Panko breaded baked tofu nuggets are a favorite tofu recipe for kids (or anyone). These addictive bites are like chicken nuggets, but better! They are vegan, easy to make gluten-free, and high-protein. 

Crispy panko crusted baked tofu nuggets on a wooden platter with ketchup and sweet potato fries.

We’ve shared some favorite tofu recipes here in the past, from tofu scramble (so good on avocado toast) to Chipotle Sofritas, and even a Baked Tofu with Ginger Sesame Glaze. My kids’ favorite tofu recipe, however, is this crispy baked tofu. It’s breaded in a flax egg mixture and seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then baked. For more plant-based protein recipes check out our posts on tempeh, lentils, quinoa, and chickpeas

These baked tofu nuggets are crispy on the outside and juicy in on the inside. Think of them as vegan chicken nuggets. This is the best tofu recipe for kids. It’s so flavorful we like them best without any dips. Bake up a batch for an after school snack or lunch.

 

A block of Trader Joe's high protein organic super firm tofu sits on a countertop next to panko breadcrumbs for making tofu nuggets.

Best Tofu for Tofu “Chicken” Nuggets

I use and highly recommend using “high protein” organic tofu like this one from Trader Joe’s as it doesn’t require any pressing. It’s very firm and has a better texture for nuggets than traditional extra firm tofu. If you can only find extra firm tofu (not this high protein variety) you will need to press it to remove more water first. 

A dish of panko breadcrumbs, another dish of flax egg coating, and tofu cubes on a work surface.

How to Make Baked Tofu Nuggets

Cube the tofu and set up a work space with one dish of flax egg and another of the panko breadcrumb mixture. 

A cube of tofu is rolled in panko breadcrumbs while making crispy baked tofu nuggets.

Breading Tofu Nuggets

Baked tofu nuggets are made the same way I used to make baked panko chicken or fish nuggets. The “egg” mixture adheres the panko breading to the tofu. 

A close-up photo of crispy baked tofu nuggets on a cookie sheet. One tofu nugget is cut in half to reveal a juicy interior.

How to Bake Crispy Breaded Tofu 

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set the breaded tofu cubes on the sheet and coat generously all over with cooking spray. I like to use olive or coconut oil cooking spray. The oil is what will help the nuggets get that perfect golden crispy exterior. Flip the nuggets and continue baking to ensure they crisp up on all sides. 

How to Serve & Store Baked Tofu Nuggets

  • Serve warm or at room temperature. 
  • They are delicious as-is or dipped in ketchup, mustard, or BBQ sauce. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat at 400 degrees F until warm. 
  • Crispy tofu nuggets are a great plant-based protein option for kids’ lunch boxes. 
Yield: 5 servings

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Panko breaded baked tofu nuggets are a favorite tofu recipe for kids (or anyone). These addictive bites are like chicken nuggets, but better! They are vegan, easy to make gluten-free, and high-protein. 

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. high protein organic super firm tofu (Trader Joe's)
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Blot the tofu dry with a towel. Cut into 1-inch cubes and blot again.
  3. In a medium sized shallow dish, whisk together the flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water total) and almond milk. Set aside to thicken.
  4. In another medium sized shallow dish (a pie dish works well), combine the panko, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder. Toss to combine.
  5. Coat the tofu cubes in the flax mixture. Remove and coat in the panko mixture. Set the panko-coated tofu cubes on the cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.
  6. Spray generously with a coating of cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the nuggets over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crispy.
  8. Serve warm or room temperature with ketchup, mustard or your favorite dips.

Notes

This recipe was adapted from Ambitious Kitchen's Best Chicken Nuggets.

High protein super firm tofu works best for this recipe. If you can't find it, press extra firm tofu to remove as much liquid as possible.

I used Trader Joe's plain panko breadcrumbs here. I also like Ian's gluten free panko.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 78g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.