Whether you're a tofu lover or a tofu skeptic, this Crispy Baked Tofu Recipe is made for you. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle, baked tofu is perfect for soaking up sauces and using in any recipe - and there's no pressing or fussy prep work required.
We are big fans of tofu here on HNL. It's an easily found, affordable plant-based protein that's endlessly adaptable. And, when prepared correctly, it's delicious!
It's everything a tofu recipe should be. Once you know how to bake tofu, it's easy as can be, with no fussy prep work or pressing of tofu to worry about. The cubes of tofu come out so crisp and delicious, it's practically irresistible to pluck sizzling bits straight off the pan and into your mouth.
But baked tofu is also the perfect vehicle for your favourite sauce - and those crispy baked edges soak up flavours like nobody's business.
Are you ready to do this thing?! Let's make this baked tofu recipe!
The ingredients list for this Baked Tofu Recipe is short and sweet. You'll find specific quantities in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here's a brief overview of what you'll need:
- Tofu --> firm or extra-firm tofu is best here.
- Oil --> I like using classic EVOO here, but feel free to mix it up with peanut oil, avocado oil, or even sesame oil.
- Salt and pepper --> flavour squad doing their thing.
- Cornstarch --> Optional, but does produce the crispiest tofu.
How to Cook Baked Tofu
You'll find detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but let's walk through it together here!
First things first, slice your tofu into pencil-thick slabs, and then cut those slabs into cubes or triangles. Remember that thinner pieces will result in crisper, chewier tofu than thicker cubes would.
Using a couple of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, gently pat the tofu cubes dry.
Place the dried tofu cubes into a bowl, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper.
Now sprinkle the cornstarch over top, tossing so that all of the cubes are coated as evenly as possible.
Spread the tofu cubes evenly on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and bake your tofu until golden brown and crispy on all sides. I like to turn the cubes half way to ensure even browning.
Why Bake Your Tofu?
Baked tofu is the BEST way to prepare tofu. Most people tend to pan-fry their tofu, which generally works out ok, but it requires a lot more oil and you'll often find that the tofu sticks to the pan unless you're using a non-stick pan.
When you bake your tofu you're baking it on a parchment-lined baking sheet, which means no sticking, less oil, and perfect results every time.
Also, baked tofu is perfect for meal prep or batch cooking because you can easily double or triple this recipe with great results.
What to do with Leftover Baked Tofu
While leftover baked tofu will never be quite as crispy as when it first comes out of the oven, it's still delicious and a great ingredient in many meals.
Tips For Crispy Tofu
If you want to ensure you make the crispiest baked tofu, there are a few tried and true tricks you can use.
Know Your Tofu
First things first, make sure you're using the right kind of tofu for this recipe. Firm or extra-firm tofu will always yield the best results for crispy baked tofu. Medium, soft, and silken tofu all contain way too much moisture, so your tofu will never get truly crisp in the oven.
Remove as much moisture from the cubes as possible
While I am firmly against pressing blocks of tofu (it's a waste of time, I tell ya!) I do think when you're making a recipe like this crispy baked tofu that your cubes need to be dry.
I like using paper towels to do a quick press of the cubes, which will remove way more moisture from the surface of the cubes than pressing an entire block of tofu would. Then you're ready to add the oil, toss with cornstarch, and bake to crispy perfection.
Cover your tofu cubes
For the crispiest baked tofu, it's important to make sure that the entire cube is covered with oil, and that you've tossed the cornstarch to coat the cubes evenly. Unevenly covered cubes will result in unevenly crispy tofu.
Change up the marinade
This recipe has as many possible variations as types of sauce you can think of. I love tossing baked tofu in our Vegan Teriyaki Sauce or in a spicy and sticky sesame sauce as pictured above. You could grab a jar of your favourite BBQ sauce, or keep it simple with sesame oil and salt and pepper. The options are endless!
Best Baked Tofu
- 14 oz firm or extra firm tofu
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch* optional
- Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Line a plate with a couple of layers of paper towels.
- Slice the tofu into pencil-thick (½-inch) slabs, and then cut those slabs into squares or triangles.14 oz firm or extra firm tofu
- Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the paper towel. Add another layer to the top, and gently press with your hands to remove as much of the moisture from the tofu as possible.
- Place the tofu pieces into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- Sprinkle with cornstarch (if using) and toss again.1 Tablespoon cornstarch*
- Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and quickly flip the tofu pieces over.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
- Let cool for a minute or two, and then use as desired!
- Nutrition values are an estimate only
- I have tested this recipe both with and without cornstarch and prefer it with cornstarch for the most crispy tofu. However, you can either leave it out or sub arrowroot powder if you're unable to eat cornstarch.