This Cabbage tofu stir fry with spicy tahini sauce is made with gluten-free pasta for a delicious healthy weeknight meal idea. It’s naturally vegan, packed with veggies and will be on the table in 30 minutes!
This healthy cabbage and tofu dish makes a super simple weeknight meal. It’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and has over 26 grams of plant-based protein per serve!
Stir-fries tend to use long noodles but I prefer to use pasta (like mini macaroni) as I always have a box on hand. It makes it easier to eat and creates the ultimate veggie pasta stir-fry! Plus, when the cabbage is finely sliced it makes the BEST noodle substitute and creates a more voluminous dish.
Ingredients you’ll need
In this recipe, pasta is cooked then is stir fried with tofu and vegetables, and dressed in spicy tahini sauce for an absolutely delicious vegan meal.
Here is everything you will need, plus substitution ideas:
- Tofu – Organic preferred. Use firm or extra-firm in this recipe. I don’t recommend silken tofu as it so soft and will mush up when mixing the stir fry.
- Red cabbage – red or green (I used a mix of both).
- Carrots – I shredded my carrots with a vegetable peeler. Feel free to cut into matchsticks, use a julienne tool, or grate them.
- Red capsicum (bell pepper)
- Spring onions (scallions) –both the white and green part
- Gluten-free macaroni pasta –I love using a small pasta or rice noodles for this recipe. Feel free to use anything you prefer! Even cooked brown rice or quinoa would be lovely too.
- Tahini – for the creamy sesame sauce. Can sub with peanut butter, almond or sunflower seed butter if you like.
- Tamari – sub with coconut aminos or soy sauce.
- Curry powder (I used mild) – add a subtle spicy flavor.
- Honey or pure maple syrup – Adds a touch of sweetness to the stir fry sauce, feel free to adjust the amount.
- Ginger – Adds a delicious kick. I used ginger powder just freshly grated would be great too.
- Lemon or lime juice – to bring out all the flavours
- Sesame oil – you can use another oil BUT this adds so so much flavour!
- Sesame seeds – white, black or toasted to garnish
How to make Cabbage tofu stir fry with spicy tahini sauce
This recipe is super easy to make and takes just a few simple steps! (Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)
- Prep the veggies: Finely shred your cabbage into thin strips to create noodle like pieces. Slice capsicum (bell pepper) into thin strips and shred carrots with a vegetable peeler into long strips. Thinly slice spring onions.
- Pasta: This is what will take the longest and should be started first. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then set aside.
- Crispy Tofu: While the pasta is boiling, prepare the tofu. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and cook in a wok or large non stick pan with a little sesame oil. Cook on each side for about 6 – 7 minutes, shaking the pan often to prevent the tofu from sticking. Cook until tofu is slightly golden and crispy looking. Set aside.
- Spicy tahini sauce: In a small bowl whisk together the tahini, tamari, maple syrup, curry powder, ginger, lemon OR lime juice and water, and set aside. If you like things really spicy, add an extra tablespoon of curry. Taste for flavor, adjust as needed.
- Stir-Fry & Combine: Finally, using the same pan you cooked the tofu in, heat remaining sesame oil. Add in the cabbage, carrot, red capsicum (bell pepper) and spring onions. Stir-fry until tender, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add the cooked tofu, drained pasta and tahini sauce, toss to combine (shown below). Serve immediately with sesame seeds for garnish.
That’s it, so simple, healthy and delicious!
How to store leftovers
- Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days in a covered container.
- Meal prep: This Cabbage Tofu Stir Fry With Spicy Tahini Sauce is great the next day, making it PERFECT for meal prep.
- Reheat: When ready to serve, warm up in a pan, adding a tablespoon of water or broth for moisture as needed. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave.
Adjusting for dietary restrictions
- Oil-Free: Simply omit the oil from the stir fry and use a splash of water instead. It won’t have the same robust toasted sesame flavour, but will still be delicious!
- Gluten-Free: use any gluten-free pasta of choice this veggie pasta stir-fry recipe. Buckwheat soba noodles and rice noodles are naturally gluten-free if you prefer. For the marinade, stick with tamari or coconut aminos to keep it GF.
- Soy-Free: omit tofu and use thinly sliced chicken breast if preferred. Use coconut aminos for the marinade.
Cabbage nutrition benefits
Cabbage is a low calorie nutrient dense brassica vegetable (belongs to the broccoli, cauliflower and kale family). It is packed with vitamin K and vitamin C, with one up providing 85% and 54% of your daily needs, respectively!
In addition, cabbage is high in fibre and contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and sulfur compounds which may help with the prevention of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
More easy weeknight meals
If you try this Cabbage tofu stir fry with spicy tahini sauce recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
This cabbage tofu stir fry with spicy tahini sauce is the perfect healthy weeknight meal idea. It’s vegan, packed with veggies and takes 30 minutes to make!
- 14 oz/ 400g firm tofu, cubed
- 2 oz/ 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni pasta
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 small cabbage (about 500g), thinly sliced*
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), thinly sliced
- 4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- sesame seeds, to garnish
- 1/4 cup tahini or peanut butter
- 3–4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- 1/2 cup water
- Cook pasta according to package directions, and set aside.
- Cube the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and cook in a wok or large non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Cook on each side for about 6-7 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent the tofu from sticking. Cook until the tofu is slightly golden + crispy. Set aside.
- While the tofu cook, whisk together the tahini, tamari soy sauce, maple syrup, curry powder, ginger powder, lemon juice and water. Adjust to taste.
- In the same pan you cooked the tofu in, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil. Add the cabbage, carrot, red capsicum (bell pepper) and spring onion. Stir fry until just tender, for about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the cooked tofu, drained pasta and tahini sauce. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately and sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish.
- I used a mix of red and green cabbage.
- Can use peanut butter in place of tahini.
- Use lemon juice instead of lime juice if preferred.
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
- Calories: 437
- Sugar: 12.9
- Fat: 23.1g
- Saturated Fat: 3.4g
- Carbohydrates: 34.9g
- Fiber: 14.5g
- Protein: 26.7g
Keywords: cabbage tofu stir fry with spicy tahini sauce, cabbage tofu stir fry, cabbage stir fry, tofu stir fry, cabbage and tofu dish