Buffalo tofu nuggets are a simple and delicious way to enjoy a classically non-vegan buffalo wing! This recipe is the ultimate spicy vegan appetizer, especially when dipped into a creamy Caesar dressing for ultimate flavor.
Skill: Intermediate | Time: 50 min | Servings: 4
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Vegan Buffalo Wings: Tofu vs Cauliflower
But for a completely different taste and texture, this buffalo tofu nugget recipe is delicious. The breaded and baked tofu offers a completely different texture compared to battered cauliflower.
Tofu is firmer and the breadcrumb coating offers a much crispier texture. Cauliflower is softer and the baked batter makes for a tasty, but softer texture. The cauliflower batter doesn’t get crispy the same way the breadcrumb coating in this tofu nugget recipe does!
Tofu nuggets also offer more protein and are therefore more filling. This works better if you want to serve these buffalo tofu nuggets as part of a meal rather than appetizer (but they make a great appetizer too!).
How to Make Perfect Buffalo Tofu Nuggets
Great buffalo tofu nuggets start with selecting extra firm tofu. Next, bread and bake the tofu pieces for the ultimate crispy vegan wing!
Breaded and Baked Tofu Nuggets
To make the best vegan buffalo tofu nuggets, you need a delicious breadcrumb coating that will bake to crispy perfection.
Lots of vegans struggle with breading tofu in a way that allows the breadcrumbs to stick. After lots of trial and error, I’ve found the ultimate way to bread tofu nuggets!
The trick is to first coat the tofu in starch, then dip the starch-covered tofu in plant-based milk (soy works best because it’s thicker and creamier). This starch-milk layer is sticky enough to hold the breadcrumbs and is a great replacement to eggs which are often used in non-vegan recipes.
Spray with some cooking oil to allow the nuggets to brown and get extra crispy (not to mention more flavorful).
Do you Need to Press Tofu to Make Nuggets?
Pressing tofu is a common practice and people swear that it makes their tofu taste better and have a better texture.
I’ve honestly never pressed tofu because I like it just the way it is and don’t feel I need to spend the extra effort pressing it. However, if you’re someone who regularly presses tofu, you may want to add that step!
How to Serve Vegan Buffalo Tofu Nuggets
There are two ways you can serve these buffalo tofu nuggets:
Classic buffalo wings are tossed in sauce, so this is certainly an option. However, this makes for messy eating and the breadcrumbs start to get soggy as they sit in sauce. If you choose this option, toss the nuggets with buffalo sauce just before serving.
If you prefer to dip the nuggets into sauce, this keeps them nice and crispy. It also leaves the option of using different sauces to dip the nuggets into. If you’re not a fan of spicy heat, regular BBQ sauce or ketchup are great options!
It’s also nice to serve the buffalo tofu nuggets with a creamy sauce. This is especially satisfying if the buffalo sauce is spicy because the creamy sauce cuts through the heat.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please rate and comment below so others benefit from your experience.
More Vegan Recipes with Plant-based Protein
Vegan Buffalo Tofu Nuggets
- 1 block (350g) extra firm tofu
- ¼ C plant-based milk (I recommend soy milk)
- 3-5 tbsp starch
- ⅔ C panko breadcrumbs (I use whole wheat)
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (or additional breadcrumbs)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp Old Bay (or seasoning salt)
- ¼ tsp salt
- black pepper (to taste; about ¼ tsp)
- oil spray
- vegan buffalo sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
- Slice the tofu into nugget-sized pieces. You can cut them into whatever shape or size you like. I prefer to make triangles that are ¼ the thickness of the tofu block (but this depends on the brand of tofu you use).
- Ready a baking tray by covering it in parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and spray with a cooking/ oil spray. I use an avocado oil spray.
- Set up 2 small plates and 1 small bowl to bread the tofu. On one plate, spread half the starch (start with 3 tbsp). Add ¼ C plant-based milk to the bowl. On the second plate, toss together ⅔ C panko breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp Old Bay, ¼ tsp salt, black pepper.
- Bread each piece of tofu by coating it with starch (brush off excess starch; you want it covered but not a super thick layer) then dipping into the plant-based milk. Place the piece of tofu into the bread crumbs and lightly press onto all sides of the tofu. Place breaded tofu onto the prepared baking tray. Repeat for all tofu pieces.
- Spray the tofu nuggets with cooking/ oil spray then bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the nuggets are browned and crispy (browning may be difficult to see if the breadcrumb coating is made with whole wheat panko).
- To prepare the buffalo tofu nuggets, place baked nuggets into a large bowl and toss them around with buffalo sauce. Alternatively, you can dip the nuggets into buffalo sauce; this way the nuggets stay crispy.
- Serve with a creamy sauce or dip!