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Marinated Tofu, Avocado, and Spinach Salad with Creamy Toasted Sesame & Soy Dressing

  • Author: brittany mueller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch & Dinner, Main Course, Salad
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Vegan


A hearty salad of baby spinach, marinated tofu, avocado, carrot, cucumber, red bell pepper, green onion with a creamy toasted sesame and soy dressing.



Marinated Tofu:

  • 1 block (350g) firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into small squares
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp (10ml) sriracha (more or less to your preference)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) sesame oil
  • (Optional, for sautéing) 1 tbsp (15ml) canola oil (or other neutral-tasting vegetable oil)

Creamy Toasted Sesame & Soy Dressing:

  • 3-4 tbsp (45-60ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (60ml) raw cashews
  • ¼ cup (60ml) water
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) toasted sesame seeds, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) canola oil
  • 2 tsp (10ml) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10ml) rice wine vinegar

Spinach, Avocado, and Marinated Tofu Salad:

  • 8 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ½ cucumber, halved and sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) toasted sesame seeds


Toasting sesame seeds:

  1. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring often until golden-brown and fragrant. Do not leave unattended.

Marinated Tofu:

  1. For optimal flavour, press tofu to draw out excess moisture. Check out our tutorial on draining and pressing tofu for a quick and easy method.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients. Add cubed tofu. Stir to coat. Marinate for 1 hour (stirring halfway through). If you're in a hurry, you can skip this step.
  3. Baking Instructions: (Uses less oil, slower method) Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread tofu out in a single layer with no pieces touching. Top with remaining marinade. Bake for 20 minutes (or until tofu is crisp on the outside and tender inside.)
  4. Skillet Instructions: (Uses more oil, faster method) Heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Add marinated tofu cubes (reserving excess marinade) and cook, turning tofu as needed, until all sides are golden-brown and crisp on all sides. Stir in remaining marinade and cook until marinade cooks down and coats the tofu.
  5. Chill tofu.

Creamy Toasted Sesame & Soy Dressing:

  1. Set aside half of the sesame seeds. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add remaining sesame seeds and stir. Chill in refrigerator.

Assembling salad:

  1. In a large bowl, add 2 handfuls of spinach. Top with grated carrot, sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado, and green onion. Add ¼ of the chilled marinated tofu. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with extra toasted sesame seeds.

Keywords: marinated tofu, tofu salad, vegan sesame dressing