Ready in just 30 minutes, this easy, delicious baked tofu requires little oil and little effort! Our recipe has six ingredients and uses hand-torn tofu versus tofu cubes to give the best crispy edges and a soft, pillowy texture. Season and marinate it how you like before trying one of our numerous ways to serve it. The possibilities are endless!
What to expect?
In this crispy baked tofu recipe, we take fresh firm tofu, toss it in a simple and delicious spice marinade, and bake it to perfection using a regular oven. Since we tear the tofu versus slicing it into cubes, the tofu has more edges. This results in a much crispier outside and a soft, tender inside.
Oven-baked tofu is an excellent option for those who do not have an air fryer and who want to cut back on the oil usually involved in pan-frying and deep-frying. It is also great for cooking larger batches at one time, which you typically can only do with the other cooking methods if you have special equipment.
Making baked tofu does not require any particular expertise, ingredients, or equipment. You can easily find the six ingredients in your local supermarket or pantry. We have also provided a few ingredient substitutions and alternatives for your convenience:
- Firm tofu – You can also use extra firm tofu with less excess liquid.
- Soy sauce – For a gluten-free option, you can use tamari sauce.
- Vegetable oil – Sesame, avocado, and olive oil are other alternatives.
- Corn starch – You can substitute all-purpose flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot flour.
- Sweet smoked paprika powder
- Black pepper
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Using your fingers, slowly and gently tear apart the tofu. You can do so by tearing them in half or larger pieces. Then pull them apart into bite-sized tofu pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200F).
- Pour the soy sauce on the pieces and stir gently, taking care not to break the tofu. Let the covered tofu rest for a few minutes, then drain any excess soy sauce.
- Mix your cornstarch, paprika powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Then gently toss the tofu in the mixture, ensuring it is evenly coated.
- Spread the coated tofu pieces on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure the pieces are not touching each other. Spray some oil over the tofu.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them at the halfway point.
- For tofu with a chewy and “meaty” texture, freeze it before using it in the recipe. See our guide with 10 ways to prepare tofu for more tips on achieving the best results.
- To prevent baked tofu from getting soggy, make sure the edges of the pieces do not touch while in the oven. Also, remember to turn the tofu at the halfway point!
There are many different ways to prepare and cook tofu before using it in your favorite recipes:
- Different preparation methods – Instead of hand-shredding your tofu, you can make tofu steak, thin-sliced tofu, or cut your tofu into cubes or triangles. Find more techniques in our list of 10 ways to prepare tofu.
- Different cooking methods – You can also make your tofu nice and crispy by using an air fryer, pan-frying, or deep-frying in a cast-iron skillet. See our guide on making crispy tofu for the pros and cons of each method. For even more cooking methods, refer to our guide with 11 ways to cook tofu.
- Marinated tofu – For even more flavor minus the tofu taste, soak your tofu overnight with one of our delicious tofu marinade recipes.
- With vegetables – Serve your crispy baked tofu alongside your favorite veggies for a nutritious meal. Try it alongside our roasted asparagus and mushrooms or pesto vegetables. You can also serve it with a side of broccoli, brussels sprouts, snow peas, green beans, or sweet potato.
- With potatoes – Potatoes make a tasty and filling side dish! Try it with roasted or fried potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, riced sweet potatoes, vegan mashed potatoes, or vegan scalloped potatoes.
- With grains – Serve your tofu on top of or with a side of steamed, cooked, or fried rice, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.
- With noodles – Try it with our tahini miso soba noodles or Thai glass noodle salad.
- With a salad – A fresh green salad is an excellent complement to crispy baked tofu.
Like any crispy food, baked tofu is best when served fresh and hot. However, if you have leftovers, we recommend the following storage tips:
In the refrigerator: Place the leftover tofu in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to three days. Use it within 24 hours for the best texture, as it will become dry and soggy over time.
In the freezer: Although you can freeze baked tofu, we do not recommend freezing baked tofu as the moisture will cause the texture to change.
Reheating: To preserve the crispiness, reheat it in the oven or toaster oven on a baking sheet at 350F for 10-15 minutes. We do not recommend reheating in a microwave.
Cornstarch is not necessary to bake tofu. However, cornstarch helps the seasonings to stick more and helps prevent dryness. If you need a substitute for cornstarch, you can use regular all-purpose flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch.
Oil is unnecessary to achieve crispy tofu, especially if you use cornstarch as a coating. However, a little oil helps keep the tofu from sticking to the baking sheet. Personally, it tastes less dry with a drizzle of oil.
There are a few reasons why your baked tofu did not turn out as crispy as expected. One reason could be that you did not press the tofu enough, resulting in excess moisture in the tofu. Another reason could be that the tofu pieces were touching each other, preventing the touching parts from crisping up. Lastly, you may not have stirred or flipped the tofu pieces to allow the other sides to get crispy.
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- Use a firm tofu and press it.
- Use your fingers and tear the tofu slowly and gently. You can tear them first in half or tear off larger pieces, then create bite-size tofu at the end.
Marinating and baking tofu
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
- Pour soy sauce on tofu pieces. Stir gently not to break the tofu. Let them rest for a couple of minutes. Drain any excess soy sauce.
- In a small bowl mix cornstarch, paprika powder, and black pepper. Spread it on the tofu. Gently stir it again.
- Spread the coated tofu pieces onto a baking sheet with parchment paper in a way they don’t touch each other. Spray some oil on the tofu.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes turning them at the halfway point.