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Vegan Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu Nuggets


I was asked to participate in the: #SoyDelishRecipeContest campaign, sponsored by Soy Connection and the United Soybean Board. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.










Let’s talk soy! 



I’ve been consuming soy products since circa 2002! Since the soy industry has exploded and you can find a never ending array of soy options at the market today and even on many dining menus. 

I personally love utilizing soy in recipes as it’s packed with nutrients and is such a versatile ingredient. You can use it in everything from smoothies to salads, sauces and more. The options are truly endless as to what you ca do with it. 

Between soy milk, soybean oil (also known as vegetable oil) and shortenings, and soy foods like tempeh, tofu, edamame, and miso, you can work soy into nearly any meal. 

Soy is heart healthy. Both soybean oil and soy protein carry an FDA heart health claim, confirming soy’s ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.





Protein plays a vital role in nutrition.



Did you know?



  • Soy is a complete plant-based protein that has all nine essential amino acids your body needs in the recommended amounts, making it comparable to animal protein 
  • Soy protein is versatile and a source of folate, potassium and fiber. It’s also naturally gluten-free.






Soybean Oil is the most widely used edible oil in the U.S., and is commonly labeled as “vegetable oil.” It has a neutral flavor, making it great for baking, frying and sautéing because it will allow your other ingredients to shine. Soybean oil blends well with other fats and oils, making it a common ingredient in salad dressings, sauces and baked goods.


Soybeans are sustainable too! More than 515,000 American soybean farmers use sustainable practices with soybean farming. U.S. soybean production benefits from robust conservation programs to reduce soil erosion and protect water quality.  By buying U.S. grown ingredients, you are helping to lower the carbon footprint associated with food production by shortening the distance from the farm to your fork. 


Enter Soy Connection’s Soy Delish Recipe Contest with your favorite original recipe that includes soy as an ingredient. The grand prize winner will win a $250 gift card!


Let’s talk about these Air Fried buffalo Tofu Nuggets!


I received an air fryer years ago, and as a creature of habit I delayed working with it. My train of thought was that it wasn’t practical as many didn’t own one. Today, everyone has an air fryer! We’ve explored a variety of air fryer recipes, and I was curious how working with tofu would be different. Just like that, the vegan Crispy Air Fried Tofu Nuggets were born! I really loved the way these came out and you can easily play around with the flavors.


One step that’s imperative with creating the perfect meat replica? Freezing! Freezing tofu enables you to create a chewier texture. Also, frying after saucing for the 2nd round is key. It makes the coating firm even when sauced. If you skip the second fry you’ll be left with a soggy mess. 





What’s also fab about this recipe? It’s quick, easy, affordable, is a good source of plant protein, air fried, crispy and not soggy like other recipes, gluten free, filling, perfect for any season, and has a great chewy texture!



If you’re searching for more ways to love tofu, you have to try these new crispy vegan Air Fried Buffalo Tofu Nuggets!

























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Vegan Air Fryer Buffalo Tofu Nuggets

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  • Author: Gabrielle
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x






  1. Remove tofu block from the package and discard liquid. Wrap tofu in paper towels or a cheesecloth, place on a plate, and cover with a heavy dish pot for about 10 minutes to remove remaining water. 
  2. Cut tofu into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces and place in the freezer for 8 hours to overnight. Freezing the tofu provides a chewier texture that mimics chicken.
  3. Remove tofu from freezer and thaw on paper towels or a dry cheesecloth. Pat dry.
  4. While tofu is thawing, put cornstarch into a resealable plastic bag. Place tofu into the bag with the cornstarch, seal, and shake to coat the tofu pieces completely. Remove the tofu from the bag and set aside.
  5. Preheat an air fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  6. Pour the almond milk into a small bowl and dredge each piece of tofu in the almond-milk.
  7. Place bread crumbs or Panko, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper in the resealable plastic bag with the cornstarch residue; shake until well mixed. 
  8. Place each piece of tofu, one at a time, back in the bag with the bread crumb mixture
  9. Shake the bag until tofu piece is completely coated, tap gently to shake off excess, and place tofu on a wire rack while you repeat with remaining tofu pieces.
  10. Add coated tofu to the air fryer basket and cook for 10-15 minutes, stopping to flip them every 5 minutes. Cook until lightly golden.
  11. Place 1/3 cup buffalo sauce in a bowl, add cooked tofu bites, and toss to coat. Drizzle remaining buffalo sauce over tofu and continue tossing to coat.
  12. Pop back in the air fryer for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately topping with additional sauce if desired. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with vegan blue cheese dressing.



  • You can use breadcrumbs or Panko for the coating. I personally prefer Panko as aesthetically it looks more like breaded chicken and adds even more texture. Both work though! (images are with breadcrumbs)
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins








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