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.
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
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.
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
- Prepare the Tofu — Press the tofu and cut it into 1/2″ cubes. Pat dry with a paper towel and then toss with oil.
- Prepare the Air Fryer — Preheat the air fryer (paid link) to 375°F/190°C and set the timer for 18 minutes. Spray the basket with vegetable cooking spray.
- 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.
Then drizzle the tofu with oil and toss them to ensure they’re equally coated.
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/190°C and set the timer for 18 minutes. Spray the basket with vegetable cooking spray.
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.
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.
This turned out perfectly! I was needing a recipe on how to make plain tofu like I would in the oven and this was exactly what I was looking for! Definitely going to be my go-to for air fryer tofu 🙂
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.
That’s it with this recipe for vegan air-fried tofu!
- 15 oz extra-firm tofu
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 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/190°C 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.
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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!