Vegan Chicken Nuggets are perfectly poppable bites that are great for dunking into your favorite dipping sauce. Consider making a double batch because they will disappear fast!

bite taken out of a vegan chicken nugget, being dipped by a hand in yellow sauce

It’s hard to get kids to eat just about anything sometimes, especially if you’ve got picky eaters in the house. Satisfy their hungry bellies with the best vegan kid-friendly recipes! Some of my favorites include Simple Vegan Pancakes, The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese, and of course Vegan Sloppy Joes!

Vegan Chicken Nuggets

Just like my Vegan Fried Chicken, these easy to make Vegan Chicken Nuggets still have everything you love about classic chicken nuggets, just without the meat. Tofu is marinated in a simple savory blend of ingredients, coated in a seasoned cornflake crumb coating, and baked to crispy perfection.

When made just right (and it’s honestly hard to mess up), these Vegan Nuggets turn out soft and tender on the inside while being satisfyingly crunchy on the outside. Dunk them in my favorite homemade dipping sauce or whatever you enjoy most from the store! 

lots of vegan chicken nuggets in a bowl with one showing the inside

What’s to love about these vegan nuggets?

  • They’re a kid-friendly option. If you have a picky eater in the house, they’ll gobble up these Vegan Chicken Nuggets!
  • The marinade really seals the deal with flavor. These Vegan Nuggets aren’t lacking in flavor, and that’s mainly because of the soy sauce based marinade. Don’t skip this super easy and vital step for the best nuggets!
  • You can serve them in a variety of ways. Besides just dunking the nuggets in ketchup, ranch or barbecue sauce, there are so many ways to enjoy them! Toss them into tacos, enjoy on top of a salad, use them as a protein in a buddha bowl, etc. The list goes on and on, so get creative!

How to make vegan chicken nuggets

Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

Prepare the tofu

Press your tofu to remove the excess water, then rip it into bite-sized pieces. You can cut them if you prefer.

In a large bowl, whisk all the marinade ingredients together until well combined. Add the tofu pieces to the bowl and stir gently to coat the pieces. Let them marinate for about 10 minutes.

ripped tofu chunks in a glass bowl with soy sauce marinade on wooden background

Bread and bake the tofu

Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet or two with parchment paper and spray with oil so the tofu won’t stick.

Add the plant milk to a medium bowl. Add the flour to another bowl.

In a food processor, add the cornflakes, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Pour onto a large rimmed plate or bowl.

bowl with breadcrumbs, flour and milk on wooden background

Remove a piece of tofu from the marinade and dip into the flour, then dip into the milk. Shake off excess milk then roll in the cornflake crumbs to coat. Place the tofu on the prepared pan and continue until all pieces are coated and on the pan. Spray them well with oil.

Bake the vegan chicken nuggets for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

crispy tofu chunks on a gold pan on wooden background

Serve with the classic dip included with this recipe, or simply dip in ketchup, ranch or barbecue sauce. Enjoy!

Frequently asked questions

  • How long will Vegan Chicken Nuggets stay fresh? Store leftover nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in an air fryer, oven, or stovetop until crispy again.
  • Can I make these nuggets in the air fryer? Yes! Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the coated tofu in a single layer (work in batches so the pieces aren’t touching). Spray with cooking spray, then set the fryer for 350ºF for 10 minutes. Flip the tofu, then cook for another 15 minutes.
  • How about the skillet? I much prefer to bake the tofu because it’s less hands on and requires much less oil than the stovetop. With that being said, the skillet works! Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on the stovetop. Add the pieces into the pan (making sure they aren’t touching) and cook until each side is golden brown. It helps if you leave the pieces alone so they have plenty of time to get crispy.
crispy breaded vegan chicken nuggets in a shallow bowl with yellow dipping sauce, blue towel in background

Craving some vegan chicken? I’ve got you covered!

breaded nugget being dipped in yellow sauce with a bite taken out of it
4.83 stars (17 ratings)

Vegan Chicken Nuggets

Vegan Chicken Nuggets are perfectly poppable bites that are great for dunking into your favorite dipping sauce. Consider making a double batch because they will disappear fast!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Tofu pressing time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


Tofu + Marinade

  • (2) 14.5 ounce blocks firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Milk + Flour Batter

Cornflake Crumb Coating

  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • spray oil, for baking

Optional Classic Dipping Sauce


Press, rip and marinate tofu

  • Press the tofu by wrapping in paper towels (or a clean dry tea towel). Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for about 30 minutes.
  • Rip tofu into pieces – Slice the tofu into about 6 slices. Now, rip each slice into medium-large pieces. You can also simply cut them into cubes, if you prefer, but ripping gives the tofu a great texture for the nuggets.
  • Marinate – In a large bowl, whisk all the marinade ingredients together until well combined. Add the tofu pieces to the bowl and stir gently to coat the pieces. Let marinate for 10 minutes while you prepare the batter and coatings.

Bread the tofu and bake the nuggets

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet or two with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. This will help the nuggets be very crispy and not stick.
  • Place milk and flour in bowls – Pour the plant milk into a medium sized bowl. Place the flour in another bowl.
  • Prepare cornflake crumb mixture – In a food processor, add the cornflakes, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add the crumbs to a medium bowl. Place the bowl of milk, flour and crumbs next to each other for a dipping station that is also close to the prepared pan.
  • Coat the tofu – Remove a piece of tofu from the marinade and dip it in the flour. Shake off excess flour and dip into the milk. Shake off any excess milk, then roll in the cornflake crumb mixture to coat. Place on the baking sheet and continue until all the pieces are coated and ready to bake.
  • Bake tofu nuggets – Spray the tofu nuggets well with cooking spray. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 10-15 more minutes, until golden and crispy. Alternatively, fry them for a few minutes on each side in a pan coated in oil over medium-high heat, in batches.
  • Make the quick classic dip – Simply whisk all dip ingredients in a bowl. That's it!
  • Serve vegan chicken nuggets with classic dip, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce or ranch and enjoy.


  1. Gluten free? Use gluten free tamari and gluten free flour.
  2. If you don’t want to use cornflakes, vegan panko breadcrumbs work in place, though they are not gluten free. And I highly prefer the crunch of cornflakes.
  3. Leftovers: Store leftover nuggets in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, and reheat in an air fryer, oven or stovetop until crispy again.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 796mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 436IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

This recipe was originally published in 2020 and has been updated with newer writing and helpful information. I also added an extra step when coating the tofu, so the cornflake crumbs stick better.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Read my full disclosure here.

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  1. I re-read the comments and i wasn’t the only one with sticking issues. I did tear the pieces and I did try to make it finer. What about more cornstarch? Would that help?

    PS I usually like all Nora’s recipes!

    1. Hi Melinda, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe. Yes, I’ve noticed quite a few comments where people are having trouble getting the coating to stick and I’m going to do some testing this week. It sounds like it might need a bit of a revision!

    2. Just wanted to let you know that after some testing I added an extra step that really helps the cornflake crumbs stick better, so that should solve the problem that some folks have had! Thank you.

  2. Hi Nora, I followed this recipe but cut my tofu into steaks to create “fried chicken” for a sandwich with bread and butter pickles and vegan mayo. It worked wonderfully and was so delicious! I’ll echo other comments and say that the cornflakes must be crushed VERY fine in order to stick to the tofu. Uneven coverage didn’t matter much for my purposes, but it’s something to note. These were easy enough and delicious enough that I’ll definitely be making them again.

    1. This recipe did not work at all for me.
      As much as I love nora cooks, and I do, I use her recipes all the time, this was an utter disaster.
      First off like many said the toppings do not stick to the tofu at all so I wound up with almost naked tofu and a bowl full of wasted topping.
      I did persevere though and I cooked it and it had absolutely no taste whatsoever.
      It was a lot of cleanup, a lot of cooking a lot of preparation and I’m still not done cleaning.
      Topping that didn’t stick to the tofu certainly stuck to everything else like glue.
      It also was a relatively expensive recipe to make I figure at least $9.
      I would recommend staying away from this recipe.
      But definitely keep looking at her recipes cuz most of them are absolutely fabulous.

      1. I’m really sorry to hear this didn’t work for you. Did you by any chance use the super firm variety of tofu that it pretty dry to begin with? That one makes it hard for things to stick to. Another trick is to make sure you process the cornflakes into coarse crumbs, not huge pieces or they will have trouble sticking. And don’t forget to dip in the milk/cornstarch first, then quickly into the bowl with the cornflake mixture, so it sticks. Anyhow, glad you’ve enjoyed some of my other recipes. 🙂

  3. Just wanted to note to read the directions and don’t assume marinade means overnight. The breading is wonderful and the texture after freezing is amazing but marinading overnight turns them into soy sauce sticks.

  4. Amazing, I was skeptical but even my husband liked them.  A little labor intensive for me but will definitely make again!

  5. I really wanted to love these but I was so frustrated making them. I started with using the corn flakes, the flakes werent sticking to the tofu and the flakes themselves were getting soggy from the marinade I guess…? So then I switched to the panko and it was the same thing, not sticking and getting soggy/clumpy. Idk what went wrong because I followed the directions. I ended up getting so annoyed that I threw them away. Any ideas on what could have gone wrong?

      1. I just wanted to add that the cornflakes did not stick to a smooth surface so I suggest to just rip the tofu block without cutting it 

      2. I’m sorry to hear that, Neve! Were your cornflakes crushed into fine crumbs? The larger pieces won’t stick as well. The cereal can also become a little soggy when touching the batter, but it crisps up in the oven.

        1. I’ll try to crush the cornflakes a bit more. Making this again this afternoon 🙂 Thanks for your reply and the suggestion! 

        2. I’d suggest editing your recipe to say to pulse the corn flakes until they are fine crumbs. It says not to do this, but I just made these and had the same issue of the crumbs not sticking. If I make this recipe again I’ll do them until they are ground to a fine powder.

          1. I actually don’t prefer fine crumbs, but it’s okay to blend until fine if you prefer. I like the texture better with crumbles, but not totally powder.

  6. This recipe is fantastic… I add red pepper flakes to the panko; I might try it next time with heavy whipping cream. Really outside job In this recipe.  Do you Have any Recipes for Asian cuisine without rice vinegar? And I hate to admit it; I wouldn’t say I do not like the flavor it gives.

  7. These nuggets are the best ever!!! I made the dipping sauce as well and it brings them to the next level! I pressed the tofu then tossed it in the freezer. Once frozen I put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes to defrost. This gave the tofu a chewy, more meat-like texture. I baked them as per the recipe to cook them but then used my air fryer to reheat the leftovers (370 for 4 minutes). It worked great! They were nice and crispy and the breading stayed on. Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe! I will definitely be making it again and again!

    1. Thanks for sharing your great review and comments! I’m thrilled that you love the nuggets! I also love the crisp they get when put into an air fryer! Happy cooking!

  8. I tried making these for dinner. I love the idea and want to nail these down. It seems my breading flaked off taking them out of the air fryer. Would too much moisture cause this?

    The sauce is excellent!

    1. Thanks Alex, let’s see if I can help! They are a little tricky in the air fryer, since air fryers tend to be small. So if you are putting too many tofu bites in at once, that could be part of the problem. Make sure you press the tofu well first, and handle the pieces very carefully. I honestly find it easier to bake them.

  9. Hey Nora! I was getting really frustrated after purchasing the fake meat “chkn” nuggets from the market. Though they are one of the easy meals I can throw in the oven for my three year old son, they are processed and aren’t exactly healthy. I was so happy when I made these and my son loved them! (my husband also liked them and I had to stop him from eating them all) They are super easy to make and one of his favorite meals. More kid friendly recipes of yours would be great!

  10. SO GOOD!!  The nuggets came out crispy and delicious. Even my mom, who can be a little fussy about tofu, loved these. Didn’t add the maple syrup to the dip and it still turned out delicious (and just a liiiiittle healthier). I crave these!

  11. I’ve been making tofu “chicken” for years – instead of just pressing it like you do, I use frozen & pressed tofu. The texture is remarkably like chicken. The tofu gets sliced, put on a baking sheet and frozen, then thawed and pressed. This can be repeated multiple times until there is very little water left. For “chicken” the marinade is vegetarian imitation chicken bouillon (from cubes) or vegetarian low salt bouillon plus paprika, onion power & parsley, and a little toasted sesame oil

  12. I LOVE THESE!! I am not fully vegan as I do enjoy the occasional chicken or steak but I just try to stay conscious of my meat consumption. I made these the other day and I’m about to make them again. They were that delicious! At first, I was going to use something else besides corn flakes but I am so glad I used the corn flakes because it gives the tofu such a nice crunch!! Definitely going to be a staple recipe for me!! Thank you! 

    1. Hi Danielle. I agree that the corn flakes give these nuggets a fantastic crunch! I’m glad you love them! Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments!

  13. My husband and I LOVED these! We made without spritzing with oil and it turned out just fine. Today we will make for the second time and have with oven fries (cooked on baking racks to mimic an air fryer). Reminds me of the days 25 years ago when I’d make my kids boxed chicken nuggets and bagged fries – but this is WAAAAAY tastier and better for us! Wish I knew then what I know now! I’d have done things very differently!

  14. I made this twice. It was a HUGE success with two non-vegans.

    I made a double recipe of the sauce and it was perfect. I think I must buy giant heads of cauliflower because I needed to use a whole box of panko flakes for mine.

    The second time I made it I did the following tweaks: used ginger grated with a microplaner instead of powdered ginger, cut the sugar by 1/3, and added some orange zest.

    Without the tweaks the recipe is a 5/5 with the tweaks it’s just a little bit different and better for my pre-diabetic spouse.

    Thank you for this!

  15. These are SO good! I used firm tofu and it was fine. There are a number of steps but they’re very easy to make. This is yet another keeper recipe from Nora. Well done and thank you!

  16. Hi Nora

    I make crispy tofu at least once a week. It goes well with EVERYTHING! What I do is put some cornstarch and seasoning salt in a gallon size zip lock and put the tofu cubes in and give them a good shake to coat. I place them on a greased cookie sheet in the oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes, turn and bake for another 15. Totally crispy and yumm. No need to marinate. Love, love, love!

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