This easy herb crusted tofu recipe is the perfect vegan entree! It's packed with flavor, is super simple to make, but also feels a little special at the same time. It's a great option for the holidays too!
I've always wanted to make the perfect crispy baked tofu. Not fried tofu, baked. Because baked is obviously healthier and I'm also not a frier. It scares me for some reason.
I've nailed tofu a few times before but it's always involved pressing the tofu, drying it, marinating, then baking. Just too many steps without the guaranteed result I'm looking for.
Until this recipe. Now, THIS recipe is perfect. And it works every single time. We're making herb crusted tofu that is crispy, golden brown, flavorful and also easy to make. It's great for the holidays, it's great for lunch and it's even great on top of salads!
Ingredients for Herb Crusted Tofu
We don't need anything crazy for this recipe. Just extra firm tofu, some olive oil, and our dry herbed coating. I wanted to make sure it was really flavorful, so I combined nutritional yeast and spices. And it's awesome!
Here's what we need for our dry herb mixture:
- quinoa flour
- nutritional yeast
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- smoked paprika
And of course a little salt and pepper. This is a mixture that has it all – salty, cheesy, herby and smoky all at the same time!
How to Make Herb Crusted Tofu
To make our crispy baked tofu we're going to follow the same steps that you would do if you were breading chicken, except we're keeping things vegan. Once you've sliced your tofu into steaks, you'll want to set up your assembly line for the breading.
The steps you're going to take are:
- Coat the tofu in olive oil. I've found that olive oil works better than almond milk, but if you're oil-free I think you could do it with almond milk. And if you're not vegan you could do it with a beaten egg!
- Roll it in the dry ingredients. I like to place the tofu in the bowl and then use a spoon and my hands to make sure that it's fully coated on all sides. You might want to also press the coating into the tofu to really help make it stick.
- Bake it up! Then just place it on a pan and bake it up until it's golden brown and crispy.
The Ultimate Crispy Baked Tofu Recipe
This truly is the ultimate crispy baked tofu recipe. I know those exist out on the internet already, but this one takes the cake for me.
You have a flavorful outer coating that is golden brown and then when you cut into it, you still have that soft tofu texture. It's meaty, without being dry.
And did I mention the flavor? Gosh, it's the best part! The combo of spices with the nutritional yeast gives it this really unique flavor that is cheesy and salty, but still bright and herbaceous. I don't curse often, but this is SO DAMN GOOD.
Ways to Serve Crispy Baked Tofu
Now let's talk about the different ways you can serve this gorgeous tofu! I like to think of this recipe as something a little special; perfect for the holidays.
I purposely have it in this photo with some traditional vegan Thanksgiving sides because it's my favorite vegan entree for Thanksgiving. It's a cinch to make, people love it and it's you won't miss the turkey one bit with this on your plate.
Some of my favorite ways to serve this:
- with a drizzle of garlic tahini sauce with a side of garlic green beans
- piled high with vegan mushroom gravy with a side of mashed potatoes
- in a “leftovers” sandwich with cranberry sauce and vegan cornbread stuffing
- cut up into squares and added to a salad
But you can also make this any time of year! It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving ???? feel free to also change up the spice mixture if you want a different flavor profile. It could be delicious with some Mexican spices or maybe even curry!
If you do end up making it, snap a photo and share it with me in your stories by tagging @simplyquinoa!
More Vegan Holiday Dinner Ideas:
- Butternut Squash Vegan Lasagna
- Perfect Vegan Meatballs
- Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato
- Easy Vegan Manicotti with Tofu Ricotta
- Gluten-Free & Vegan Eggplant Lasagna
Herb Crusted Tofu
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Cut the tofu into steaks, about 1/2" thick. Each block should get you about 6 steaks. Set aside.
- In shallow bowl or dish, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Now, set up your assembly line! Put the olive oil in another shallow dish. First, coat a tofu steak in oil. Then place the tofu in the bowl of the dry ingredients and coat the tofu with the dry mixture. Place the steak on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the tofu.
- When ready to bake, place the baking sheet in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for another 15 - 20. You want the tofu to be golden brown and crispy.
- Serve tofu with your favorite sauce (I love a garlic tahini sauce!) and your favorite vegetable side dish. Enjoy!