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Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets with Vegan Ranch Sauce

Looking for a healthy oil-free snack packed full of protein and amino acids? These Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets will hit the spot! Gluten-free, delicious, and quick to make, they pair perfectly with our vegan ranch sauce.

Tofu is an absolute staple in our household. We eat it in some form most days & I find it to be an incredibly versatile ingredient!

But I get it, not everyone is such a fan and I think that it sometimes comes down to a lack of knowledge about how to best prepare and cook it.

Which led me to think about new ways I could serve up this humble little ingredient and make more people love it as much as we do!

One thing I hadn’t experimented much with, is cooking tofu in the air fryer. So I thought I’d give it a try, and oh my goodness, I’m kicking myself for not trying this sooner!

These simple Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets are packed with flavor, have a beautiful crisp shell, are a healthy snack or appetizer, and go wonderfully with a homemade vegan ranch sauce!

How to Cook Tofu in an Air Fryer

The key to cooking crispy tofu in an air fryer is the same as cooking it in a skillet, or in the oven. That is, you want to squeeze out any excess moisture before you cook it.

You can do this manually, by wrapping it in a tea towel and placing it between two flat surfaces, and adding weight on top. This will help any excess liquid drain from the tofu – but you’ll need to leave it for about 20-30 minutes for it to drain properly.

Another option is to buy a custom tofu press, which makes the process a little quicker and more straightforward.

Which Kind of Tofu?

Tofu is sold in many different forms, from silken tofu (that’s great for making chocolate mouse!) to extra firm tofu.

For this Air Fryer tofu recipe, it’s best to opt for the firmest tofu you can find. This will have a denser structure and less water content naturally, but it’s still best to press it first for the crispiest air fried tofu.


Air Fried Crispy Tofu Nuggets Ingredients

This oil-free tofu recipe requires just a few simple ingredients that come together perfectly to form a crisp shell around your nuggets. Feel free to mix up the spices a little to suit your own tastes, and you can sub out the almond flour for panko or breadcrumbs if gluten-free tofu nuggets aren’t a necessity.

  • Firm or extra firm tofu
  • Almond flour
  • Chickpea flour
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried Parsley

How to Make Air Fryer Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Press the tofu block to remove excess water content.

Cut your tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.

Make your chickpea eggs by whisking together the chickpea flour and water.

Whisk together the chickpea eggs, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Using a fork, dip each cube of tofu into the ‘egg’ mixture, and then coat it in almond flour.

Place the tofu nuggets into your air fryer in a single layer (you may need to cook them in two batches).

Cook them at 375°F / 190°C for 15 minutes. Check your own Air Fryer directions if needed.

To make sure they cook evenly, you can turn the nuggets over at the halfway point.


What to Serve With Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets

These kid-friendly tofu nuggets are even more amazing when served with ranch dressing. Follow the recipe below to make a quick vegan ranch sauce at home, or take the easy option and have some on hand from the store.

Vegan Ranch Sauce Ingredients

How to Make Vegan Ranch Sauce

To make the ranch sauce, simply place everything into your blender and pulse until smooth.

Serve your nuggets with the ranch sauce while still warm.

How to Enjoy the Best Air Fried Tofu Bites

These tasty little nuggets can be served with the ranch sauce as a tasty vegan party snack, a healthy appetizer, or even incorporated into a main meal.

They also work really well on top of salads, in buddha bowls, or as an accompaniment for many Asian-style dishes.

Try These Other Vegan Snack Ideas too:

Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets with Ranch Dressing

Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets with Vegan Ranch Sauce

Yield: 40
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets couldn't be simpler to make and they taste amazing! Serve these up as an appetizer, or party snack.

Ingredients

Tofu Nuggets

  • 1 pound (450g) firm tofu 
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 chickpea eggs (3 tbsp chickpea flour + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley

Ranch Sauce

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • Juice of one small lemon

Instructions

  1. Cut your tofu into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. Make your chickpea eggs by whisking together the chickpea flour and water.
  3. Whisk together the chickpea eggs, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and parsley.
  4. Using a fork, dip each cube of tofu into the egg mixture, and then coat in almond flour.
  5. Place the tofu nuggets into your air fryer in a single layer (you may need to cook them in two batches).
  6. Cook them at 375°F / 190°C for 15 minutes. Check your own Air Fryer directions if needed.
  7. To make sure they cook evenly, you may want to turn the nuggets over at the halfway point.
  8. To make the ranch sauce, simply place everything into your blender and pulse until smooth.
  9. Serve your nuggets while still warm.

Notes

Your tofu should be firm and dry before dipping it into the egg mixture. You can press out excess moisture with a dish towel.

When placing the tofu nuggets into the Air Fryer, make sure they have space around them, to ensure they cook evenly.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information should be considered as an estimation only.

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