My new cookbook Big Vegan Flavor is now available!

Simple Baked Tofu

Jump to Recipe
In this 3-ingredient baked tofu recipe, everyday tofu is transformed into golden, satisfyingly crunchy nuggets using simple seasonings and the oven! It’s one of the best tofu recipes you can turn to whenever you want to add a simple and delicious plant-based protein to your meals.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes
5 from 17 votes

This Simple Baked Tofu is my go-to versatile protein to add to nearly any meal, and I know it’ll become a regular for you too!

It uses just a couple of pantry staple ingredients and foolproof cooking methods. The flavor of the baked tofu cubes is simple yet delicious, while the crunchy outsides and pillowy insides make this recipe just plain addictive.

Best of all, this savory baked tofu can be added to nearly any meal. Once the golden, crunchy nuggets are ready, toss ‘em into curries, stir-fries, noodle dishes, salads, lettuce wraps, breakfast hashes, grain bowls, and more! 

Table of Contents:
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Variations
6. How to use baked tofu
7. Frequently Asked Questions
8. Recipe Card

close up of baked tofu on a baking sheet.

Why this recipe works

The best texture

Even if you aren’t the world’s biggest tofu fan (yet), you’ll enjoy this baked tofu. A simple mix of oil, salt and pepper, and potato starch gives the tofu cubes the best texture – pillowy soft and slightly chewy insides with a crispy, crunchy coating around the outside.

Interested in tofu that’s even crunchier and tastes deceptively deep-fried? Try my Simple Pan-Fried Tofu recipe instead.

Multi-purpose tofu

The tofu is simply seasoned with just the right amount of salt and pepper, giving it a mild flavor that’s versatile enough to use in almost any meal.

Use it as a last-minute topping on a salad or grain bowl, or go the elaborate route by folding it into a vibrant Thai curry or a vegan breakfast burrito! Get inspired and learn how to use your crispy baked tofu in the How to use baked tofu section below.

A foolproof, hands-off recipe

Baking tofu is an easy and hands-off method that any home cook can manage. There are less than 10 minutes of active prep involved before the tofu is left to do its thing in the oven, which gives you space and time to work on the rest of your meal!

Ingredient notes

Baked tofu ingredients in small bowls on a wooden cutting board.


Extra firm tofu is my choice for baked tofu. It holds its shape well and yields pillowy, chewy insides and crispy, crunchy outsides when baked. In short, every bite is completely satisfying.

Brands we like: Our go-to tofu brands are House Foods Organic and Wildwood Tofu, although you can use any extra-firm tofu that’s available to you. 


While I recommend using cornstarch when you are pan-frying or deep-frying tofu, potato starch will give you the crispiest coating with baked tofu. It tolerates high heat very well and has a neutral taste that doesn’t transfer to the baked tofu.

Substitute: The best substitute for potato starch is arrowroot starch. I personally don’t like using cornstarch because it leaves a subtle chalky aftertaste.

When you mix the baked tofu with other ingredients, you may not notice this aftertaste, but sensitive palates like mine will. Potato flour will not work, either. 


If you want completely irresistible and crunchy tofu that doesn’t dry out, you need oil! You can use either olive oil or a neutral-flavored oil, like avocado oil or grapeseed oil. 

I know some folks will want to air fry this, but you simply won’t get the same texture with this particular recipe. 

Step-by-step instructions

If you have a tofu press, use it to press the water out of the tofu (affiliate link).

If you don’t have a tofu press, slice the tofu vertically into 4 slabs and wrap them in a thin dish towel or several paper towels. Place your heaviest cookbook on top and press for 10 to 15 minutes. If your cookbook isn’t that heavy, you can weigh the book down with a few cans of beans/tomatoes or a skillet. 

Cut the pressed tofu into ½ to ¾” (1.25 to 2 cm) cubes and add them to a large bowl.

Season with oil, salt, and pepper, then gently toss to coat with your hands or a silicone spatula. Now add the starch and, as gently as possible, toss to coat with your hands. 

Lay the seasoned tofu in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment. 

Bake the tofu for 30 minutes until the cubes are golden and crisp, flipping halfway through.

baked tofu cubes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Tips for making this recipe

Press the tofu

Pressing the tofu is an important step because it removes the excess moisture, which allows the tofu to develop a beautifully golden and crunchy outside and to not be watery or mushy on the inside.

That said, don’t press for too long! We once let our tofu press for 30 minutes, and it dried out too much in the oven. Pressing for 10 to 15 minutes is ideal.

*I like to cut the block of tofu into slabs before pressing because the smaller pieces drain more efficiently than the large block.

Cut the tofu into even cubes

Slice the tofu into small, evenly-sized cubes to ensure they bake evenly. 

We sliced them into ½-inch to ¾-inch cubes, but you can experiment with the size to figure out what works best for you. ¾-inch cubes feel more substantial and have a pillowy interior, while ½-inch cubes get a little crispier. 

Be gentle when tossing the tofu

Tofu cubes are fragile and can break up or crumble easily, which is why you need to be extra gentle when tossing them in the starch. The best and most gentle method is to toss them by hand or to use a silicone spoonula (affiliate link). 

Use parchment paper

During our tests, we found that using a parchment-lined baking sheet not only gave us tofu with great texture but also prevented the tofu from sticking and of course made for easy cleanup.

Spread the tofu

Spread the tofu out in a single layer on the baking sheet with room in between each piece to encourage even cooking and airflow. This method also prevents the tofu from steaming (which means soggy tofu – no thanks!) and sticking together due to the potato starch. 

With one block of tofu, you will have plenty of room on a half sheet pan.

And for the crispiest golden tofu, remember to flip the pieces halfway through the baking time.

Double the recipe

If you are using a standard half-sheet pan (affiliate link), you will have enough room to bake two blocks of tofu. And trust me, once you realize how versatile and tasty this tofu is, you’ll be sold! 

baked tofu in a bowl.


You can season the tofu with a variety of seasonings, like garlic powder, curry powder, or Italian seasonings (add when you add the salt/pepper). 

However, in our many tests, we preferred the version with just salt and pepper, as they gave the tofu the best texture (spices can interfere with the tofu crisping up). We also found that the spice flavor was a little overpowering and made the tofu a lot less versatile. 

One of the best ways to add extra flavor to roasted tofu is with a marinade or sauce. Our Seriously Delicious Marinated Tofu yields epic tofu every time, or you can use this maple-dijon marinade or sesame-soy marinade for a more dynamic flavor.

Once the tofu is cooked, you can customize the flavor by tossing the cubes in a savory sauce, like barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, buffalo sauce, or peanut sauce. 

How to use baked tofu

Turn to this baked tofu whenever you need a protein boost! It’s perfect in both cold and warm dishes, like salads, curries, stir-fries, and grain bowls. These are some of our favorite ways to use it:

Baked tofu and noodles with herbs in a bowl on a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

The tofu is best when it’s eaten right after it comes out of the oven or the same day it’s made, though leftovers will stay good for 3 to 4 days. 

I share my go-to method of how to prep this tofu ahead of time and then serve it fresh in my 1 hour meal prep YouTube video (timestamp included). 

How do I double this recipe?

It’s easy! Simply double the ingredients. If you are using a standard half sheet pan, you should have enough room to spread out two blocks of cubed tofu. If they seem crowded, divide the tofu between two sheet pans to prevent the tofu from steaming. Arrange an oven rack at the bottom and in the top third. Switch the pans’ locations when you flip the tofu for even baking.

Can I marinate the tofu before baking?

If you’re interested in marinating tofu, I recommend using the marinade and instructions in my Marinated Tofu recipe.

Is this baked tofu gluten-free?

Yep! All the ingredients, including potato starch, are naturally gluten-free. 

How do I store and reheat the leftovers?

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Toss the chilled leftovers in salads or reheat the cubes by tossing them in a warm stir fry or a sauce in a skillet. If serving plain, you can add the tofu cubes to a frying pan with a touch of oil. Reheat until revived and a bit crisped up (the texture will be a bit different though). 

side view of Baked tofu and noodles with herbs in a bowl on a table.

If you love this Baked Tofu, please rate it and review it below! And of course, tag me with your remakes on Instagram!

Big Vegan Flavor

Techniques and 150 recipes to master vegan cooking.

Simple Baked Tofu

5 from 17 votes
In this 3-ingredient baked tofu recipe, everyday tofu is transformed into golden, satisfyingly crunchy nuggets using simple seasonings and the oven! It’s one of the best tofu recipes you can turn to whenever you want to add a simple and delicious plant-based protein to your meals.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 4


  • 1 (14- ounce/400g) block of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil or neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch (can sub with arrowroot powder)


  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF/218ºC and arrange an oven rack in the top ⅓ of the oven. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Slice tofu block into 4 slabs, lengthwise. Wrap the slabs in a thin dish towel or several paper towels. Place your heaviest cookbook on top and press for 10 to 15 minutes.*
    If your cookbook isn’t that heavy, you can weigh the book down with a few cans of beans/tomatoes or a skillet
    NOTE: If you are using a tofu press, just press the entire tofu block (don't slice it into 4 slabs).
    *I don't recommend pressing the tofu for more than 15 minutes, as it can dry out too much in the oven.
  • Cube the tofu. I like to slice each of the four slabs in half vertically, then slice each of the 8 slabs into ½” to ¾” (1.25 to 2 cm) cubes.
  • In a large bowl, add the tofu, oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat, using either a silicone spatula or your hands. Now add the potato starch and, as gently as possible, toss to coat the tofu.
  • Arrange tofu on the pan in a single layer, spreading out the pieces so they don’t touch. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip with a spatula or carefully turn the tofu with your hands, working quickly*. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the tofu is golden and crisp.
    *I work quickly when flipping with my hands, and it's fine/I don't burn myself, but use a spatula if you're new to this.

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 601mg | Potassium: 175mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe: Nisha Vora / Rainbow Plant Life | Photography: Megan Morello

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

5 from 17 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

33 comments on Simple Baked Tofu

  1. Els

    5 stars
    Simple and great, thanks for sharing!

  2. Cassia

    I made it with cornstarch/ cornflour (uk) and it turned out great. Thanks! X

  3. Amanda

    5 stars
    This is just a wonderful recipe! My family of vegetarians/vegans really loves it. Thank you!
    By the way, I tried it the other day with Wildwood High Protein Super Firm tofu, which I just blotted dry and didn’t even press, and it came out perfect! So that’s perhaps a shortcut that is worth knowing about.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re over the moon to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Amanda. Thanks for your kind words!

  4. Mary

    5 stars
    Life changing. I have a “hot tossed bean curd” dish I’ve made regularly for years from Kenneth Lo’s 1985 cookbook, New Vegetarian Chinese Cooking. But I never knew how to get that chewy/crispy mouthfeel out of tofu. Now needing to seriously cut back/out meat and dairy, I found Nisha’s YouTube channel and I’m so seriously *lucky* I did! This technique is so easy and satisfying.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That sounds like an amazing recipe, Mary! Thanks for trying out the RPL recipe- awesome to hear it was a success!

  5. Kayla

    5 stars
    So tasty. Even my boyfriend, who is not a fan of tofu, enjoyed it.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re thrilled you two loved the recipe, Kayla!

  6. Ioana

    Fantastic recipe, extremely versatile (I added ground hot Morrocan chilli pepper to the corn starch) and quick! Tofu has always been a bit of a challenge for me to eat, cook and enjoy so far, but this recipe made all the difference! It will definitely be one of my go-to recipes, thank you! (PS The whole family loved it- and we rarely all agree on food, bc we all have wildly different palates :P )

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Ioana, So glad to hear everyone loved this recipe! :) Have you gotten the chance to try out any of Nisha’s other tofu recipes? You must!

      My favorites are the tofu scramble, chocolate mousse, and these tofu skewers!

  7. gretchen

    Would arrowroot starch work in place of potato starch? Thanks!

  8. Kassandra

    5 stars
    I’m about to make this!

    I love your recipes and videos!
    Thanks so much 🥰

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We hope you loved it, Kassandra! Thanks for being a loyal RPL follower :)

  9. SP

    5 stars
    My daughter absolutely loves this tofu recipe. Thank you!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your positive feedback is the best reward for our hard work. Thank you, SP!

  10. Karen

    5 stars
    Excellent and easy to make. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Karen, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  11. PETRA

    Best tofu ever, perfekt for meal prep as well,
    We don’t have that much variety of tofu in Germany yet, extra firm is very difficult to find even in a city like Frankfurt. Freezing was the game changer. Thanks

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Petra, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  12. Ann A

    5 stars
    This recipe is my new favorite. In fact, I have been dreaming about making it again! As promised, the tofu is crunchy and I love that it doesn’t require frying. I can eat these as a snack with my favorite seasoning. Nisha is the queen of vegan cuisine!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Aw, thanks for such a lovely comment, Ann! We’re so happy you truly love this recipe.

  13. Camille

    5 stars
    Nice crispy texture and fluffy on the inside. Will be a good addition to my salads and tofu stir fry dishes.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re thrilled you think so, Camille! I agree it will be a delightful addition to stir fries and salads :) Thanks for sharing!

  14. Michelle

    5 stars

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So happy you think so, Michelle!

  15. Mark Guncheon

    5 stars
    “In this 3-ingredient baked …”
    How many ingredients?
    (Sorry, I’m a former proofreader and things like this jump out at me.)

    1. Emily

      In the world of cookbooks and cooking blogs, some creators don’t count salt and pepper as ingredients because it is assumed that everybody has these two staple ingredients at home already. Water is another ingredient that is not usually counted.

  16. Debbie

    I don’t keep arrowroot powder or potato starch. I do however have rice flour, tapioca powder and cornstarch. Will any of these work in place of potato starch?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      From Nisha:

      Hi Debbie, cornstarch technically does work and will add a great texture. Personally, I don’t love using cornstarch in baked tofu because it leaves a subtle chalky aftertaste, but when the tofu is combined with other ingredients and flavors (e.g., in a grain bowl with a sauce), that aftertaste is barely noticeable. Also, I should note that I have a very sensitive palate so it might not bother others.

      I haven’t tried rice flour here, though I have used it in fried tofu and it works great. When I tried rice flour in baked cauliflower, it came out a bit gritty so I’m not sure baked tofu with rice flour would work well. I also have not tried tapioca powder.

  17. Sheila

    5 stars
    Such a great staple to have in my back pocket. I served this last week with your gochujang noodles and this week I made it again and used it in bowls with rice, edamame, and a variety of sauces! Thank you!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Woohooo, we’re glad it’s become a staple in your household, Sheila!

  18. Robert Snapp

    This baked tofu recipe turned out great, I made it this morning. It has plenty of flavor and the recipe is quick and easy to make. As a vegan, I will be making this again soon. Thank you Nisha for all your great recipes.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Robert, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipes! :) Thanks for the lovely review.

      Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

Development Alchemy + Aim