I’ve played around with this tofu nugget recipe a lot and I think I have it pretty much nailed. Of course, I continue improving on anything the more I make it, but you guys are going to love these guys as is, I just know it.
I love how easy these tofu nuggets are to make, and how unbelievably crispy they are. I season panko breadcrumbs generously with some of my go-to spice rack essentials and dunk the tofu nuggets into the bread crumbs after coating all sides in olive oil. That’s it. Just bake and enjoy the crispiest tofu nuggets, perfect for your favorite dipping sauce(s).
On a related note, I finally tried freezing and thawing tofu before cooking it, which is supposed to make the texture heartier and I’ve found that it really does do that because so much more moisture is removed.
While I’ve experimented with frozen/defrosted tofu while developing this nugget recipe, I haven’t tried frozen with this exact recipe. You see, prior to this I was cutting the tofu into more nuggets, 16 to be exact, in which case the frozen tofu was almost too dry. But now that I’ve decided 12 nuggets is the right number, maybe frozen/defrosted tofu will be even better. Stay tuned on that, or if you try it out, let me know what you think. But for now, I think the unfrozen tofu is the way to go because these guys are perfect. Def give them a try, feed back always welcome!
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed, 12 nuggets
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon panko bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil
Press tofu (see notes) and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine breadcrumbs, salt, parsley, oregano, thyme, garlic, onion paprika and nutritional yeast (if using). Transfer seasoned breadcrumbs to a shallow dish. Measure out olive oil into a small bowl.
Cut pressed tofu into 12 nuggets. Brush each nugget with olive oil on each side. I use a silicone pastry brush for this. You can also dunk in oil, but you’ll likely need more oil.
Carefully press the oiled tofu nugget into the bread crumb mixture (they’re delicate), getting all sides, and gently shake off excess. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining nuggets.
Bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, flip, and roast for another 25 minutes or so. The baking time really depends on how much moisture is removed during pressing and your individual oven, use my times as a guide. If you press your tofu for longer than 15-20 minutes, you can shave off 5 or so minutes of cooking time.
To press tofu, wrap in a clean towel, sandwich between plates or cutting boards and top with something slightly heavy. It may tip over if placed precariously so use caution. Press for at least 15 minutes. The longer you press, the more moisture is removed which affects cooking time.
If using frozen tofu that’s been defrosted, the baking time decreases.
While this technically serves 2-4 people, I could eat the whole batch in one sitting. I would say it serves 2 adults or 4 kids.