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Vegan Chicken Nuggets

These Vegan Chicken Nuggets are tastier than the ones you ate growing up. Golden and crispy outside and firm and meaty inside, with that signature umami flavor. Check out the recipe to discover the secrets!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 nuggets (approx)
Author: Thomas


  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt see note
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu (1 block)
  • 4 Tablespoons peanut oil or other neutral oil
  • Dipping sauce s to serve with


  • Combine the nutritional yeast, cornstarch, ground white pepper, and salt in a rimmed plate or wide bowl. Mix and toss until well combined.
  • Drain the tofu and cut it into squares or nugget-shaped pieces, each about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick. Do not press the water out of the tofu.
  • Take the tofu pieces one at a time and place them in the bowl of dry ingredients. Turn them over several times to ensure thorough and even coating, including on the edges. Place the coated pieces of tofu onto a clean plate or baking tray, gripping the tofu by the edges so you don’t accidentally pull much of the coating off.
  • Once all the tofu pieces are coated, heat the peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the tofu pieces without overlapping them. Wait 2 minutes before moving the tofu pieces. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Continue to flip every 1-2 minutes from there until both sides are crispy and golden brown. It should take 6-8 minutes total. Transfer cooked nuggets to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.


If you want to recreate the fast-food nugget flavor, you can use MSG-laced salt instead of salt. There is a link in the post above to a Japanese brand. Korean "seasoning salt" also works.
You can cook the nuggets in batches if you need to, depending on the size of your skillet.
You can reheat cold nuggets in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.