Mexican inspired baked tofu recipe

The magic ingredient that sets any great vegan bowl apart is fried tofu. Chewy, crispy, flavorful and warm, this little nugget is seasoned with flavorful Mexican spices and has a burst of flavor. Food blogger Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant’s Table loves putting together vegetarian bowls for lunch. The best way to add protein and texture to these bowls is with some baked tofu.

Tofu is delicious when fried, but we find that baking it produces a crispy outside and a softer, chewier inside. Many baked tofu recipes come with store-bought marinades or a lackluster flavor, but Prints wanted to find a way to make this vegetarian kitchen staple easier and tastier to make at home. Enter, her Mexican-inspired baked tofu recipe. With less than 10 ingredients and a 15-minute baking time, the recipe is made with natural and easy-to-find components.

“The trick to getting the most flavor and texture is to marinate your tofu longer,” says Prints, so set aside some marinating time and follow our simple recipe to ensure you have delicious baked tofu on a regular basis.

Gather the ingredients for Mexican-inspired baked tofu

To make this recipe you will need olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cumin, chili powder, salt, smoked paprika, oregano (use Mexican oregano for authentic results, though regular oregano also tastes great), garlic and of course firm or extra firm tofu.

Make the marinade

Place all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Pour into a ziplock bag.

Marinate tofu

Place the tofu cubes in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Pat it flat to remove any air bubbles and seal the bag tightly. Shake it well to make sure all the cubes are covered with the marinade.

Prints notes: “The key to getting the most flavor out of your marinated baked tofu is to leave it in the marinade for as long as possible…2 hours minimum and an 8 hour golden zone. You can advance the marinade and let marinate the tofu for a day.”

Refrigerate the bag for at least a few hours, preferably overnight or up to 24 hours.

Fry tofu

When you’re ready to bake the tofu, preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat.

Spread the marinated tofu cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet that is not lined with parchment paper. Toast the tofu for 5 minutes. Turn the cubes over and fry for another 5 minutes. Turn them over again and fry for another 3 minutes, until the tofu is golden brown and crispy.

Serve in a cereal bowl or with dipping sauce

“I like to eat our baked tofu straight from the griddle. I can’t help it – it’s so good!” says Prints. Serve it with a quick salsa or dipping sauce for an easy appetizer.

To use in grain bowls or salads, let the tofu cool completely. Once cool, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use in your favorite recipes.

Leftover Mexican-inspired baked tofu can be stored for up to 5 days.