This recipe is sponsored by EZ Tofu Press. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.
Crunchy cornflake tofu nuggets are easy to make in the oven or in the air fryer! Dip these vegan chicken nuggets in 3-ingredient 'honey' mustard sauce.
This recipe for tofu nuggets is based on my chicken fried tofu. In fact, the seasonings are totally identical. But instead of panko, they get their crunch from cornflakes.
Think of this as vegan cornflake chicken nuggets. They're kid-friendly, ultra-crunchy perfection!
To make these little bites, the crucial fist step is to press that block of tofu for 10-15 minutes. Pressing is going to give you the super firm texture that will make these more like tofu chicken nuggets.
I press my tofu using my EZ Tofu Press. This press is the real deal and gets an average of a half cup of water out of an extra firm block of tofu. That is a lot of water, so you know it's making a big difference in the texture department.
While the tofu presses, make that cornflake coating! Combine cornflakes with poultry seasoning and lots of other flavorful spices in your food processor, and pulse to create a coarse meal.
You don't want a flour-like consistency here. Instead, you're going for a crunchy, panko-like texture. Don't overblend!
After you press your tofu, cube it, and then toss it into a soy milk-vinegar mixture, which is basically vegan buttermilk.
Then, dredge the pieces in the cornflake mixture, and arrange them either on a lined baking sheet or in your air fryer basket.
While your tofu nuggets bake or air fry, you can whip up the super easy vegan "honey" mustard sauce. Just whisk together Dijon mustard, vegan mayo, and agave nectar in a bowl, and the sauce is ready.
When the tofu is done baking, you are ready to serve it with the agave mustard sauce on the side!
These are some of the subs I get asked about most often with recipes like this one:
- You can use any creamy, vegan milk in place of the soy or oat milk. If you prefer almond milk, for example, go for it! Just make sure it's not flavored and that it's thick. Rice milk isn't a good option here.
- If you don't use cornstarch, you can use potato starch instead.
- If you don't want to do the cornflake crumbs, you can use my vegan Italian breadcrumbs instead, and just mix the cornstarch or potato starch into that.
- Feel free to mix and match dried spices! The poultry seasoning really gives this a nice, chicken-y flavor, but everything else is fair game. You can also add spices, like ½ teaspoon of regular or smoked paprika or a teaspoon of dried oregano, if you want to change up the flavoring.
- For the dipping sauce, you can use maple syrup instead of agave nectar. It won't taste quite like honey mustard, but it will taste delicious!
Are you gluten-free? No problem! It's easy to make this recipe to accommodate. Just make sure that your cornflakes are gluten-free, and you are good to go.
You can serve these as shown, with the vegan honey mustard on the side or with your favorite dipping sauce, like BBQ sauce or ketchup.
Tofu nuggets are also a great salad topper or addition to a bowl meal over rice or pasta.
You can store the cooked nuggets in the refrigerator in an airtight container for three to five days. Reheat them in the oven or in the air fryer.
They also freeze well. Let them cool, then transfer to a freezer bag, where they'll keep in the freezer for six months. Reheat in the air fryer at 400° F for 10-12 minutes.
The agave mustard sauce will keep for about a week in the fridge.
Cornflake tofu nuggets recipe
For the tofu nuggets
- 1 block - extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1" cubes
- ¼ cup soy or oat milk - mixed with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups cornflakes - gluten-free is fine
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- spray oil - optional
Make the tofu
- Preheat the oven to 425° F (if baking) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Start pressing your tofu.
- In a large bowl, mix together the soy milk and vinegar.
- While the tofu presses, combine the cornflakes, cornstarch, spices, salt, and pepper in your food processor. Pulse until you have a coarse meal. Think like a coarsely-ground cornmeal, NOT a flour-like consistency. Transfer that to another large bowl.
- Slice the tofu into cubes, and add them to the bowl with the soy milk mixture, tossing to coat the tofu really well. Then, toss the pieces -- a few at a time -- in the cornflake mixture, pressing to coat them really well.
- Oven Directions: Transfer the tofu to your baking sheet in a single layer, and spray with oil, if you're using it. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tofu is golden brown. You can flip, if you want, but it's not totally necessary.
- Air Fryer Directions: Spray the coated tofu with oil, if you're using it. Transfer the tofu to your air fryer basket, spreading it out as much as you can. Air fry at 400° F for 15-20 minutes, until the tofu is golden brown, shaking the basket after 8 minutes of cooking.
Make the dipping sauce
- Combine the mustard, mayo, and agave nectar in a small bowl, and whisk until it's well combined. Serve the nuggets with the honey mustard on the side to dip.
- Air Fryer optional
Frequently asked questions
If you prefer to pan fry rather than bake these, that's totally fine!
To fry these, heat one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high. Add the nuggets to the pan and fry until they are golden on all sides.
You'll need to gently turn them as they cook, so all of the sides get cooked and crispy.
You can use all kinds of plant protein to make vegan nuggets: tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc. This recipe uses pressed tofu for a chicken-like filling. Then, you coat it in seasoned cornflake crumbs and bake or air fry until crunchy and golden.
You can! Reheat them in the oven or in the air fryer at 350° F for 5-10 minutes, until they're warmed through and crunchy again.
I do not recommend reheating these in the microwave, because they won't have that good crunch that way.
Think of cornstarch as the adhesive in this recipe. It helps the coating hold together and helps it adhere to the tofu. If you don't like cornstarch, you can use potato starch instead.