Super crispy air fryer tofu nuggets with a deliciously spiced crumb coating. Easy to make, freezable and ideal for dunking in your favourite sauce!
Aaah the wonderfully crispy world of air fryer tofu nuggets! If you're looking for a delicious vegan alternative to traditional chicken nuggets, you're in for a gorgeous little breadcrumbed treat! Air fryer tofu nuggets are the perfect solution to all of life's problems.
These little bites of goodness are not only incredibly easy to make but also pack a punch in terms of flavour and texture. Yep, I already posted a baked tofu nuggets recipe a few years back, but we're all air fryer girls now, so let's explore this alternative method!
Whether you're a dedicated tofu lover or simply on a quest to replace the highly processed nuggies in your freezer with homemade plant-based options, this recipe will undoubtedly become a household fave. Ready for the crunchiest dream of your life??
🧈 Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets Ingredients
Before you even THINK about going to the fridge to make these air fryer tofu nuggets, here's a little list of the ingredients you'll need. Full recipe for the air fryer tofu nuggets can be found at the bottom of the page.
- Extra firm tofu
- Plain white flour
- Vegan bouillon powder (or one vegan stock cube, crumbled)
- Cayenne pepper
- Garlic powder
- Fine sea salt
- Black pepper
- Plant milk (soy is best but any will do)
- White wine vinegar
- Golden breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil
🎂 A Note on Tofu
Tofu is made from soybeans and is a versatile, protein-rich ingredient that is a staple in many vegetarian and vegan diets. Don't listen when people tell you it's bland - just think of it as a blank canvas that readily takes on the flavours of the ingredients it's paired with. If you're interested in avoiding ultra processed ingredients, you'll be pleased to know that although tofu is made from soy beans, it is not considered an ultra processed ingredient!
Also, heads up, usually, when working with tofu, it's essential to press it to remove excess water. However this isn't as crucial when working with extra firm tofu, which is one of the reasons I recommend this kind for this recipe.
🔀 Ingredient Substitutions
The ingredients below are ideal for standard air fryer tofu nuggets. However, you can obvs customise the recipe to suit your taste or dietary preferences. Here are some suggestions!
The Flour - If you're looking to create a gluten-free version of this recipe, you're in for a treat! Simply substitute a quality 1:1 gluten-free flour, such as Bob's Red Mill, in place of regular flour and use gluten free breadcrumbs or almond meal. The remaining components of the recipe are naturally gluten-free.
The Plant Milk - Any plant based milk works in this recipe, so feel free to mix things up if you have a soy allergy.
🍰 How to Make Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets
As always, don't fret! The full recipe for these air fryer tofu nuggets is at the bottom of the page. But for a visual breakdown, see below!
1. Cut the tofu into nugget shapes! I actually use a cookie cutter for this process, which I've bent into an irregular shape. But a knife works just as well!
2. Dunk in the spiced flour mixture. Make sure the nuggets is fully coated all over!
3. Now dunk in the plant milk mixture. This will help the breadcrumbs to stick. Make sure you use a different hand to dunk than in step 2 above.
4. Finally dunk in the breadcrumbs and set on a baking sheet or the tray of your air fryer. Brush with oil and then cook!
🤷♀️ Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets FAQs
A: I highly recommend extra-firm tofu for the best results, however, you can use soft tofu if you prefer a different texture. Just be extra careful when handling it, as it's more delicate.
A: If you don't intend to cook the nuggets right away, place the tray in the freezer for one hour. Once they're frozen, transfer the nuggets to an airtight container or a freezer bag and store them in the freezer.
A: All your favourite sauces will work great with these air fryer tofu nuggets but I'd highly recommend using my vegan buffalo sauce for a spicy kick!
Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets
- 1 air fryer
- 3 Medium bowls
- 1 pastry brush
- 450 g extra firm tofu
- 40 g plain white flour
- 3 teaspoon vegan bouillon powder (or one vegan stock cube, crumbled)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 100 ml plant milk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 100 g golden breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- If necessary for your air fryer, preheat to 200 °C.450 g extra firm tofu
- Drain and pat dry the tofu. Cut the tofu into 4 x roughly 1 cm slices then either break or slice into as many chicken-nugget sized pieces as possible.
- Arrange three small bowls on the counter. In the first bowl, combine the plain white flour, vegan bouillon, cayenne, garlic powder, fine sea salt and black pepper.40 g plain white flour, 3 teaspoon vegan bouillon powder, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- In the second bowl combine the plant milk and the vinegar. Whisk for a second - the mixture should thicken slightly.100 ml plant milk, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- In the third bowl, place the golden breadcrumbs.100 g golden breadcrumbs
- Take a piece of tofu and using your left hand, dunk thoroughly in bowl one (the spiced flour mixture), toss until fully coated. Next, dunk the same piece of tofu in bowl two (the plant milk mixture). Shake off any excess plant milk then dunk straight into bowl three (the breadcrumbs). Place the coated nugget on a tray and repeat with the remaining pieces of tofu.
- Once all the nuggets are coated, use a pastry brush to carefully brush both sides with the vegetable oil.3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- If you're not planning to cook the nuggets immediately, place the tray in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the frozen nuggets and transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer.
- When ready to cook, place the nuggets in an even layer in the basket or tray of the air fryer and place in the preheated air fryer. If cooking from room temperature, air fry for 20 minutes. If cooking from frozen, air fry for 25 minutes.
- Serve with your favourite dipping sauces or my vegan buffalo sauce.