It’s a vegetarian’s tofu dream! This recipe is crispy and bursting with flavor. Eat it as a snack or serve it Italian style over brown rice with a side salad and Parmesan shavings. Superb.

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Crispy Italian Baked Tofu

Balsamic vinegar is the real flavor maker in this recipe. I recommend splurging on a high-quality Italian balsamic vinegar. But if you don’t want to break the bank, I LOVE this affordable brand.



  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into about 1 inch by 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, finely minced fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, finely minced fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • fresh basil


  1. In a medium bowl or tupperware, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the tofu.
  2. Add the tofu to the sauce and marinate for about 30 minutes or more in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Spread the tofu on a baking sheet and pour the sauce over the tofu, coating the tofu evenly.
  5. Bake the tofu for 15 minutes, and then turn the oven onto high broil and continue to cook for 8 minutes. (If you don’t have a broiler, raise the heat to 450 and cook for 10-12 minutes until the tofu appears crispy and browned).
  6. Serve with a side of rice and a hearty salad. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.


Box graters can be a pain, this microplane is my go-to for zesting citrus, grating garlic, nutmeg, or shredding mountains of Parmesan cheese!

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Cindy Stellar January 17, 2021 at 5:41 PM Reply

When making the Crispy Baked Tofu recipe, do you press the tofu before adding to recipe?

Emma Frisch January 18, 2021 at 5:26 PM Reply

Yes! That would absolutely help. This article has great tips on how to maximize crisp:

[…] squares, I tossed them in a tofu marinade, which I’ve altered slightly from this recipe here, and then let them crisp up in the air fryer. I tried these basil chickpea tofu squares air fried, […]

Emma Frisch December 2, 2020 at 2:19 PM Reply

LOVE your variation on this! I’ll have to try it one day 🙂 Thanks for the link to my site.

Renée October 20, 2020 at 11:38 PM Reply

Hi there, should the tofu be pressed prior to making this? Or will the liquid cook off during the baking?

Emma Frisch October 21, 2020 at 1:02 AM Reply

Hi! I didn’t press it when I made this recipe and it wasn’t an issue, but I have since learned that pressing the tofu can yield a crispier result. I say try it!

Kathleen Civell February 15, 2018 at 8:02 PM Reply

Hi Emma
I need to make 80 portions for a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch next Wednesday for Ithaca Welcomes Refugees. My budget is pretty low & I need to make all vegetarian. Can I freeze the baked tofu and reheat later?
Also, would you know where I could get some donations? Thanks
Kathleen covell. Ithaca welcomes

Emma Frisch February 16, 2018 at 3:57 PM Reply

Hi Kathleen! Great question, and so honored that you’re making this for such an incredible cause. Yes, you can freeze the baked tofu and reheat later – no problem. Here’s another great article on freezing tofu: As for donations, I would see if Greenstar would be willing to offer donations – this seems like a very aligned cause. Additionally, you could contact the Ithaca Farmers Market and see if they were willing to send a memo out to vendors asking for donations. Hope this helps! Xo, E

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