Baked Southern fried tofu nuggets

Now the words baked and fried in the same sentence may seem confusing but we all yearn for that crispy crunch of the fried but without those gut-busting calories and this really does hit the mark. At the time being a vegetarian I set out to find a free from veggie alternative to southern fried chicken and boy that seemed so difficult. Add to that then becoming a vegan that quest then seemed like mission impossible. So nothing ventured as they say I set about creating my own. Now I know for some tofu does not score high on the delicious scale but bear with me. After trials and many errors with different spices, tofu and coatings I hit upon my holy grail the Baked Southern-fried tofu nugget.


  • 1 block of extra or super firm tofu (preferred tofu Tofoo  co organic plain tofu)
  • ½ cup of gluten-free breadcrumbs (check if vegan is required)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp Cajun spice
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ¼ tsp sage
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of free from flour ( plain or rice flour)
  • ½ cup of milk plus 1 egg.

(If vegan omit the egg and add a few squeezes of lemon juice to soya milk to make buttermilk)


  • The first step is to drain any liquid off the tofu and wrap in kitchen paper for 15 minutes whilst mixing the spices. This is why we need it extra firm and prefer the chosen favourite. This faired the best for me. Experiment by all means.
  • In one bowl mix the breadcrumbs along with all the herbs and spices.
  • In another the flour and in a 3rd bowl the buttermilk or egg mix. This makes it easy to have an assembly line.


  • Divide the tofu into 16 equal pieces either squares or triangles, ( i prefer triangles)

  • Dip the tofu pieces in the flour first, then the milk and then into the breadcrumb mixture, covering each piece on all sides, again this is where firm tofu comes into play as you can press the tofu down without it crumbling to get the optimum amount of breadcrumbs on each piece for a lovely crunch.


  • If cooking straight away spray all sides of each piece with light spray oil and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown in a pre-heated oven. 200C or 400F.
  • If not cooking these will keep in an air-sealed plastic tub for 3-4 days in your fridge.



Hey, Karran tried your recipe (minus the mustard powder, as I didn’t have any!) It was delicious. Really straightforward recipe, lovely texture, the closest thing I’ve had to southern fried style in many, many years. Thanks for sharing!! xxx

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