Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (2024)

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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 Recipe (2)

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!

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (3)

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.

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How to make Crispy Tofu Nuggets

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! When your tofu slices are well pressed and look dense, cut them into fingers and start with the breading.

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (5)

Step 2: Crispy Coating – How to make breadcrumbs stick to the tofu

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!

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (6) Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (7)

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.

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (8)

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!

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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!

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I hope you’ll love these Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets. These Vegan Chicken Nuggets are:

  • Vegan
  • Meatless
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Crispy Baked
  • Healthier than fried Nuggets
  • Easy to make
  • Crispy on the outside
  • Tender on the inside
  • So delicious!
  • The perfect appetizer or snack

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (11)

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

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (12)

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!

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Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (14)

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Homemade Vegan "Chicken" Fingers

Author: Bianca Zapatka

These Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets are meatless chicken fingers that are tossed in a flavourful BBQ sauce! It’s an easy Vegan Chicken Nuggets recipe that is so delicious!

4.92 von 45 Bewertungen

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 40 minutes mins

Course Appetizer, Lunch & Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack, Snacks

Cuisine American

Servings 4 Servings


Tofu Fingers

  • 1 Block firm tofu approx. 14oz

Breadcrumb mixture


BBQ sauce (optional)

  • 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!

  • Serve with herb dip, aioli or another favorite dip and enjoy!

  • (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.

Nutrition is calculated automatically and should be used as estimate.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @biancazapatka or tag #biancazapatka!


Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (15)

©Bianca Zapatka | All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use myimages without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post for the recipe. More info here. Thank youfor supporting!

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (16)Disclosure for affiliate links with asterisk(*):
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Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets - Vegan "Chicken" Fingers Recipe (2024)


Why is my baked tofu not crispy? ›

Why won't my tofu get crisp? This could likely be a result of not drying out the tofu enough to drain out the extra moisture. It's also possible that your oven temperature is not hot enough. Make sure it's preheated and heat the pan in the oven for extra crispness.

How do you get breading to stick to tofu? ›

Pour breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and salt onto a plate and mix thoroughly. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Dip the tofu strips into the cornstarch mixture until evenly coated and immediately press into the breadcrumbs until all sides of the tofu are completely covered.

What is a substitute for cornstarch in baked tofu? ›

Substitutions: If you prefer not to cook with cornstarch, you can substitute in an equal volume of all-purpose flour or potato starch. Tofu: This recipe can also be made with medium-firm tofu, but you'll need to be a bit more gentle while pressing and coating it.

Why is my tofu not crispy air fryer? ›

If the cubes are too crowded in the basket, they won't crisp up as they cook. Feel free to work in batches if necessary! Air fry at 400°F for 11-15 minutes, tossing halfway so that the tofu cooks evenly on all sides. The tofu is ready when it's crisp and browned around the edges.

Why is my baked tofu rubbery? ›

Why does tofu get rubbery? Because it was probably overcooked, it was probably exposed to too much heat. I don't know if it was roasted baked air fried or sauteed, but when it becomes, uh, overcooked, it's gonna get very, very tough.

Is it better to fry or bake tofu? ›

It sticks, and the crispy bits end up sticking to the pan, which is a tofu tragedy. Plus, it requires more oil, and you don't need to use a lot of oil to get crispy tofu. When you bake your tofu, you give it time to develop crispy edges and warm, pillowy insides. It's simply the best.

Can you coat tofu in flour instead of cornstarch? ›

If you want a crispy outer coating for your tofu, flour can be a great substitute for cornstarch. Simply coat the tofu cubes or slices with a dusting of all-purpose flour before frying.

Why is my panko not sticking to my tofu? ›

If your panko is not sticking, the crumbs might be too big.

Feel free to blitz the panko a few times in a food processor to break it down.

Do you have to press tofu before baking? ›

Do You Need to Press Tofu? Not all types of tofu need to be pressed. For example, Japanese-style silken tofu and Chinese-style soft tofu are not pressed. Firm and extra-firm tofu, which is typically sliced or cubed, should be pressed.

What is a vegan substitute for cornstarch? ›

Tapioca is a processed starch flour made from the root vegetable cassava. You should substitute around 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour for each tablespoon of cornstarch.

Can vegans use cornstarch? ›

When used correctly and in appropriate amounts, cornstarch is translucent and tasteless. Because cornstarch consists of nothing but corn endosperm, cornstarch is indeed vegan.

Why is cornstarch not vegan? ›

While cornstarch itself does not contain any animal products, the production process is not free from cruelty or exploitation. As a matter of fact corn cultivation, especially in the US, is nearly 100% GMO unless the packaging specifies otherwise.

Is crispy tofu unhealthy? ›

Fried tofu is high in protein and lower in saturated fat than most meat. However, it is high in calories and typically fried in omega-6 rich vegetable oil. Since the Western diet already has too much omega-6, fried tofu could increase inflammation. Air-fried tofu is the healthiest kind of fried tofu.

Should I marinate my tofu before air frying? ›

Can Air Fryer Tofu Be Made Without Marinade? Technically yes (just drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of salt), but remember tofu is bland on its own. If you make it without the marinade, be sure you have a robust sauce to coat it in afterwards.

How do you bake tofu to dry it out? ›

Arrange tofu on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet to prevent sticking and bake for a total of 25-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through to ensure even cooking. This will dry out the tofu and help give it a more meat-like texture. If you want a tougher texture, cook it for 30-35.

How do you cook tofu so it's not mushy? ›

For the best texture, press the tofu using a tofu press or cast-iron skillet for 20 to 30 minutes. If you're short on time, just drain the tofu and gently press it in a kitchen towel or paper towels over the sink. The tofu won't be as firm this way, but it will still be delicious!

How do you fix rubbery tofu? ›

Press the tofu: Tofu contains a lot of water, which can contribute to a rubbery texture. To remove excess water, place the tofu between two paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and press gently to remove as much moisture as possible before cooking.

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