You may have seen this crispy baked tofu on my site before! I’ve featured it in both my Kale Power Salad and these Stuffed Portobellos with Poblano Cream. I use this exact technique so often in my cooking that I really wanted this oven baked tofu to have its own special spot on the blog! You can change up the spices in so many different ways. It’s become a go-to vegan protein for us because it’s simple and only takes about 30 minutes to cook.
How to cook tofu in the oven:
- I choose firm or extra firm tofu for this baking method!
- First, I like to press my tofu to remove extra water. Here’s a good explainer on pressing tofu without a press.
- Once the tofu is sufficiently pressed, I tear it into small pieces with my hands. The rough torn edges create a craggy surface that spices cling to, maximizing the crisp factor.
- After I blot the tofu pieces dry with a kitchen towel, I toss them with avocado oil (great for high heat cooking!), salt, and pepper.
- From here, I toss the tofu again with arrowroot starch, cornmeal (extra crunch!), spices, and nutritional yeast.
- Once evenly coated, the tofu is spread out on a baking sheet and then placed in the oven for 30 minutes, or until all pieces are golden brown and crisp.
While I make this crispy baked tofu without cornstarch (opting for arrowroot instead), you could definitely do a one for one substitute with cornstarch if you like! Any spices that you enjoy would be great with this recipe. I go for garlic and onion powders, paprika, and ground chillies here. You can change the spices based on whatever you’re cooking or in the mood for really.
How to serve crispy baked tofu bits:
- On top of grain bowls or salads
- On top of noodle bowls
- As a filling for tacos
- Sprinkled into the filling of a wrap
- Super simple with a little BBQ sauce dip on the side
In these photos, I served my tofu in a quinoa bowl with some massaged kale, black beans, fine slivers of red onion, and drizzles of my spicy almond dressing. It was a hearty and delicious combination! I hope that you give this recipe a try if you’re in need of some tofu inspiration!
Crispy Baked Tofu Bits
- 1 lb (454 grams) firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mild paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground chillies (optional)
- Tofu Press
- I have a tofu press, but you don’t absolutely need one. Here’s a tool-free guide from BBC.
- You could change this up with 3 teaspoons of whatever spices you like. Spice blends are brilliant here! Za’atar, Baharat seasoning, Montreal steak spice, Lemon pepper seasoning… there’s so many different directions to take it.
- You can bake this up ahead of time for meal prep. To reheat, spread the pieces out on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes at 425°F (or in an air fryer at 400°F), or until crisp again. Honestly, it loses some of its texture and flavour this way, but it can be done!
- I use a half sheet pan for pretty much everything, and it is the perfect size here.
- Press your tofu for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the tofu is pressed, tear it up into small 1 to 2-inch pieces. Place the pieces in a large bowl and blot them dry with a kitchen towel, removing as much moisture as you can.
- To the bowl, add the avocado oil and lots of salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Then, add the arrowroot starch, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and ground chillies (if using). Toss with a spatula to evenly coat all of the pieces.
- Spread the coated tofu bits out on your prepared baking sheet, giving each piece as much space as possible. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- At the 15 minute mark, remove the tofu from the oven and give it a stir, flipping some of the pieces over. Spread the tofu out, and slide the baking sheet back into the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the pieces are golden brown and crispy.
- Serve the crispy baked tofu bits immediately!