Easy Breaded Tofu Nuggets

Breaded tofu nuggets

The Spruce 

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
175 Calories
10g Fat
9g Carbs
17g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 175
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 529mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 17g
Calcium 499mg 38%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fool your kids with a meat-free tofu chicken nugget dinner, reminiscent of the favorite finger food they love to dip in ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing.

In this recipe, extra-firm tofu is coated with a seasoned panko breadcrumb mixture. Then, just like chicken, it's baked or fried to a crispy, addicting perfection. 

If you're squeamish about cooking with tofu, try this nugget recipe before you shun it, as the flavors mimic the taste of real chicken. Just make sure to follow the directions carefully, taking care to press the tofu before cooking for better consistency and taste. Then, decide on a cooking medium—for all-out flavor, go fried or for a low-fat preparation, go baked. Whatever way you choose, tofu (not) chicken nuggets make a perfect snack or dinner for picky kids and vegan eaters alike. 

Like most tofu recipes, this one will taste best if you press the tofu first. This allows the tofu to expel additional moisture so that it can absorb the seasonings for better flavor. It also helps the tofu retain its shape during the cooking process.

Ingredients

  • 1 block tofu (firm or extra-firm, well pressed)
  • 1/3 cup soy milk (or another non-dairy milk substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (or Italian seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons high-heat vegetable oil (or coconut oil)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, these vegan nuggets are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Press the Tofu

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for breaded tofu
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  2. Remove the tofu from its package.

    Remove tofu
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  3. Pat the block of tofu dry and place it in between two layers of paper towels.

    Pat the block
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  4. Place a small cutting board (or flat-surfaced item) and a weight— like a pot or a brick—on top of the tofu.

    Place cutting board on top
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  5. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes, replacing the paper towels when they become saturated.

Prep the Tofu

  1. Once your tofu is pressed, slice it into 1-inch cubes or nuggets (about the size of a frozen chicken nugget).

    Tofu
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  2. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the soy milk, mustard, nutritional yeast, and spices until smooth 

    Whisk together soy and nutritional yeast
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  3. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.

Pan-Fry the Tofu

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.

    Olive oil in pan
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  2. Take one piece of tofu and dip it in the liquid mixture. Then carefully dip it in the breadcrumbs until well coated.

    Tofu in breadcrumbs
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  3. Add it to the pan and repeat the process.

    Add tofu to pan
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  4. Fry the pieces of tofu, turning them often, until golden brown on all sides.

    Fry pieces of tofu
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  5. Serve and enjoy!

Bake the Tofu

  1. For a low-fat alternative cooking method, bake your tofu nuggets on a prepared baking sheet.

    Tofu on baking sheet
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  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F and then bake the tofu for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

    Bake tofu
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  3. Serve your vegetarian tofu nuggets with ketchup, barbecue sauce, or Sriracha hot sauce and enjoy.