Crispy Baked Pesto Tofu (5 Ingredients!)

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Pesto next to a parchment-lined baking sheet of crispy baked tofu with pesto

Ever since discovering the BEST method for crispy oven-baked tofu, we’ve been dreaming up other recipes using the same technique. Enter this PESTO variation that’s full of herby, savory goodness. It’s our new favorite! 

Made with just 5 ingredients, this versatile plant-based protein is perfect for topping pasta (recipe coming soon), risotto, polenta, and more. Let us show you how it’s done!

Salt, garlic powder, pesto, olive oil, and super firm tofu

How to Make Crispy Pesto Tofu

This 1-pan pesto tofu begins with a couple of our favorite hacks for super crispy tofu with minimal effort:

  • Use high protein, super firm tofu to skip the need to press out any excess moisture. Extra firm tofu works, too, but we recommend pressing it for at least 15 minutes to ensure a crispy result!
  • Crumble the tofu into small pieces to maximize the surface area that gets exposed to the heat, creating crispy edges all around.
Sprinkling garlic powder over crumbled tofu

Once we’ve set the tofu up for textural success, it’s time to get it ready in the flavor department! Four simple but mighty ingredients are all you need to give this tofu BIG flavor: pesto, oil, salt, and garlic powder.

Crumbled tofu coated with vegan pesto

Toss it all together and bake until golden with crispy edges, stirring partway through to ensure even cooking. A final toss with more pesto adds even more flavor and vibrant green color.

Mixing crispy baked tofu and pesto in a bowl

We hope you LOVE this pesto tofu! It’s:

Protein-packed (17+ grams per serving)
& SO flavorful!

Add it to risotto, polenta, ratatouille, or pasta (recipe coming soon!) for a super satisfying, plant-based meal!

More Recipes for Pesto Lovers

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Crumbled crispy baked pesto tofu in a serving bowl topped with fresh basil leaves

Crispy Baked Pesto Tofu (5 Ingredients!)

5-ingredient pesto tofu that’s super crispy and made in the oven. An herby, versatile, plant-based protein to add to pasta, risotto, polenta, and beyond!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of crispy pesto baked tofu topped with fresh basil leaves
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 (1/2-cup servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1 (14-16 oz) package super firm high protein tofu (see notes)
  • 2/3 cup vegan pesto (DIVIDED // see notes for store-bought recommendations)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  • Preheat the oven to 425 F (218 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drain the tofu, then crumble it into pieces less than 1/2 inch in size and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Add half of the pesto (1/3 cup, unless adjusting the number of servings), along with the oil, salt, and garlic powder. Toss to evenly coat.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flip with a spatula, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the tofu looks dry and golden with crispy edges.
  • Remove the tofu from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then add the remaining pesto (1/3 cup, unless adjusting the number of servings) and toss to coat. Serve warm with pasta (coming soon!), risotto, polenta, or ratatouille.
  • Leftovers keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a skillet or in the oven at 350 F (176 C) for 5-10 minutes until warm and crispy.



*We like using high protein super firm tofu for this recipe because it has the best texture and doesn’t require pressing. Extra firm tofu also works but we suggest pressing it for at least 15 minutes prior to crumbling.
*Store-bought dairy-free pestos we’ve tried and enjoy: Le Grand Garden Pesto, Gotham Greens Vegan Pesto, Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 16 oz. Wildwood Super Firm High Protein Tofu and Le Grand Garden Pesto.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 (half-cup) serving Calories: 220 Carbohydrates: 2.9 g Protein: 17.5 g Fat: 15.1 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 216 mg Potassium: 152 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Sugar: 0 g Vitamin A: 187 IU Vitamin C: 3 mg Calcium: 118 mg Iron: 3.9 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Kemper says

    I have made this at least 20 times and it’s a hit!!! I put it on pasta and in salad. I heat it up the next day at work and it’s still great.

  2. Sarah says

    This was so good and super easy. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of leftovers so in the last few minutes of cooking the tofu, I mixed in some white beans so they got pesto-y and crispy too. Served with sauteed spinach, roasted broccoli and parmesan grits – yum!

  3. Amy says

    YUM! I’m not a big tofu person, but this recipe might change that. I didn’t have much in the fridge, but did have tofu and lots of basil in the garden. I made my homemade pesto and otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious!

  4. Joan Terry says

    I just made this and had to compliment you and say thank you, this is now my favorite preparation for tofu. So dang quick and easy and then actually crave worthy!!! Scrumptious!!! Thank you again for another awesome recipe!!!!

  5. Tina says

    I made this with frozen tofu I had thawed and squeezed. It was very crumbly so I had smaller “bits” but otherwise turned out perfectly. I baked for 10 minutes then checked for any scorching of the tiny bits, baked for 10 minutes more then turned off the oven and left it in a few more minutes. Tossed with pesto and am planning to make a wrap with it for lunch with spinach, sundried tomatoes, and smashed chickpeas. Delicious!

  6. Tina Hatch says

    Going to try this today but had a question: I keep my tofu in the freezer as I like it VERY crispy. I typically thaw it, squeeze it, then slice or break it up for recipes. I’m wondering if it might make it too dry for this recipe? I’m probably going to give it a shot anyway, but curious if you had tried it with frozen thawed tofu but didn’t like the result. Thanks for the always amazing recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tina, thank you for your kind words! We think that should work well and be similar in texture to super firm tofu. Maybe just keep an eye on it around the 25 minute mark in case it bakes faster. Hope that helps!

  7. Kim says

    This was so easy to make and it turned out delicious. I will use the crumbles on my salads and soups!
    Thanks for your creative recipes :)

  8. Bridget C says

    Made this and LOVED IT!! Made my own pesto first and the followed directions. I ate it over brown rice pasta. Delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Bridget. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  9. Becky T says

    I made this tonight and it was yummm! I used your Vegan Pesto because I like to keep oil to a minimum. I happened to see High Protein Extra Firm Tofu at Whole Foods when I went to get the basil for the pesto. I had some firm tofu pressing in the fridge but I’m glad I got to try this recipe as written first. The tofu crumbles were crispy with a texture reminiscent of karaage chicken. I added this to your Easy Pesto Pasta Bowls (high protein chickpea pasta, tomatoes, red onion and broccoli). I could see using different flavors to maybe make a vegan stroganoff. This is a great new way to prepare tofu. Thanks!

  10. Lulu says

    This was delicious and so easy. What a great way to cook up tofu! We used Trader Joe’s pesto and served the cooked tofu on Delallo GF brown rice pasta. Cooked up some mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and threw it all together. Added some spinach and a little bit of pasta sauce to leftovers as another yummy and easy way to enjoy this great recipe. Thanks!