Vegan “Chicken” Nuggets

Prior to going vegan I would have never thought tofu would be as incredible as it is. I can make just about anything out of tofu. Vegan cheese substitutes, vegan meat substitutes, it can add creaminess to dishes, tofu scramble. I mean really you name it and tofu can most likely do it. So it is of course no surprise that these vegan chicken nuggets are pretty darn incredible.

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You may be wondering how these nuggets are different than just making crispy tofu. The ingredients list is pretty similar. However, I have learned the best way to give tofu a meaty texture is to freeze it. I sort of came across this accidentally. I was going away had a whole block of tofu I hadn’t even opened and I said let me throw it into the freezer. Well what do you know I let it thaw and the texture was different. Spongier, chewier, meatier. It makes a complete difference. The other difference while these are baked they were covered in oil to help them get super golden and crisp.

These vegan chicken nuggets are delicious, relatively easy to make and I think would be perfect for kids. If you are gluten free just use a gluten free breadcrumb. If you are soy free I do apologize but you will have to sit this one out until I can get a seitan recipe down for this.

INGREDIENTS

1 block of frozen and thawed (will explain in directions) firm or extra firm tofu
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Freeze your tofu. You will need to do this the at least 1 day in advance. Take the whole package do not open it and put it in the freezer.
  2. Allow to freeze completely and then thaw completely before using.
  3. Preheat your oven to 425F prior to using.
  4. Once the tofu has thawed, you will need to press it. Frozen tofu retains a lot more water than unfrozen tofu. So do not be afraid to give it a good press and really get all the water out.
  5. Make the breadcrumb mixture by adding breadcrumbs, salt, nutritional yeast and paprika to a dish. Mix well.
  6. Cut the tofu in half so you now have two big squares. Then you can break off pieces of the tofu or cut it. I think breaking it makes for a more authentic chicken nugget shape.
  7. Coat the tofu in breadcrumbs. They will stick to the tofu because it will still be slightly wet.
  8. Line on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and flip.
  10. Then generously coat the tofu in oil (I used olive oil). I find it easiest to do this with a silicone brush.
  11. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. Tofu should be very crispy and golden when done.
  12. Pair with your favorite sauces (I did ketchup and a mix of vegan mayo and hot sauce) and some fries.

Will make about 20-25 nuggets depending on how small you make them.

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