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Food & Recipes

Silken Tofu: A Creamy Protein-Rich Addition to Your Favorite Dishes — 3 Easy Recipes

It's a tasty and nourishing add-in for dishes such as mashed potatoes and chocolate mousse cake

Tofu is much more than a meat-free alternative, especially when you buy the silken type. Silken tofu is mild in flavor and velvety compared to firmer varieties. So it can add a creamy essence to sweet or savory dishes like soups, desserts and even mashed potatoes. The best part? A small portion of this tofu contains less than 80 calories and around 9 grams of protein. This makes it a good-for-you ingredient that won’t load up dishes with calories. Keep reading to find out more about what makes silken tofu special and three ways to cook with it!

What is tofu?

Tofu is soybean curd that’s made by thickening soy milk with a coagulant agent. This creates curds within the milk so it can be formed into a solid block. While you can find various types of tofu in the refrigerated section, silken is one of the most beloved kinds for good reason.

How silken tofu differs from other kinds

Unlike firm or extra-firm varieties, the moisture from silken tofu isn’t pressed out before it’s packaged. This high water content gives it a texture that Jessica Chan, chef and food blogger at Jecca Chantilly, describes as “incredibly soft, delicate and almost jelly-like.” This ingredient is often the star of Asian dishes like mapo tofu (cubes of tofu coated in a spicy meat sauce) and miso soup. But if you’re new to silken tofu, start by incorporating it into your regular meals.

3 perks of cooking with silken tofu

Below, you can find three reasons why this tofu helps enhance your everyday dishes.

1. It’s versatile for a range of recipes.

Whether you go the sweet or savory route, this tofu’s mild creamy taste pairs well with the flavors of any ingredient. Also, it can be used as heavy cream substitute to make fluffy mashed potatoes, velvety sauces (think Alfredo or vodka pasta sauce) or creamy soups like tomato-basil or broccoli cheddar.

2. It’s packed with protein.

Silken tofu is also a healthy addition to dishes as a 4 oz. piece contains about 73 calories and 9 grams of protein. The protein from soy-based foods like tofu is linked to providing essential amino acids that help reduce chronic disease risk, weight gain and menopause symptoms. (For more protein-rich ingredients, check out these stories on Kamut flour, whipped cottage cheese and canned oysters.)

3. It blends well into dishes.

This tofu’s velvety texture shines through when it’s blended into a dish as it binds the ingredients together. Plus, it gives the dish richness. Depending on the recipe, you’ll either blend the tofu before cooking or during the process. Either way, it’s best to cut the tofu into cubes so it’s easier to combine and creates a smooth consistency.

Chef’s trick for slicing silken tofu with ease

The tofu’s custardy texture can make it tricky to slice directly out of the pack. So, remove it in one piece to then cut using these tips from The Woks of Life food blog.

  1. Carefully peel off the plastic seal on top.
  2. Run a knife along all four edges of the tofu block, making sure the knife hits the bottom of the box.
  3. Place a plate over the block before flipping it onto the plate.
  4. Portion off your desired amount of tofu and cube it before storing any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

3 yummy recipes that use silken tofu

These three recipes from our test kitchen showcase the versatility of silken tofu for adding a delicious and nutritious kick to your favorite meals! (Also, try this Healthy Tomato Soup recipe that uses silken tofu for extra creaminess with fewer calories.)

MIni Turkey Tomato Sliders

Turkey tomato sliders with silken tofu in the patties

The zestiness of these burgers (which are made with horseradish sauce) shines when topped with grilled tomatoes instead of bland bread.


  • 1 lb. organic lean ground turkey
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose seasoning mix 
  • 12 small tomatoes (about 2-inch in diameter), halved and seeded
  • ½ cup silken tofu, cubed
  • 20 dill pickle slices, divided
  • 1 Tbs. prepared horseradish
  • 8 lettuce leaves, torn
  • 12 small slices red onion


  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings (12 sliders, 3 per person)
  1. Heat grill or grill pan. In bowl, mix first 3 ingredients; shape into 12 patties. Grill patties 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Grill tomatoes 2 minutes or until just wilted but still firm, turning once.
  2. In mini processor, pulse tofu, 8 pickle slices and horseradish until combined.
  3. Layer tomato bottoms with lettuce, patties, onions and sauce. Add the tomato tops. Skewer to serve if desired.

Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake

Dreamy chocolate mousse cake made with silken tofu
Pronina Marina/Getty

A fluffy filling makes this rich and decadent treat even more enjoyable!


  • 1 (15 oz.) box dairy-free chocolate cookie mix
  • 12 oz. silken tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips, melted 
  • 1 (¼ oz.) package gelatin


  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 4½ hrs
  • Yield: 12 servings
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare cookie mix as package directs. Press dough into lined 9-inch round springform pan. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool. 
  2. In processor, purée tofu, vanilla, sugar, cocoa and chocolate chips. In bowl, whisk gelatin into ¼ cup cold water; add to processor. Blend until smooth. Pour mousse over crust.
  3. Chill 4 hours. Garnish as desired.

Lightened-Up Mashed Potatoes

Lightened up mashed potatoes made with silken tofu
Liudmila Chernetska/Getty)

Silken tofu replaces heavy cream and butter in this lighter version of mashed spuds.


  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup silken or soft tofu, cubed and then lightly mashed
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth 
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  1. Place potatoes in pot and cover completely with cold water. Add pinch of salt.
  2. Bring potatoes to boil over medium-high heat and cook until fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain using colander.
  3. Place potatoes back into pot and mash with tofu and broth until creamy. Taste and season accordingly. Serve.

Keep reading for more ingredients to jazz up your go-to meals!

What Exactly Is a Caper + Why You Want to Have a Jar On Hand If You Love Italian Food

Miso Paste Makes More Than Just Soup — Here’s How To Use It

Everything Bagel Seasoning: The Versatile Flavor Blend That You Can Make in 5 Minutes

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