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5-ingredient crispy baked tofu is pillowy inside with a crisp outer shell – perfect for serving as a versatile plant-based protein for salads, wraps, noodles, and more!

completed Crispy Baked Tofu on a white surface
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An Easy Recipe for Crispy Baked Tofu

We’ll admit we love tofu in all its forms – marinated like buffalo tofu, blended into pasta sauce, whipped into tofu ricotta, etc. However, for those who aren’t keen on its texture while soft, we highly recommend trying this crispy baked tofu recipe. While not quite as crispy as it is when pan-fried, this method is even less hands-on and allows you to use minimal oil.

In this easy baked tofu recipe, 5 ingredients and about 40 minutes (primarily hands-off) transform a block of tofu into golden-brown, crispy cubes or nuggets with a tender, lightly chewy middle. It’s super simple and highly customizable – a go-to versatile protein for nearly any meal.

You may also like crispy breaded tofu, saucier sweet & sour tofu, or sticky sesame tofu.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Crispy Baked Tofu measured out on a white surface
  • Tofu: Use super-firm or extra-firm tofu for the best results. We use organic, non-GMO tofu when possible. Use pre-frozen and thawed tofu, if preferred.
  • Cornstarch: Just a small amount of starch helps to coat the tofu and create a crispy outer layer. Arrowroot flour or potato starch will work, too.
  • Oil: We used olive oil, though avocado oil or another neutral oil should work fine.
  • Sea salt & black pepper

Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.

Flavor Variations

  • Soy sauce: A popular way to add salty, umami flavor to this recipe for baked tofu is to toss the cubes in soy sauce (regular or reduced-sodium – use coconut aminos/tamari if gluten-free) before coating them in cornstarch. Soak it for 10-15 minutes for the best flavor.
  • Seasonings: The other easy way to add flavor is to sprinkle the pre-baked tofu with seasonings. A popular combination includes onion and garlic powder and smoked paprika. Other seasonings include Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning, taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, cumin, curry powder, nutritional yeast, etc.

How to Make Baked Tofu

First, if you haven’t already, press the tofu for 30 minutes using a tofu press or by wrapping it in a kitchen towel (or between paper towel layers) and placing a heavy item on top, like a skillet and/or several large books.

  • Cut the tofu into ¾ to 1-inch cubes (or tear it into baked tofu nuggets).
cubed tofu on a white surface
  • Add the cornstarch and toss to thoroughly coat it, then spread it across the baking sheet in a single layer with space in between.

Alternatively, place the tofu on a baking rack set over a baking sheet. This allows the warm air to circulate the tofu thoroughly for the crispiest results.

  • Bake the tofu for 30 minutes, flipping it to a new side every 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Increase the baking time further for even crisper results.
  • Finally, toss the tofu with more salt (and any other seasoning you’d like to add), and enjoy! Serve the baked crispy tofu immediately for the best texture.

To save washing, rinse the bowl from step 3 and use it to toss the cubes with salt at the end.

Top Tips For The Crispiest Baked Tofu

  • Use super-firm or extra-firm tofu: These contain the least amount of added moisture, so they are best when you want to achieve the crispiest baked tofu.
  • Press the tofu: This will help remove any excess liquid to crisp it up even more.
  • Don’t skip the starch: This coats the tofu and becomes crispy when baked.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: It needs to be in a single layer, with space in between to allow for the best air circulation and ultimate crispiness.
  • Experiment with flavors: With the method sorted, feel free to try other marinades and seasonings for an endlessly versatile, meat-free protein.
  • For even crispier tofu: Lightly spray the tofu cubes with oil before baking them/ place them on a lightly oiled tray. The extra fat makes the crispiest outer shell.

FAQs

Can I prepare the tofu in advance?

You can store pressed and cubed tofu in an airtight container for 2-3 days before seasoning and baking the tofu.

How to cube tofu?

First, divide it horizontally into 2 (or 3, if it’s very thick) layers. Then, slice it into 1-inch strips horizontally before dicing the strips into 1-inch cubes.

Do I need to press the tofu?

Although technically, you can get away with not pressing super-firm or extra-firm tofu, it’s highly recommended to remove the excess liquid to achieve the crispiest tofu. Pressing can also help the tofu with soaking up marinades.

Can you freeze baked tofu?

Technically, yes, for up to 3 months, though the texture of tofu changes upon thawing – becoming chewier/spongier.

Can I cook tofu in an air fryer?

Air fryer tofu is a simple way to make crisp tofu in even less time than baking it. Spread it in an air fryer and cook at 400F/200C for 10-14 minutes, flipping/shaking it halfway.

completed Crispy Baked Tofu in a bowl

What to Serve With Baked Tofu Bites?

Crispy oven-baked tofu is a versatile meat-free protein you can enjoy in endless ways.

Storage Instructions

Although crispy baked tofu is best enjoyed immediately, you can allow any leftovers to cool, then store them in a paper-towel-lined airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

To bring back crispiness, reheat the tofu in a skillet with a small amount of oil or back in the oven at 375F/190C.

completed Crispy Baked Tofu in a storage container

More Easy Tofu Recipes

Or enjoy browsing our entire collection of budget-friendly vegan tofu recipes.

Crispy Baked Tofu

5 from 35 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
5-ingredient crispy baked tofu is pillowy inside with a crisp outer shell – perfect for serving as a versatile plant-based protein for salads, wraps, noodles, and more!

Ingredients 

  • 1 (15-ounce) block of super firm tofu, pressed, drained, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside
  • In a large bowl, add the tofu, oil, salt and pepper. Gently mix well.
  • Add the cornstarch and toss to coat the tofu. Rinse and dry the bowl. Set aside.
  • Place the tofu on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes, turn them to a different side.
  • Once ready, carefully put the tofu in the bowl and sprinkle a little more salt. Toss and enjoy.

Notes

  • Use super-firm or extra-firm tofu: These contain the least amount of added moisture, so they are best when you want to achieve the crispiest baked tofu.
  • Press the tofu: This will help remove any excess liquid to crisp it up even more.
  • Don’t skip the starch: This coats the tofu and becomes crispy when baked.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: It needs to be in a single layer, with space in between to allow for the best air circulation and ultimate crispiness.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 8gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 77mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Toni, this was a perfect recipe for making baked tofu. So easy too! I did your suggestion on adding other seasonings and it turned out so flavorful! Thank you for all the awesome recipes you create and share!