks of store-bought tofu.

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