Air-Fried Tofu

Air Fried Tofu delivers a crispy crust with a perfectly-chewy center. Use this light air fryer tofu recipe over noodles, on salads, in your favorite bowl recipes, in wraps, and more! Air-Fried Tofu is easy to make with only three ingredients.

Looking for more air fryer recipes? Make these crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas or these Air Fryer Tortilla Chips — both are great snacks!

A batch of air fryer tofu on a plate with sauce behind it and chopsticks beside it.

I got my air fryer last year after a fun conversation with Brandi of Stay Snatched. She is an air fryer guru. In fact, she even wrote a book on it! I confess I was skeptical, but it didn’t take long before I fell in love.

My first venture was to make air-fried french fries. Of course! What I love about the air fryer is that it makes nicely crispy goodies without all the oil.

I have never been a person who deals well with lots of greasy foods. I enjoy the flavor of eating these foods, but they have never left me feeling great. So I love finding ways to have these dishes without all the grease. Case in point, I love fried tofu. The perfect remedy? Making air fry tofu!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • The tofu is pressed first, releasing most of the liquid it’s packed in, making way for crispy, dense, fried tofu
  • Adding a light coating of oil to the tofu before placing it in the air fryer creates a crispy outer crust
  • Heating your air fryer to the right temperature makes sure the tofu is heated through and still has a crust, and that’s what you’re looking for

Recipe 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.

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Extra-firm tofu — I love buying extra-firm tofu, and there are plenty of places to find it, like Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, or even the produce section of many grocery stores. Expect to pay between $1.50 to $3.00 per 15-ounce container of tofu.
  • Olive oil — Or any neutral vegetable oil
  • Salt — We’ll add just a bit of salt after the tofu is fried.

Marly’s Tips

There are lots of air fryers on the market and finding the one that works best for you is important. I prefer an air fryer that is light and fits in my cabinet because I don’t like a lot of things sitting out on the counter.

How to Make Tofu in an Air Fryer

  1. Prepare the Tofu — Press the tofu and cut it into 1/2″ cubes. Pat dry with a paper towel and then toss with oil.
  2. Prepare the Air Fryer — Preheat the air fryer to 375°F and set the timer for 18 minutes. Spray the basket with vegetable cooking spray.
  3. Cook the Tofu — Add the tofu cubes and spray the top with vegetable cooking spray. Shake the basket every 5 to 7 minutes so each piece is browned equally. Cook until desired crispiness is reached.

If you’re wondering how to cook tofu in an air fryer, I am your wayfinder!

Here are the steps to make this recipe:

Step One: Prepare the Tofu

Press the tofu and cut it into cubes. Use paper towels and dry off the cubes.

A block of tofu on a cutting board after being sliced into cubes.

Then drizzle the tofu with oil and toss them to ensure they’re equally coated.

A hand reaches in over a large bowl full of tofu cubes, pouring olive oil.

Marly’s Tips

If you want extra crispy, go ahead and coat the tofu with a light coating of cornstarch.

Step Two: Prepare the Air Fryer

Set your air fryer for 375°F and set the timer for 18 minutes. Spray the basket with vegetable cooking spray.

Tofu cubes are in an air fryer basket.
Remove the basket and shake it to “stir” the tofu.

Step Three: Cook the Tofu

Add the tofu cubes and spray the top with vegetable cooking spray.

Shake the basket every 5 to 7 minutes so each piece is browned equally. Cook until desired crispiness is reached.

A hand holds the handle of an air fryer basket, full of a fresh batch of air fryer tofu.
Once the air fryer tofu is browned sufficiently, remove it from the air fryer basket and sprinkle some sea salt over the top.

Pressing Tofu

We press tofu to remove the water that the tofu is stored in. Tofu is processed this way to keep the flavor as fresh as possible. However, the tofu tastes better and has a better texture when this liquid is pressed out of it. Here’s how I recommend to press it:

  • Manual Press — If you don’t have a tofu press, wrap the tofu block in a kitchen towel or paper towels, and place it on a plate. Add something heavy over the top of the tofu block, like a can of beans or a pan that’s easily balanced.
  • Tofu Press — If you have a tofu press (see link in the recipe below), it makes pressing tofu much easier. Add the block to the container and follow the instructions of your particular gadget.

How to Serve Air Fried Tofu

Now comes the fun part, eating the air fryer tofu. Here are some recipes where you could use this delicious fried tofu:

Frequently-Asked Questions

How does an air fryer work?

An air fryer is basically a convection oven on steroids. It circulates hot air around the food and ‘fries’ it or makes it crispy.

What does air fryer tofu taste like?

Air fryer tofu has crispy edges and tastes fairly neutral after being cooked. The secret is to dip it or cover it in a tasty sauce. That’s when air fryer tofu tastes amazing!

Try something a little different with your air fryer — make Air Fryer Chickpeas for a crispy, healthy snack.

A hand holds chopsticks with a piece of air fryer tofu in it with dipping sauce on it. The full plate of tofu is behind it.

That’s it with this recipe for vegan air fried tofu!

A hand holds chopsticks with a piece of air fryer tofu in it with dipping sauce on it. The full plate of tofu is behind it.

Air-Fried Tofu

Make this crispy, protein-rich, air fried tofu, and eat it plain or add it to your favorite vegan dishes. Serve this crispy tofu with a simple sauce over rice and steamed veggies.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 15 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Remove tofu from its container. Wrap in paper towels or a kitchen towel and stand over the sink and gently press tofu to remove excess liquid. Cut into ½" cubes. Use a paper towel to dry the cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to coat each piece.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F and set the timer for 18 minutes. Allow the air fryer to heat up. Remove the basket and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Add the tofu cubes and spray the top with vegetable cooking spray.
  • Every 5 minutes, remove the basket and stir the tofu by shaking the basket so that each piece is browned equally. Cook for 15 to 18 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached.
  • Serve fried tofu over rice with steamed veggies. Drizzle or serve fried tofu as an appetizer with a dipping sauce.
  • Transfer any unused tofu to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 7 days.

Recommended Equipment

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

Notes

Serve this tofu with the dipping sauce from this Cauliflower Sushi recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Air-Fried Tofu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 78 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Sodium 212mg9%
Potassium 163mg5%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

Enjoy this air fried tofu!

5 Responses to Air-Fried Tofu

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLeona Reply

    I need to get an air fryer so I can make this tofu. Look a good!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBianca Longoria Reply

    Thanks for sharing this! Looking forward to more air fryer vegan recipes and cannot wait to try 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you like it Bianca! We love the air fryer!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMJ Reply

    Thanks for the info. I have tried it a couple times and it works great. I am going to make some today in the airfryer with Old bay. Having fun experimenting!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMark Reply

    Thanks! I was struggling with the best way to prep and air fry tofu. I tried a couple recipes an they work great. Any sauce seems to work and it is fun experimenting. Making bites today with old bay seasoning.

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