My family and I love these Baked Tofu Nuggets so much we argue over who gets to eat the crumbs. Dip these vegan nuggets in ketchup or add them to a buddha bowl. There is no limit to how you can incorporate these little nuggets of joy into your life!
I love tofu! There. I said it. In fact, I love tofu so much that I sometimes forget other people aren't so crazy about it. I also sometimes forget that there was a time in my life when I didn't know how to cook tofu. That said, once I started experimenting with tofu, I realized that not only was it a versatile ingredient, but it was also one of my favorites--especially as these Easy Oil-Free Tofu Nuggets!
Now that I've been cooking tofu longer, I've come to the conclusion that there are two types of tofu, that which is cooked right and eve
Don't fall into the trap! You just need a simple and versatile recipe to get the ball rolling.
Enter the Super Simple T
My family and I love these so much we literally argue over who gets to eat the crumbs. That's how delicious they are! Plus, these are super quick to prepare. We eat them about once a week and never get bored. You can pair them up with my No-Butter Mashed Potatoes for a traditional-looking American plate. Toss them in Vegan Buffalo Sauce for "boneless wings." Or add them to a buddha bowl, tacos, or wraps. There is no limit to how you can incorporate these little nuggets of joy into your life.
The other thing I love about this super simple tofu nugget recipe is how easy it is to swap out different spices and flavors. You could add a little pickle juice and agave syrup for a Chick-fil-A Style Nugget. Add some powdered ginger and pair with a sweet sauce to make Sticky Orange Tofu. Or add chili powder and lime to make the perfect topping for this Southwestern Salad. The possibilities are endless!
You'll love these Vegan Tofu Nuggets because they're:
- Baked & Oil-Free
- Simple & Easy
- Quick to Cook
- Perfect for dipping in your favorite sauce
- Healthier than store-bought vegan chicken nuggets
- Super versatile
- Absolutely delicious!
How to Make Baked Tofu Nuggets (Vegan Chicken Nuggets)
Simply add the paste ingredients to a bowl and mix. If you've never used nutritional yeast, check out my post: 6 Essential Vegan Pantry Staples. Find in the organic or health-food section of your local store or order Nutritional Yeast online.
The paste should be thick enough to stick to the tofu but not so thick that it doesn't coat evenly. (Thinner than a pesto but thicker than cream.)
After you make the paste, remove your tofu from the packaging. If you use extra-firm tofu, pressing is not necessary for this recipe. (If your tofu needs to have the excess water removed, you can wrap the tofu blocks in a paper towel or clean tea towel and press firmly with the heel of your hand for 10 to 15 seconds.)
Next, you break the tofu blocks into bite-sized chunks. Try not to crumble the tofu but also don't worry about making the nuggets perfectly uniform. You're going for a kind of nugget shape that's a bit rounded and has nice nooks and crannies for your paste to cling to.
Once you're done breaking up the tofu blocks, carefully fold the tofu chunks into the paste, making sure each piece is coated. After that, simply spread the nuggets on a lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes on 425° F or 220°C.
You'll know they're done when they've nicely browned. The inside should no longer be soggy but should have a texture similar to a chicken nugget.
What is the Freeze/Thaw Method and Can I use it here?
*I do not recommend using this method with super firm tofu because it just doesn't make enough of a difference. However, it works well with firm or extra firm tofu.*
The freeze/thaw method for cooking tofu is simple. Take a block of tofu (still in the package), freeze it overnight, and move it to your refrigerator to defrost on the morning of the day you want to cook the tofu. Some people also repeat this freezing and thawing a second time (it's called the double freeze method).
Why would you do this? The freezing and thawing creates little ice crystals that (when thawed) form pockets of air. This makes for a chewier and more "chicken-like" texture. I use this method sometimes (when I remember!). But when I forget, I don't stress about it. I love these vegan nuggets with or without the extra work!
If you choose to use this method, be sure to give yourself extra time to press the tofu before you bake it. You will need at least 15 to 30 minutes to remove the excess water. To press, simply wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel, place a heavy pot or pile of plates on top, and let it rest until most of the excess water has been "pressed" out.
Can I cook these Vegan Tofu Nuggets in an air fryer?
Yes! You can make these tofu nuggets in the air fryer. Just click here for my Air Fry Tofu Nuggets recipe.
How to Use Leftover Baked Tofu Nuggets
In my house, we almost never have leftover tofu nuggets! But I made extra once just to have leftovers to test it out (it was hard, but I did it). So I can say that if you do have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Simply reheat in the microwave or serve cold as a topping for salad. They really take on a nice "cold fried chicken" consistency when you do this.
More tofu recipes
- Vegan Palak Paneer (with Tofu)
- Chick-fil-A Style Tofu Nuggets
- Sticky Orange Tofu (Oil-Free!)
- Southwestern Salad with Chile-Lime Tofu
- Vegan Thai Curry with Tofu
- Vegan Taquitos with Cashew Queso & Tofu Crumbles
And for more info on how to stock your vegan pantry try:
Easy Tofu Nuggets
- 14 oz super firm tofu (or firm tofu, pressed)
- Preheat oven to 425°F or 220°C.
- In a large glass mixing bowl, combine all of the "Paste" ingredients and stir to combine. This should create a thick-ish paste. If the mixture is too thin, add more nutritional yeast. If the mixture is too thick, add water in small increments.
- Unwrap tofu and break into bite-sized chunks over the bowl. As you do this, use your thumb to create craggy, rounded edges. (They're still edible if they're blocky and smooth, but the pieces will hold the paste better and take on a more nugget-like shape if they're rounded and have craggy edges.)
- Lightly fold the chunks into the paste, being careful not to break the tofu too much.
- Scoop tofu onto a lined sheet pan and place in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes or until the tofu is nicely browned on the outside.
- If you aren't using super-firm tofu, you might need to press to remove excess water. Remove tofu from packaging and wrap in a paper towel or clean kitchen towel. Place wrapped tofu on the counter and press with the heel of your hand, applying enough pressure to release some of the water (not so hard that you crush the tofu).
- Interested in trying the freeze/thaw method for getting chewier, more chicken-like texture? Check out the instructions in the blog post above.
- Do *NOT* use silken tofu for this recipe.
- Do *NOT* use aluminum foil to line the baking sheet, as this might cause the nuggets to burn.
- If you want to reduce the sodium, you can use light soy sauce or halve the soy sauce and replace the difference with water.
- Want to use an air fryer? Just click here.
*This recipe was originally inspired by Tofu Bites by It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken. I altered the recipe by adding different spices and eliminating the oil.