April 2, 2024

Spicy Tofu Nuggets and Tahini Ranch

Recipe: Desiree Nielsen

“It’s always hard to pick favorites, but if there is one recipe in this book that has effortlessly worked its way into our weekly rotation, it’s these fiery tofu nuggets. Inspired by Buffalo everything, the tofu is torn instead of cut, creating lots of nooks and crannies for the garlicky hot sauce to cling to.” – Desiree Nielsen


Tahini Ranch

  • 1⁄3 cup tahini
  • 1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional; omit if you like a less tangy ranch)
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup, plus more as needed
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Spicy Tofu Nuggets

  • 1 package (12 oz.) extra-firm tofu, patted dry
  • 3 tbsp Buffalo- style hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 green onion, dark part only, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Tahini Ranch (see above), for serving


Yield: Serves 4 as a snack

Make Tahini Ranch

  1. In large salad bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, water, apple cider vinegar (if using), garlic powder, onion powder, salt and maple syrup. Stir in dill, chives and some pepper. Taste and adjust with a bit more maple syrup, if too sour.

Make Spicy Tofu Nuggets

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Tear tofu in half horizontally, then tear halves into 1″ pieces.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk together hot sauce, avocado oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Toss tofu in sauce mixture. Sprinkle cornstarch over top and toss well to coat. Spread tofu evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10 minutes until edges are golden brown.
  4. Transfer spicy tofu nuggets to serving plate. Garnish with green onions. Serve with Tahini Ranch on the side for dipping. Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge for up to 4 days.

Excerpted from Plant Magic by Desiree Nielsen.©2024 Desiree Nielsen. Photography and illustrations by Gabriel Cabrera. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved