Fried Tofu Sandwich

This vegan buttermilk battered and crispy fried tofu sandwich is crispy on the outside. Served with a creamy sauce, it’s perfect for lunch or dinner.

A fried tofu sandwich sits on a plate in front of other plated sandwiches. There's a bowl with mayo sauce in the middle.

Do you love vegan sandwiches? Like the ultimate cheesy vegan tuna melt, or how about an indulgent vegan veggie burger?

What about fried tofu? It may not hit you but give it a chance.

Imagine a buttermilk batter breaded, crispy fillet on a sandwich with a creamy mayo sauce. Sounds amazing, right?

If you’re skeptical, I get you. It does sound unrealistic.

But skeptics rejoice, because this crispy fried tofu sandwich is all that and more! Transform a block of tofu into the crispiest sandwich with all the right flavors!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • Sauce – You’ll need vegan mayo, BBQ sauce (substitute ketchup), green onion, maple syrup, yellow mustard, and lemon juice for the sauce.
  • Tofu — Be sure to get extra-firm tofu to get the best texture for your sandwich.
  • Plant-based milk — I prefer to use plain (not vanilla-flavored), but I will resort to vanilla in a pinch and it still works.
  • Dill pickle juice  — Got a jar of dill pickles? You can use the juice straight from the jar or substitute lemon juice.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes — These flakes are optional but they do add a cheesy flavor. Here’s more on cooking with nutritional yeast flakes.
  • Vegetable oil — Any neutral oil will work.
  • Flour — You can use all-purpose or gluten-free flour.
  • Baking powder — You’ll need just a bit of baking powder.
  • Seasoning — Add some poultry seasoning to the flour mixture.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • CRISPY — Cornstarch helps prevent the formation of gluten in the flour, creating a crispier crust
  • LIGHT BREADING — Baking powder creates little bubbles in the batter as it fries, creating a light crust with more crispiness in every bite
  • FLAVORFUL — Adding poultry seasoning infuses the tofu with flavor!

How to Make Fried Tofu Sandwich

It’s easy to make pan-fried tofu sandwiches. See the recipe card below for full instructions, but here is a synopsis of the steps involved:

  1. Stir together the sauce ingredients, cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Cut pressed tofu into four slices and cut the edges to create patties.
  3. Stir the soy milk, pickle juice, and yeast flakes in one bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl or plate, stir together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and seasoning. 
  5. Dredge the tofu slices in the milk mixture first, then in the flour.
  6. Use tongs to place battered tofu in a skillet with hot oil.
  7. Cook the tofu patties until lightly browned on both sides.
  8. Place fried tofu on a bun, drizzle with sauce, and add your favorite toppings.

Storage Tips

Store fried tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. I don’t usually recommend tofu for freezing.

A hand holds a crispy tofu sandwich . There's a plate with potato chips in the background.

Air Fryer Fried Tofu

Trying to reduce oil in your diet? You can make these patties in an air fryer. Here are the ways to do it:

  1. Follow the recipe to prepare the tofu
  2. Spray the air fryer basket with vegetable cooking spray to prevent sticking
  3. Place breaded tofu patties in your air fryer basket (leaving room between each, depending on the size of your air fryer).
  4. Heat the air fryer to 375°F/190°C
  5. Cook the patties for 5 to 10 minutes on each side, until the patties are golden brown.
  6. Use tongs to turn the patties and cook again for another 3 to 5 minutes.
A fried tofu patty is in an air fryer basket.

Make it Gluten-Free

You can make this fried tofu chicken sandwich gluten-free by using the following tips:

  • Substitute gluten-free flour in the flour mix.
  • Use gluten-free bread or buns for the sandwiches.

Yummy Vegan Sandwiches

If you love this fried tofu sandwich recipe, be sure to try these tasty vegan sandwich recipes, too:

For something a little different, try this Air Fried Tofu. It’s a go-to favorite!

Here are even more vegan sandwiches to enjoy!

A fried tofu sandwich sits on a plate. It has a creamy sauce, pickles, and lettuce on top.

Crispy Tofu Sandwich

Buttermilk breaded vegan fried tofu sandwich features breaded and fried tofu topped with pickles, lettuce, and a creamy sauce. It's a perfect crispy sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 450kcal


Sandwich Sauce

  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce (substitute ketchup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Fried Tofu

  • 4 ounces extra firm tofu
  • cup plant-based milk (plain, not vanilla)
  • 3 tablespoons dill pickle juice (substitute lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cup flour (use all-purpose or gluten-free)
  • cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • Topping ideas: pickles, sliced onions, vegan cheese slices, etc.


For the Sandwich Sauce:

  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
    Ingredients are in a glass bowl, including syrup, chopped green onions, vegan mayo, bbq sauce, and more.

For the Fried Tofu

  • Press the tofu using a tofu press. If you don't have a press, wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and place on a plate with something heavy over the top (like a pan or can) and let that sit for 30 minutes or so to press out some of the liquid. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Cut the tofu horizontally into four slices. Feel free to cut off the corners to create "rounded" patties. Save the corners to batter, fry, and serve on the side.
    Tofu is on a cutting board sitting next to pieces that have been cut off with a knife.
  • Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  • While the oil is heating, create two dipping stations. 1) In a bowl stir together the milk, pickle juice, and yeast flakes. 2) In a separate bowl or plate, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and seasoning.
  • Dredge the tofu in the milk mixture first, then in the flour. Repeat this process to create a thick batter. Gently press the batter onto the tofu to help it stick.
    A rectangle baking dish has a soy milk mixture in it and two tofu patties. A plate sits next to it with a flour mixture and another tofu patty in that.
  • Pan Frying: Use tongs to place battered tofu in the hot oil. Cook the tofu patties until lightly browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully flip slices and cook on the other side until lightly browned. Add more oil to the skillet if necessary. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
    Breaded tofu patties are frying in a skillet.
  • Air Frying: Cook patties in an air fryer heated to 375°F/190°C. Cook until browned on both sides, around 3 to 5 minutes. Use tongs to turn the patties.
    A fried tofu patty is in an air fryer basket.

Sandwich Assembly

  • Place the tofu on a bun. Add the vegan sauce and your favorite toppings.
    Looking down on open-faced tofu sandwiches with a bowl of special sauce sitting between them.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.

12 Responses to Fried Tofu Sandwich

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlysidra Reply

    how do you get it melting cuz when i tried it was stiff.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Sidra
      You may want to leave the sandwich sit in the skillet with the heat off, put the lid on top, and let the vegan cheese warm up and melt that way. Or you could place it in the microwave for a moment or two to get that cheese to melt. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJovana Reply

    Marly, I’ve been looking to find coconut oil in South Africa but to no avail. I’d love to make some french toast.

    Is there a substitute I could use?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Coconut oil definitely has it’s advantages, but if you can’t find it, I think good old olive oil would work fine too. Or maybe you could try some melted Earth Balanace or some other dairy-free margarine? I hope that works! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJoann@womaninreallife Reply

    This looks so delicious. I have to try it.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJeanette Reply

    5 stars
    Yum, a protein packed vegan breakfast sandwich – very clever!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaria Reply

    Love this sandwich!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlison @ingredients, Inc. Reply

    really nice! I am going to have to try this…Hope you are well!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJulieD Reply

    Love, love this! So yummy, Marly!!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLynn Reply

    Oh my god this looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMonet Reply

    Oh yes! I can see how this could be a perfect pick-me up! This french toast is such a delicious way to begin my morning. I’m drooling just thinking about how great this must have tasted. Thank you for sharing with me…and warm wishes for the new week!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMagic of Spice Reply

    What a fantastic idea…scrumptious to say the least!
    Happy 2012!

Rate / Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.