Crispy golden-brown baked tofu is so easy to make that even meat-eaters will love this recipe! This baked tofu is a great addition to salads, wraps, and vegan bowls.
Simply toss tofu with a bit of oil and cornstarch, then bake it in the oven. And voila–crispy, golden perfection on the outside, but the inside is still soft.
This is a great recipe for tofu newbies. It is easy to mix up, and because its marinated in a simple marinade for 10 minutes, it doesn’t taste super tofu-y. Not that I don’t love that tofu-y flavor, but I know that some are not so keen to it!
The best part about baked tofu is that it doesn’t even need to be pressed. Call me lazy, but I find that patting the tofu firmly with a paper towel is enough to remove excess moisture.
Making baked tofu is simple and no-frills, so we’re going to keep it that way.
Tossing tofu in a mix of oil and corn starch makes a really crispy outer layer. This recipe boils down to one simple equation that is easy to scale up or down:
1 block (14 ounces) of tofu + 1 tablespoon oil + 1 tablespoon corn starch. Add salt, pepper, and additional seasonings to taste. Keep reading for the nitty-gritty details.
Step by step instructions
1. Slice tofu into cubes. I like to do inch sized cubes, the size of the tofu you get in a take-out dish. Tofu this size shakes up easily and is less likely to fall apart than thinly sliced tofu.
2. Marinate the tofu. Use a mixture of vegetable broth and soy sauce to make a simple marinade. You can skip this step if you’re short on time, but I think that it’s worth marinating the tofu for just 10 minutes for the flavor it adds.
3. Drain the tofu and pat to dry. Remove excess liquid by gently patting with a paper towel.
4. Toss the tofu in oil and corn starch. Add the cut tofu to a plastic bag or container, then add the corn starch and oil. Gently shake to combine, or move the tofu around with your hands on the outside of the bag.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Layer the tofu evenly on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy and golden brown.
- Tofu. Use extra firm or super firm tofu. This kind of tofu holds its shape best and offers better texture than silken or firm. You can find tofu in the refrigerated natural foods aisle, in the produce area, or in Asian food markets.
- Corn starch. This is what makes the tofu so crispy. Arrowroot flour can be substituted in the same amount.
- Oil. Oil plays an important role in the crispy outer layer. You can try canola, vegetable, sunflower or peanut oil (do note that peanut oil has a strong flavor). Extra virgin olive oil’s smoke point 320-374 degrees F, so it is best not to use in this recipe.
- Marinade. A simple 10-minute marinade of vegetable broth and soy sauce really brings the tofu to the next level.
- Seasonings. Try different flavors like cajun or Italian seasoning, or keep it simple with salt and pepper.
- Pat the tofu dry with a paper towel remove excess water from the tofu before tossing in corn starch. If you put wet tofu into the corn starch mixture it will get clumpy and not end up as evenly coated.
- Use parchment paper for easy cleanup. Parchment paper is usually safe in the oven (as in it doesn’t start burning) until 420 degrees F- the good news for us is that this recipe is at 420 degrees. Or use a silicone baking mat for a waste-free baking solution.
- For something different than usual, try slicing into 4 rectangles, then tearing into bite-sized chunks. This gives a “meatier” texture that is a nice spin on classic cubed tofu.
Make it a meal
Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein, with 1/2 cup providing 10 grams of protein. For a simple iron-rich vegan meal, pair tofu with steamed broccoli or green beans and 1 cup of rice or quinoa.
You can even add baked tofu to vegan fried rice for a quick complete meal!
Simple Baked Tofu
- 1 block (14 ounces) extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice tofu into 1" cubes. In a medium mixing bowl or shallow baking dish, mix together the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Add the sliced tofu cubes, tossing to cover with the marinade. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove the tofu from the marinade. Press firmly with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Add tofu to a large plastic bag or container. Sprinkle with cooking oil, corn starch, pepper and extra seasonings if using. Gently toss to coat the tofu. You can also move your hands on the outside of the plastic bag to coat the tofu.
- Place the tofu in a single layer on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. The tofu cubes should not be touching each other. Bake in 420 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Be careful not to overcook as they will crisp up a little after removing from the oven.
- Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge. To keep crispy when reheating, bake in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
- Choose canola, vegetable, peanut, or sunflower oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point, so it is best not to use for roasting.