Crispy Tofu Tacos with Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch
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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Crispy Tofu Tacos with Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch

These vegan crispy tofu tacos with cilantro-jalapeño ranch are bound to become a staple in your home. Even the most tofu-averse will open their hearts and tummies to this satisfying meal. Tofu cubes are battered and breaded in a seasoned panko breadcrumb mixture, baked to crispy perfection, and nestled into warm tortillas with cabbage, cilantro, and generous drizzles of zesty cilantro-jalapeño ranch.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 12 –16 tacos
Author: Ashley

Ingredients

Crispy Seasoned Baked Tofu

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (see note* for gluten-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, to taste (optional—omit if you're making for little ones)
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (e.g., expeller-pressed grapeseed oil), plus more for greasing/spraying
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (see note* for gluten-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 (16-ounce) block super firm, drained, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes

Tacos

  • 1 recipe Vegan Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch (recipe below)
  • 12 to 16 corn tortillas, warmed until soft and pliable
  • Shredded green or red cabbage
  • Cilantro, for garnishing
  • Lime wedges, for spritzing

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a large baking tray.
  • In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, salt, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne (if using). Then, stir in the oil until incorporated.
  • In another large, shallow bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, and lime juice until smooth.
  • From left to right, line up the tofu cubes, milk batter, oat crumbs, and baking tray. Place a handful of the tofu cubes into the batter, toss to coat, use a slotted spoon to shake off excess batter, and transfer to the oat and spice mixture. Toss to coat and transfer to the prepared baking tray. Repeat with the remaining tofu.
  • If extra crispiness is desired, spray*** the tofu cubes with a bit more oil.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown, tossing a few times throughout baking. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch (recipe below) and gather/prepare the toppings and garnishes.
  • Warm the tortillas just before assembling. Heat them, one at a time, in a small skillet over medium heat for 20–30 seconds per side.

To Assemble

  • Fill each tortilla with about 5 cubes of tofu, a small handful of cabbage, and a generous drizzle of ranch.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and serve with lime wedges for spritzing.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

*No gluten? No problem. GF Option 1: Substitute gluten-free panko for the panko breadcrumbs and brown rice flour for the spelt to make this recipe gluten-free. GF Option 2: Substitute old-fashioned rolled oats for the panko and brown rice flour for the spelt. To prepare the rolled oats, simply process them in a food processor or blender for about 20 to 30 seconds, or until ground into a coarse meal. GF Option 3: Use Rice Chex cereal using this technique to make gluten-free panko style bread crumbs. Substitute brown rice flour for the spelt flour.
**If you can't find super firm tofu, you can use firm tofu instead—you'll just need to press it for 20–30 minutes before cubing it.
***In addition to the pourable grapeseed oil that's added to the breadcrumb mixture, I use a non-aerosol grapeseed oil spray to lightly coat the cubes before baking.
****Crispy tofu method inspired by this recipe.