dinner slow-cooker vegan vegetarian

Slow-Cooker Coconut Basil Tofu

January 5, 2014

I know I’ve made this promise before, but one of my blogging goals this year is to post easier recipes. I have a weird thing about challenging myself with recipes. I need each one to top the next, which sometimes results in 20+ ingredients and steps most of which the majority of people will never make.

When I asked you guys what kinds of recipes you were looking for a lot of you said easy lunches and dinners. Truth-be-told I could use a few more of these kinds of recipes too. My go-tos in the kitchen are always extravagant breakfasts and desserts and I tend to shy away from savoury meals. No more of that in 2014!
coconut basil tofuAnd what could possibly be any easier than the slow-cooker? The answer is nothing. Throw everything in, come back in 4 hours and poof! Dinner. And because I was feeling ultra-lazy I made rice in the rice-cooker. This meant I had more time to watch trashy british reality TV.

While we’re on the topic of convenience, I was sent these awesome frozen herbs from a company called Dorot (Toppits in Canada). Since my mini herb garden lasted all of 2 weeks I am always looking for easy and affordable ways to use fresh herbs. As much as I like dried herbs they really don’t compare to the fresh stuff. Dorot/Toppits allows you to get your fresh herb fix year round without worrying about them dying before you get around to using them.

coconut basil tofu 2Don’t worry, the pancakes and cookies ain’t going anywhere but I will be trying to incorporate more simple and healthy lunches and dinners this year. Starting with this easy Slow-Cooker Coconut Basil Tofu.

Slow-Cooker Coconut Basil Tofu

by The Healthy Maven

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 4 hours

Keywords: slow-cooker entree gluten-free vegan vegetarian coconut basil tofu

Ingredients (Serves: 4)

  • 1 package firm tofu, cut into large strips
  • 4 cups baby bok choy, washed and larger pieces cut in half
  • ¾ medium onion, sliced into large chunks
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 T gluten-free tamari
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 6 cubes of Dorot frozen basil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced( 1 cue of Dorot frozen garlic)
  • 1.5 T fresh ginger, minced (or 3 cubes of Dorot frozen ginger)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 T coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt


1. Set slow-cooker on high.

2. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, tamari, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, basil and ginger to the slow cooker. Stir.

3. Add in tofu, bok choy, onion, and mushrooms, crushed red pepper and coconut palm sugar and stir to coat with sauce.

4. Cook on high for 3.5 hours.

5. At 3.5 hours add in cornstarch and stir well.

6. Cook for another 30 minutes.

7. Add salt to taste and serve warm with rice.

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coconut basil tofu 1

Disclaimer: I was provided with samples of Dorot Frozen Herbs in order to sample their product; however all opinions above are my own. 

What are your go-to easy recipes? Are you a fan of slow-cooker recipes?


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  • Reply
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs
    January 5, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Easy lunches are my favorite! I’m not usually a big fan of tofu, but the coconut and basil addition might make me change my mind ; )
    Enjoy your Sunday!

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    January 5, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I have been looking for a yum way to prepare tofu! I eat it, well, never and have been wanting to give ‘er a try. Plus I love easy crockpot meals! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I’ll be honest with you: I haven’t had good experiences with tofu. However, I love you A lot a LOT and trust you, so I may just have to give it another try. This sounds delish, Davida!!!!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    January 5, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Your goal = my goal. I was just looking at my blog editorial calendar for January and all my planned recipes so far are sweet ones 😆 Part of me thinks I should just stick to what I love and am good at, but then there’s the whole variety thing and… yeah…. But easy recipes are always good ones in my book.

  • Reply
    Heather @ Run Like a G!
    January 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I would love to see more slow-cooker recipes! Since I teach it is so easy to pop something in the slow cooker and come home to a nice cooked meal 🙂

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Oh I am SO making this!!!! Always trying to find new ways to make tofu but I’m not too creative myself so it gets hard.
    My go-to healthy recipe is quinoa, taco seasoning, a can of black beans and some frozen corn, stuffed into a whole grain taco shell – or even plain! SO good and SO easy!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 10:14 am

    3/4 cups of basil?!! Count me in! It is my absolute favorite herb! I reallyyyyy want to make this… why must I be leaving home tomorrow?!
    I don’t think I’ve ever made a slow-cooker recipe myself, but I love the idea. As much as I love to cook, sometimes I like being lazy even more. 😉

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons' Share)
    January 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Wow, I’ve never heard of frozen herbs … that sounds amazing! I LOVE fresh herbs, but they’re pretty expensive. My basil plant did great for 8 months of the year … but not so much right now. Your recipe (of course) looks delicious, and since I just made a bok choy tofu dish and have some leftover ingredients, I just might have to try it out this week!

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    January 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I adore my slow cooker – it just makes life so much easier. I never would have thought to out tofu in it, to be honest – good to know that it works!
    And I just need more recipes in general on my blog. I’ve definitely been slacking on those.

  • Reply
    Nikki @ will run for pizza
    January 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I hate to admit it, but i’m totally guilty of saving all these fabulous-sounding recipes that you post – and other people/pinterest – and then not even attempting to make HALF of them! I think I get scared off if there are 1. a lot of ingredients or 2. if there are more than 2 ingredients that I’ve never used before or have no idea what they are or if I like them. See this is why I need to live next door to you and pay you to cook our dinners each week…GAH! I’m such a bad meal planner too…and what’s sad, I really do like to cook and bake! But when I do, it gets really expensive with all the “new ingredients” or the 35+ ingredients you need for ONE dinner meal! I really need some new/more crockpot recipes though, because I think that would be the best bet for us since I don’t get home until later and we eat a late dinner. Like tofu – I DO like tofu, but do you know I’ve never cooked with it?! What is WRONG with me?!

  • Reply
    Tonya@Healthy, Fit, and Frugal
    January 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Speaking of tofu, I wanted to send you the recipe for the no-fail tofu lasagna I told you about. I use spicy red pepper spaghetti sauce to give it a nice little kick. Or I mix up the two spaghetti jars for two different kinds. http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-tofu-lasagna-96269 Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    January 5, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Mmmm I’ve been totally obsessed with my slow cooker lately!! SO pumped to try this! And I just so happen to have a package of tofu sitting in my fridge just dying to be thrown in the crock pot. I’ve never tried those frozen little herby cubes, but now I’m intrigued 🙂

  • Reply
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker
    January 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I just love slow cooker recipes. They are so fun, easy and delicious! I love you added all of that basil! Count me in for this one!! 😀

  • Reply
    Elise @ 9toFit.com
    January 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Since my busy season starts on Monday, I am looking for a bunch of slow cooker/easy recipes , so I’m definitely pinning this one. It was come in handy and I need to start eating tufo more!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness
    January 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I love using my slow cooker, it makes meal prep so easy! I love tofu but don’t make it at home often, I wouldn’t have thought to make it in the slow cooker. The flavor combination here sounds so good, I love coconut milk.

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    January 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Hooray for easy recipes! I still struggle a lot in the kitchen so easy is always good in my book. I never thought to do tofu in the slow cooker, and the basil/coconut combo sounds delicious. Do you think it will be ok without the fish sauce?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      yup but you may need to add a bit more salt or tamari. Apple cider vinegar might work too? Let me know if you try it out!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Oh, yum! I haven’t had tofu in forever and this recipe looks like the perfect way to start off a new tofu addiction! Love your blog!

  • Reply
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green
    January 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Tofu in the slow cooker you say… interesting. I’ll have to give this a try. I’m usually not a huge fan of basil, but I am so intrigued by this recipe I am going to have to pin it for later.

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    January 5, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Coconut and basil? Slow cooker? You are speaking my favorite words girl! Looks delicious! Hope you had a nice weekend!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Sweat The Sweet Stuff
    January 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I’m just like you with plenty of breakfast and dessert recipes and not as many lunch and dinner! This looks good but I’d probably use chicken or shrimp, not much of a tofu fan unless it’s silken that I’ll end up blending.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      I hear ya! Would be great with chicken! Might work with shrimp but I’m always weary of overcooking shrimp in the slow-cooker. Or just with veggies it’s delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    January 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    This post and the subsequent comments got me thinking. As much as I love food blogs, I’d say that I make about 1/10 of the recipes, if that many. For the most part, I get ideas for things that I want, and then I search for recipes. It doesn’t usually happen the other way. Or, if it does, I use a recipe that I see on a blog as inspiration for my own recipe. To me, the best part of a food blog is the food porn. I love food. I love looking at pictures of it. I love imagining how it would taste. I love the quirky descriptions that go with it (if it’s written by a talented lady like you, at least). And if those things don’t exist, I don’t read. Could be the most delicious thing ever, if it’s ugly and if I don’t like the blogger, too bad.

    All that to say, I hate breakfast, but I love you and I ADORE your pictures and admire your 20,000 ingredients, so you do you girl. Don’t feel like you’ve got to change unless you want to challenge yourself! In which case, hooray for easy and yes indeed to the slow cooker 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      I could spend all day on pinterest pinning recipes and will maybe make 1 a year. It’s so sad. I’ve come to the conclusion that most people won’t make my recipes either…ah well, at least I ate well and they look pretty haha

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    January 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Tofu in the slow cooker? UM YES how have I never tried this before?? I think this is going to be made very soon!

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    January 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I have been thinking about getting back on the tofu train simply because it is soooo cheap. I need to get some good recipes, though. This could be a winner! Did you press the tofu out before you put it in the slow cooker, by any chance? I always do that but am not sure if that would make a diff at all.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      I didn’t press the tofu but I would imagine it would still work. I was inspired by a tofu dish I legit ate everyday in college and come to think of it they definitely pressed the tofu so it will probably work!

  • Reply
    Mary @ Fit and Fed
    January 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Nice! I don’t have a slow cooker, but I have a rice cooker that I use constantly– not just when feeling ‘lazy,’ but every time that I cook rice or quinoa. I’ve got to start using the porridge feature more to use it as a de facto slow cooker as well— maybe that can be one of my 2014 projects?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      I didn’t have much success making oatmeal in my slow-cooker but if your lid screws tight you may have better luck! I had oatmeal and water all over my kitchen unfortunately 🙁

  • Reply
    Becky @ Olives n Wine
    January 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Mmm… a tofu, Thai-inspired recipe that’s slow-cooker friendly? Heck yes. And of course I’m a slow cooker fan, easiest way to cook ever!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    January 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    No joke Davs- I was having a convo with mum yesterday about cooking tofu in a curry in a slow cooker and whether or not it would disintegrate or stay intact- you’ve answered it with this cheers!

    I definitely hear you on the easier recipe creation- I’ve been working on making mine with less ingredients, and one’s way more accessible. I’ve come to realise not everyone has peanut flour, random flours or specific pureed veg. :p

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      For the record it’s totally lame that people don’t all have peanut flour…pretty much world crime. New mission in life, deliver peanut flour to every household and eradicate peanut allergies!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Between watering, my cat, and birds using them for nests, I cannot keep fresh herbs alive!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Sigh….I miss my slower cooker that we had to leave behind in the states. Perhaps I can talk the hubs into getting another one. No such thing as too many appliances right? 🙂

    Do you think I could make this recipe w/o a slow cooker? Perhaps just on the stovetop?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Yup! Definitely! I would just bring it to a boil and then simmer for 20-40 mins. Haven’t tried it before but I could imagine it would still work 🙂

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    January 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I love coconut, I love tofu, and I love easy recipes, so this one is an instant win! And I love buying frozen herbs too. It’s so much cheaper than buying new bunches of fresh herbs and then throwing out 3/4 of them 2 weeks later haha.

    My go to easy recipes are stir fries, chili, and marinated salmon.

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    January 5, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I’m hoping to simplify this year as well and try to use what I have (I am moving out in 4 months- eek!!)
    This looks right up my alley- sub the fish sauce for miso and I’ll be golden 🙂

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I love crock pot meals and anything with basil makes me happy. However, I don’t know about tofu – the one (yep only once!) time I tried it I spit it out. I know that it was probably just not prepared well but I have a huge mental block…

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Love that we posted a slow cooker recipe a day apart 🙂 Thai basil is my faveee to get at Thai restaurants and I love the idea of tossing this all in and having dinner!! I actually almost bought tofu at the store today to make this but chickened out at the last minute (already have two meals in the works and they make more than enough for me and pops!). Next week!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      girrrrrl get yoself some tofu! Tofu itself doesn’t taste like anything but with the right sauce it’s awesome. You could probably make this with chicken too!

  • Reply
    Karey @ Nutty About Health
    January 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    This looks really good!! I’m all for easy & simple recipes. 🙂
    happy sunday!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 2:56 am

    The crazier work gets, the more attractive the slow cooker becomes 😛

    I can’t honestly say I’ve ever tried tofu in mine, because I’ve always been afraid it would breakdown to quickly and be left a mushy mess? Apparently not! 😛 This would be just the kind of thing I would love to come home to after a winter’s day (in my mind, trudging through the snow, with the wind blowing bitterly. Nevermind that it doesn’t snow here, that’s how I picture it 😉 )

    Such a handy recipe to have up my sleeve come cold weather 😀

  • Reply
    taylor @ taylormade
    January 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I LOOOOVE my slow cooker! I’ve actually never cooked tofu, and I don’t *think* I’m a big fan, but this makes me want to give it a go! Although this would also be delicious with my beloved chicken 🙂

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I love my slow cooker!! Especially in the winter! I also love Thai so this is a must make for me! 🙂 I am also going to check out Dorot because I love fresh herbs but end up throwing most of them away because I can’t use them all in time!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Femme Fitale
    January 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Just getting back from Sydney and making a trip to the grocery store for the week ahead… this is on my TO MAKE list! I’ve never done tofu in the slow cooker, and now I’m excited. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
    Hope you are staying warm!!! x

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Hope you enjoy lovely!

      • Reply
        Kelly @ Femme Fitale
        January 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm

        I made it!!! I was amazing at how well the tofu kept its form, considering how meat becomes so tender in there. I didn’t have tamari, so used soy sauce, and it seemed to be fine. Loved the basil!

        • Reply
          Kelly @ Femme Fitale
          January 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm


          • Davida @ The Healthy Maven
            January 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm

            Yay!!! I was so impressed at how well the tofu held together too! Soy sauce is the perfect substitution. So so so happy you liked it 🙂 Have a great week, lady!

  • Reply
    Amanda @runtothefinish
    January 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    AWESOME!! I have been looking for more ways to get better flavor out of the tofu I make at home!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      I was shocked when the tofu held up, but it totally did! So excited I have a new way of cooking tofu!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I absolutely love Tofu. My fave tofu is steamed, with green onion and soya sauce.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Don’t get me wrong. I like my desserts, but I’m a much bigger fan of savory recipes because while I might not have dessert every day, I definitely do eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tofu still scares me though. Yes, I’m probably the only vegetarian anywhere who’s never tried tofu. Maybe if you make it for me. Pretty please.

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    January 20, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Yes to slow cookers! I keep saying I’m going to use mine more this season, but since my pumpkin chili, I’ve yet to break it out again! Ugh…get on it, Heather! My go-to easy meal? Breakfast! Ha! Nothing like a 2 minute bowl of cereal or Greek yogurt…lately, even cooking eggs seems to take too long! Ha!

    Love the dark background in these pictures! Teach me your ways!!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Great recipe! What size slow cooker did you use for this recipe? Also, would it cook longer if I have it on low setting?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      I used a 5 quart slow cooker. And yes, I would cook it for 7-8 hours on low. Enjoy!!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Just made this and it was great! Accidentally grabbed white wine vinegar instead of RICE wine vinegar, but I’ll make sure I do it next time. Only thing I would do different is to mix the corn starch into some water instead of just dumping it in. It got a little clumpy. I browsed through all of the comments hoping that someone that actually made it said something about how it turned out, but not such luck (as seems to be the case on food blogs. Make it, then comment people). Glad I went for it anyway. Definitely a keeper recipe!

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