Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets

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Dippable Baked Tofu Nuggets with a crispy whole grain breading are the perfect plant-powered lunch for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

After years of making one-off tofu recipes, I finally found a recipe that has turned tofu into a regular menu item at our house. It’s all thanks to the cookbook author Nava Atlas!

These crispy baked tofu nuggets are my tweaked version of a recipe from her 2004 book, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. I was lucky enough to find a copy of the book in a thrift store, and snatched it up. Because Nava is amazing and one of my personal heroes. Anyway.

We’re not vegetarians; we love a good homemade chicken nugget. But we also love variety. And we know that part of our mission to raise healthy kids includes sharing lots of different kinds of foods with our little eaters.

What I’m getting at is this: anyone–including meat lovers– can cook and enjoy this plant-powered nugget that’s sustainable, low in fat, high in protein, and irresistibly dippable!

The prep and cooking is easy and fun… my kids like to help with this one. (I like how I don’t have to worry about them picking up germs from raw meat or eggs.) Here’s how to make it.

Shake it Up!

First cut two blocks of extra-firm tofu into rectangles (make sure it’s labeled EXTRA firm!) and pat each one dry. I do this with a flour sack towel, but paper towels work, too.

Next, combine the ingredients for the whole grain breading in a gallon sized freezer bag. Dip the nuggets in EVOO, then toss them into the bag, and shake until the nuggets are evenly coated. (I like to do this in batches, so the party doesn’t get too crazy in there.)

Line up the nuggets on a baking sheet, and bake. (They can be close together… they’re not going anywhere.)

Serve the hot, crispy nuggets with your favorite dipper, like ketchup or barbecue sauce, and a side of green veggies. And watch lunch disappear!

I like to batch-cook everything so we have leftovers. But with this recipe, that’s hard to do. My family usually eats most of them in one sitting.

What I have noticed, though, when I can manage to squirrel some away for another meal, is that the leftovers are fantastic. Dare I say, even better than fresh.

Just be sure to reheat them in an oven of some sort (toaster oven or regular) so the breading crisps up again.

Enjoy!

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets

5 from 1 vote
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Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 32 ounce Tofu, firm
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour, whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Drain the blocks of tofu, and cut each block into six rectangular slabs.
  • Pat the slabs with a towel until they are good and dry, then cut each slab in half twice to make four nuggets per slab.
  • Pour the olive oil into a medium-sized mixing bowl, and set aside.
  • In a gallon freezer bag, combine the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and nutritional yeast.
  • In batches, dunk nuggets into olive oil, then add them to the bag and shake until they’re well coated.
  • Arrange the nuggets close together on your baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flip, then bake 15 minutes more.
  • Serve hot with ketchup, barbecue, or your favorite sauce for dipping.
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12 Comments

Hi Amber! I haven’t tried gluten free flour, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!

Hi Claudine! The cornmeal does not have to be fine… in fact, I use a medium-grind whole grain cornmeal.

Yum, these are delicious! I only had corn meal mix, so the coating is still powdery after baking. I’m excited to try them again with regular corn meal. My 2 year old is chowing down ??

What benefit is the nutritional yeast? In other words, I don’t have the yeast and wonder if I must buy it in order to make this?

Hi Denise– The nutritional yeast adds a savory taste to the coating that we like a lot. You can still make the nuggets without it, but they might be a little less flavorful.

Hi Patricia! We calculate some nutrition data, but we don’t currently calculate sodium. You can calculate it yourself here: https://nutritiondata.self.com/

One more note: aside from the added salt, the ingredients in this recipe have close to zero sodium. So if you’re watching your salt, you can simply cut on how much actual salt you add and have a very low-sodium recipe. I hope this helps!