This is the ultimate recipe for crispy baked tofu! It’s quick and easy to make with only 4 ingredients and you can use it for everything from tacos and bowls to salads and so much more.
Have you ever had deep-fried tofu? If not, it's heaven. It's crispy on the outside, soft and pillowy on the inside. But also…not so healthy. How can you get crispy tofu without the frying?
The answer is this crispy baked tofu recipe!
I've been making baked tofu for years, but have never been able to nail that same deep-fried texture. Until now. And I'm so excited for you to try it too! This is my ultimate recipe for crispy baked tofu and I'm showing you exactly how to make it.
Why You’ll Love This Crispy Baked Tofu Recipe
Here are some of the many reasons this crispy tofu is the best tofu:
- Crispy, but not fried. Even setting aside the health aspects of fried food, deep frying is a lot of work—and a lot of mess to clean up! This baked tofu recipe gives you that crispy texture you crave, but in the oven.
- Versatile. You can add all kinds of seasonings and use this crispy baked tofu in so many different ways. The world is your oyster!
- Easy to make. Only 4 ingredients needed! And minimal prep time too.
What You’ll Need
Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need when making this crispy baked tofu. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact quantities for each ingredient.
- Extra-firm tofu – Be sure to buy the refrigerated kind, not the shelf-stable silken tofu.
- Cooking spray (or oil) – This helps give us that nice crispy outside.
- Salt – Because everything needs some salt.
- Pepper – I love the subtle heat that this gives—freshly cracked is definitely the way to go!
How Do You Press Tofu?
The first trick to perfectly crispy tofu is to press it; pressing the tofu will release some of the moisture and help it get nice and crispy. You can either invest in a tofu press (which I never have!) or DIY your own tofu press with items you already have in your kitchen.
Here’s how to DIY it: Place your tofu on a plate. Cover it with a paper towel and then put something heavy on top of it. I like to use a few cookbooks, or sometimes my tea kettle with water in it. You should leave it for at least 15 minutes, but longer if possible.
How To Make Crispy Baked Tofu
Similar to the ingredient list, making your crispy baked tofu is also a complete breeze!
- Prepare. Press the tofu as described above. Preheat your oven to 425ºF and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Season. Cut the tofu into cubes, then place them in a bowl. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake. Arrange the tofu cubes on the baking sheet, ensuring each cube is laying flat and has space on all four sides. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes. Flip the tofu and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the tofu is crispy.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips to help you make sure your crispy baked tofu turns out perfect:
- Make sure to press the tofu. This really is essential for removing excess moisture and getting that crispy texture.
- Use extra-firm tofu. Extra-firm tofu works best for this recipe because it naturally has less water content than other varieties.
- Oil liberally. Don’t be afraid to spray (or drizzle) a lot of oil on the tofu cubes. They need to be well-coated in order to get a nice crispy exterior!
- Don't overcrowd the pan. Make sure each cube has enough space around it so they can all crisp up evenly. Air needs to be able to circulate between the cubes, otherwise they’ll steam!
Ways To Flavor Crispy Tofu
This recipe is pretty basic in terms of flavor. But it's also a blank canvas. What's great about this crispy baked tofu is that you can flavor it basically any which way you want!
Here are some of my favorite options:
- Buffalo sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Cracked pepper
- Barbecue (I love my vegan barbecue sauce!)
- Lemon pepper
If you do want to use a sauce/flavor, I recommend adding it just after you flip the tofu. I pour the sauces onto the tofu just after I flip it, stir it all around, and let it finish the cooking.
My Favorite Ways To Serve Crispy Baked Tofu
Crispy tofu is one of those ingredients that can be used in tons of different ways. Here are some ideas:
- Salads. I love this tofu on top of this amazing massaged kale salad.
- Tacos. You can't go wrong with tofu tacos! I'd recommend adding this into my black bean quinoa tacos—so yum.
- Bowls. If you want some extra protein for your bowls, crispy baked tofu is great. Try my Asian quinoa tofu bowl and use this with some peanut sauce!
- Snacks. Crispy tofu also makes a really great snack! Keep some in a little sealed container for a high-protein, satisfying snack.
How to Store Leftovers
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, place them back in the oven at 350ºF for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Do note that the tofu will never be quite as crispy as it was after you first made it, but it will still be delicious!
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
I don't recommend freezing this recipe; after freezing, thawing, and reheating, the tofu will lose its crispy texture.
More Delicious Tofu Recipes
- Baked Coconut Tofu Tenders
- Crispy Tofu Tacos with Vegan Lime Crema
- Meal Prep Chipotle Tofu Bowls
- Herb Crusted Baked Tofu
- Kimchi Tofu Scramble
Crispy Baked Tofu
- Start by pressing the tofu. Drain the water from the package. Place a paper towel on a plate, then place the towel on top of the paper towel. Put another layer of paper towel on top of the tofu, then place something heavy on top of the tofu. I like to do a few cookbooks or my tea kettle. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, longer if possible.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set it aside.
- Remove the tofu from your press and cut the block into cubes. I usually do about 1″ cubes.
- Place the cubes in a bowl. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the cubes onto the baking sheet. Make sure each cube is laying flat and has space on all four sides.
- Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes. Flip the tofu and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes until the tofu is crispy.*
- Serve immediately with your favorite dish.