This recipe is sponsored by EZ Tofu Press. All opinions are 100% my own.
This Crispy Baked Tofu recipe is a jumping-off point for so many delicious meals. Make it as-is or use some of the suggested variations to mix things up.
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You know those evenings when you realize at 5pm that you have no idea what's for supper? But maybe payday is a ways off, so going out isn't an option? This baked tofu recipe is my go-to on those evenings.
OK, and maybe on other evenings, too. Because it's so easy to make and to modify!
Basic Baked Tofu
Seasoned cornstarch (or potato starch, if you don't do cornstarch) is the key to this crispy baked tofu.
Unlike air fryer tofu, you don't want a lot of saucy marinade with baked tofu. The drier it is, the crispier it will cook up. You use a touch of olive oil to help the cornstarch stick to the tofu, and let the coating do the rest of the work.
Before you do anything else, you've got to press your tofu for this recipe. If you're a regular around here, you probably know by now that I press my tofu with the EZ Tofu Press.
Pressing gets the excess liquid out, so your tofu gets that super firm, restaurant-style texture. And the EZ Tofu Press makes it quick and easy while maintaining the shape of your tofu block.
Once you press your tofu, just toss it in a little bit of olive oil, then toss with seasoned cornstarch. (More on the seasoned part later!) Transfer the coated tofu to a lined baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes.
This recipe is delicious as-is, but you can also treat it as a jumping-off point for basically infinite meals. Let's talk about flavor variations and how you can turn this basic baked tofu recipe into a crunchy baked tofu recipe!
There are so many ways to mix up the flavors in this recipe!
Before we get to flavor variations, though, I did want to mention that you can also change how you cut your tofu. The recipe below calls for 1" cubes, but that's just one option. You can cut the tofu into "fingers" or "cutlets", as you'll see in some of the examples below. You can also do smaller cubes, if you like.
The recipe below calls for olive oil, but don't feel bound by that one option. Try toasted sesame oil, truffle oil or other strongly-flavored oils to add a whole new flavor dimension to this dish.
You can also use a sticky sauce, like BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce, to get the cornstarch to stick.
In the recipe below, I'm sticking to the basics: salt, pepper, and garlic powder. But feel free to mix up your seasonings.
- If you use toasted sesame oil, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger to the mix. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric would be nice here, too!
- Using truffle oil? Add 1/2 teaspoon onion powder for a double umami punch. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground sage to this mix, too.
- You can also stick with olive oil and add 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning for Italian-style crispy tofu!
- If spicy is your thing, replace the black pepper with cayenne, to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon), or your favorite ground chili pepper.
The sky's the limit, so raid your spice cabinet to season your tofu to your liking. Have fun with it!
While the tofu bakes, you've got more than enough time to whip up one of these super easy vegan sauces to bring even more flavor to your finished dish. You can also top it with BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, or any other bottled sauce that's calling your name at the moment.
If you like your baked tofu extra saucy, you can bake in an 8x8" glass pan instead of on a baking sheet and smother it in sauce. Check out my Twice-Baked BBQ Tofu for the best way to do this. That recipe works well with teriyaki sauce, buffalo sauce, or Maple-Balsamic Sauce, too!
You can also smother it in gravy and cook it up, Tofu Chops-style!
Make *Crunchy* Baked Tofu
If you prefer more crunch with your tofu, I've got you covered. Skip the cornstarch and coat your tofu in panko breadcrumbs, like my Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites, Lemon Tofu Piccata, or Spicy Tofu Sandwich.
If panko's not your thing, use super easy homemade Italian breadcrumbs as the coating, like these Vegan Chicken Nuggets.
For a heavier coating like panko or breadcrumbs, I like to dredge my tofu pieces in vegan mayo. It sticks like a dream!
Sometimes, though, it's fun to get back to basics. Let's make some crispy baked tofu, y'all!
Easy Crispy Baked Tofu
For the Marinade
- 1 block extra firm tofu - pressed and cut into 1" cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper - or more, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl, toss together the tofu and olive oil.
- In a small bowl or mug, whisk together the cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the bowl of tofu, tossing gently to coat well.
- Transfer the coated tofu to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes, no need to flip.
- Serve hot.
- The cooked tofu will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- To reheat refrigerated tofu, preheat the oven to 350F, and arrange the cubes on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until heated through.
- To reheat from frozen, preheat the oven to 400F, and arrange the cubes on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.