A block of tofu can be transformed into a high-protein snack or a great side dish in 20 minutes, and I will show you how with this air fryer tofu nuggets recipe!
With a crunchy texture, these vegan tofu nuggets are everything you need in a snack: great savory taste, easy to prepare, and easy to clean up.
The best part is that the recipe needs no deep frying and is a high-protein snack.
I prepared these crispy tofu nuggets in just 20 minutes!
If you love tofu and are looking for new recipes to try, this is one you need to check out.
Why this recipe works
These air fryer tofu nuggets are simple to prepare and universally loved crispy.
They have high protein content and are also crispy and flavorful with several seasonings.
These Air fryer tofu nuggets are best served with tomato ketchup and dip.
Your family will enjoy tofu recipes for their taste and protein content.
Add these tofu bites to the salad recipes or your quinoa bowls.
These are cheap and budget-friendly recipes like air fryer sweet potato cubes and wedges.
It's perfect for vegans and vegetarians who need protein in their diets.
- Firm tofu: I used extra-firm tofu for this recipe. If you use soft tofu, the tofu pieces will not hold their shape and may fall apart during cooking. Removing excess moisture from the tofu is also easier with firm tofu.
- Cornstarch: This is what gives the tofu nuggets a crispy coating. You can substitute arrowroot starch or potato starch if necessary.
- Nutritional yeast: This adds a cheesy flavor to the nuggets. You can omit this if you don't prefer a cheesy texture.
- Spices: I used turmeric powder, paprika, and salt to season the tofu nuggets. Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking.
- Soy sauce: I like soy sauce for a little umami flavor, but you can use tamari if you prefer gluten-free.
- Oil: A bit of oil is necessary to prepare the seasoning mix. Olive oil or sesame oil works for this.
The first step is to press tofu to release excess water from the block: Place the tofu block on a wooden board with paper towels wrapped and top with another wooden chopping board.
Weigh the top board with something heavy, like a can of beans or a cast iron pan. Alternatively, you can also use a tofu press.
Let it sit for 15 minutes, then drain off any accumulated liquid. This speeds up the cooking process and also makes the nuggets crispier.
After the tofu has been pressed, cut it into nugget-sized pieces. Mine were about one-inch tofu cubes.
Mix cornstarch, rice flour, nutritional yeast, spices, and tofu cubes in a large bowl. Set aside the coated remaining seasoning mixture.
Add the soy sauce and oil. Add the remaining mixture.
Toss well to get an even coating.
Preheat your air fryer to 400 F. Add the tofu nuggets to the air fryer basket (optionally on a baking sheet) in a single layer.
Air fry tofu for 12-15 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown.
Check the nuggets halfway through and add some oil with a cooking spray, if required.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
These air fryer tofu nuggets are also great in salads or as toppings on rice and quinoa dishes.
These can be stand-alone snacks, and you can add these nuggets to vegetable biryani or rice dishes as toppings.
Add these in wraps and curries, or pack them as a kid's school snack.
I made these tofu nuggets in a 5-quart Cosori Air fryer. You can use any air fryer for this recipe.
If you don't have an air fryer, you can also bake these in the oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.
- Make sure to press the tofu before cooking to remove excess water. This will help make the nuggets crispier.
- I used cornstarch and rice flour to coat the tofu, but you can substitute arrowroot starch or potato starch if necessary.
- You can adjust the spices to your liking. I used turmeric powder, paprika, and salt, but feel free to experiment with other spices. Adding Onion powder or garlic powder is also a great way to introduce additional flavors.
- If you're gluten-free, you can use tamari instead of soy sauce.
The nuggets are best served fresh, but they will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Just reheat them in the air fryer or oven before serving.
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Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets
- 16 oz firm tofu
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- The first step is to press tofu to release excess water from the block: Place the tofu block on a wooden board with paper towels wrapped and top with another wooden chopping board.16 oz firm tofu
- Weigh the top board with something heavy, like a can of beans or a cast iron pan. Alternatively, you can also use a tofu press.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes, then drain off any accumulated liquid. This speeds up the cooking process and also makes the nuggets crispier.
- After the tofu has been pressed, cut it into nugget-sized pieces. Mine were about one-inch tofu cubes.
- Mix cornstarch, rice flour, nutritional yeast, spices, and tofu cubes in a large bowl. Set aside the mixed remaining seasoning mixture.3 tablespoon nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon rice flour, 1 tablespoon corn starch, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the soy sauce and oil. Add the remaining seasoning mixture.1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Toss well to get an even coating.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 F. Add the tofu nuggets to the air fryer basket (optionally on a baking sheet) in a single layer.
- Air fry tofu for 12-15 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown.
- Check the nuggets halfway through and add some oil with a cooking spray, if required.
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Check above for step-by-step pictures (most of my recipes include pictures)
YOUR OWN NOTES
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
This looks amazing! One of my favourite tofu recipe. I cannot wait to make it again.
Some people think of tofu as a delivery system for their “go to” sauce. Ok, I’m one of them (grin). Thanks for this nice tofu nuggets recipe. The air fryer is a plus.
I made this recipe with my daughter and we loved it. The tofu was nice and crispy and had so much flavor. And I loved that it was so quick to make too.
These tofu nuggets were amazing! They were simple to make and my kids loved them as an alternative to chicken nuggets. The air fryer is definitely the way to go as opposed to baking them in the oven.
OK, I am not a huge tofu fan except for the Maipo tofu that I had overseas. However, this tofu with its crispy exterior won me over. And I love that it's made in the air fryer.
Try to reduce meat and I was looking for tofu nuggets. This recipe turned great, it was easy to make. Thank you.
These air fryer tofu nuggets come out so crispy! They go great with a nice side salad for lunch.
As a person who eats so much tofu, I am so happy I came across your site. Such a fun way to make tofu in the air fryer.
Cripsy Tofu made in an Air Fryer sounds healthy. Love your simple and yet such a flavorful recipe.
I was looking for a vegan and gf snack to make for our friends visit. They both are vegan and GF and told me that it was the best snack they've had in years! Tofu was lovely and crispy and that nutritional yeast adds a great flavour too! Even the non-vegans loved it!