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When you know how to make Baked Tofu the right way, this bland, mushy block transforms into chewy, bite-sized nuggets that are absolutely packed with flavor. Let’s dig in!

crispy and marinated tofu baked in oven

Why You’ll Love This Easy Baked Tofu Recipe

  • Baked, Not Fried. A lot of restaurant-style tofu is deep-fried, which is how it gets that irresistibly crispy, chewy texture. My method for baking tofu produces tofu that’s chewy, but it’s cooked in the oven, making it much healthier. Score!
  • Infused With Flavor. While the texture of the tofu you get from Thai and Chinese restaurants is from frying, the flavor is almost entirely on the outside of the tofu from the sauce it’s tossed in after being fried. Here, we use a sweet-and-savory Tofu Marinade to flavor the tofu inside and out.
  • No Freezing Needed. My Crispy Tofu recipe is a reader favorite, but you have to freeze the tofu in advance for best results—and I have definitely had those 5pm, “Oh shoot, I forgot to freeze the tofu!” moments when I’m about to start making dinner. This method for baked tofu simply requires a quick 30 minute marinade.
  • Add It to Anything. The marinade I use for this baked tofu pairs with Asian dishes like Zucchini Stir Fry, or you can make it into a wrap topped with Healthy Coleslaw and served with a side of Sweet Potato Fries. Just like my Air Fryer Tofu, this recipe is versatile!
marinated baked tofu recipe in a bowl

How to Cook Tofu You Actually Want to Eat

Hot take: I think most tofu haters simply don’t know how to cook tofu.

It’s not your fault, though!

Tofu doesn’t exactly make it easy.

First, there are so many different types of tofu! Refrigerated tofu, shelf-stable silken tofu; firm, soft, extra-firm, super firm. Hello, decision fatigue!

Then, there’s the fact that you do what seems logical—cut it into cubes, add it to your stir fry—and you end up with mushy lumps of bland nothingness that don’t resemble those chewy little triangles in your takeout Pad Thai in any way, shape, or form.

Womp womp. No wonder so many people have sworn off cooking tofu at home.

Like my Tofu Tacos and Tofu Stir Fry recipe, this simple baked tofu recipe is designed to take the guesswork out of cooking tofu.

Once you understand the method behind this recipe, you can apply it to other tofu dishes, or come up with your own tofu creations. 

Tofu: it’s not just a punchline for bad jokes about vegetarians anymore.

how to get crispy tofu in the oven

How to Make Baked Tofu

The Ingredients

For the Tofu and Baking

  • Extra-Firm Tofu. Buy the refrigerated kind and be sure to buy extra-firm, as it has the ideal texture for baking.
  • Cornstarch or Arrowroot Starch. For a crispy exterior when you’re cooking tofu.

For the Tofu Marinade

  • Low-Sodium Soy Sauce. Brings umami flavor without a lot of extra salt. To make gluten-free baked tofu, substitute tamari sauce.
  • Pure Maple Syrup. Some sweet to balance the savory.
  • Rice Vinegar. Rice vinegar works well with Asian pairings, but apple cider vinegar is fine too.
  • Sesame Oil. Toasted sesame oil adds some depth.
  • Garlic Powder. Gives this vegan tofu recipe a garlicky flavor without having to crush fresh garlic cloves.
  • Smoked Paprika. Adds some meaty flavor to cooked tofu since we associate smokiness with meat. You can use liquid smoke instead of, or in addition to, smoked paprika for an even bolder smoky, almost bacon-like flavor.
  • Ground Ginger. Ginger brings a little bit of warmth.
  • Sriracha or Hot Sauce of Choice. Feel free to use more or less.

Optional, for Serving

The Directions

pressing tofu
  1. Press the Tofu. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the tofu with your hands, or press it for 15 minutes.
baking crispy tofu
  1. Cut. Slice the tofu into cubes and place them in a baking dish.
mixed tofu marinade recipe
  1. Mix. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup.
tofu marinading in easy recipe
  1. Marinate. Pour the marinade over the tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to a day in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
marinated tofu on baking sheet for oven
  1. Bake. Transfer the tofu to the baking sheet, coat with cornstarch, and spread the cubes into an even layer. Bake tofu for 20 to 30 minutes.
marinated tofu in the oven
  1. Finish. Drizzle the baked tofu with extra marinade, serve, and ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Garlicky Lemon Herb Baked Tofu. Use a half-batch of my Chicken Marinade for cooked tofu that’s perfect for adding to Green Goddess Salad or Garlic Pasta.
  • Barbecue Baked Tofu. Substitute the tofu marinade for my BBQ Chicken Marinade and brush the finished tofu with your favorite Barbecue Sauce.
  • Teriyaki Baked Tofu. Use your favorite store-bought teriyaki sauce (or make the honey-sweetened teriyaki sauce from my Teriyaki Chicken recipe) as a marinade and glaze for this baked tofu.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store the baked tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Warm leftover tofu in the microwave or in a 350 degree F oven until it’s heated through. Tofu can also be enjoyed cold or at room temperature.
  • To Freeze. Place the cooked tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until it’s solid. Transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.

Meal Prep Tip

Baked tofu is excellent for meal prep since it can be eaten warm or cold and keeps in the refrigerator for several days. I recommend reserving the extra marinade and adding it just before serving (or using it as a dipping sauce) to keep the tofu from getting soft in the refrigerator.

Leftover Ideas

Add leftover baked tofu to Cauliflower Fried Rice for some extra protein.

What to Serve with Baked Tofu

baked crispy tofu with rice and veggies
  • Liquid Measuring Cup. I love using these for whisking sauces and marinades—the high sides mean no spillover and the spout makes pouring easy.
  • Tofu Press. If you’re serious serious about cooking tofu, a tofu press is a worthy investment for squeezing out that excess liquid.
  • Measuring Beakers. These little measuring beakers measure tablespoons of liquid, which comes in handy when you’re making a marinade or anything else with a lot of liquid ingredients.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Press It for the Chewiest Texture. In my humble opinion, the best tofu is chewy and meaty—and you only get this by pressing it. That said! If you prefer your baked tofu to be soft, with a melt-in-your-mouth quality on the inside, you can get away with simply giving the tofu a good squeeze; this will release enough liquid to allow the marinade to soak in.
  • Skip the Silken Tofu. Silken tofu is fabulous in smoothies, soups, and desserts, but it’s not so fabulous for baking or stir frying. Even the extra-firm silken tofu has a soft, velvety texture and it doesn’t absorb marinades the same way refrigerated, water-packed extra-firm tofu does. If you’re not sure which is which, silken tofu is usually (but not always!) sold in aseptic boxes on the regular grocery store shelves.
  • Don’t Skip the Marinade. Bypass the silken tofu, but don’t skip the tofu marinade—whether it’s my recipe, something from a bottle, or something you whip up on your own. Tofu is a food that takes on whatever flavors you add to it, and if you don’t add any flavors, it’s not going to taste like much of anything.
  • Bake It. This recipe was developed specifically for baking in the oven. If you want to know how to cook tofu in an air fryer, see my Air Fryer Tofu; my Ultra Crispy Tofu recipe is for cooking tofu on the stovetop.

Baked Tofu

4.64 from 11 votes
This easy baked tofu is crispy on the outside, chewy inside, and so full of flavor. It's tofu you’ll actually look forward to eating!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes

Servings: 3 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Tofu and Baking:°

  • 1 (12-to 14-ounce) block extra firm tofu (do not use firm, soft, or silken)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch

For the Tofu Marinade:°

Optional, for Serving:

  • Stir-fried or steamed veggies of choice
  • Prepared brown rice or white rice

Instructions
 

  • Remove the tofu from the package and drain. With your hands, gently squeeze out as much water as possible without breaking or crushing the block. Wrap the tofu in paper towel and gently squeeze it once more. If time allows, wrap the tofu in fresh paper towels and press it for 15 minutes, either with a tofu press or by placing it between two plates and setting some heavy cans on top*.
  • Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Place them in a baking dish that holds them snugly in an even layer (I find an 8×8-inch baking dish works well).
  • In a mixing bowl or measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the marinade: soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ginger, and Sriracha. Drizzle over the tofu. If any pieces look bare, turn them over in the marinade a few times so all of the sides are coated. Marinate the tofu for 30 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425℉ and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. With a slotted spoon or your fingers, transfer the tofu to the center of the baking sheet (reserve the marinade for serving). Sprinkle the cornstarch over the top of the tofu, then toss gently to coat (don't worry if the cubes crumble a little bit; those crumbly bits will get crispy and be extra delicious). Spread the tofu into an even layer so the cubes are not touching.
  • Bake the tofu for 20 to 30 minutes, until it’s darkened at the edges and the edges are a little crisp. Rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through to promote even cooking. Remove tofu from the oven and drizzle with the reserved marinade. Enjoy immediately with rice and stir-fried veggies, add it to a salad or wrap, or munch it right off of the pan.

Video

Notes

  • *If you like your tofu firmer, chewier, and a little “meaty,” take time to press it. If you don’t mind a soft, creamy interior texture you can skip pressing.
  • Adapted from my Air Fryer Tofu
  • Marinade is my Tofu Marinade
  • TO STORE: Store the baked tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm leftover tofu in the microwave or in a 350°F oven until it’s heated through. Tofu can also be enjoyed cold or at room temperature.
  • TO FREEZE: Place the baked tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until they’re solid. Transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 3)Calories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 11gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gPotassium: 305mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 330IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Made this tonight and I think the tofu could have been okay if the instructions said to flip the tofu midway rather than just turning the pan around. As a result, I got tofu that was pretty well burnt. Did like the marinade though. All in all, a disappointment in a preparation I was looking forward to making.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe Jeanne. The directions indicated to: “Bake the tofu for 20 to 30 minutes, until it’s darkened at the edges and the edges are a little crisp.” At which point was it darkened at the edges before they ended up burnt for you? At 15 minutes you should be rotating your pan and at 20 minutes you should start looking for those darkened edges, although all ovens are different so you definitely need to keep an eye on them. Hope this helps!