Get ready for some plant-based deliciousness with this Crispy Baked Tofu recipe! Crunchy, protein-packed, and totally delicious, this dish will have you asking, “chicken who?”
Whether you’re vegetarian or just trying to eat less meat, this Crispy Baked Tofu recipe is the perfect plant-based replacement for protein. Easy to make and delicious, only a few steps (and about a 35-minute cook time) stand between you and crispy, savory tofu bites.
The secret to the tofu’s crispiness? Baking. But by putting your tofu in the open, you’ll get a nice, crispy exterior with a tender, flavor-filled interior that you’ll want to start snacking on as soon as you take them out of the oven. So, whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking for a delicious and satisfying meat substitute, this is about to be your new favorite tofu recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy and quick to make, Crispy Baked Tofu is going to be your new favorite go-to salad topper, wrap filler, or stir-fry ingredient.
- Tofu is low in carbs and high in proteins and healthy fats, which means it’s safe to eat if you’re following keto, paleo, or Whole30 diets.
- This dish is incredibly versatile. Crispy Baked Tofu tastes like a snack, but besides being low in carbs and packed with protein, tofu is also low in calories and has tons of iron, calcium, and magnesium.
- Crispy Baked Tofu can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for meal prepping.
Yes, The type of Tofu you use matters
If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably pretty familiar with tofu. But, for those of us who are less familiar with tofu but want to start adding meatless meals to our rotations, tofu can feel like a complicated food.
If you didn’t already know, tofu typically comes in block form in different consistencies: silken, soft, medium, firm, and extra firm. For Crispy Baked Tofu, and a lot of other dishes where you’re using tofu as your meat substitute, you need extra firm tofu.
Extra firm tofu’s consistency is (obviously) more firm and dense, which makes it will hold up structurally through the cooking process.
- 1 block (12 oz – 16 oz) of extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp of avocado, grapeseed, or olive oil (any vegetable oil will work)
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch (this helps make the tofu crispy!)
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce or liquid aminos (like Bragg!)
- 1 tsp seasoning of choice (garlic powder, black pepper, zaatar, cajun, etc.)
Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
All forms of tofu (extra firm, firm, medium, silken) contain water. Drainage will help crisp up our tofu in the oven. Drain using a tofu press for 15-30 minutes or wrap tofu in a paper towel (or two) and place a cutting board or heavy, stable pan on the tofu to squeeze out the excess water (15-30 minutes).
Cut each half in half so that you are left with four long pieces of tofu. Cut the slabs into 3/4 inch-1 inch pieces or any shape you desire (triangles!). Depending on your desired crispness level cut the tofu into smaller pieces.
Add tofu into a large mixing bowl and add the oil and soy sauce/tamari, tossing the tofu evenly. Add the cornstarch and any desired seasonings. Toss carefully until your tofu cubes are coated evenly.
Place all tofu cubes on the baking sheet so that they are spread evenly and are not overlapping or touching. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, flip, and then bake for 15 minutes, or until your tofu reaches your achieved crispiness!
Plain tofu can be bland and boring. But, one of the reasons tofu is so great to cook with is that its porous texture is perfect for soaking up flavors from seasoning or marinates. Crispy Baked Tofu is a great substitute for chicken in recipes like this Paleo Orange Chicken, added to stir-fries, wraps, or salads.
These are some different ways you can flavor your tofu:
|Lemon Herb||Lemon juice, garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, olive oil, salt, black pepper|
|Asian||Coconut aminos, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, green onion, red pepper flakes, salt|
|Spicy Mexican||Lime juice, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic, onion powder, salt, black pepper, olive oil|
|Mediterranean||Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, fresh basil, oregano, salt, black pepper|
|Indian||Turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, garam masala, coconut milk, salt, black pepper|
|BBQ||Tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, black pepper|
|Greek||Olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, fresh rosemary, salt, black pepper|
|Cajun||Olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, onion powder, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper|
|Jamaican Jerk||Allspice, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, garlic, green onion, lime juice, salt, black pepper|
|Italian||Olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, fresh parsley, dried oregano, salt, black pepper|
This all depends on the consistency and texture you’re looking for when cooking tofu. Baking tofu allows more time for the tofu to develop crispy edges with a soft inside. If you were to pan-fry this recipe instead of baking, it would require more oil and cornstarch and constantly flipping the tofu cubes to evenly crisp both sides.
Prior to cooking or seasoning, tofu does not have much flavor! Given its sponginess, tofu absorbs whatever flavors and seasoning you choose to use. This recipe, in particular, has a smokey and salty taste.
You can keep the baked tofu in an airtight container for 3-5 days. To reheat the baked tofu back to crispiness, warm it in the oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
YES! The goal of this recipe is to achieve crispy tofu. Pressing your tofu, even if it’s extra firm, will allow the tofu to hold better shape when cooking and ensures that your seasonings will be absorbed, not diluted with excess water. Tofu presses are available on Amazon or most grocery stores, but you can also press tofu by wrapping it in 1-2 towels and press with a heavy pan.
- 1 block 12 oz – 16 oz of extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil grapeseed, olive oil (any vegetable oil will work)
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch this helps make the tofu crispy!
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or liquid aminos like Bragg!
- 1 tsp seasoning of choice garlic powder, black pepper, zaatar, cajun, etc.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Drain the tofu. All forms of tofu (extra firm, firm, medium, silken) contain water. Drainage will help crisp up our tofu in the oven! Drain using a tofu press for 15-30 minutes or wrap tofu in a paper towel (or two) and place a cutting board or heavy, stable pan on tofu to squeeze out the excess water (15-30 minutes)
- Cut the tofu in half. Cut each half in half so that you are left with four long pieces of tofu. Cut the slabs into 3/4 inch-1 inch pieces or any shape you desire (triangles!). Depending on your desired crispness level, cut the tofu into smaller pieces.
- Add tofu into a large mixing bowl and add the oil and soy sauce/tamari, tossing the tofu evenly
- Add the cornstarch and any desired seasonings. Toss carefully until your tofu cubes are coated evenly.
- Place all tofu cubes on the baking sheet so that they are spread evenly and are not overlapping or touching.
- Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip each bite so they cook evenly! Bake for 15 minutes or until your tofu reaches your achieved crispiness!
- Serve immediately (or with your favorite sauce!)! These are best eaten fresh to retain the crispiness.
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.