Tofu nuggets baked in the oven and crispy with sesame seeds on the outside are so good to pop in your mouth. A great vegetarian snack or meal that even your kids will enjoy!
Baked tofu nuggets are easy to make. Season, leave plain, coat with sesame seeds or breadcrumbs and cook in your oven or air fryer. They are a healthy vegetarian snack that even kids love dipped in a sauce. (affiliate links present)
You don’t have to make these into bite size squares, but why wouldn’t you?? Below we have instructions for baking tofu in the oven to make them crispy. If you want more of a deep fried outside you can follow the same directions but then follow our air fryer tofu temperature and cook timing instead.
Is it better to pan fry or bake tofu?
Baking is by far better, or you can air fry it too. Both methods will get the crisp texture on the outside you really want. In a pan on your stovetop will certainly warm it and best if it were marinated. Just don’t expect to get any golden brown on the outside this way.
What to do to tofu before cooking?
This plant based protein made from coagulated soy milk curds pressed into blocks has a lot of liquid in it. If you just sliced it and threw it into a pan it will soon fill up with what looked like water. Ok if you wanted to steam it essentially. BUT if you do want it browned you need to soak some of that up first. How??
The best way to reduce liquid in tofu is to wrap it in a cheesecloth or a few paper towels. Gently press the tofu or it will fall apart. On the top place a book on it for about 5 minutes. Or use a light palm to very gently press down and absorb a lot of that water.
After you’ve drained the tofu and it’s unwrapped you can slice it into any shape or size you want. You will notice the difference if you did this to one piece and not to another. The smaller the pieces the faster they will cook and crispier the outside will become. 1×1″ would be the smallest size I’d do.
Healthy Tofu Nuggets
We are going to dip each piece in a tasty sauce of sorts that will add flavor and allow the seeds of choice to stick on the outside too. It’s made up of nutritional yeast, rice flour, milk and seasonings. Just salt and pepper were added here. As far as the outside you could opt for everything bagel seasoning instead of sesames.
If you did use something else I would not add any other seasonings as most already have some sodium in them and you wouldn’t want to overwhelm your nuggets of tofu with salt. Especially if you are serving these with dipping sauces like soy sauce you want to wrap the tofu with mild ingredients.
Easy Tofu Recipe
If you have ever made homemade chicken nuggets it is kinda’ similar to making those. Dipping the main ingredient in some sort of liquid or batter in order for the bread crumbs or coating to stick nicely. Get your baking sheet ready with a piece of parchment paper on top so they don’t stick while you’re preparing the rest.
Not only do you not want to create a mess, or have them stick but after a few minutes flip them over and with some type of non stick surface that makes everything easier. If you wanted to make a more breaded tofu treat you’d follow the same recipe but use Panko breadcrumbs instead of seeds like we did.
Tofu Nuggets No Breadcrumbs
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking tray / cookie sheet with a drizzle of oil or parchment.
- Whisk together nutritional yeast, flour, salt and milk in a small bowl.
- Lay tofu in middle of cheesecloth or a few paper towels, fold over and gently press down to remove moisture.
- Unwrap and place tofu on a cutting board. Cut into bite size pieces. One at a time dip pieces into the batter you made.
- Place the sesame seeds or breading in another small bowl.
- Roll each piece around in the bowl until they stick on all sides.
- Spread the tofu nuggets on to the prepared baking tray.
- Bake them for 5 minutes, move them around and bake them for another 5-8 minutes until the outside browns.
Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets
- Follow recipe as directed
- Preheat machine to 400 F. for 5 minutes
- Lay in a single layer and cook for about 8-10 minutes (turning halfway) or until crispy
The exact timing will depend on how large your pieces are, how browned and crispy you want the outsides to be, and what rack you use. I always place in the middle but ovens do vary very slightly so I say 5-8 minutes at the end. Keep an eye on them after minute 5 to see which is best for y’all.
How do you store leftover tofu
First off, only make what you think you’ll eat that day. It doesn’t save well in the fridge with the “breading” on the outside as in a bag it will get wet and kinda’ yucky that way. Instead, keep the coating and everything else separate. Then make from fresh again the next day or whenever.
The flour batter can be saved in a container and thinned out a bit if it gets too thick to use again. Now on to the container itself. Once you open the sealed top you’ll want to leave the remainder in the liquid. Then use some cling wrap, press and seal is best, to reseal the top so no air gets in. Always keep it in the refrigerator up to 3 more days.
If you do make it earlier in the day and don’t finish you could warm again in the air fryer (ideally). 380 degrees F for about 3 minutes should do it. Beyond that it will dry out though so I wouldn’t warm again more than once. Give them a whirl. Even if your kids are picky I bet they might try these because they are “cute”.
With a variety of fun sauces too they are more likely to think it’s a fun snack. Mine as teens will now make these themselves with different coatings. A great recipe to pop into the oven after school that take less than 30 minutes to done.
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- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a large baking tray with a drizzle of oil in the base. Mix nutritional yeast, flour, salt and milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Lay tofu in middle of cheesecloth or a few paper towels, fold over and gently press down to remove some of the moisture. You can set a book on top too and leave it there for 5 minutes.
- Unwrap and place tofu on a cutting board. Chop it into bite-size pieces. One at a time dip pieces into the batter you made. If you run out of batter, simply re-filled it following the same proportions.
- Place the sesame seeds in another small bowl, roll each piece around in the bowl until they stick on all sides. Spread the tofu nuggets on to the prepared baking tray.
- Bake them for 5 minutes, move them around and bake them for another 5-8 minutes until the seeds turn golden brown. Can serve with sriracha mayo.