Crispy Baked Tofu with Italian Herbs


Baking sheet of Italian herb crispy baked tofu topped with fresh thyme and basil

Crispy tofu that tastes like pizza? Count us in! After a few tests, we nailed this crumbled baked tofu featuring Italian herbs and garlic. It’s so crispy and flavor-packed that we couldn’t stop eating it right off the pan! Even tofu haters admitted it’s good.

It’s an endlessly versatile, plant-based protein boost perfect for polenta, pasta, pizza, wraps (recipe coming soon), and beyond! Did we mention it’s easy to make with just 10 ingredients and 1 pan required? We can’t wait for you to try it! Let’s get crispy!

Tofu, tamari, balsamic vinegar, Italian herbs, garlic, olive oil, and salt

Origin of Tofu

It’s believed that tofu originated in China during the Han dynasty (202 BC – 8 AD). Then about 500 years later, it’s thought to have spread to neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. It’s now consumed and enjoyed throughout the world. You can take a deeper dive into the history of tofu here.

How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu

Tofu is one of those foods that gets a bad rap for being flavorless and having a strange texture. But when done right, it’s anything but that! And this recipe (plus these) is definitely tofu done right — think crispy, flavor-packed, and effortless to prepare.

Here are some of our top tips for flavorful, crispy baked tofu:

Tip #1: Press out the moisture

Remove excess moisture from the tofu using a tofu press or by wrapping it in a kitchen towel and placing something heavy on top (like a cast iron skillet). Less water in the tofu means it can absorb more marinade.

Tip #2: Crumble into bite-sized pieces

We crumble the tofu into bite-sized pieces to maximize the surface area, which helps it to crisp up all around.

Crumbling tofu into bite-sized pieces in a bowl

Tip #3: Use a flavorful sauce

Tofu has a neutral flavor, which means it benefits from a super flavorful sauce. For this recipe, the sauce consists of umami-packed tamari, rich olive oil, tangy balsamic vinegar, sweet tomato paste, salt, and Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, and basil).

Crumbled tofu on a baking sheet next to a bowl of marinade

Tip #4: Bake at a high heat

Baking the tofu at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 Celsius) for 30-35 minutes allows it to get firm with crispy edges. Just make sure to give it a stir after 20 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Pan of crispy baked tofu crumbles

We hope you LOVE this crispy baked tofu! It’s:

Firm with crispy edges
& Tastes like pizza!

Plus, it’s delicious on pizza! And risotto, polenta, pasta, and so much more. We also have a vegan wrap recipe coming soon, and this tofu is the star of the show. Stay tuned, friends!

More Flavorful Tofu Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of polenta topped with crispy baked tofu and Italian herbs

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Servings 4 (~1/2-cup servings)

Course Entree

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 3-4 Days

  • 1 (14-oz.) package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 ½ Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce // ensure gluten-free as needed)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (NOT glaze)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4-5 small cloves garlic, crushed or minced (4-5 cloves yield ~2 tsp crushed)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (omit if using soy sauce)
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F (218 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Wrap your extra-firm tofu in an absorbent towel. Set something heavy on top — like a cast iron skillet — to press out extra moisture for 15 minutes. Alternatively, use a tofu press.
  • Crumble the tofu into pieces less than 1/2-inch in size and arrange them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

  • In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients (tamari, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and salt). Pour over the tofu and toss to coat.

  • Bake for 20 minutes, flip with a spatula, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the tofu is a little firm and golden with crispy edges.

  • Enjoy warm or at room temperature. This tofu is the perfect protein boost for wraps (recipe coming soon!), risotto, polenta, creamy pink pasta, pasta arrabiata, or on pizza or paired with roasted vegetables.
  • Leftovers keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a skillet or in the oven at 350 F (176 C) for 5-10 minutes until warm and crispy.

*Prep time includes pressing tofu.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 225 Carbohydrates: 6.7 g Protein: 14.5 g Fat: 17.2 g Saturated Fat: 2.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 9.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 536 mg Potassium: 288 mg Fiber: 1.3 g Sugar: 3.6 g Vitamin A: 109 IU Vitamin C: 2 mg Calcium: 401 mg Iron: 3.9 mg


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