Crispy baked tofu made completely oil-free! Learn this simple method for achieving a golden, crispy crust every time. Enjoy it as a protein-rich snack, with your favorites sauces, or in a variety of dishes. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
Let's make some crispy, dreamy, satisfying tofu!
This simple technique is great for achieving a golden, crispy tofu coating without any oil.
It's easy, oven-baked, and you only need a few basic ingredients!
Enjoy it as a protein-rich snack right off the pan, drizzle it with your favorite sauces, or toss it in a wide variety of dishes.
Ingredients for Crispy Tofu
For this recipe you'll toss together a few simple ingredients then bake in the oven:
- Extra-firm tofu: You'll need one 14 ounce block for this recipe. I purchase organic tofu whenever possible. (Super firm tofu could also work if it's available.) If you have a tofu press, use that to remove the excess moisture before baking. Otherwise, gently squeeze the tofu between kitchen towels or paper towel to remove most of the liquid.
- Tamari: This gives the tofu a layer of salty, umami flavor underneath the crispy coating. You can also use soy sauce or liquid aminos instead. Be sure to use low sodium or gluten-free if desired.
- Nutritional yeast: This is used for both texture AND flavor. It adds a savory richness to the tofu while also creating more of that crispy coating for the outside.
- Cornstarch: I purchase non-GMO cornstarch when possible. Arrowroot powder can be substituted if absolutely necessary, but in my testing, I much preferred the texture of cornstarch in this recipe. Arrowroot didn't result in as crispy of a coating.
Remove moisture: Try to squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the tofu block. I've found this helps the texture become crispier. A tofu press is a great gadget to have on hand if you cook with tofu often. It does a great job removing the liquid. I usually press mine for several hours or overnight for this recipe.
Oil-free baking: I place parchment paper (or a Silicone baking mat like Silpat) on the baking sheet. This is a quick and simple method for non-stick baking.
Baking time: I've found that baking the tofu for about 38-40 minutes is best. This gives it time to develop those golden crispy edges. Then we'll flip it halfway though baking time so it's evenly cooked.
Flavors: For more flavor, add a half teaspoon of seasoning or herbs such as garlic powder or onion powder. Stir this in with the tamari before adding to help disperse it better. (Sometimes I'll add about a quarter teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder.) Or try any other flavors that sound good like smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, curry powder, etc. This is completely optional however.
Shape: Instead of cubed tofu, tear it into bite-sized pieces for even more texture.
More baked tofu! For a recipe without the crispy coating, try this Easy Baked Tofu.
Rice bowls: Add it to your rice and veggie bowls for an easy & hearty plant-based protein.
Soup: Top your Asian-style soups, Pho, or ramen noodle soups with this crispy tofu before serving. (Such as this Asian Noodle Soup.)
Get saucy: Toss these cubes with your favorite sauce after baking for big, satisfying flavor! This Orange Tofu is one of my favorites. You can also try teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, peanut sauce, sweet and sour sauce, etc. Prepare and cook the sauce first, then toss in the tofu right before serving. This helps retain the crispy coating. (Or simply drizzle your sauce right over the top of the tofu!)
Other dishes: Also add it to wraps, noodle dishes, stir fries, fried rice, etc.
Appetizer or snack: Enjoy these bite-sized cubes either plain or with a dipping sauce!
This recipe is best and crispiest when fresh, but it can be stored if you'd like. I find it keeps for about 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For more inspiration, also browse all vegan tofu recipes.
Crispy Baked Tofu (Oil-Free)
- 14 oz. block extra-firm tofu (pressed well*)
- 1 Tbsp. tamari
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a baking pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Cube the pressed tofu. Place in a medium bowl. Add tamari and gently toss with a spatula to coat.
- Then sprinkle cornstarch on top, evenly dispersing it so it doesn't clump in one spot. Then sprinkle on the nutritional yeast. Gently toss well to evenly coat the cubes. (Some may break a little, that's okay.)
- Place coated tofu spaced apart on a lined baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip, then bake for 18-20 more minutes.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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