Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (2024)

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!

Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (1)

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
    • Step 1: Press the tofu
      • A special note about the tofu
    • Step 2: Mix the other ingredients
    • Step 3: Crumble the tofu and mix it up
    • Step 3: Bake the 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!
Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (2)
  • 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
Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (3)

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Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (4)

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
  • ketchup
  • 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)
Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (5)

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.

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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!

Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (7)

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.

Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (8)

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.

Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (9)

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.

Serving suggestions

Now you’ve got a beautiful bowl of vegan pepperoni tofu that is crying for a pizza!

Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (10)

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 Tofu Crumbles Recipe (11)

Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Tofu Crumbles

These pepperoni pizza tofu crumbles taste like the real thing! They are made with extra-firm tofu, seasonings, and spices. Sprinkle on top of veggie dishes, potatoes, salads, soups, and sandwiches for an authentic pepperoni pizza flavor.

from 25 reader reviews

Print Pin Rate

Course: Snack, Topping

Cuisine: American

Keyword: tofu crumbles, vegan pepperoni

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes minutes

tofu press time: 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 97kcal

Author: Cindy Rainey


  • 16 ounces tofu extra firm
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini paste
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 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.


I used to use one-half teaspoon red pepper flakes but my husband complained that it was too hot for him so I started using one-fourth teaspoon. If you like it a little spicy then use 1/2 teaspoon or more to taste.

I tried to keep the sodium a little lower and only used one-half teaspoon salt. I usually end up adding a little more at the end. You can taste after cooking and add extra then.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg

Vegan Pepperoni Tofu Crumbles Recipe (2024)


What are the ingredients in Trader Joe's vegan pepperoni? ›


What is vegan pepperoni made out of? ›

Rather than using animal derivatives, vegan pepperoni is made from plant-based products such as soy proteins, wheat glutens, tofu, legumes and vegetables. Different manufacturers use different bases to substitute the 'meat element' of real pepperoni, however, the result is usually the same: small, firm slices.

Does vegan pepperoni taste like pepperoni? ›

Pros: At first glance, the burnt-orange color might throw you, but at least it clues you in to exactly what it is you're eating: soybean oil and paprika. As you chew on a slice of Trader Joe's vegan pepperoni, a spicy, salty pepperoni flavor definitely comes through.

What is a healthy alternative to pepperoni? ›

Turkey sausage and roasted chicken provide a healthy and satisfying alternative to regular pepperoni slices. Bell peppers, mushrooms, and black olives are common pizza toppings, all pleasantly nutritious. Some other nutrient-rich options include butternut squash, tofu, lox, and artichokes.

Is plant-based pepperoni good for you? ›

While vegan pepperoni is safer to eat than traditional meat, it contains a high amount of sodium. It contains 557 milligrams of sodium per serving. Compared to red meat, it has about the same amount of calories and fat. The best way to choose vegan pepperoni is to ensure you don't overeat it at once.

Is vegan pepperoni good for you? ›

In addition to being relatively easy to make, these pepperoni are considerably healthier than their animal-based counterpart. They're very low in fat – less than 1 gram fat per pepperoni – and relatively high in protein – about 1 gram protein per pepperoni!

What is tofu made of? ›

Tofu, which originated in China, is made of condensed soy milk that's pressed into solid white blocks in a process similar to cheese making. Nigari, a mineral-rich coagulant that's left over after salt is extracted from seawater, is used to help tofu solidify and keep its form.

Can Muslims eat vegan pepperoni? ›

Plant based pepperoni would be considered halal. So a Muslim could eat a pepperoni pizza, but it would have to be made with special pepperoni, either all-beef, plant based, kosher or ideally halal.

Is there a plant-based pepperoni? ›

Plant-Based Pepperoni

Authentically crafted to exceed expectations with a blend of anise, fennel, paprika, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne that is designed for the pizza lover.

What vegan pepperoni does Pizza Hut use? ›

Pizza Hut is launching a new vegan pizza for Veganuary. The new Vegan Pepperphoni Pizza is topped with vegan 'Pepperphoni' made from pea protein and Violife dairy-free cheese.

Who makes Domino's vegan pepperoni? ›

Created to coincide with the popular Veganuary campaign—when people commit to adopting a plant-based diet for the month of January and beyond—the chain's new Vegan PepperoNAY pizza is made with plant-based pepperoni developed by Dutch brand The Vegetarian Butcher.

What do Italians use instead of pepperoni? ›

6 Italian Meats That Aren't Pepperoni
  • Coppa or Capocolla. These cold-cut cousins are pork neck and shoulder roasts that have been pressed into cylinders and cured with red pepper for a hint of spice. ...
  • Specialty Salami. ...
  • Pancetta. ...
  • Mortadella. ...
  • Prosciuttto. ...
  • Guanciale.

What is the closest meat to pepperoni? ›

Pepperoni is essentially an American version of salami, something close to what Italians might call salame piccante, a generic term that means “spicy salami.” It's made from beef and cured pork mixed together and then seasoned with a blend that usually includes paprika, garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cayenne ...

What is a vegetarian alternative to pepperoni on pizza? ›

Italian sausage or chorizo can add a spicy kick to your pizza. Mushrooms: If you're looking for a vegetarian option, mushrooms can be a great alternative to pepperoni. They have a meaty texture and absorb flavors well.

What are the ingredients in Trader Joe's impossible meat? ›

Water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, natural flavors, 2% or less of potato protein, methylcellulose, yeast extract, cultured dextrose, food starch modified, soy leghemoglobin, salt, mixed tocopherols (antioxidant), soy protein isolate, zinc gluconate, thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin B1), niacin, ...

What are the ingredients in Trader Joe's plant-based burgers? ›


What is seitan pepperoni made of? ›

Mix vital wheat gluten flour, nutritional yeast, mustard powder, paprika, fennel seeds, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, anise seeds, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.

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