How to Make Vegan Chicken Nuggets

Vegan chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Dunk these crispy golden bites into your favorite sauce!

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Vegans and non-vegans alike will love these tofu chicken nuggets. They’re simple to make and freezer-friendly. Make a big batch, pop them in the freezer and reheat them when you’re in need of a quick and easy meal.

I love cooking with tofu. It’s incredibly versatile and has the ability to soak up other flavors. Air-frying tofu gives it a remarkably crunchy outside, while remaining soft on the inside.

Are Vegan Chicken Nuggets Healthy?

These plant-based nuggets come together with tofu, a thick batter and a crispy crumb coating. Generally speaking, tofu is healthy and nutrient-rich.

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a great source of protein, fiber, iron and calcium, and it’s low in fat and cholesterol-free. It’s available in a handful of varieties, ranging from silken to extra-firm. For this recipe, you’ll want to use firm tofu or extra-firm tofu.

The Best Vegan Chicken Nuggets Recipe


For the marinade:

  • 1 (16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

For the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

For the breading:


Step 1: Press the tofu

pressed tofu in a green container on a marble countertop in a kitchenJenna Urben for Taste of Home

Remove the tofu from its package and drain the liquid. To avoid soggy tofu, you’ll want to get rid of as much moisture as possible. I recommend pressing the tofu for at least 30 minutes using a tofu press.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t have a tofu press, just use a heavy object like a cast iron pan or stack of books.

Step 2: Marinate the tofu

small bowl of tofu on a marble countertopJenna Urben for Taste of Home

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce and water. Once pressed, tear the block of tofu into 1-inch pieces and toss in the bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare the batter and breading

three small white bowls on a kitchen counter with ingredients measured out for vegan tofu nuggetsJenna Urben for Taste of Home

Using two separate mixing bowls, combine the batter ingredients and the breading ingredients. Coat the air-fryer basket with oil spray and create an assembly line with the marinated tofu, batter, breading and prepared air-fryer basket.

Step 4: Coat the tofu nuggets

Working one at a time, take a piece of tofu and dip it in the batter. Then roll it in the bread crumbs to coat fully. Place each coated piece of tofu in the air-fryer basket in a single layer, ensuring no pieces are touching. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to work in batches.

Step 5: Air-fry the nuggets

vegan tofu nuggets in an air fryer basketJenna Urben for Taste of Home

Give the nuggets a light coating of oil spray. Air-fry at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Your vegan nuggets should now be golden. Remove them from the air fryer and serve with your favorite dipping sauces like ketchup, barbecue sauce or honey mustard (if you’re cooking for a vegan, make sure they eat honey!).

Tips for Making Vegan Chicken Nuggets

Can you bake tofu chicken nuggets?

No air fryer? No problem. Baked the tofu chicken nuggets in an oven at 425° for 25-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

How do you store tofu chicken nuggets?

Store leftover nuggets in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven set to 350° until hot, about 8 minutes.

To freeze, let the nuggets cool completely. Place in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, you don’t need to let them defrost. Simply heat in the air fryer or an oven until warmed throughout.

Jenna Urben
Jenna is a food blogger focused on sharing allergy-friendly recipes. Her favorite ingredients include sweet potatoes, chickpeas and squash.