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Updated: Sep 8, 2021

This AIR FRIED POPCORN TOFU recipe (a.k.a., Tofu Nuggets) will elevate your snacking game to the next level!

Or have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner... they‘re that good!

I grew up loving popcorn chicken, or chicken nuggets. They were just fun to eat! Once I stopped eating meat, I thought that was one of the things I would have to give up. Then, along came tofu to save the day!

This is a simple recipe to get a tasty treat. If you have more time (or like to prep ahead of time), you can freeze the tofu for at least 6 hours after it’s been drained. This will improve the texture and make it more ’meaty’. It will also make the tofu absorb any marinade a lot better (hence, more flavor!). After freezing, thaw out in your microwave and press again before marinating In your favorite marinade. You could use a bit of vegetable broth, garlic and other spices to make your tofu juicy and flavorful. However, this recipe is quite good as is. And, requires a lot less prepping... my kind of recipe!

I also cooked these in an air fryer to keep the oil content low and get a crispy finish. You could also bake these in a regular oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown (don’t forget to turn your nuggets halfway through cooking!). Or you could deep fry them until golden. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Let me know if you do try it by leaving a comment or sharing a picture. Happy cooking!



  • 14 oz block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained

  • 1-2 Tbsp. Tamari or Liquid Aminos

  • 1/2 cup flour of choice

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable broth

  • 1 Tbsp. mustard (dijon or coarse)

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk

  • 1.5 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Once your tofu is drained, place the block in a shallow dish with the tamari to marinate the tofu. Flip over after several minutes.

  2. While the tofu marinates, add the flour, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, better, mustard, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, vegetable broth and milk into a large bowl and mix until combined. The consistency should resemble pancake batter. Add more milk or broth if you need to thin it out.

  3. Add panko breadcrumbs to separate bowl.

  4. Rip the marinated tofu into bite-sized pieces. Doing this will make it look like real popcorn chicken when done, but you can also cut into cubes.

  5. Dip tofu pieces in the batter, then into breadcrumbs, and then place in the basket of air fryer.

  6. Set air fryer at 350 degrees and “fry” for 12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. You may need to cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the basket. (If you don’t have an air fryer, bake in an oven at 400°F for 18 minutes).

  7. Serve hot with some sriracha mayo for dipping.

Let me know if you make this! Tag me by using @mindfulgrub or the hashtag #mindfulgrub when you share your creations on social media. I‘d love to hear how it went for you!

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This post may contain affiliate links, which may or may not mean that I received some kind of compensation for doing so. Sometimes I just share links and products that I love. Rest assured, I will never recommend anything that I don’t use or like myself.

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