I'm always on the lookout for easy, flavor-packed weekday vegetarian meals. One of my favorite lunch spots, Veggie Grill, offers a plant-based buffalo "chicken" wrap with ranch dressing that delivers a perfect combination of spicy, tangy buffalo hot sauce with cool ranch dressing.
So, after ordering the wrap one too many times, I set out to create a weeknight dinner inspired by the original. Here, crispy panko-coated tofu tenders bake alongside honey-glazed brussels sprouts. Out of the oven, the tenders are slathered in buttery buffalo sauce, and the brussels sprouts are tossed with blue cheese.
The Best Tofu for Tenders
These tofu tenders are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The key to crispier tofu is to use extra-firm tofu. If you use a softer variety, the tofu might end up soggy because of the extra moisture.
I recommend pressing the tofu before cooking to draw out excess moisture. I typically place the block of tofu on a cutting board with a paper towel or kitchen towel on top of it. Then, I'll place a heavy cutting board (or a sheet pan with a heavy item) on top of the towel for about 20 to 25 minutes.
How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu
For these tenders, I was really looking for a crispy, crunchy outer coating. Here are a few essential tips:
- Press the tofu to remove excess moisture beforehand, like mentioned above.
- Coat the tenders in cornstarch: Cornstarch helps form a defined, crispy crust for these tenders, locking in moisture on the inside.
- Finish with a panko coating: I love the texture of panko breadcrumbs! They are super crispy and adhere well to the tofu.
How to Make Buffalo Sauce
The buffalo sauce for these tenders could not be easier! Melt butter in a small saucepan, then add hot sauce until simmering. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then toss with the tenders.
I recommend using Frank's Hot Sauce for its delicious balance of spicy and tangy flavors. But if you have another brand you like, feel free to try it out!
Mix and Match Veggies
Though brussels sprouts and blue cheese are a classic combination, this dish has so many great veggie options! For example, you could try roasting cubed butternut squash, sliced fennel, or matchstick-shaped carrots.
How to Serve
You could absolutely serve this dish on its own or, dress it up a bit:
- Serve the buffalo tofu with a homemade or store-bought ranch dressing.
- Enjoy this meal with sweet potato fries or a crisp fennel salad.
More Tofu-tastic Recipes!
Sheet Pan Buffalo Tofu and Blue Cheese Brussels Sprouts
For the baked tofu
1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Frank's hot sauce
1 cup panko-style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
For the blue cheese brussels sprouts
2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the buffalo sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce
1/2 cups blue cheese, crumbled into small pieces
Ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought), for dipping
Press the tofu:
Put the block of drained tofu in the center of a cutting board with a paper towel or kitchen towel on top of it. Set another heavy cutting board (or a sheet pan with a heavy pan placed on top) over the towel.
Allow the tofu to drain any excess moisture for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cut the tofu:
Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick strips (1/2-inch wide and 3-inches long).
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425°F and prep your dredging station.
Prepare the dredging station:
In a wide, shallow bowl, combine baking powder and cornstarch. In a medium bowl, combine milk, soy sauce, and hot sauce. In another wide, shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
Prepare the sheet pan for tofu and brussels sprouts:
Line a large 18-inch by 12-inch sheet pan with parchment paper. Divide an imaginary line across half of the sheet pan (you will place the tofu sticks on one half and the brussels sprouts on the other half). Drizzle the olive oil all over the tofu side of the pan, then set aside.
Dredge the tofu:
Dip each tofu strip into the cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess, then dip in the milk. Dip again in the cornstarch, then dip in the milk once more. Finally, dip the strip in the breadcrumbs and shake off any excess crumbs. Place the coated tofu tender on the baking sheet and repeat dredging the remaining tenders.
Make sure the tofu tenders are not touching each other.
Bake the tofu and prep the brussels sprouts:
Bake the tofu for 15 minutes, or until crispy on one side.
While the tofu bakes, combine the brussels sprouts, olive oil, honey, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl.
Bake the tofu and brussels sprouts:
Remove the tofu from the oven. Using tongs, flip the tofu and drizzle with an additional tablespoon of olive oil.
Arrange brussels sprouts in an even layer on the other half of the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes, flipping the brussels sprouts halfway through.
After 20 minutes, brussels sprouts should be cooked through with a golden-brown color, and tofu should be crispy on both sides.
Make the buffalo sauce:
Just before the tofu finishes baking, prep the buffalo sauce. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the hot sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
To serve, toss the brussels sprouts with blue cheese. Place the baked tofu in a heatproof bowl, and toss with buffalo sauce.
Serve immediately, as the sauced tenders will lose crispiness after cooling down.
Storage and reheating:
Buffalo tenders are best eaten the same day, but leftovers can be stored for up to 1 day in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftover brussels sprouts can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Both tenders and brussels sprouts can be reheated in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes until warmed through.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 29g||38%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||64%|
|Total Carbohydrate 65g||24%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 75mg||375%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|