Crumbled Tofu Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce


Last Updated on February 6, 2024

Crumbled tofu served over lettuce with a creamy peanut sauce. This plant-based dinner is full of fresh, bold flavors and is a family favorite!

tofu lettuce cups

Crumbled Tofu Lettuce Cups

Crumbled tofu lettuce cups are a delicious plant-based meal to incorporate into your weeknight dinner rotation. The tofu gets crumbled into a heated pan with oil and pan-fried in a delicious spicy sauce. It pairs so well served in a lettuce cup with a creamy peanut sauce.

This recipe truly packs in all of the best flavors in one bite!

Earlier this week I asked my Instagram audience for recipe inspiration and what they wanted to see more of. So many people requested more tofu recipes, and I had some requests for vegetarian recipes that are “husband friendly.”

Let me tell you guys, this one was definitely a winner- especially with my non-tofu loving hubby.

I debated making him a serving with real meat, but he ended up loving it, and enjoyed it with some brown rice.

What you’ll need to make tofu lettuce cups

For the tofu crumbles

  • Extra-firm or firm tofu
  • Olive or avocado oil
  • Coconut aminos- I love this as a soy sauce alternative for a less salty, more sweeter flavor
  • Maple syrup
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Garlic + ginger

The tofu get’s pan-fried until crisp in an oiled pan, and then finished cooking in the chili garlic sauce.

The peanut sauce is the star of the meal, and can easily be made using almond butter or tahini instead of peanut butter. Here’s what you’ll need:

This technique to cooking tofu is going to be my new staple. There’s no tofu-pressing required, and its not as tedious as standing over the stove to flip each tofu cube.

For the peanut sauce

  • Peanut butter
  • Lime or lemon juice
  • Coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • Maple syrup
  • Sriracha
  • Garlic
  • Salt

The sauce is one of my favorites to serve over these tofu cups, as a salad dressing, or as a dipping sauce for summer rolls.

Crumbled Tofu Lettuce Cups

Make it non-spicy

You guys know I make just about everything spicy, it’s in my blood. But, if that’s not your jam, you can totally leave out the chili paste in the sauce, and the sriracha from the peanut sauce.

Personally, I found the amount of chili paste to be mildly spicy. You can always use a smaller amount if you still want an added kick!

Other ways to serve these Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups

I love serving the tofu in lettuce cups, but if you want more of a hearty meal, you can serve them in other ways!

  1. Serve them over a bowl of brown rice and stir-fried veggies
  2. Eat them with lettuce cups but add in a grain for extra volume
  3. Toss them over noodles- like these take-out style sesame noodles
  4. Use them as your protein for a nourish bowl, and mix in all of your favorite veggies + grains

These tofu lettuce cups are definitely going to be on repeat over here. They’re just as good as leftovers, so feel free to double the batch if you’re looking for a simple meal prep for the week.

More vegan dinner ideas:

Mushroom Broccoli Rice Bake

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Lentil Meatballs

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce

5 from 6 votes
Course: Dinner


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



You can make this recipe using any ground protein you like- chicken or turkey would be great options


  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, 14 oz

  • 2 tbsp 2 avocado or olive oil

  • 1 can 1 of water chestnuts, chopped (8 oz)

  • Lettuce leaves to serve, I love using butter lettuce

  • Toppings: scallions, crushed peanuts, shredded carrots

  • Spicy Chili Sauce
  • 1/3 cup 1/3 coconut aminos or 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp 2 pure maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp 1 balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp 1 chili garlic sauce

  • 1 clove 1 garlic, crushed

  • 1 tsp 1 grated ginger

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4 scallions, chopped

  • Peanut Sauce
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 creamy peanut butter, or sub almond butter

  • 1 tbsp 1 lime or lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp 1 coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp 1 pure maple syrup

  • 1 tsp 1 sriracha

  • 1 clove 1 of garlic, crushed

  • 2 tbsp 2 of water, or more if needed

  • Salt to taste


  • Drain your tofu and break it apart into a large strainer. You want to keep some pieces in large chunks.
  • Heat a large skillet with the oil on medium/low heat. Swirl it around to coat the entire bottom of the pan.
  • Place the crumbled tofu in the pan and flatten it down with a spatula. Cook the tofu for about 5-6 minutes on one side without flipping it. After about 5 minutes, give the tofu a toss and flatten it into the pan again. Let this side cook for another 5 minutes before flipping. 15 minutes in, mix in the chopped water chestnuts. Continue cooking until the tofu is completely browned- it should take about 25-30 minutes.
  • While that cooks, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve some of the scallions to top.
  • After about 25 minutes, add the sauce into the pan and mix it in with the tofu. Lower the heat to let it absorb the flavors for another 10 minutes.
  • While that cooks, mix together your peanut sauce ingredients. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water or coconut aminos by the tbsp.
  • Serve the tofu crumbles in lettuce cups or over a rice bowl, and top with shredded carrots, a drizzle or peanut sauce, scallions and chopped peanuts

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!


  1. Tanya Werger

    Absolutely delicious!
    I have made this recipe with both chicken and tofu and its great with both. And I make the peanut sauce to drizzle over other recipes too 🙂

  2. Manpreet Kaur

    This was amazing! I’ve been looking for water chesnuts for weeks just to make this! I’m so glad I followed the recipe because the ultimate dish came out to be perfectly balanced with umani, sweet, sour, savory and bitter flavors. Seriously, this recipe delivers. I’ve missed lettuce cups since going vegetarian and these hit the spot. Thank you for the recipes, Gal.

    • So glad you found them! They add the best texture to this dish. As always, thank you for the kind review 🙂

  3. Whittney

    Very very good! Never made a recipe on your site I didn’t love. Keep em coming!

  4. These were SO good! I’m blown away. Going to make everyone I know try these! Huge burst of flavor and simple to make with ingredients you probably already have around the house.

  5. This spicy tofu is seriously delicious and easy to make!!! It has the most amazing flavor. I by mistake cooked the peanut sauce in the tofu instead of topping it with it later, but both sauces on the tofu made it so flavorful! I will definitely make again.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Rachel! If you loved the peanut flavor, be sure to check out my “spicy peanut tofu” recipe on the blog for another easy tofu recipe!

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