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Crispy vegan fried “chicken” is a perfect plant-based recipe. The easy double breading is seasoned perfectly, and marinated tofu creates a juicy, flavorful “meat” that really does taste just like chicken.

Vegan fried chicken made from tofu

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • This vegan fried “chicken” is an incredible meatless version of classic fried chicken that I just know you’re going to love. It tastes convincingly like the real thing – tender, juicy “meat” encased in a crunchy, golden, seasoned breading. Pair it with mashed potatoes and green beans for a totally vegan comfort meal.
  • A double-dip in the batter gives you a delicious breading that crisps up beautifully. It’s not too thick, and it doesn’t flake off. Perfect!
  • It’s a little time consuming because of the freezing & thawing process, but I promise you it’s 100% worth it. Freezing and thawing the tofu twice gives you the perfect chicken texture!

Key Ingredients

Firm Tofu – After freezing and thawing the tofu twice, you’ll want to press the tofu between two cutting boards to remove as much liquid as possible. After that, press on it with a kitchen towel to remove a little more. Be careful not to use too much pressure.

All-Purpose Flour – All-purpose flour and cornstarch give you the crispy breading you want with fried chicken. If you’re gluten free, you can sub this with a gluten-free all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio.

Seasonings – You can customize the seasoning blend for your vegan fried “chicken” breading however you like. Swap out the Italian seasoning for a Cajun blend, add red pepper flakes, skip the cayenne. Whatever your ideal fried chicken flavors are!

Chef’s Tips

  • It’s super important that you press all of the liquid out of the tofu. I mean, literally as much as you possibly can. If you don’t, your vegan fried “chicken” won’t have the right texture and won’t fry up like it should.
  • For really crispy fried “chicken”, drain it on a wire cooling rack over a layer of paper towels. If you lay them on a paper-towel-lined plate, the tofu will sit in the oil that drains off, which will keep it from getting as crispy as possible.
  • Use a deep-frying thermometer so you know exactly when your oil is hot enough to start frying! If it’s too hot, the breading will burn. Too cool, it’ll just soak up oil. If you don’t have a thermometer you can use, test the oil before dropping the battered tofu in it. Dip a the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil – if it bubbles immediately, it’s ready. If the bubbles are violent, though, it’s too hot.
  • You can fully prepare this recipe ahead of time, then let it cool completely and freeze it for later! Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did. Reheat the fried “chicken” in the oven at 400° Fahrenheit until warmed through. If you’ve got leftover vegan fried “chicken” you just want to refrigerate overnight, that works, too. Just let it cool completely then store it in an airtight container. Reheat it in the oven for the best texture.
Vegan fried chicken on a plate

Check Out These Vegan Recipes, Too!

Recipe By: Jasmine Comer
5 from 11 votes

Vegan Fried “Chicken” (Made with Tofu)


Crispy vegan fried "chicken" is a perfect plant-based recipe. The easy double breading is seasoned perfectly, and marinated tofu creates a juicy, flavorful "meat" that really does taste just like chicken.
4 servings

Equipment

  • freezer
  • large mixing bowl
  • 2 medium mixing bowls
  • cast-iron skillet
  • wire cooling rack or large plate
  • Paper towels

Ingredients

For the Tofu "Chicken"

  • 1 16-ounce package firm tofu
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • neutral oil for frying

For the Breading

Instructions

For the Tofu "Chicken"

  • Place 1 16-ounce package firm tofu in freezer. Once frozen, remove from freezer and defrost fully. Repeat process.
  • When tofu is fully thawed a second time, open package and drain all liquid. Press tofu to remove any remaining liquid, then break tofu into bite-sized pieces.
  • Place tofu pieces in large bowl and cover with 1 ½ cups vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon hot sauce. Set aside.
    Tofu in glass bowl with vegetable broth

For the Breading

  • In one medium bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk and 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
    Milk and apple cider vinegar in white bowl
  • In separate medium bowl, mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon onion powder, ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Set aside.
    Breading mixture in white bowl
  • Dip tofu pieces into milk mixture, then dredge in flour blend. Tap pieces on side of bowl to shake off excess flour.
  • Dip in milk and dredge in flour a second time. Shake off any excess flour and place breaded tofu on large plate. Set aside. Repeat process with remaining tofu pieces.
    Tofu in breading mixture in white bowl

To Fry the Breaded Tofu "Chicken"

  • In cast-iron skillet, heat approximately ½-inch of neutral oil to 350°-360° Fahrenheit. Set up wire cooling rack over thick layer of paper towels to catch excess oil. Alternately, line large plate with paper towels.
  • Place battered tofu in oil and fry until golden brown, approximately 6 to 7 minutes, turning every 2 minutes or so.
  • Transfer fried tofu to wire cooling rack. Repeat until all tofu has been fried. Let cool and serve warm.
    Vegan fried chicken on white plate with paper towel
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 393calProtein: 18gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1090mgPotassium: 157mgTotal Carbs: 64gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gNet Carbs: 59gVitamin A: 510IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 296mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
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.

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28 Comments

  1. I messed up a bit ( don’t think they marinated as much as they should have) but wow! My non vegan daughter LOVED THIS —even the next day reheated!!! Trying again this week, without all the oil I really pray they turn out as good ❤️5 stars

    1. Molly | 40 Aprons Team Molly | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Glad she enjoyed! Thanks so much for the review! Let us know when you give it a try again!

  2. Could you cook these in the air fryer instead of frying?

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Definitely!

  3. Avatar Samuel Jungeblut says:

    This recipe is so good. I found this recipe about three weeks ago and just took my time to very deliberately prepare this main piece which I drizzled lightly with sriracha sauce…SO GOOD, not dissatisfied to any degree only looking forward to the leftovers and making it again 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻5 stars

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      I’m so happy this one was worth the wait, Samuel! Thanks so much for trying it and for sharing your review with us. 🙂

  4. Avatar S. Kalani says:

    This recipe was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m a meat eater and this was surprisingly good for vegan.5 stars

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      That’s high praise, indeed! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback, we really appreciate it!

  5. this was soooo good! i didn’t get enough water out of the tofu and it was a little “melt in your mouth” than just juicy and moist, but that’s my fault! I will be making this again though ❤️5 stars

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your review, Regina! Next time you try it, be sure to let us know how you like it with the extra moisture pressed out.

  6. I loved this so much!! I noticed after frying them for 7 minutes and placing them on a plate with paper towels, they were still a little squishy/moist. I wanted them crispier so I tried putting them in the oven on a lightly oiled baking sheet on 350 degrees F for 10 min and they got AMAZINGLY crispy just how I wanted!5 stars

    1. Grace | 40 Aprons Team Grace | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Thanks so much for the recommendation! I’ll have to try that next time! So glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for sharing ♥

  7. Avatar Stalis Edwards says:

    This was super delicious and crispy. I liked the texture I will most definitely be trying this again and again. I love this method to cooking the tofu!5 stars

    1. Megan | 40 Aprons Team Megan | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Thank you so much for your kind review, Stalis! I’m so happy you enjoyed this tofu recipe so much.

  8. This might be a stupid question, but when thawing the tofu do you do it in the fridge or on the counter?

    1. Grace | 40 Aprons Team Grace | 40 Aprons Team says:

      There are no stupid questions here, Andrea! Depending on how much time you have, you can thaw tofu either on the counter or in the fridge. It would be best to stick your frozen tofu in the fridge and have it thaw throughout the day or overnight. It takes about 6 hours to thaw on the counter.

  9. I halved the milk and flour mixtures, and had plenty. These were amazing! I also added some Poultry Seasoning to the flour and it made it really taste like chicken! Thank you!!5 stars

    1. Anna Claire | 40 Aprons Team Anna Claire | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Great tips! So glad you enjoyed it and got your fried chicken fix.

  10. Absolutely delicious!!!!5 stars

    1. Anna Claire | 40 Aprons Team Anna Claire | 40 Aprons Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!5 stars

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