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Crispy Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets

Crispy tofu nuggets a.k.a. the ultimate “ vegan chicken nuggets “ air fried without oil, and good for you. Finished with a simple panko crumb and nutritional yeast coat for the ultimate tasty crunch. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword Tofu Nuggets
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Pressing + Freezing 10 hours
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 361kcal
Author Florentina


  • 14 oz block firm tofu , organic non-GMO
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs ( crispy brown rice or corn flakes cereal)
  • sea salt to taste ( aprox 1 tsp)

the Batter:

  • 3/4 cup plant milk
  • 2-3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika


  • Drain the tofu, wrap it in a tea towel and set on a plate. Place a heavy pot/pan/dish on top of it and allow it to press for a couple of hours. You can do this on the kitchen counter or in the fridge.
  • After you have pressed the tofu try to pat some more moisture out of it. Transfer to a freezer safe glass container, cover with a lid and freeze. You can do this step in advance and prepare a dozen blocks of tofu at once for future use if you'd like.
  • Defrost the tofu block and repeat pressing as much moisture out of it as possible with a tea towel.
  • Use your hands and tear it into 1 inch irregular pieces. Set aside.
  • In a bowl combine together the tapioca, sea salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powder. Add the tofu pieces and toss to coat well.

Prepare the Batter & Coating:

  • In a small bowl whisk together the plant milk, whole wheat flour and sweet paprika until smooth and creamy. Set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl combine the panko bread crumbs and nutritional yeast.

Air Fry:

  • Dip each nugget in the batter until coated then toss in the bread crumb mixture. Shake any excess and place them on a parchment lined air fryer tray without touching each other. Repeat with all the nuggets.
  • Air fry the tofu nuggets at 375”F for 15 minutes until golden and crispy flipping them half way. Serve hot with your choice of dipping sauces.


  • To make these gluten free just use a brown rice flour in the batter and swap the panko bread crumbs for crushed puffed brown rice cereal or corn flakes.
  • Though these nuggets require absolutely zero oil, I know some of you are still going to insist on using some. I totally understand, in this case please try to use an olive oil spray to coat the nuggets before air frying. Believe it or not you will end up using way less fats than you would by brushing or drizzling it on top. Plus the coverage is so much better too.


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Calcium: 415mg | Iron: 4.5mg