I have a confession to make….
I love(d) Chick-fil-A. I know, I know! It’s not healthy, it’s not good for the environment, and it’s definitely not good for our social climate. But there’s something about it I crave–often intensely–until I sate what could’ve been a brisk but shameful dip into, let’s face it, some hateful junk food.
Except when I say brisk, I actually mean we’d be sitting in line, out in the middle of one our city’s busiest streets, behind 40 other cars doing the same thing. O and I at one time, pre-gay-hatred-exposure, considered franchising one of those places and putting it downtown (packed full of 9-to-5ers rushing to work, no other Chick-fil-A around for miles), sheer dreams of diving into a sea of coins, Scrooge McDuck-style.
But these days, we’re pretty conscious of where and what we eat, trying to avoid a lot of meat–especially highly processed, factory farmed meat with more injections than Heidi Montag–and spend our money only with companies whose values don’t.. totally clash with what we think is right and acceptable in this life. Sometimes we falter, but most of the time we stay pretty true to that. So what to do when the Chick-fil-A craving strikes?
Chick-fil-A tofu nuggets, people. Chick-fil-A tofu nuggets. With vegan “honey” mustard dipping sauce.
I took a few Chick-fil-A nugget copycat recipes and essentially converted it into a fried tofu recipe, complete with a powered sugary breading and pickle juice marinade. We were both amazed at how well these turned out, how similar to the addictive little nuggets we so guiltily crave! The breading is crunchy and flavorful without being too heavy, the torn tofu is equally flavorful and packed with seasoning thanks to the pickle brine, and the tearing leaves little nuggets that are not so perfectly cubed that they seem immediately “chickenless”.
The honey mustard sauce is just like I remember honey mustard sauce, subbing really only vegan mayo for the mayonnaise and agave nectar for the honey. Because really, what’s a chicken nugget without a sauce in which to dunk your little bites?
Even better, these come together quickly and without much oil, making them much healthier than the originals. And guess what, none of your money is going towards the “questionable giving” that made Chick-fil-A known for more than its unfortunately delicious bites. About that, you can feel even better about swapping chicken for tofu and a quick jaunt to that infamous locale for a delicious fast-food-inspired spread at home.
- oil for frying; vegetable, canola, or peanut oil preferred
For the Tofu Nuggets
- 1 pound tofu firm or extra-firm
- ¾ – 1 cup dill pickle juice (you want the old-school, bright green juice; not the deli-pickle kind)
For the Tofu Nugget Breading
For the Honey Mustard
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- medium bowl with lid (or plastic wrap to cover)
- 2 small bowls
- Large skillet
- plate lined with paper towels (or wire cooling rack over paper towels)
- Tear tofu block into nugget-sized pieces and place pieces in medium bowl. Pour pickle juice over tofu and cover bowl. Let tofu marinate in pickle juice 25 minutes.
- While tofu marinates, whisk together breading ingredients in small bowl until mixture is fully combined. Set aside.
- In third small bowl, mix together all honey mustard ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- After tofu has marinated 25 minutes, drain all liquid and transfer tofu to breading mixture. Toss or stir well to thoroughly coat tofu pieces in breading.
- Pour thin layer of oil (approximately 1 tablespoon) in skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add breaded tofu to skillet in one even layer, working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding. Turn pieces over regularly to brown on all sides.
- Transfer browned tofu pieces to plate lined with paper towels or wire cooling rack over paper towels. Let excess oil drain and repeat process with any remaining breaded tofu, until all tofu has been fried. Serve warm with chilled honey mustard sauce.
- For crispier breading, drain the tofu on a wire cooling rack rather than a plate lined with paper towels.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.