These Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets are a fun gluten-free snack or side dish! Serve with a vegan ranch dip for the ultimate appetizer. This post is sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company. All opinions are my own!
Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets with Vegan Ranch Dip
There is almost nothing I love more in this world than buffalo sauce. I guess it’s my family, Leo, my friends, and then buffalo sauce.
When I was in high school, one of our favorite spots to eat was this popular wing restaurant. Their fries had waaaay to much sugar (basically dessert fries), but the wings with mild buffalo sauce were always my go-to.
It’s been years since I’ve eaten there, or even eaten a chicken wing, and I’m doing just fine. But, sometimes the craving for buffalo wings comes, and a vegan has to figure out an alternative.
THIS is the perfect alternative: Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets!
I can just imagine serving a double or triple batch of these buffalo tofu nuggets during a dinner party or holiday gathering. (PS: I know tofu nuggets aren’t necessarily traditional holiday food, but my family is untraditional so I’m making tofu nuggets, okay 💁🏼).
Ingredients for Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets
I was even surprised by how amazing these turned out. They’re crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and they have the perfect flavor thanks to our homemade vegan buffalo sauce. Here’s what you’ll need to make these buffalo tofu nuggets:
- Extra firm tofu. This is important! You’ll want to make sure you have extra firm tofu and that you take the time to drain and press it. Your tofu nuggets will not crisp up the same if you don’t press your tofu, so I promise it’s worth the extra step!
- Non-dairy milk. Any variety will work, but go for unsweetened!
- Oil. Olive, avocado, or canola would all be great. Since we’re baking and not deep-frying, we don’t have to worry about smoke point.
- Chickpea flour. This is going to give us a super crispy tofu nugget and we’re using it to thicken our sauce.
- Tapioca starch or cornstarch. Either is fine!
- Garlic and onion powder. These go in both our homemade vegan buffalo sauce and the dredge for our tofu nuggets.
- Cumin. This adds such a delicious flavor to the tofu nugget dredge.
- Smoked paprika. The smoky flavor really takes this buffalo tofu nugget recipe to the next level!
- Salt and pepper. Of course!
- Hot sauce. The absolute key. You’ll want to go for a traditional cayenne pepper sauce for that classic buffalo flavor.
How to Make Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets
Tofu is an excellent whole-food source of soy protein, and it makes the perfect “meat” for these vegan nuggets. Plus we’re also using it as the base for our vegan ranch dip (more on that later).
To start, if you want crispy tofu nuggets, you have to drain and press your tofu. After your tofu is drained and pressed, rip it up by hand into nugget shapes. Doing this by hand will leave you with craggy, jagged edges on your tofu nuggets, which we want because that means extra crispiness! Add them to a bowl and pour in your non-dairy milk and oil.
Next, mix up your dredge using your some chickpea flour, starch, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Piece by piece, dip each tofu nugget into the dredge, shake off any excess and pop them on a baking sheet. You’ll bake them for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
While your nuggets are baking, make your buffalo sauce by combining hot sauce, oil, chickpea flour, garlic powder and onion powder, Once your nuggets have baked for 20 minutes, pull them out, toss them in the sauce and then add the tofu nuggets back to your baking sheet to make for another 5 minutes until they’re nice and crispy.
Ready to make some vegan ranch dip?!
How to Make Vegan Ranch Dip
If you have kids, I know they will LOVE dipping these buffalo tofu nuggets into this vegan ranch sauce! But, from personal experience, I know adults will enjoy it just as much. This sauce is so easy to make, and since we’re using tofu as the base, it’s packed with even more plant-based protein!
To a blender, add in your silken tofu, non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, onion powder, pepper and maple syrup. Blend it up until it’s nice and smooth, and then stir in your parsley, chives and dill.
This vegan ranch dip is PERFECT with the buffalo tofu nuggets. It’s thick, cooling and creamy alongside the spicy, crunchy tofu nuggets, so don’t skip the sauce!
Let’s Talk About Soy
I’m excited to partner with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company for the remainder of 2018 to talk to you about one of my favorite topics: SOY!
I love soy, as you can tell by all the tofu, tempeh, and edamame recipes around here. I know there are still many misconceptions about soy (will be diving into those in next month’s blog post!), so I hope these recipes and facts will ease your mind about adding soy into your life.
Why do I love soy so much? Soy protein is one of the few plant-based proteins that, like animal protein, contains all essential amino acids at levels and the availability needed by our bodies. It is also packed with folate, potassium, and essential fatty acids, and low in saturated and trans-fat.
Soy is playing a huge role in replacing animal protein with plant protein as plant-based eating becomes more popular. It is versatile, incredibly affordable, nutritious, and sustainable.
More Tofu Recipes
Clearly I’m a big tofu fan over here seeing as we’re using two different kinds in these buffalo tofu nuggets and vegan ranch dip. Tofu is an excellent plant-based protein to incorporate into your meals, and I have plenty of recipes using it on my blog! For more tofu recipes and tips on how to cook tofu, check out these posts!
- Sweet and Sour Tofu
- Southern BBQ Tofu Bowl with Vegan Grits & Collard Greens
- Chipotle Tofu Burritos
- Teriyaki Tofu Meal Prep
- Cool Cucumber Avocado Sandwich with Tofu Cream Cheese
- Vegetable Spring Rolls with Ginger Sesame Tofu
Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets with Vegan Ranch Sauce (gluten-free)
These Baked Buffalo Tofu Nuggets are a fun gluten-free snack or side dish! Serve with a vegan ranch dip for the ultimate appetizer.
For the nuggets:
- 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive, avocado, canola)
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the buffalo sauce:
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive, avocado, canola)
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
For the ranch sauce:
- 1 12-ounce package silken tofu
- 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 tablespoons dried chives
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Tear the pressed and drained tofu into 1-inch nugget shapes; place in a medium bowl. Add non-dairy milk and oil; stir to coat tofu evenly.
- In another medium bowl, add chickpea flour, starch, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper; stir. Dredge each tofu nugget in the dry mixture and shake to remove excess flour. Place each nugget on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add all buffalo sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine. When the tofu is done, add all nuggets to the bowl with the buffalo sauce; toss to coat evenly. Place the nuggets back on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, until crispy.
- In a blender, add silken tofu, non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, onion powder, pepper, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Stir in dried parsley, chives, and dill. Pour the ranch into a bowl for serving.
- Serve the tofu nuggets with ranch sauce, ketchup, mustard, and any other dipping sauces!
*Use a tofu press, or wrap the tofu in paper towels and place in the sink with a heavy object on top. Press for 10-15 minutes.
Thanks to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for supporting this blog that I love oh-so-much!