Vegan Fried Popcorn Chicken Recipe

If you’ve been missing fried chicken since going vegan- this is the recipe for you!

This honestly tastes like a bag of popcorn chicken you’d pick up from KFC or something- it’s kind of nuts!

This recipe uses tofu for the ‘chicken.’ We decided to do this because tofu is so versatile and fries up so well. Not to mention the texture is ‘chickeny.’ And it’s so readily available at the grocery store!

We’ve included instructions for traditional frying and the air fryer.

What Can I Do With Popcorn Tofu?

You can use it for:

  • Topping for a salad
  • An addition to a wrap
  • Filling for tacos
  • Sandwiches
  • A gnarly vegan poutine

How To Make Vegan Popcorn Chicken

Start by mixing all the seasonings in a bowl. Break up the tofu into bite size chunks and toss them in the seasonings until coated. Set aside.

Mix flour, cornmeal, cornflakes and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together non-dairy and lemon juice to make vegan buttermilk.

Dip each piece of the tofu into the milk briefly (so the seasoning doesn’t wash off) then drop into cornmeal/flour mixture and coat all sides. Tongs work really well for this. (You can use a slotted spoon to dip multiple pieces of the tofu in the milk at once to make the breading process faster but please note- it just doesn’t work as well as doing each piece individually.)

Repeat for all the tofu and place on parchment paper until frying.

For shallow frying- heat vegetable oil till apprx. 300 degrees. Once oil is hot, place the tofu pieces in and cook for apprx. 7-10 minutes. Outsides should be crisp and golden brown.

For the air fryer- Place tofu pieces in the air fryer without the spinner (you probably won’t fit the whole batch in). Drizzle 3 tbsp of oil over all the pieces. Cook for apprx 20-25 minutes, flipping several times.

Serve with our Vegan Dilly Ranch or whatever dip you want!

Yield: 2-4

Vegan Popcorn Chicken

vegan popcorn chicken/vegan tofu chicken/vegan fried chicken

This Vegan Popcorn Chicken is breaded tofu with cornmeal, cornflakes and flour then fried to crispy perfection!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Spice Mixture

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Vegan Buttermilk

  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk

Breading Mixture

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup cornflakes, crushed
  • Pinch of salt+pepper
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Mix all the seasonings in a bowl. Break up the tofu into bite size chunks and toss them until covered in the seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, cornflakes and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together non-dairy and lemon juice to make vegan buttermilk.
  4. Dip each piece of the tofu into the milk briefly (so the seasoning doesn't wash off) then drop into cornmeal/flour mixture and coat all sides. Tongs work really well for this. (You can use a slotted spoon to dip multiple pieces of the tofu in the milk at once to make the breading process faster but please note- it just doesn't work as well as doing each piece individually.)
  5. Repeat for all the tofu and place on parchment paper until frying.
  6. For shallow frying- heat vegetable oil till apprx. 300 degrees. Once oil is hot, place the tofu pieces in and cook for apprx. 7-10 minutes. Outsides should be crisp and golden brown.
  7. For the air fryer- Place tofu pieces in the air fryer without the spinner (you probably won't fit the whole batch in). Drizzle 3 tbsp of oil over all the pieces. Cook for apprx 20-25 minutes, flipping several times.
  8. Serve with our Vegan Dilly Ranch or whatever dip you want!

Notes

You can use a slotted spoon to dip multiple pieces of the tofu in the milk at once to make the breading process faster but please note- it just doesn't work as well as doing each piece individually.

Looking for more classic recipes that are vegan?

Vegan Meatloaf

Vegan New Orleans Style Po’Boy

Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese

Vegan Buffalo Wings

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VEGAN POPCORN CHICKEN