This easy pretzel crusted tofu recipe is a fun and delicious way to enjoy tofu! Crispy and crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Serve as is with a spritz of lemon and some fresh chopped herbs or add a few strips to your favorite lunch or dinner.
These gluten-free vegan pretzel crusted tofu strips are a perfect crispy addition to any meal. They also make a great snack with hummus or this simple vegan "honey" mustard sauce.
Ingredients for pretzel crusted tofu
- Extra-firm tofu
- Avocado or olive oil
- Gluten-free pretzels: I used From The Ground Up, both the sticks and the twists work! Check out the list below for other vegan gluten-free pretzels.
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
Are pretzels vegan?
Yes, store-bought bags of sea salt pretzels are typically vegan (Synder's, Rold Gold, Snack Factory, etc.). However, I recommend always double checking the label just to be sure! Additionally, flavored variations are most commonly not vegan (unless the pretzels are made by a vegan company), so stick with sea salt or be sure to read the label carefully.
Vegan gluten-free pretzel options
- FitJoy Grain Free Pretzels (all flavors are vegan & gluten-free)
- From The Ground Up (all products are vegan & gluten-free, I used the cauliflower pretzel twists in this recipe)
- Quinn Snacks sea salt pretzels
- Savor By Suzie pretzels (the roasted garlic and herb would be delightful in this recipe)
How to make pretzel crusted tofu
First, prepare the tofu; press the tofu if needed (10-15 minutes), then place the block onto its side and slice it into thirds. Stack the slices back on top of each other and then slice into fourths (creating long strips).
Feel free to cut the tofu in any shape or size that you prefer!
*If your tofu is still wet to the touch when slicing, be sure to use a dish cloth and slightly pat each piece to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Then, crush pretzels into a coarse texture. It should not resemble a flour, bits of pretzel should still be present.
This can be done a few different ways;
- Blender: Add pretzels to a blender or food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds.
- Bowl: Add to a bowl and crush with the bottom of a glass
- Bag: Add to a resealable bag and seal. Crush using a glass or other hard object.
Next, add garlic and pepper to the crushed pretzels and set aside. Add oil to another shallow bowl and place it next to the pretzel bowl.
Coat the tofu (all sides) in a bit of oil, and then add directly to pretzel and herb mix (coating all sides).
Place directly into an oiled cast iron skillet or something similar.
Cook each side for 5 minutes or until golden brown/charred to your liking.
Remove from skillet and place on cooling rack (or directly into a salad or grain bowl).
Substitutions & Variations
Tofu & tofu shapes: only use extra-firm tofu, other variations of tofu are too delicate for this recipe. Feel free to cut the tofu into desired size strips or cut into cubes instead (insert toothpicks for an easy and fun finger food option).
Add ⅛-1/4 teaspoon of paprika for additional flavor
For a hint of spice add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the crushed pretzel mix
Top with a spritz of lemon juice and parsley (freshly chopped or dried)
What to serve with pretzel crusted tofu
- Serve with brown rice, roasted carrots, and sautéed green beans
- Add to your favorite grain bowl (like this pesto grain bowl)
- Top your favorite salad with a few strips
- Enjoy with mashed cauliflower or potatoes
- Add to tacos, wraps, or paninis
- Swap the crispy tofu for pretzel crusted tofu in this vegan smoked gouda grilled cheese
Store covered in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge.
To reheat, add strips to a warm skillet with a small drizzle of oil. Heat both sides for 3-4 minutes or until warm. The strips can be warmed in the microwave, however it will become slightly less crisp.
Pretzel Crusted Tofu
- 2 shallow bowls
- measuring cup + spoons
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- 1 cup gluten-free pretzels (I used From The Ground Up sea salt pretzels)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Pair with vegan "honey" mustard and/or these optional toppings
- spritz lemon juice
- chopped parsley, chives or cilantro
- Press tofu if desired for 5-10 min or pat dry (gently press with a dishcloth to soak up any extra moisture).
- Place tofu block onto its side and slice into 3 pieces. Stack the three pieces on top of one another and slice into fourths (making rectangle strips). *if the tofu is still wet when slicing, gently press again with a dish cloth to absorb the moisture.
- Crush pretzels in a bowl by hand or toss into a blender or food processor and blitz until a coarse texture is achieved (similar to sand, but you want a portion of pretzel bits to remain). Add to a shallow bowl with garlic and pepper and stir to combine. Place another shallow bowl next to the pretzel bowl and add oil.
- Place each strip into the oil (coating both sides). Then add directly to the crushed pretzel mixture and coat each side. Add each strip to a skillet over medium heat and cook 4-5 minutes on each side (or until golden brown/charred to your liking). *depending on the size of your skillet, you will have to do two rounds. Wipe your skillet in between rounds to prevent a smoky mess! *if you're using a cast iron skillet, lower the heat slightly after you flip the strips.
- Remove from heat and enjoy as is or on salads, grain bowls, wraps, or tacos.