An overhead shot of a light grey bowl filled with crispy nuggets of tofu garnished with fresh herbs. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the serving bowl.
An overhead shot of a baking sheet filled with crispy baked tofu bits. A wooden handled fish spatula is lifting some of the pieces off of the baking sheet.
A 3/4 angle shot of a grain bowl with quinoa, kale, black beans, thinly sliced red onion, and crispy baked tofu bits. A creamy sauce is drizzled on top and a fork is sticking out of the bowl.
An overhead shot shows a 1 lb piece of tofu, a small plate with spices, arrowroot starch and cornmeal, and a small bowl of avocado oil; all on top of a round, brown plate.
A head on shot shows a 1 lb piece of tofu being pressed in a tofu press set over a bowl to catch the water.

You may have seen this crispy baked tofu on my site before! I’ve featured it in both my Kale Power Salad and these Stuffed Portobellos with Poblano Cream. I use this exact technique so often in my cooking that I really wanted this oven baked tofu to have its own special spot on the blog! You can change up the spices in so many different ways. It’s become a go-to vegan protein for us because it’s simple and only takes about 30 minutes to cook.

How to cook tofu in the oven:

  1. I choose firm or extra firm tofu for this baking method!
  2. First, I like to press my tofu to remove extra water. Here’s a good explainer on pressing tofu without a press.
  3. Once the tofu is sufficiently pressed, I tear it into small pieces with my hands. The rough torn edges create a craggy surface that spices cling to, maximizing the crisp factor.
  4. After I blot the tofu pieces dry with a kitchen towel, I toss them with avocado oil (great for high heat cooking!), salt, and pepper.
  5. From here, I toss the tofu again with arrowroot starch, cornmeal (extra crunch!), spices, and nutritional yeast.
  6. Once evenly coated, the tofu is spread out on a baking sheet and then placed in the oven for 30 minutes, or until all pieces are golden brown and crisp.

While I make this crispy baked tofu without cornstarch (opting for arrowroot instead), you could definitely do a one for one substitute with cornstarch if you like! Any spices that you enjoy would be great with this recipe. I go for garlic and onion powders, paprika, and ground chillies here. You can change the spices based on whatever you’re cooking or in the mood for really.

How to serve crispy baked tofu bits:

  • On top of grain bowls or salads
  • On top of noodle bowls
  • As a filling for tacos
  • Sprinkled into the filling of a wrap
  • Super simple with a little BBQ sauce dip on the side

In these photos, I served my tofu in a quinoa bowl with some massaged kale, black beans, fine slivers of red onion, and drizzles of my spicy almond dressing. It was a hearty and delicious combination! I hope that you give this recipe a try if you’re in need of some tofu inspiration!

An overhead shot shows a hand using a kitchen towel to blot pieces of tofu dry on a plate.
An overhead shot shows a bunch of spices, arrowroot, and cornmeal being poured on top of a bowl containing torn pieces of tofu.
An overhead shot of pieces of tofu covered in spices, arrowroot starch and cornmeal, before being cooked in the oven.
An overhead shot of crispy baked tofu bits against a white parchment background in harsh natural light.
An overhead shot of a light grey bowl filled with crispy nuggets of tofu garnished with fresh herbs. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the serving bowl.
An overhead shot of a grain bowl with quinoa, kale, black beans, thinly sliced red onion, and crispy baked tofu bits. A creamy sauce is drizzled on top and a fork is sticking out of the bowl.

Crispy Baked Tofu Bits

This crispy baked tofu is a simple and flavourful way to make tofu in the oven. Torn pieces of firm, pressed tofu are tossed with spices, arrowroot, and cornmeal before being baked for 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

An overhead shot of a baking sheet filled with crispy baked tofu bits. A wooden handled fish spatula is lifting some of the pieces off of the baking sheet.

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Servings 3 -4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (454 grams) firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chillies (optional)

Notes

  • I have a tofu press, but you don’t absolutely need one. Here’s a tool-free guide from BBC.
  • You could change this up with 3 teaspoons of whatever spices you like. Spice blends are brilliant here! Za’atar, Baharat seasoning, Montreal steak spice, Lemon pepper seasoning… there’s so many different directions to take it.
  • You can bake this up ahead of time for meal prep. To reheat, spread the pieces out on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes at 425°F (or in an air fryer at 400°F), or until crisp again. Honestly, it loses some of its texture and flavour this way, but it can be done!
  • I use a half sheet pan for pretty much everything, and it is the perfect size here.

Instructions

  • Press your tofu for 15-30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Once the tofu is pressed, tear it up into small 1 to 2-inch pieces. Place the pieces in a large bowl and blot them dry with a kitchen towel, removing as much moisture as you can.

  • To the bowl, add the avocado oil and lots of salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Then, add the arrowroot starch, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and ground chillies (if using). Toss with a spatula to evenly coat all of the pieces.

  • Spread the coated tofu bits out on your prepared baking sheet, giving each piece as much space as possible. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.

  • At the 15 minute mark, remove the tofu from the oven and give it a stir, flipping some of the pieces over. Spread the tofu out, and slide the baking sheet back into the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the pieces are golden brown and crispy.

  • Serve the crispy baked tofu bits immediately!

A 3/4 angle shot of a grain bowl with quinoa, kale, black beans, thinly sliced red onion, and crispy baked tofu bits. A creamy sauce is drizzled on top and a fork is sticking out of the bowl.

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