To make these Baked Tofu Nuggets, you’ll only need a few ingredients. They’re a hit with the kids, and they’re crispy on the outside!

Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce at parties, movie nights, or snack time. They are absolutely irresistible!

Who could say no to crunchy, dipping-friendly bites? It’s unthinkable! Especially when they’re homemade and far healthier than deep-fried snacks.

Baked Tofu Nuggets can be made without any oil, or you can use a small amount for an amazingly golden crust. They are definitely a great crowd pleaser and a good way to introduce tofu to those who are unfamiliar.

This tofu nuggets recipe is a winner in my home. My son loves this baked breaded tofu and requests them at least once a week. How can I refuse? My children love them with barbecue sauce or ketchup.

If you aren’t sure about tofu, try making tofu chicken nuggets to see how you like it! Tofu can be difficult to make properly, which is why you may have tried it previously and disliked it. I recommend that you try it again. I’m confident you won’t be disappointed if you try my baked tofu nuggets recipe.

If you’ve ever craved chicken nuggets but are now vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to eat less meat, this recipe is a must-try!

Also, check out, Baked Onion Rings, Cauliflower Nuggets, and BBQ Cauliflower Wings.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Crispy and Delicious: These tofu bites are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, making them a delightful treat for your taste buds.
  • Healthy Choice: Unlike traditional deep-fried nuggets, these are baked, which means they are a healthier alternative without sacrificing that satisfying crunch.
  • Vegan and Gluten-Free: Perfect for those with dietary restrictions or looking for plant-based options, these nuggets are both vegan and gluten-free.
  • Kid-Friendly: Kids and adults alike love these nuggets, making them a hit for family meals, parties, movie nights, or snacks. They are great for introducing tofu to those who are unfamiliar with it.
  • Protein-Packed: Tofu is a good source of plant-based protein, making these baked tofu nuggets a nutritious choice.
  • Freezer-Friendly: You can make a large batch and freeze the leftovers, so you always have a quick and tasty meal or tofu snack on hand.

Tofu’s Health Benefits

Tofu is a great source of protein that contains all of your body’s essential amino acids. It also contains carbohydrates, fats, and numerous vitamins and minerals.

Tofu, like the majority of plant foods, is high in antinutrients. These compounds are found naturally in plant foods and lower your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. In addition, tofu contains phytates and trypsin inhibitors, both of which are antinutrients. Antinutrient content is reduced when soybeans are soaked, sprouted, or fermented before being made into tofu.

Isoflavones, which are found in all soy products, including tofu, are thought to be the primary contributor to the health benefits of tofu. Isoflavones can act as both estrogen agonists and estrogen antagonists. These may aid in the prevention of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. 

According to experts, tofu’s combination of fiber, protein, and isoflavones may be a cause for its heart-health benefits. This may also be why whole soy foods like tofu seem to be better for lowering cholesterol than soy supplements.

According to research, tofu may help prevent cancers of the breast, gut, and prostate. Additional research, however, is necessary before making specific recommendations.

Tofu’s high isoflavone content may help with bone mineral density, brain function, menopause, and depression symptoms.

Overconsumption, on the other hand, may pose some risks.

Tofu Nuggets Recipe

Ingredients Needed

Meatless nuggets made from vegan and vegetarian ingredients are already widely available in supermarkets. However, such prepared foods are frequently costly and/or contain unusual ingredients, so I prefer to cook everything from scratch. This way, you’ll always know what’s in your meals and can tailor them to your preferences.

  • Super-Firm Tofu: Look for super-firm tofu, which is easier to work with and provides a meatier texture. I love Super-Firm Tofu from Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find super-firm tofu, you can use a tofu press or wrap tofu in paper towels to remove excess water.
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or Tamari Soy Sauce): This savory liquid adds a depth of flavor to the tofu, giving it a tasty, umami kick. If you can’t find liquid aminos, low-sodium soy sauce can be a suitable alternative.
  • Vegan Mayo (Optional): The mayo not only adds a creamy element but also helps the breading stick better to the tofu, creating that crispy texture. It’s an optional ingredient, so you can omit it if you prefer.
  • Nutritional Yeast Flakes: These flakes provide a cheesy, nutty flavor to the nuggets, enhancing their taste while keeping them vegan-friendly.
  • Brown Rice Flour: This gluten-free flour forms the base for the breading, ensuring a crispy and golden exterior for the tofu. Sub with cornstarch if you prefer.
  • Onion Powder: Adds a subtle onion flavor to the nuggets, contributing to their overall deliciousness.
  • Garlic Powder: The garlic powder infuses the tofu with a hint of garlic flavor, making the nuggets even more flavorful.
  • Italian Seasoning: A blend of dried herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme brings a Mediterranean touch to the recipe, enhancing the taste profile.
  • Paprika: Paprika adds a mild, smoky flavor and a beautiful reddish hue to the nuggets, making them visually appealing.
  • Salt: Essential for seasoning the tofu and bringing out the flavors in the dish. Adjust the amount to your taste.
  • Cayenne Pepper (Optional): If you like a little heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick.

FOR THE FULL LIST OF  INGREDIENTS, SCROLL TO SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END.

How to Make Baked Tofu Nuggets

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. If you’re using firm or extra-firm tofu, press it between paper towels to remove excess water. Cut it into strips or cubes.
  3. Marinate the tofu by coating it with 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or Tamari soy sauce) for 20 minutes. If you’re using vegan mayo, coat the tofu with it.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the following dry ingredients: 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 1/4 cup brown rice flour, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (if you desire a bit of heat).
  5. Coat the marinated tofu with the dry herb mixture, ensuring an even and thorough coating.
  6. Place the coated tofu pieces on a greased baking sheet. You can spray them with a bit of oil at this point if you prefer.
  7. Bake the tofu nuggets in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. You’ll know they’re done when they are golden and crispy.
  8. Once baked, serve your delicious Baked Tofu Nuggets with your favorite dip, salads, pasta, or as a snack.
How To Make Tofu Nuggets

Recipe Tips

  • Begin with super-firm tofu, as it’s easier to work with and provides a better texture. If you can’t find super-firm tofu, look for extra-firm tofu, which is the next best option.
  • Press excess water from the tofu
  • Marinate tofu in Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for at least 20 minutes.
  • If you can’t find liquid amino, you can use low-sodium soy sauce instead. Before you add the tofu, taste it to make sure it isn’t too salty, then add the tofu and mix well. Coconut aminos can also be used instead.

Variations and Substitutions

  • If you can’t find Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, you can use low-sodium soy sauce as an alternative.
  • For a gluten-free alternative, you can use a different gluten-free flour of your choice.
  • If you don’t have a tofu press, you can press the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels and placing a heavy object on top.
  • The use of vegan mayo is optional in the recipe. You can choose to omit it if you prefer not to use it.

If you prefer not to use tofu, you can substitute it with another protein source. Chickpeas or homemade chickpea tofu are great alternatives. To make chickpea tofu at home, you’ll need 1/2 cup (150g) of chickpea flour, 1/4 cup (300ml) of water, 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder (chicken), and 1 teaspoon of turmeric.

Start by bringing half of the water (150ml) to a boil in a pot. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients along with the remaining water. Next, add the chickpea mixture to the hot water and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for approximately 7 minutes.

Once cooked, reshape the mixture into a rectangle or another desired shape. It’s best to chill it overnight, but at least for 2 hours to allow it to set.

Storage Tips

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and then reheated in the oven or microwave for a few minutes until warm and crispy. I also enjoy them cold, on top of sandwiches, or wrapped in tortillas or burritos.

Additionally, you can double the recipe if you want to make a large batch of these to freeze. It’s actually quite simple to make your own vegan tofu nuggets, even if they’ve been frozen!

While the baking time will vary slightly when frozen, they still make an excellent meal or snack!

Serving Suggestions

  • Dipping Sauces: Serve the tofu nuggets with a variety of dipping sauces, such as barbecue sauce, ketchup, vegan ranch dressing, or honey mustard.
  • Salads: Add the nuggets to a fresh green salad for a protein boost. They pair well with salads like Cobb salad, Caesar salad, or a simple garden salad.
  • Pasta: Incorporate the tofu nuggets into pasta dishes. Try them with a creamy vodka sauce, carbonara, lemon pasta, or broccoli pasta for a satisfying meal.
  • Appetizers: Serve the nuggets as appetizers at parties or gatherings. They make a great addition to a platter of vegan smoked salmon appetizers.
  • Snack: Enjoy the nuggets as a delicious and healthy snack. They’re perfect for movie nights or afternoon munching.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Use the nuggets in sandwiches or wraps for a convenient, on-the-go meal. They’re great with your favorite condiments and veggies.
  • Bowl Creations: Create bowl-style meals by placing the nuggets on a bed of rice or quinoa, and add your choice of veggies and sauces for a balanced and satisfying dish.
  • Burritos or Tacos: Fill burritos or tacos with these nuggets for a tasty and protein-rich vegan or vegetarian option.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make tofu firm?

If you cannot get super-firm tofu near you to make these Baked Tofu Nuggets, then you can use a tofu press (purchase online) to squeeze out excess water, or you can wrap tofu in a paper towel and place it on a plate.
Next, put another plate on top of the tofu block and add a heavy object on top, such as heavy books on top of the plate. The time it takes to drain the excess water depends on the weight on top of the plate. So it could take half an hour or a couple of hours.

What is tofu?

Tofu is a soy-based product, naturally gluten-free, and low in calories. It’s cholesterol-free, rich in iron, calcium, and protein. Made by coagulating soy milk curds, it’s available for vegans and vegetarians in stores.

Can I fry tofu nuggets?

I’ve never tried frying these nuggets because I’m confident baking will yield excellent results. If you want to shallow fry, then I’m sure they’d be just as good. But, they wouldn’t be as healthy.
I’ve heard great things about using an air fryer for low-fat frying. If anyone tries this method of making tofu nuggets, let me know how it goes!

Are tofu and paneer the same thing?

Paneer and tofu may appear to be the same thing, but they are not. Paneer is a type of cheese, whereas tofu is a type of soy product. They are, however, both vegetarian protein and calcium sources with mild flavors and soft textures. As a result of this, they can be substituted for one another in some recipes.

Can you eat raw tofu?

Even though tofu comes in different textures (silken, firm, and extra firm), you can eat them raw. Drain off any extra liquid from the package of raw tofu before you eat it. Tofu should be stored properly to prevent the growth of germs on any leftovers.

Other Related Vegan Recipes To Try

  1. Vegan Chickpea Salad
  2. Chickpea Burger
  3. Chickpea Tacos
  4. Grape Jelly And Meatballs
  5. Vegan Macaroni Salad

Friends, Let me know if you try these delicious Baked Tofu Nuggets! Share your thoughts in the comments. Everyone who reads your thoughts and experiences benefits, including me!

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per 100g)
  • Energy: 203 kcal / 849 kJ
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Carbs: 14 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
  • Ready in: 45 min
  • For: 5 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If using firm or x-firm tofu, press tofu between paper towels to remove excess water. Then cut into strips or cubes and marinate with Bragg's liquid aminos for 20 minutes. (If you are using the vegan mayo, mix it with the Bragg's liquid aminos and coat it with the tofu. Then you will proceed to coat with dry ingredients as follows.)
  2. In another bowl combine the remaining ingredients well. Coat tofu with dry herb mix and place on a greased baking sheet. You may spray with oil at this point.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes turning halfway. You may also cook on a lightly oiled frying pan until golden and crispy.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.