These baked tofu nuggets are a game changer. They’re like vegan chicken nuggets (but also SO easy to make and packed with flavor)!
Not just for kids, these tofu nuggets baked in the oven will be the favorite of the party. Whether you are serving them up for game day or as a fun finger food dinner, you’ll love your options. Select all your favorite dips and go to town!
Ingredients for Tofu Nuggets
Nutritional yeast might be tricky to find, but check where your store has all the organic baking supplies and spices. A little bag will last you a long time. The rest of the ingredients should be basic pantry staples you already have on hand!
- Tofu: This mild vegan protein will soak up all the best flavors from the marinade.
- Soy Sauce and ACV: Here’s your umami!
- Nutritional Yeast: This adds a fun flavor that might be new to some folks. Here’s our guide to nutritional yeast for the uninitiated!
- Flour and Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps lighten up the texture of the flour while keeping these tofu nuggets crunchy (rather than soggy).
- Almond Milk: Add some ACV for a quick tangy work around for buttermilk.
- Panko: Add some quick seasoning to panko breadcrumbs for the ultimate crispy coatings (without having to deep fry these nuggets!)
Make sure and grab extra firm tofu when you are shopping. This is the easiest format to press moisture out of and it will hold its shape nicely when torn into nuggets. Firm tofu might work in a pinch, but you’d have to be very careful through the breading process.
How to make Tofu Nuggets
It just takes a little planning ahead to make these. You can be done between school and dinner start to finish, or you can take some time after dinner tonight to press and marinate these nuggets so they are ready to bake tomorrow.
Step 1: Press
Press the block of tofu either in a tofu press or by resting a heavy skillet on top of it. Let the moisture drain for at least 15 minutes and then pat dry. Tear into rough nugget shapes.
Step 2: Marinate
Mix up the marinade in a shallow lidded container. Toss the tofu cubes to thoroughly coat, then let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can do these first two steps up to 24 hours ahead so you can make a quick meal.
Step 3: Breading Station
Set up your station with 3 small bowls. The first will have the flour and cornstarch. Bowl two gets almond milk + ACV to be like a tangy buttermilk. Finally, combine the panko and seasonings in the third bowl.
Step 4: Bread
Use a fork to pass each marinated nugget through the three bowls, letting excess drip off for each coating. Line them up on a parchment lined baking sheet and then give them a quick shot of spray oil for better browning.
Step 5: Bake
Bake for 25 minutes, carefully flipping over partway through for even browning.
(You can get an even crispier coating when you pop these babies into the air fryer. I love that little appliance for making crispy food without excess oil and without heating up the kitchen.)
Tofu Nugget tips
Feeling Tropical: For a fun flavor shake up, try coconut milk instead of almond and add some unsweetened shredded coconut to the panko.
Crisp it Up: Besides baking, you can give these a trip through the air fryer for extra crunch. The air fryer is best if you are making a single batch. The oven lets you double or even triple to bake on a single tray.
Flavor Profile: Try out any of my Easy Tofu Marinades for a new flavor experience each time you make these nuggets!
When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip
What’s a nugget without sauce?! While these vegan chicken nuggets are great with ketchup, BBQ sauce, or ranch, here’s more inspiration for your dipping pleasure!
- Chipotle Ranch Sauce, not only is this sauce great on crispy avocado, it’s the perfect dip for baked tofu nuggets.
- Healthy French Onion Dip, skip the chips and add protein to this classic dip when you dip your nuggets in.
- Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, create an entire spread of finger foods.
- Crispy Avocado Tacos, make two types of tacos for double the Taco Tuesday fun. Add these tofu nuggets to half of your tacos!
- 1 lb block extra firm tofu 453 g
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- ½ cup all-purpose flour 60 g
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch 15 g
- ½ cup almond milk 120 mL
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 5 mL
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs can sub gluten-free, 100 g
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- Press: Press tofu for at least 15 minutes, using either a tofu press or by setting a heavy pan on top of it and letting the moisture drain. When finished, tear tofu into roughly 1 inch blocks.
- Marinate: In a shallow dish, stir together all Marinade ingredients. Add tofu and toss to coat. Let tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to 24 hours).
- Breading Station: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). In a medium bowl stir together flour and cornstarch. In a second bowl, whisk almond milk and apple cider vinegar to make a "buttermilk". Combine panko and all remaining spices in a third bowl.
- Bread: Working one at a time, use a fork to dip each tofu nugget first in the flour, then almond milk, then panko. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray or brush each lightly with cooking oil to help them brown in the oven.
- Bake: Bake for 25 minutes, flipping each over after 10 minutes of cooking.