Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites
Vegan football food! Is that an oxymoron?
I’m pretty sure it is. If I had to guess I’d say that less than 1% of football fans are vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter. But for those of you that are and don’t feel like eating the standard processed faux hot dog, fear not- I’ve gotcha covered.
These tofu bites are bursting with flavor from a spicy buffalo cornmeal breading that pairs perfectly with a cool blue cheese sauce. And they look so much like chicken that even a carnivore will have to take a second look to believe that they’re not.
I mean, can you believe that coating? I still can’t. I was a Nervous Nellie wondering if it would hold up okay but as you can see, it stuck to the tofu like a clingy boyfriend.
So let’s talk about tofu for a second. If you look back at my recipes on the blog you’ll notice that I rarely cook with it because, let’s face that facts, it can be bland and occasionally kind of mushy. <blech
To avoid that, I recommend using extra firm or super firm tofu and possibly one that isn’t soaked in water such as this brand. That particular type is a 20 ounce block which gave me 36 bites total, but you can always use a smaller amount if you’re unable to find the same exact kind.
For the coating I used was a combination of whole wheat breadcrumbs, medium-grind cornmeal, and brown rice flour but feel free to substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs and/or any kind of finely milled flour you have on hand.
The trick to getting the bites to hold so much flavor is to dip them into the hot sauce after they’ve been breaded and then back into the breading one last time. This allows you to have a semi-wet breading to work with so that you can smooth it around the squares with your fingers. The end result is a thick and spicy coating with a subtle crunch from the panko and cornmeal.
We ate them with sweet potato fries and an ice cold beer while watching the game and it made for a delicious snacky kind of meal.
Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites
Yield: 36 bites
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 40
Total Time: 1 hour
For the Tofu Bites
- 20 ounces super firm tofu, drained and pressed*
- 2 tablespoons ground chia seed
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or water) + 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat/ can also sub gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup flour (I used brown rice flour)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup hot sauce
Blue Cheese Sauce**
- 4 ounces blue cheese crumbles
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons water
Once the tofu is pressed and dry, slice it down the side in the middle lengthwise and then slice it perpendicular to that in one inch intervals. You should have 12 rectangular pieces at this point. Slice those into one inch squares so that there are 36 squares total. You might have less if you are using a smaller block of tofu. Alternatively, you can cut them into strips if that’s what you prefer.
Next combine the almond milk (or water) with 1/4 cup hot sauce and 2 tablespoons ground chia seed then set aside to thicken. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (breadcrumbs, cornmeal, flour and spices) and set aside. Place the remaining hot sauce (1 cup) in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Start coating the tofu by rolling each piece in the almond milk mixture and then place it in the breadcrumbs. From there, dip each piece into the hot sauce and then place it back into the breadcrumbs until it’s completely coated. Use your fingers to press the breading around each piece until it feels firm then transfer it to the cookie sheet.
Once all of the pieces are coated and on the cookie sheet, bake them in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and flip each piece over before cooking for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the blue cheese sauce by combining all of the ingredients into a food processor and blending until smooth. You can add more water if you prefer a thinner texture.
Serve tofu bites warm with cheese sauce or place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*To press tofu, place it between two kitchen towels with a stack of heavy books on top and allow to sit for at least an hour.
** Sub vegan blue cheese dressing for a dairy-free option or try this vegan cashew ranch
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
I think vegan football food is an oxymoron, but it’s totally fine haha. I usually shy away from tofu anything because I don’t like the mushy-ish texture, but these are making me want to give it another shot!
I’ve never seen tofu that wasn’t packed in water (except the super mushy, shelf stable Mori-Nu tofu), but now I need to keep an eye out! the texture looks glorious on these and I’m obsessed with faux frying lately. Plus, hot sauce.
This looks like the perrrrrfect way to enjoy tofu–lots o’ flava!
These sound amaaaazing! I am looking forward to trying them. I sometimes get into a rut when it comes to tofu, so I love this idea!
Vegan football food FOR.THA.WIN! Ugh these look so crispy and tasty! Confession: I have ZERO experience cooking with tofu, but I love all things buffalo and crispy, so I’d say it’s high time to pick up a package of suuuupa firm and get to baking! P.S. Are you a 9’ers fan? #KaepernicksArms < – they're a thing. . . just sayin' ;)
I LOVE that coating!! Just look at it! And with some sweet potato fries … these are perfect game day food! I must admit that cooking with tofu kinda scares me – I’m so afraid it will be mushy!
I once made roasted cauliflower bites for a Superbowl snack, haha! My husband wasn’t a huge fan, but I loved them! These looks so good and that coating looks amazing! I always buy the extra firm tofu, but I’ve never tried buying the kind that isn’t soaked in water, I’ll have to look out for that next time! I’m going to have to make these for the next game and see if I can trick my husband into thinking they are chicken :)
Nobody ever menaged to coat tofu so well! Oh I could finally start loving tofu (still not sure about football :)).
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I made these and they were very good but also a lot of work getting the first coat of crumbs/hotsauce to stick. nect time I’m either going to soak the tofu directly in hotauce next time, or use long flat pieces of tofu.
I agree that the coating can be a little finicky. I’ll have to revisit this recipe to see if I can perfect the method. Thank you for the feedback, Dalton!
You say these are vegan but the sauce isn’t. You’ve given suggestions to use a vegan blue cheese dressing but haven’t included a recipe. That’s a shame as this recipe came up on my vegan suggestions …
Hi Teish! Sorry for the confusion. You can buy vegan blue cheese dressing from the store, which is what I was suggesting. I have a recipe for vegan cashew ranch here: https://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/baked-buffalo-chickpea-bites/ that would also be delicious. I hope that helps!