Air Fried Tofu — Easy and Crispy

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

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. Things like:

  • Fried donuts
  • French fries
  • Fried tofu

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. The perfect remedy? The air fry tofu!

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

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.

There are lots of air fryers on the market, 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.

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

How to Make Tofu in an Air Fryer

If you’re wondering how to cook tofu in an air fryer, I am your way finder! First, let’s talk about the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make air fryer tofu:

  • Extra-firm tofu
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Of course, it’s important to know how to make tofu crispy too! I find making sure to have your air fryer preheated really helps. If you want extra crispy, go ahead and coat the tofu with a light coating of cornstarch.

Where to Buy Tofu

You can’t get much easier than air fryer tofu recipes. I love buying extra firm tofu at Sprouts because it costs about $1.50 there. But, there are plenty of places to find tofu, like Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, or even the produce section of many grocery stores.

You can expect to pay between $1.50 to $3.00 per 15-ounce container of tofu.

Pressing Tofu

The next step is to press the tofu. I recommend removing the tofu from the container, then wrapping it in a kitchen towel or paper towels, placing it on a plate, and then placing something heavy over the top.

Alternatively, you can even stand over the sink and press the tofu. You just want to be careful not to press so firmly that you cause the tofu to crack.

Next, you’ll want to cut the tofu into cubes to create air fryer tofu nuggets. I take the extra step of drying it by using a kitchen towel or paper towels. This helps create crunchy tofu! Then transfer the cubes to a bowl and drizzle with oil.

If you have an oil sprayer it can be helpful. Either way, use a spatula or your hands to work through the tofu to make sure each piece is coated.

Finally, heat up your air fryer and place the prepped tofu in the basket.

Tofu cubes are in an air fryer basket.
Tofu in air fryer getting prepared to be fried!

Cooking Air Fryer Tofu

The next step is how to air fry tofu is to preheat your air fryer to 375F. It takes a couple of minutes for the air fryer to heat up. Then cook the tofu for approximately 20 minutes to make tofu air fryer style. However, I recommend removing the basket regularly and shaking it to help “stir” the tofu cubes. This helps the tofu to get browned evenly on each side which is important when air frying tofu.

Once the airfryer tofu is browned sufficiently, remove it from the air fryer basket and sprinkle some sea salt over the top.

A hand holds the handle of an air fryer basket, full of a fresh batch of air fryer tofu.
Fried tofu in air fryer.

How to Serve Fried Tofu

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

  • My favorite Orange Tofu recipe. Just replace the frying tofu step with this air fryer tofu.
  • Miso Glazed Tofu — that glaze would go perfectly on this tofu
  • I think to make crispy tofu air fryer style would be delicious on this Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Ranch dressing
  • Serve this tofu with some Awesome Sauce and you will be a happy camper
  • Add the sauce from this Sesame Tofu and you’ll be enjoying a delicious dinner soon!
  • I love zoodles and adding some healthy crispy tofu to my Zesty Sesame Zoodles would be delicious
  • We always served steamed broccoli or Brussels sprouts with tofu and rice. I highly recommend it as a way to add more vegetable to your daily diet
  • Make your tofu cornstarch free by following the recipe below! I personally love this crispy tofu without cornstarch. Or, add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to the raw tofu, then coat it in oil, then air fry it for an even crispier tofu!
  • Serve with brown rice (see my recipe on How to Make Brown Rice
  • For a low carb option, serve with cauliflower rice (see my instructions on How to Make Cauliflower Rice!
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!

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

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 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Air Fryer Tofu, Fried tofu
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
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Remove tofu from it’s container. Wrap in paper towels or a kitchen towel and stand over the sink and gently press tofu to remove excess liquid. Cut into 1/2″ cubes. Use a paper towel to dry the cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to coat each piece.
  • Preheat air fryer to 375F 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 – 18 minutes, or until desired crispiness is reached.
  • Serve fried tofu over rice with steamed veggies. Drizzle with any extra marinade. Or serve fried tofu as an appetizer by serving with a dipping sauce.
  • Transfer any unused tofu to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 7 days.

Enjoy this vegan fried tofu!

Updated by Marly · Permalink