These Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets are meatless chicken fingers that are tossed in a flavourful barbecue sauce! It’s an easy to make vegan chicken nuggets recipe that is so delicious!
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets – Vegan Chicken Fingers
If you’ve ever loved the taste of chicken nuggets but you went vegan, vegetarian or just want to eat less meat, then this recipe will be your new favorite for sure! These tofu nuggets are crispy, baked and tasty, so it’s a great way to still enjoy chicken nuggets but without the meat! I totally love this recipe because it’s so simple and if you make a big batch, you can easily freeze them for another day. Just reheat and enjoy anytime!
Homemade Vegan Chicken Nuggets
I‘m pretty sure there are already many vegan and vegetarian meatless nuggets available in the stores which you can buy ready-made. However, such prepared foods are often expensive and/or contain unusual ingredients which I think are not very healthy at all. That’s why I prefer to make everything from scratch when I have the time. This way you always know what ingredients your meals contain and you can adjust them to your taste and preference.
How to cook Crispy Tofu
Step 1: Press Tofu
Even though these Vegan Chicken Nuggets are baked and not fried, it makes the crispiest and most delicious tofu! Just make sure to use firm tofu for the best results. Simply slice the tofu, and then press out as much of the liquid as you can by wrapping the tofu slices in paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel). Then place a heavy pan or another weight on top and set it aside for at least 30 minutes. This step is very important if you want super Crispy Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets!
Step 2: Crispy Coating
How to make breadcrumbs stick to the tofu
When your tofu slices are well pressed and look dense, cut them into fingers and start with the breading. There are several ways to make breadcrumbs stick to the tofu. Instead of using only non-dairy milk or create vegan buttermilk (combine the milk with vinegar, then set aside to curdle), as I prefer to do, you can also stir 1/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk together to make a sticky paste, or whisk 2 flax-eggs (or regular eggs, if you’re not vegan) with a little milk. Just find out which method works best for you!
However, when I make vegan chicken nuggets, I prefer a double coating method by dipping the tofu fingers in vegan buttermilk first, then dip into cornstarch. I do this step 2 times before coating them with the breadcrumb mixture. Continue with the rest of the tofu and place your breaded tofu fingers on a lightly greased baking sheet. That way, they will get super crispy and just perfect!
Step 3: How to make Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets
As I mentioned before, these are crispy baked tofu nuggets and not fried nuggets! So they’re healthier because baking requires less oil than frying. Simply pop the breaded tofu fingers into the oven and bake until crispy. Then they’re ready for dipping.
Can I fry Tofu Nuggets?
You could also fry these tofu nuggets if you want, but I find they are absolutely perfect when baked. The breadcrumb coating gets perfectly crispy, and the tofu takes on a delicious texture which reminds me of real chicken nuggets. Even though I have an air-frier at home, I haven’t tried making air-fried Tofu Nuggets yet. However, if you want to give it a try, please let me know how it goes!
How to store and freeze Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets
You can store leftovers in the fridge and then reheat in the oven for a few minutes until hot and crispy again. However, I also like to snack on them cold, for example on top of a sandwich or wrapped in a tortilla or burrito. You can also double or triple the recipe if you want to make a big batch of these to freeze for later. Actually, even frozen they reheat perfectly so you can and have homemade vegan chicken nuggets in no time! The baking time may vary when they’re frozen but it makes still a very quick meal or snack!
I hope you’ll love these Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets. These Vegan Chicken Nuggets are:
- Crispy Baked
- Healthier than fried Nuggets
- Easy to make
- Crispy on the outside
- Tender on the inside
- So delicious!
- The perfect appetizer or snack
Looking for more delicious crispy snacks or appetizers? Then you may also like these vegan recipes:
- Vegan Burrito Samosas
- Crispy Baked Cauliflower Nuggets
- BBQ Cauliflower Wings
- Scallion Pancakes (Chinese flatbread)
- Crispy Spinach Pockets
- Vegan Croquettes with Spinach
- Crispy Eggplant Fritters
- Zucchini Corn Fritters
- Crispy Sesame Tofu
- Vegan Empanadas
If you try these Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets or another of my recipes, feel free to leave a comment on how it goes. And if you take a photo of your pasta dish and share it on Instagram, please make sure to tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka so I won’t miss your post! Happy cooking!
Crispy Baked Tofu NuggetsAuthor:
- 1 Block firm tofu approx. 14oz
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes optional
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar optional
BBQ sauce (optional)
- ⅓ cup BBQ sauce or another spicy sauce
- 2 tbsp neutral oil or melted vegan butter
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Cut tofu into 5-6 slices. Wrap in kitchen paper or a clean kitchen towel (*as pictured in the step-by-step pics in my blog post) to press out the liquid. Place a heavy pan or another weight on top, and set aside for half an hour (or overnight) until the tofu is very dry and looks dense. Then, cut the tofu slices into fingers.
- Preheat your oven to 395 ºF (200 ºC).
- Now take 3 bowls. In one bowl, combine all ingredients for the breadcrumb mixture. In another bowl, add the cornstarch. In the third bowl, stir together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar.
- Take one tofu finger at a time, toss into the cornstarch first, then dip into the non-dairy milk. Repeat this step (put back into the cornstarch, then into the non-dairy milk), and finally coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Repeat with all the tofu fingers, placing them on a lightly greased baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with a little cooking oil for more crispness, if desired. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, flipping them halfway through baking.
- Optional step: Stir together BBQ sauce with oil. Remove tofu from the oven and brush with BBQ oil mixture. Place back in the oven, and continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until crispy!
- (If you want to make the nuggets ahead or freeze for the future, please read the recipe notes or my blog post.)
- The custom time does not include the time you need to press the tofu.
- Instead of creating vegan butter by whisking together non-dairy milk + vinegar, you can also whisk together 2 flax-eggs (or regular eggs, if you’re not vegan) + a little milk, or use only non-dairy milk. Just find out what works best for you!
- You can fry the nuggets as well until golden brown. Just make sure not to overcrowd the pan and flipping halfway through. The cooking time should take about 4 minutes on each side.
- You can make these ahead of time and freeze them after cooking. To serve, simply bake them until heated through and crispy. The cooking time may vary.
- Please read my blog post for additional information about this recipe.
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