This simple Green Bean & Tofu Stir Fry is easy to make, healthy, and delicious. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and doesn’t contain any MSG. Make this takeout fake-out for dinner tonight and avoid any feelings of guilt.
I know you probably know the feeling of being so tired after a hard day that all you want to do is sit on the couch, watch a little indulgent TV, and order some takeout. I’ve been there, and I’ve absolutely done it (more than I like to admit).
The problem is, after eating some of that takeout I feel overly full and kind of gross. All the additives and extra sodium that is usually found in takeout food doesn’t sit well with me. Ever feel like that, too?
If you know what I’m talking about, I’ve got the perfect dish for you today – my Simple Tofu Green Bean Stir Fry. And the best part? You can whip it up even faster than you could go pick up your takeout order.
Now let’s get cooking!
Healthier Than Takeout
The problem with takeout is that I’m never really sure what’s in the sauce or the type and amount of oil they use. When making a homemade version of one of my favorite takeout dishes, I can control exactly what I put in my sauce and how much oil I use.
Brown sauces from Chinese restaurants can contain sugar, MSG, lots of salt, beef or chicken broth. I’m not down with all that stuff, so I like to make my own using simple ingredients from my kitchen.
While I do use some oil to fry up the tofu, remember that extra virgin olive oil is filled with heart healthy fats. Plus, I’m only using a single tablespoon of this healthy oil, meaning I get all the crispy, finger-licking tastiness without an unreasonable calorie count. That’s a win for me!
What’s in This Tofu Stir Fry
This recipe requires just 9 ingredients, many of which I’d bet you already have in the pantry. Here is everything you’ll need to assemble:
A few things to consider about your ingredients:
- Green Beans – while I opted for regular green beans, you can easily sub in French haricots verts instead! While they can sometimes be a little harder to find and a bit pricier, you don’t have to snip off any tough ends.
- Extra Firm Tofu – only have firm tofu on hand? You can totally make it work! Just press the firm tofu with paper towels in a tofu press or with a cookie sheet weighted down with heavy cans.
- Maple Syrup – maple is my sweetener of choice, but you can easily swap in agave syrup instead.
- Tamari or Soy Sauce – Tamari is a gluten-free version of soy sauce. If you are avoiding soy, feel free to use coconut aminos instead.
- Cornstarch – if you are avoiding corn for any reason, you can use half the amount of arrowroot powder (also known as arrowroot flour) in place of cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
How to Make My Simple Tofu Green Bean Stir Fry
No matter how you choose to prep your tofu for this simple stir fry, you’re going to need to get your green beans cooked first.
Using a saute pan or pot with a steamer basket, steam green beans for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crisp you like them. If you don’t have a steamer basket, feel free to blanch them in boiling water for 2-4 minutes.
Pan Fry Method
Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add tofu cubes and cook (undisturbed) for 5 minutes. Flip tofu and cook for another 3-5 minutes until crispy.
Line a sheet pan with parchment for easy clean-up. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Toss your tofu and oil together, then spread out on the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, flipping the tofu once halfway through.
Putting It All Together
While the tofu is cooking, mix sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
If you went with the pan frying method, add the sauce ingredients to the pan and cook while stirring continuously until thick.
If you opted for oven baked tofu, set a sauté pan over medium heat and add the sauce ingredients, stirring until thickened. Tip the tofu into the pan and stir to coat.
Turn off the heat, add your cooked green beans, and stir until incorporated. Serve with some brown rice and enjoy!
- If prepping a bag of green beans seems like too much fuss for you, check out this informative post on how to get it done in (almost) no time. You can also opt for French haricots verts or use a bag of frozen green beans if you just don’t wanna mess with it.
- We eat a lot of grains in my house, and so I find that it makes my life much easier if I prep large batches to last me throughout the week. Seriously, do future you a favor and make a double portion of any grain (in this case, brown rice) so that you can whip up another fast meal on the fly. You can even freeze it if you’re worried about using it in time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Heck yeah you can! Stir fries are such an easy way to add more veggies to your diet. I’m of the opinion THE MORE VEGGIES, THE BETTER!
While bell peppers and onions would play nicely with the green beans, you can get as creative as you like. Zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, edamame and Brussels sprouts are all excellent stir fry veggies.
For sure! I love keeping frozen vegetables on hand as a general rule. They are picked and frozen at premium ripeness, and they maintain all of their nutritional value.
As an added bonus, many frozen veggies like onions, bell peppers and broccoli are already prepped in bite sized pieces. Fewer dishes AND less prep? That’s a big HECK YEAH for me!
I’m using cornstarch as the primary thickening agent for the sauce. If you’re avoiding corn, simply swap a smaller amount of arrowroot powder.
Other Tasty Recipes
If you need some more super yummy ideas for tofu, tempeh or soy curls, check out my:
- Chili Garlic Tofu – so easy with a kick of heat
- Teriyaki Tempeh – my most popular recipe!
- Mongolian Soy Curls – for a vegan version of the popular recipe
- Butternut Squash Noodle Bowl with Tofu – comforting and delicious
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ★★★★★!
Tofu Green Bean Stir Fry
- 4 cups green beans trimmed
- 14 oz organic firm or extra tofu in water drained and pressed (for at least 15 mins) and cut into cubes
- 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
- 3 TB tamari or soy sauce if not gluten-free
- 1 TB maple syrup
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Using a saute pan or pot with a steamer basket, steam green beans for 8-10 minutes, depending on how crisp you like them.*
- Meanwhile, add oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook tofu on one side for 5 minutes.
- While the tofu is cooking, mix sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
- Flip tofu and cook for another 3-5 minutes until crispy.
- Add sauce to the tofu and stir continuously until it is thickened.
- Turn off heat, add cooked green beans, and stir until incorporated.
- Serve with some brown rice and enjoy!
- Feel free to blanch green beans in boiling water if you do not have a steamer.
- Tamari is a gluten free version of soy sauce. If you are avoiding soy altogether, opt for coconut aminos.
- Cornstarch can be swapped for arrowroot powder.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info has been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.