If You're Not Making Veggie Burgers with Tofu, You Should Be

Thanks to Jackie Newgent's easy recipe, you can forget all about pressing your tofu.

March 03, 2021

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Jackie Newgent's Roasted Winter Veggie Burgers, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Jackie Newgent's Roasted Winter Veggie Burgers, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Lauren Volo

Lauren Volo

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Tofu is an excellent vegetarian- and vegan-friendly protein nutritionists love, and it’s easy to see why: A half-cup of the extra-firm variety provides a whopping 22 grams of protein, and you can turn tofu into everything from breakfast to dessert. So why don't I ever add tofu to my grocery cart?

The answer is I’m short on time.

I know that planning ahead and having healthy, protein-packed options readily available will ensure I make smart nutritional choices. But sometimes this mom of three just needs something convenient — you know, like a microwaved veggie burger you can scarf down while hurrying to get a kid to baseball tryouts. The idea of wrapping tofu and pressing it for 15 to 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture before I can start cooking … just thinking about dirtying an extra plate is almost too much.

It’s like Jackie Newgent, chef, author and registered dietitian, gets me. Her easy Roasted Winter Veggie Burgers feature flavorful fresh rosemary, nutrient-rich vegetables (like sweet potatoes and parsnips) and filling tofu. No. Pressing. Required.

“Extra-firm tofu is … what you want to dice up and stir-fry with,” Jackie says in her class on the Food Network Kitchen app. “Silken tofu, that’s what you want to use in a smoothie; the firm tofu is what we’re using here,” Jackie notes, because it easily crumbles into the perfect texture for her veggie burgers.

And you don’t need to worry about waiting around while your tofu rests. Simply line a bowl with a mesh strainer, then grab a clean kitchen towel. Put the tofu in the towel and wrap it all up (like a present!) and squeeze.

“You just want to get rid of the extra liquid — you’re still going to want a little bit of moistness, just to make sure your veggie burgers don’t get overly dry,” she says. In seconds, your tofu will be ready to stir together with the other ingredients.

These hearty burgers feature whole grains, tons of flavor and 24 grams of protein per serving. Suffice to say, tofu's going to be a regular on my grocery list from now on.

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