This is the Ultimate Umami Tofu Breakfast Scramble. This oil-free scramble is packed with tofu, beans, and tons of umami. If you’ve ever been hungry or unsatisfied after eating a vegan scramble, this recipe will change your mind and leave you with a very happy belly!
Tofu scramble. Breakfast scramble. Tofu eggs. Scrambled tofu. Tofu scrambled eggs. Tofu that tastes like eggs. The list goes on. There are so many ways to refer to the delicious result of tofu + spices + veggies. Today, I bring you my favorite, fool-proof recipe for vegan tofu breakfast scramble.
There are tons of recipes for vegan scrambles out there. (And honestly, I’ve tried many of them!) I love food and spend a good amount of time cooking. However, I’m also an inherently lazy cook. When I’m barely awake on a Saturday morning, I don’t want to mix a sauce in a separate bowl, press my tofu for 30 minutes, or parboil potatoes to add into a scramble.
Instead, I want to chop veggies, cook everything up in one pan, and call it done as often as possible. If you’d also like to cook this way, then this is the recipe for you!
Why Tofu instead of Chicken Eggs?
Prior to transitioning to a whole-food, plant-based diet, I used to eat regular eggs for breakfast most days of the week. Like many people, I bought into the idea that they were a “perfect” food with “tons” of protein. I remember researching the cholesterol claims and reading that dietary cholesterol was fine to consume if you didn’t have any health issues. Sound familiar to anyone?
Fast forward a few years, and I now see how wrong I was. Eggs contain tons of cholesterol and high amounts of saturated fat. They’ve also been implicated in a variety of cancers and cause animals to suffer. Surprisingly, they don’t even contain that much protein!
These days I turn to tofu when I want a delicious savory breakfast. Tofu is a cholesterol-free, traditional Asian soy food that’s been eaten for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It contains all 9 essential amino acids, as well as a variety of minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and iron. Organic, non-GMO tofu is now widely viewed as a health food.
If you would like to reduce your egg consumption, then try this tofu scramble. Packed with plenty of beans, veggies, and umami, this scramble is super flavorful and will help ease your plant-based transition! (Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a bit simpler for weekday breakfasts, try out my Scrambled Tofu Eggs instead.)
Why You’ll Love This “Ultimate Umami” Tofu Breakfast Scramble
One word: umami! Umami has been having a moment for a while now, but what is it exactly? In short, umami is our 5th taste. It’s the most recently-discovered taste, and joins the ranks of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Often interpreted as “delicious taste” or “pleasant savory taste”, umami is typically associated with “meatiness” and “richness.” This recipe uses a variety of umami-rich ingredients to make a delicious breakfast scramble!
The reason that I rely on umami in this recipe, and in many recipes, is that people love it. In fact, it’s practically a universal truth. 🙂 Consider the combination of shiitake mushrooms + seaweed in Japanese foods and the combination of tomatoes + Parmesan cheese in Italian foods. Traditional cooking discovered the power of umami well before scientists found the taste receptors in our mouths. People cook with umami because it’s just plain good!
A Deeper Look at Umami & Why to Include it in Your Plant-Based Diet
If you’re interested in food science or accumulating facts the way I am, you may be interested to learn about “umami synergy”. Essentially, when umami-rich ingredients are combined, they work together synergistically to transform a final dish into something greater than the sum of its parts. By combining umami-rich ingredients, we end up with flavors that “pop” and please our palates in a fundamental way. Basically, a dish with multiple sources of umami tastes richer and is more delicious.
Why should umami synergy matter to you? Easy! By combining umami-rich ingredients in your cooking, you will improve the taste of your food without any real work! In addition, umami-rich ingredients help us feel satisfied. If you’re trying to remove meat and cheese from your diet, replace those umami-rich comfort foods with plant-based umami sources instead.
All things considered, following the umami synergy principle seems like an ACTUAL food hack to me. 🙂 Try it out in your cooking and see for yourself!
About the Ingredients
As previously noted, this recipe utilizes many umami-rich ingredients! Further, for those of you following Dr. Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS strategy, this recipe hits 4 of his 6 daily food categories. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need for this recipe.
- Extra-firm tofu to create the base of this heart-healthy scramble.
- Beans of your choosing for added texture, and to help the scramble stretch a little farther. For example, try kidney beans or black beans to add bite and color to the scramble.
- Chopped kale, since everyone could use more leafy greens in their diet!
- Grapes tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions for a dose of healthy veggies and umami bomb #1.
- Tamari or soy sauce for depth of flavor and umami bomb #2.
- Nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy flavor, vitamins and minerals, and umami bomb #3.
- Since I supplement B12 and make an effort to eat a well-balanced diet, I prefer to use non-fortified nutritional yeast. You should do your own research to determine which is best for you. Either type will work in this recipe, though.
- Turmeric for color and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Himalayan black salt (kala namak), a salt with high sulfur content, to mimic the smell and taste of eggs. If necessary, feel free to substitute the black salt with regular salt, but start with a smaller amount.
- Black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika to round out the scramble’s flavor.
How to Serve Your Ultimate Umami Tofu Breakfast Scramble
Packed with beans, greens, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and turmeric, this scramble is an antioxidant-packed start to your day. In fact, you could probably serve this scramble by itself and have a complete meal. However, for the most delicious meal possible, additional components are always recommended!
Try this tofu breakfast scramble:
- On a slice of toast for an open-faced sandwich
- With a side of whole-grain bread and fruit
- Nestled into a cooked sweet potato
- With a side of breakfast potatoes or leftover roasted veggies
- Inside a tortilla with hot sauce or salsa for an easy breakfast burrito
- Inside a whole-grain English muffin, topped with sliced avocado
- On top of leftover brown rice or quinoa to create a hearty breakfast bowl
This tofu breakfast scramble is a super tasty and healthy option for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. As has been noted, it’s much healthier than eggs. Unlike eggs, it’s also meal prep-friendly, stores in the fridge for up to a week, and can be reheated with no loss of flavor. This recipes makes 4 hearty servings, or 6 moderate servings, if eating with sides.
I hope you enjoy this satisfying breakfast scramble!
- 1 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and squeezed
- 1 15.5 oz can of beans (such as black or kidney), drained and rinsed
- 3 cups chopped kale, packed
- 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan black salt (kala namak)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- Begin by washing and chopping your vegetables and squeezing out your tofu.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a small splash of water.
- Add kale in an even layer to the bottom of your pan and top with mushrooms. Cover with a lid and steam for about 4 minutes.
- Uncover, stir, and add your chopped onion to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until softened. If your vegetables begin to stick to the pan, add a small splash of water.
- While your onion is cooking, gather your spices and seasonings.
- Return to your skillet, stir the vegetables, and then push them to the outside of your pan. Into the middle of your skillet, add your tofu, crumbling into small pieces with your fingers.
- Add nutritional yeast, all of the spices, and tamari/soy sauce on top of the tofu, and stir the tofu well.
- Once the tofu is well-mixed and a uniform yellow color, add your tomatoes and beans to the skillet. Stir to incorporate everything together.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes. The scramble is ready when the beans and tomatoes are heated through.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Serve your scramble warm, topped with additional black pepper, fresh or dried herbs, hot sauce, or any other preferred toppings. Leftovers will keep for up to a week in the fridge. If you find that there is a bit of liquid in the container after a few days in the fridge, simply drain off the liquid. This is a result of the many water-rich vegetables in this scramble and is nothing to be concerned about.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful spice that's a beautiful orange-yellow color. Please be aware that it will stain light-colored surfaces, such as wooden spoons. I don't mind this, but if you do, use a metal or dark-colored silicone utensil for stirring and serving.
Substitutions: If you plan to substitute any of the vegetables, be mindful of your chosen vegetable's water content. For example, you may use other small types of tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes, without issue. If you substitute larger tomatoes or zucchini, though, you will likely end up with too much liquid. Other hearty greens can be substituted with good results and can be cooked the same way as the kale. If you prefer to use something more tender like baby spinach, add it to the pan with the beans and tomatoes.
Pressing Tofu: You can certainly press your tofu if you prefer. In this recipe, I simply squeeze the water out by hand or press it through a strainer to keep things quick!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: .7gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 717.9mgCarbohydrates: 32.7gFiber: 12.4gSugar: 4.9gProtein: 21.6g
Nutrition information is an estimate only, based on the recipe as written. This estimate was calculated using low-sodium canned kidney beans. Data was obtained through MyFitnessPal's recipe creator.
The background and science behind these ingredients
- Amazingly detailed write-up about umami
- Umami-rich foods increase satiety
- An overview of turmeric’s health benefits
- “There’s no debate: Soy is beneficial to your health”
- The beta-glucans in nutritional yeast may increase immune system function
- Note that there may be a small lead risk associated with nutritional yeast, so choose your brand wisely
- Mushrooms may increase immune system function, and are amazing for breast and brain health
- Debunking a recent egg study
- Overview of the dangers of eggs: salmonella, cancer, heart attack, stroke, premature death, etc.
- Dried spices and herbs are extremely powerful. They may even play a role in cancer prevention
What do you think?
Thanks so much for stopping by! If you make this recipe, then please leave a comment and rating. I would love to hear what you think and how it worked out for you!
Don’t forget to check out my other breakfast recipes as well!