This crispy baked tofu is the BEST way to prepare tofu! It uses significantly less oil than fried tofu but it's just as crispy, if not crispier. It requires 3 ingredients, is ready in 30 minutes and is delicious on its own or on top of rice or salad.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but baked tofu is better than pan-fried tofu.
I know, I know, but hear me out. I've spent the past year making tofu in a skillet (see: tofu stir fry and tofu enchiladas, for example) because I had always assumed that baked tofu wouldn't be as good, mostly because frying everything just makes stuff taste better. But boy was I wrong.
This baked tofu is insanely crispy--I mean just look at the photos! The cool part about this recipe is that you have the option to make it with minimal flavor and then add your own sauce afterward, or you can marinate it more heavily in soy sauce and sesame oil and eat it on its own that way.
....which might sound complicated, but it's not I promise. Let's walk through how to make tofu this way, step-by-step.
What you'll need:
- Tofu: Make sure to use super firm tofu, otherwise it won't crisp up appropriately
- Soy sauce: Can also sub tamari or coconut aminos
- Cornstarch: Can sub arrowroot if you prefer
Prep work: The first thing you have to do is press the tofu. I've said it before, but my tofu press is life-changing. I used to dread having to press tofu by hand (dramatic), but then I got a tofu press and everything changed. With that said, if you don't own one, you can absolutely use a towel or two to press the liquid out of the tofu.
Steps 1 & 2: Slice the tofu. Place the block of tofu on a cutting board, then use a sharp knife to slice tofu into 1" cubes.
Steps 3 & 4: Marinate. Place the tofu into a large bowl, then add the soy sauce and use your hands to toss it until the tofu is coated. It's important to use super firm tofu; otherwise, the tofu will crumble a bit while you're tossing it. Then, add the cornstarch and toss until the tofu is coated.
Steps 5 & 6: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then pour the tofu out onto the baking sheet, making sure that the tofu is spread out. Bake it for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
FAQs and Tips
- Make sure to line the baking sheet with parchment; otherwise, the tofu will stick
- Always, always, ALWAYS use super firm tofu or else it won't get crispy and the texture will be off
Is there a specific brand of tofu I should buy?
I really like brands whose packaging resembles a vacuum seal. Two examples of this are Trader Joe's Super Firm Tofu and Nasoya Organic Super Firm Tofu. Other brands work, but those two are my favorites when I want my tofu to be extra crispy.
Do I need to season it?
Nope! Though it's fairly plain as-is (personally I love eating it straight up), it's meant to be tossed or dipped in your favorite sauce, or even added to a salad and topped with dressing.
Is baked tofu better than fried tofu?
Honestly, yes! You need to use a decent amount of oil when frying tofu, but you don't use any oil when baking it, and it gets just as crispy if not crispier. It does take a little longer--maybe 10 extra minutes--but it's well worth it.
Can I refrigerate it?
Yes of course! When you're ready to eat it, just pop it back into the oven for 5-8 minutes to heat it up. While you can use the microwave to reheat it, it will take away some of the crispiness.
What to serve with baked tofu
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
- Broccoli Rice Stir Fry
- Honey Garlic Chicken (but with tofu instead!) with cauliflower rice
More tofu recipes
Crispy Baked Tofu
- 1 block super firm tofu pressed
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce or more
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Place pressed tofu onto a cutting board and use a knife to cut it into 1" cubes.
- Place cubed tofu into a bowl, then add the soy sauce and use your hands to toss it until it's coated. Then, add the cornstarch and use your hands to coat the tofu in the cornstarch.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then pour the tofu onto the sheet, making sure it's evenly spread out. Bake tofu for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
- Serve as-is, or drizzle with extra soy sauce and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in September 2019. It was updated with new text in May 2020.
Laurie Anderson says
I LOVE that these are crispy with just a dusting of starch. I used tapioca starch as I had it on hand & worked fine. 2 Nd time I used low sodium coconut amino & added crushed garlic & pepper with a piece of (kombu to flavor like fish)to used as a plant based Caesar salad topping. Was just as good as original. Thankyou
Thanks for the comment Laurie -- so happy you like the recipe!
Michele D says
Finally got a chance to make this tonight. It turned out really flavorful and it really had the texture of fried tofu without the grease. I used soy sauce the first time, but I will try coconut aminos on my next batch to see how it compares. I mixed the baked tofu with some stir fried frozen vegetables. This is definitely a good option for a meatless dinner.
I made this today, it was delicious. I soaked 1 bird's eye chili in the soy sauce for a spicy kick though.
That sounds DELICIOUS!
I attempted this recipe last night as the minimal effort and ingredients appealed to me but the tofu stuck to the parchment paper to the point I had to peel the bottom layer off to flip it. I wonder if I would have been better off greasing the paper with cooking spray? Have you ever experienced this same issue? Thanks in advance!
Hi Laura -- Oh no! I'm sorry that happened. I haven't personally had that experience, but I don't think it would hurt to add a little nonstick spray to the parchment. I'll go in and add that to the recipe notes. I hope you'll try it again!