Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Vegan Tofu Nuggets! If you like Chick-fil-A nuggets, then you’ve gotta try this vegan version. Baked crispy tofu nuggets that are perfect for kid and adults!
What kind of predominantly plant-based mom would I be if I didn’t have a recipe for killer nuggets? While Van is still pretty young for this kind of food, I know it will only be a matter of time before he starts requesting nuggets like his friends.
And these are better than any chicken option out there.
Chewy, crispy tofu nuggets served with my dipping sauce of choice– creamy honey mustard. These are the nuggets that everyone, vegetarian or not, will love. I’ve now made these over a dozen times and have served to as many friends and kids. Obviously people knew it wasn’t chicken because I was serving it to them, but I promise that most of them said these tasted a lot like chicken nuggets.
Here’s what you’ll need for these nuggets:
To make these gluten-free, I recommend using a gluten-free flour. I don’t recommend another alternative flour like almond flour. The texture won’t be the same.
Start by lightly spraying a baking sheet with oil and set aside. You can also use a silpat or sheet of parchment paper.
From there, tear the tofu into bite-sized nugget pieces. Toss with the olive oil and some of the onion powder, garlic powder and salt.
In a separate small bowl, toss together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and remaining spices. The cornstarch keeps these nuggets light and crispy.
Dredge the tofu in the flour mixture and shake off any excess flour. Try to shake off as much flour as you can, then place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining tofu.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so it cooks evenly. For ease, I choose to bake these but they are also incredible panfried. They are a little crispier that way and can also be air-fried, directions below. Remove and serve with the creamy BBQ sauce.
Yes! These nuggets are great in the air fryer, especially if you prefer extra crispy tofu nuggets. To air-fry, cook at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, checking halfway through until hot and golden brown.
Wanna make perfect nuggets? Here’s the secret. After draining and pressing the block of tofu, tear the nuggets instead of cubing them. Tearing the tofu creates chewy, jagged edges that makes them more fun to eat. I made these once by cutting the tofu into strips and it just didn’t taste the same.
Consider regular chicken nuggets, they aren’t perfect cubes– they have texture on all sides and tearing them creates the same sort of texture. Tear, don’t cut.
Way back in the day, we used to eat at Chick-fil-A fairly often. Our schools always partnered with them for discount nights, which is odd to think about now. We were encouraged to eat at Chick-fil-A (and Pizza Hut!) in order to get funds for the school.
Anyways, I could care less about the nuggets themselves but I loved Chick-fil-A’s dipping sauce. That creamy sauce that’s a mix between tangy BBQ sauce and honey mustard. Oh my, I could literally drink it. Here’s how to make a vegan version.
I used honey in this, which is technically not vegan, but you could substitute any liquid sweetener instead. I’m not going to pretend that there are any redeeming health benefits to this sauce, but to me nuggets aren’t nuggets unless their served this way. Of course, you can dip with regular ketchup or BBQ sauce.
I don’t recommend freezing these nuggets after making them. The batter can fall off and tofu changes texture once it’s frozen.
You can make them ahead of time and keep in the fridge, but they will loose their crisp after making them.
Promise you’ll make these soon, then come back and tell me what you think! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Vegan Baked Tofu Nuggets! If you like Chick-fil-A nuggets, then you’ve gotta try this vegan version. Baked crispy tofu nuggets that are perfect for kid and adults!
For the tofu nuggets:
Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nugget Sauce:
Tearing the nuggets into equal size pieces makes it easier to cook and more “nugget” like. See commentary above.
To make these in an air-fryer, I recommend cooking them at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
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