These vegan pepperoni tofu crumbles taste like the real thing! They are made with extra-firm tofu, seasonings, and herbs. Sprinkle on top of veggie dishes, potatoes, salads, soups, and of course use it to top pizza!
Here is my crazy vegan confession of the day: I don’t like tofu. There, I said it! For me, it’s a texture thing. The “creamy” soft middle and the flavored uniform bite-size squares make my mouth and tummy shiver – in a bad way.
BUT what I do love are my highly flavorful tofu crumbles! They are smallish with varied shapes and sizes, a little chewy, highly seasoned, and go just about anywhere you need a savory pop of flavor! Use tofu crumbles on baked potatoes or other veggies, pizza, salad, or sprinkled on soup.
For other amazingly flavored tofu crumbles from Veggie Fun Kitchen, try my:
- Savory Tofu Crumbles with Seeds and Cranberries
- Sausage Tofu Crumbles (This is the one I’m almost famous for!! haha)
- Bacon Bits
- BBQ Flavored Tofu Crumbles
- Asian Inspired Korean BBQ Tofu Crumbles
- Taco Tofu Crumbles
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- For other amazingly flavored tofu crumbles from Veggie Fun Kitchen, try my:
- Why you will love this vegan pepperoni recipe
- Pin to save for later
- Ingredients needed to make vegan pepperoni tofu crumbles
- How to make vegan pepperoni with tofu
- Serving suggestions
- The printable recipe card for vegan pepperoni tofu crumbles
Why you will love this vegan pepperoni recipe
- Bottom line: The tofu crumbles taste like pepperoni and belong on your vegan pepperoni pizza!
- high in protein
- tofu crumbles have a great texture – a little chewy and not mushy
- seasoned just right
- versatile – can go on pizza, veggies, salads, or pasta
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Ingredients needed to make vegan pepperoni tofu crumbles
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. They really do all contribute to the depth of flavor in this flavorful tofu crumbles recipe.
- tofu – extra firm
- tahini paste
- low sodium soy sauce
- nutritional yeast
- coconut sugar – can sub in brown sugar
- smoked paprika
- garlic powder and onion powder
- Italian seasonings
- fennel seeds
- apple cider vinegar
- ground mustard powder
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- cocoa powder (unsweetened)
How to make vegan pepperoni with tofu
Step 1: Press the tofu
Over the years I’ve learned to use a tofu press to press my tofu. I actually went for a couple of years without buying a tofu press thinking that I could do just fine without one. I have no idea why I was so stubborn! The liquide from tofu presses better and more efficiently when using an actual tofu press. And they aren’t really that expensive either!
Using an actual tofu press is so much easier and more efficient than stacking between plates, and heavy books and such. BUT veggie eater – you do you!
A special note about the tofu
This recipe was developed using a 16-ounce block of extra firm tofu. I know that some brands come in 14-ounce blocks. I tested this recipe using the smaller size and was disappointed. The flavor was way too intense to the point of being…not tasty. And I do take pride in the fact that when I publish a recipe on Veggie Fun Kitchen you can count on flavor and YES tasty!
If you only have a 14-ounce block, I would actually recommend buying two and slicing off a two-ounce piece and adding it to the 14-ounce block. You can always freeze the rest to use at a later date.
Step 2: Mix the other ingredients
While your tofu is pressing you can heat the oven, prepare the pan, and mix up the flavorful saucy pepperoni flavored ingredients.
I prepare my pan by lining it with parchment paper. You can also line with foil or use a silicone mat.
Step 3: Crumble the tofu and mix it up
I pat my pressed and drained tofu dry with a paper towel before crumbling it into small pieces.
Probably the most challenging part of this recipe is hand crumbling the tofu, but hand crumbling the tofu produces the best results!
You might be tempted to just cut the pressed tofu into small pieces. This vegan tofu recipe really does work best if the little tofu pieces are different shapes and similar but different sizes. I hate to say it looks more “realistic” this way. But perhaps that’s it…
After you crumble the tofu into the sacey wet ingredients then mix mix mix. You will want to scrape the bottom of the bowl as you mix so that you get all of those tasty seasonings covering the little tofu pieces.
Step 3: Bake the tofu
Spread the seasoned wet tofu mixture onto a prepared baking sheet. I like to cover my baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Try to spread the mixture out into a single layer the best that you can. The unbaked seasoned tofu will be pale and (frankly) unappealing looking at this point. It will darken as it bakes.
Set the timer for 20 minutes. When the times goes off then pull the tray out of the oven and with a spatual carefully turn and stir. The objective is for the tofu to cook evenly. The tofu on the edges will have begun to cook more than the stuff in the middle. Likewise, the bottom side of the tofu crumbles will not have cooked as well as the top side. So turn and stir, bringing the outside layer into the center, the center to the outter part. Flip it over as you stir, bringing the bottom to the top and visa-versa.
Put the pan back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Pull it out and do again.
You can put baked tofu back in the oven for 5 minute increments until the tofu is as toasty brown as you’d like. Watch that it doesn’t burn though – especially the part on the outter edges.
Now you’ve got a beautiful bowl of vegan pepperoni tofu that is crying for a pizza!
You can also top a salad, spinkle in soup, add to baked potatoes or other veggie dishes, or just eat with a spoon! I won’t tell, I promise:)
These pepperoni tofu crumbles can keep in the fridge if tightly covered for about a week – but I dare you to try to keep it that long!
The printable recipe card for vegan pepperoni tofu crumbles
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Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Tofu Crumbles
- 16 ounces tofu extra firm
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons tahini paste
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½ Tablespoons coconut sugar can sub in brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoons Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoons fennel
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt more to taste
- ½ teaspooon ground mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cocoa powder unsweetened
- Preheat oven to 375°, prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Press and drain the tofu, pouring off liquid as necessary. This will take about 30 minutes using a tofu press. If pressing between plates with weights, it might take up to one hour.
- While the oven is preheating and the tofu is pressing/draining, stir together all other ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.
- When the tofu is pressed and drained, hand crumble into small pieces directly into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients. Toss together and stir to evenly coat.
- Turn onto a prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly and put it in the preheated oven for a total of 44-50minutes, checking at intervals. (See next instruction.)
- After putting the tofu in the oven, set the timer for 20 minutes. Open the oven after the first 20 minutes and turn and stir the tofu, moving the dryer tofu from the outer edges to the center and the moister tofu in the center, out to the edges. Put back into the oven and check again in 20 more minutes. Then at 5 minute increments until it's done.
- You will know when your tofu is done because it will be nicely browned – but not burned.
- You can keep these pepperoni pizza tofu crumlbes tightly covered in the fridge for up to a week – but I've never managed to keep them around that long! If they dry out then refresh with a little veggie broth.
13 thoughts on “Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe”
These look amazing, Cindy! I can’t wait to try them!
What a great pizza topping!
My daughter has been missing pepperoni pizza extra hard since she became a vegetarian. I can’t wait to make this for her!
I’ve never been a fan of tofu but this recipe changed all that – delicious!
You have the BEST recipes and this one is amazing, too! I love all your tips, too!
I made this Tofu Crumbles Pizza for a gathering and everyone loved it!! Thank you for the recipe!
What a great idea! This looks so delicious!
Can you leave the tahini out ? I made another recipe it was so good but yours has more seasoning ..I don’t care for tahini it’s too expensive and not that tasty for me …do I need it ?
I added a little bit of peanut butter because I was out of tahini and didn’t want to buy more lol. It worked well.
This was really good. I always kinda season with my heart, so I may not have had the same proportion of spices. I used about a tablespoon of tomato paste instead of ketchup (I hate ketchup lol) for example. You can definitely play with some of these seasonings if you like one more than the other. I think next time I might add some of Trader Joe’s Mushroom seasoning. This was a hit! I usually make the Minimalist Baker’s Tofu Pepperoni, but this one is a lot easier to make and very good. I think this will be my new go -to
I love this recipe. I used the full recipe (with 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes) on a 14oz tofu and it was perfect for me.
OMG! Yum! No more BORING vegan pizza 🍕I have been skeptical of tofu since I started my vegan journey a year ago. I believed all the negative hype 🤷🏽♀️Now it’s an appreciated and regular staple in my freezer! And so is this pepperoni! Thank you!
This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I too was never a fan of tofu until I started making my tofu crumbles recipes. If you like this one you should try my sausage tofu crumbles too.