This crispy baked lemon pepper tofu is a simple vegan dinner that is sure to be a family favorite! It’s incredibly easy to make, naturally gluten free, perfect sweet, tangy and spicy and perfect with steamed veggies and rice.
This baked lemon pepper tofu is so crispy, perfectly sweet, tangy yet spicy and completely vegan and gluten free.
It comes together in under 45 minutes and is loved by both kids and adults. You can serve it buddha bowl style, but it’s also delicious in a salad or just eaten as a snack!
I much prefer baking tofu to pan frying it as you need far less oil and it’s virtually hands off! I find it crisps up a lot more and tossing in sauce after makes it super flavorful!
This tofu does not need to be pressed or marinated, so it’s a super quick and nutritious dinner when you’re in a pinch!
How to bake lemon tofu
Step 1: Cut the tofu into cubes. I usually do about 1 inch cubes, but you can make them smaller if you like really crispy tofu, or bigger if you prefer.
Step 2: Toss with the soy sauce, then cornstarch, breadcrumbs and lemon pepper seasoning.
Step 3: Bake until golden brown and crispy. This will take about 25-30 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, prep the sauce in a pot on the stove by just whisking together all ingredients.
Step 5: When the tofu is done, toss with the sauce and serve immediately!
Do I need to press tofu?
For this recipe, pressing the tofu will definitely make it crispier, but it’s not entirely necessary. I admit I can be pretty lazy when it comes to making tofu, so I usually don’t press it.
If you have the time and want your tofu really crispy, I do recommend pressing it. You don’t need an actual tofu press to do so, just wrap it up in a towel and place a heavy object on top such as a filled tea kettle or a few books.
Let it press for about 30 minutes, then proceed with the recipe as usual!
Make it a meal!
I love to serve this baked lemon pepper tofu with fresh jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. You can also serve it with cauliflower rice for a lighter option, a fresh arugula salad or even mixed in with my kale caesar salad.
Frequently asked questions
Can I bake tofu without cornstarch?
Yes! The cornstarch does work to absorb some of the excess moisture in the tofu and therefore make it crispier, but you can do without it. One option is to sub the cornstarch with tapioca or arrowroot.
The second option is to just leave it out entirely and simply use the breadcrumbs. It will bake a little differently, but will still be delicious!
What temperature do you bake crispy tofu?
I have experimented with all sort of times and temperatures for baking tofu. I find that 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes works best.
It will make the outside of the tofu really crispy, while keeping the inside soft and not dry.
Do you need to marinate tofu?
It totally depends on the recipe! For this particular baked lemon tofu, there is no need to marinate.
The tofu will be coated in breadcrumbs and seasoning, then tossed in a sauce after baking which is where most of the flavor will come from.
More tofu recipes you’ll love!
Baked Lemon Pepper Tofu
by: claire cary
- 1 16 ounce block extra firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup gluten free breadcrumbs sub regular as needed
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teapsoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the tofu from the package and drain off the extra liquid.
- Cut into 1 inch cubes and add to a bowl.
- Toss with the soy sauce/tamari, then the cornstarch, the the breadcrumbs and lemon pepper seasoning.
- Toss until well combined. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a small pot.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until thick, whisking regularly.
- Remove from heat to let thicken further.
- When the tofu is done, remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve immediately with rice and a veggie of choice and enjoy!