This vegan stir fry is such a simple dish, yet can have so much variety that you’ll never get bored! I make stir fry pretty frequently and enjoy adding whatever veggies I have on hand at the time. It can be ready in just 35 minutes for a quick weeknight meal!

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Vegan stir fry served over noodles in a bowl, topped with sesame seeds.

I enjoy stir fries often because they’re so easy to make and simple to customize. With a homemade stir fry sauce, tofu, and your favorite vegetables, this vegan stir fry comes together easily!

The stir fry sauce is based off of my super easy vegan stir fry sauce. It’s my go-to for an easy and savory sauce and works well with a variety of plant-based proteins and vegetables.

If I’m not making this vegan stir fry, I sometimes make this tofu stir fry with black rice noodles, or this Thai vegetable stir fry. I’ll often rotate between these each week!

Ingredient Notes

Gathered ingredients for this vegan stir fry recipe with labels.

Here are the key ingredients needed for a veggie stir fry plus some simple swaps:

  • Extra Firm Tofu: Use extra firm tofu for its sturdy texture that holds up well in stir fry. Pressing the tofu helps remove excess moisture, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the stir fry better or use super firm tofu to skip pressing it. Don’t have tofu? Any plant-based protein will work. Try tempeh, soy curls, or edamame.
  • Sesame Oil: Sesame oil adds a rich and nutty flavor to the stir fry. Use it for sautéing the tofu and vegetables.
  • Vegetables: I used carrots, broccoli, and red bell peppers in this stir fry but really any veggie will do! Use your favorite, or use up any leftover vegetables in your fridge that you already have on hand. Some of the best veggies for stir fry are zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, bok choy, snow peas, snap peas, water chestnuts, green beans, baby corn, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, and leafy greens like spinach.
  • Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: Choose low-sodium soy sauce for a savory base. If preferred, you can use coconut aminos as a soy sauce alternative.
  • Maple Syrup: Maple syrup adds a natural sweetness to balance the savory and salty notes in the stir fry. Adjust the quantity based on your desired level of sweetness.
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar provides acidity, brightening the flavors of the dish. Either one works well.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch or arrowroot powder acts as a thickening agent for the sauce, creating a glossy and cohesive coating on the tofu and vegetables.

How to Make This Vegan Stir Fry

Here’s the step-by-step process for making this easy vegan stir fry. For exact measurements and times, reference the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Pressing a block of tofu in a kitchen towel.

Step 1: Start by draining and pressing the block of extra firm tofu for 30 minutes. Use a tofu press or wrap the tofu block in paper towels, placing a weight on top.

Baked tofu cubes on a baking sheet layered with parchment paper.

Step 2: Cut the tofu into cubes and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the tofu turns golden and crispy.

Alternatively, you can air fry the tofu for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Vegetables stir-frying in a large skillet.

Step 3: Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the carrots, broccoli, and red bell pepper. Stir fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they become soft.

Hands whisking the stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Step 4: In a small bowl, mix together the stir fry sauce ingredients.

Step 5: Pour the sauce over the stir-fried vegetables, add the baked tofu, and stir fry for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Serve the flavorful stir fry over rice or noodles of your choice, and if desired, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

The finished vegan stir fry in a large skillet.

Serving Ideas

  • Add a base layer: No stir fry is complete without a base of noodles or grains like rice or quinoa! I chose rice noodles, but udon noodles, ramen noodles, soba noodles, or even spaghetti noodles would be great! For rice, try white rice like Jasmine or basmati, or for something heartier, use brown rice. Or try something a little fancier like this chickpea coconut rice .
  • Sprinkle on the toppings: Add some fresh flavors with cilantro and green onion or chives, and a squeeze of lime juice. Sesame seeds, peanuts, or cashews are great for a little crunch. If you prefer it spicier, add some red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or slices of jalapeños. 
  • Serve with some sides: This vegan stir fry goes great with air fried spring rolls or pot stickers, miso soup, roasted asparagus, or an Asian slaw.
Vegan stir fry in a skillet topped with sesame seeds.


  • Make sure the vegetables are soft before adding the sauce. The sauce thickens and cooks quickly so you don’t want to have the sauce in the pan for very long before serving.
  • Use a large skillet or wok to allow the vegetables plenty of room to cook evenly.


​Place left over stir fry vegetables and tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top in a skillet over medium heat, until warmed through.

A bowl of noodles topped with this vegan stir fry recipe.


What can you put in a stir-fry instead of meat?

Use a variety of vegetables like broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, and water chestnuts instead. For more protein, add tofu, tempeh, soy curls, or edamame.

How to make restaurant-quality stir fry at home?

The key is to cook your protein and vegetables separately. This ensures everything is cooked properly, preventing vegetables from becoming soggy. Then, when everything is done, combine it with the sauce.

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Vegan stir fry served over noodles in a bowl, topped with sesame seeds.

Easy Vegan Stir Fry

5 from 1 vote
Author: Rachel
This easy vegan stir fry with tofu and vegetables comes together for a delicious weeknight meal!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • oven
  • Stovetop


  • 14 ounce extra firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 head broccoli chopped into florets
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced

Stir Fry Sauce

  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce use coconut aminos if desired
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Optional Toppings

  • sesame seeds
  • green onions sliced


  • Begin by draining and pressing the tofu for 30 minutes. You can either use a tofu press or wrap the tofu block in paper towels and place a weight on top.
    14 ounce extra firm tofu
  • Preheat an oven or air fryer to 400°F (205℃). Cut tofu into cubes and place on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and crispy or air fryer for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper and stir fry for about 5 minutes until soft. 
    2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 carrots, 1 head broccoli, 1 red bell pepper
  • To a small bowl, add the stir fry sauce ingredients and mix well. Pour it over the vegetables to coat. Add the tofu. Stir fry for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
    ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Serve over rice or noodles of choice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion if desired.
    sesame seeds, green onions


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 710mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6974IU | Vitamin C: 175mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
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This vegan stir fry recipe was originally published on January 19th, 2014, and was updated with an improved recipe, instructions, tips, and photos on January 24th, 2024.

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