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Tofu crumbles (low FODMAP)

I have been making iterations of this tofu crumbles for a long time now, so I decided it was time to cement the recipe. I started making them because I fancied a savoury and delicious topping for dishes like soups and salads. As a vegetarian, it can be a little trickier to add an easy hit of flavourful protein to meals, and I figured tofu (as always) would be my solution.

Well, we wouldn’t be on a post titled ‘tofu crumbles’ if it didn’t work a treat. These crumbles are savoury and umami but still speedy to make. They can be customised to account for flavour profiles, but I find even the basic version in the recipe card works with most dishes.

An aerial brightly lit image of a white bowl filled with low FODMAP carrot soup. The soup is topped with a swirl of low FODMAP chilli crisp, tofu crumbles and cream and a slice of toast. The bowl sits on a white speckled ceramic plate atop a white marble table.

Tofu crumbles (low FODMAP)

These tofu crumbles are made with (surprise!) Tofu. Firm tofu, specifically. Although you can freeze the tofu to achieve an even meatier texture (more on that below) it isn’t strictly required.

What is required, though, is a flavour base of Tamari or gluten free soy sauce. This adds the primary layer of salty umami as well as colouring the tofu a meat-like brown.

Next, we add a little bit of sweetener, lots of herbs and spices and a small amount of oil. If you have some liquid smoke on hand, even better.

Finally, the tofu is baked in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes. This achieves a crunchy yet soft texture and amps up the smokey flavours.

The result is an easy and delicious meal prep dish that can be sprinkled over anything from a salad to a wrap, a soup to dumplings.

A brightly lit aerial image of low FODMAP chilli oil noodles in a white bowl atop a white stone benchtop

Where can I use these tofu crumbles?

Some suggestions on where crumbles of deliciousness are highly welcome:

An aerial image of a bowl of low FODMAP green soup topped with tofu crumbles, peanuts, chopped green chilli and spring onion greens. The bowl sits atop a white marble table and two water glasses sit to the top of the image.

How to get the best texture out of firm tofu

I have experimented with this a lot over the years, but settled on this tried and true method.

First, I freeze my block of tofu in its packaging. To make life simple, I actually just buy more tofu than I need and pop a few packets in the freezer. This way I have frozen tofu on hand whenever I need it.

Why freeze tofu? It expels the liquid from the solid, creating a super spongy tofu that has a springiness akin to meat.

But how do we get the tofu from frozen to defrosted? My preferred way is to boil the frozen tofu.

I simply remove the tofu from the packet and place it in a pot of boiling water (salted, if you like). I cook it until the tofu is fully defrosted all the way through and has a bouncy feel to it. Finally, I remove it from the water, allow it to cool and tear it into crumbles.

What is the purpose of boiling the tofu? Firstly, it’s the quickest way to defrost it. But secondly, it further expels liquid from the tofu (I promise) and creates the spongiest, lightest texture.

This serves the purpose of creating a deceptively meaty tofu, but also enabling the tofu to soak up more flavour. A win win.

An aerial image of a bowl of low FODMAP chilli oil noodles topped with tofu crumbles. The bowl sits on a dark metal backdrop.

Can I skip freezing and boiling the tofu?

Of course! This is supposed to be an easy recipe, so those steps could be perceived as making it needlessly more complicated. They do improve the texture of tofu, but if you’re planning to use your crumbles to top an already textured and flavourful dish, they are not necessary steps at all.

I generally make these tofu crumbles with a block from my fridge to make it quick and easy. If you have the time or a tofu hater in the houses, the freezing and boiling method is a great option.

An aerial image of a dark grey ceramic bowl of carrot soup topped with tofu crumbles, cream and chilli oil on a dark metal backdrop.

Substitution notes and suggested flavour profiles

There aren’t really many substitution notes, but I do have some suggestions in terms of flavour profiles.

  • Any oil will work here.
  • You could use gluten dark soy sauce in place of Tamari.
  • Nutritional yeast is optional, but adds a little bit of extra umami.
  • Liquid smoke is also optional, but adds a delicious smokey flavour.
  • Chilli powder or flakes would add a nice pep, as would some Tajin (it also has citric acid, which adds some lovely sourness too).
  • For an Italian style tofu, you could add a little bit of dried oregano or thyme.
A dark aerial image of a white bowl atop a white speckled plate atop a dark steel backdrop filled with carrot soup. The carrot soup is topped with low FODMAP chilli crisp, cream and tofu crumbles. A piece of buckwheat toast sits sticking out of the bottom of the bowl.

More low FODMAP tofu recipes

An aerial image of a beige speckled ceramic bowl filled with tofu crumbles atop a sunlit white marble table. Two glasses of water sit to the top left of the image.

Tofu crumbles (low FODMAP)

Gluten free, vegan, nut free
*Tablespoons are in Australian tablespoons, which are 20ml as opposed to the more common 15ml. 4 teaspoons if you are NZ, US, Canada, European or Britain based = 1 Australian tablespoon
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine Food Intolerance Friendly
Servings 4 people


  • 40 ml (2 tablespoons)* oil
  • 40 ml (2 tablespoons)* tamari
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (use 4 teaspoons if you are NZ, US, Canada, European or Britain based)
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional (use 4 teaspoons if you are NZ, US, Canada, European or Britain based)
  • Freshly cracked pepper to your tastes
  • Splash of liquid smoke optional, if you have it
  • 500 g firm tofu


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except for the tofu.
  • Crumble the tofu finely into the sauce, then stir to completely coat the crumbles in the sauce. They should be a uniform red brown colour.
  • Spread the tofu crumbles out evenly onto a large oven tray. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir to redistribute the cooked upper layer of tofu. Cook for another 10 minutes, then assess. You can remove it from the oven here for a soft tofu crumble, or cook for another 10 minutes for a crispier tofu crumble.
  • Serve the tofu straight away or allow it to cool before placing in an airtight container. You can sprinkle the tofu in salads, on soups, in wraps – wherever you like.
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge and use within 4-5 days.
Keyword Low FODMAP tofu recipes, low fodmap vegan, oven baked tofu, Tofu crumbles
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