This air fryer tofu recipe is extra crispy and full of flavor using just a handful of ingredients. Making tofu in the air fryer will be your new favorite method once you try this easy recipe. Much healthier and lower in fat than traditional frying with all the tasty benefits!

This air fryer tofu recipe is extra crispy and full of flavor using just a handful of ingredients. Making tofu in the air fryer will be your new favorite method once you try this easy recipe.
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Welcome to my first air fryer recipe on this site. Truth is, I resisted this counter top appliance for quite some time.

But, when the opportunity came my way to test one out for free, I caved and I have to say, I’m never going back.

This thing is worth its weight in gold for this crispy air fried tofu recipe alone.

Plus, apparently you can make air fryer chocolate chip cookies. Um, count me in!

I’m also really into air fryer fish sticks (so random, I know) and air fryer carrots with it.

And then there’s rotisserie chicken in the air fryer and “fries” out of vegetables but more on all those things another day.

Today is all about crispy air fryer tofu and how insanely easy this miracle appliance makes it!

Extra firm tofu, pressed, cut into cubes and ready to be air fried.


The term “crispy tofu” alone is one that anyone who eats it has probably dreaded at some point.

Unless you’re enjoying tofu in miso soup or something like this Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup, chances are you want the result to be a crispy golden brown exterior with a nice softly cooked inside.

The problem, however, is just how to attain that perfect elusive texture.

Enter the air fryer.

Air frying tofu is not only incredibly simple and quick, it’s literally a miracle worker when it comes to the perfect tofu texture.

An air fryer is basically a convection oven but the use of trays or a basket allows the air to circulate all around the food as it “fries” creating a crispy crust around the entire cube of tofu.

Pressed and cubed tofu in a quick and easy marinade before air frying.


There’s not much needed to make insanely delicious air fryer tofu, just a few simple ingredients for flavor.

But first, it’s imperative to press the tofu.


Using extra firm tofu will cut down the necessary pressing time quite a bite but it’s still best practice to press the block of tofu for about 15-20 minutes.

You can use an actual tofu press if you have one.

Or, what I do, is place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Place the tofu on top of the rack and then something heavy like a cast iron pan on top of the tofu. This makeshift approach works just as well!

Pressing ensures the crispiest texture once the tofu is air fried and that’s what we’re going for!

It also allows the marinade flavors to come through more since they’re not diluted by the excess water in the tofu.

Cubed tofu with tamari, olive oil, garlic and onion powder on a Pampered Chef air fryer tray.


Once pressed, cut the tofu into cubes and place it in a bowl with the following ingredients:

  • arrowroot powder (optional – discussed below)
  • avocado oil
  • tamari (or soy sauce/coconut aminos – see recipe note)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt & pepper

If you prefer Thai flavors, check out this tofu marinade that works well with either oven baked tofu or air fried tofu.

Toss the tofu cubes until each one is well coated in the mixture.

Place the seasoned tofu in your air fryer basket or tray depending on the model.

I have the Pampered Chef air fryer (this model is similar) which uses trays but a basket model will work exactly the same.

Set the air fryer to 400°F and cook the tofu in the air fryer for 15 minutes.

If using a basket model, shake half way through cooking. If using a tray model, I like to rotate the trays half way through.

Extra crispy air fried tofu takes just 15 minutes to make.

As you can see, the seasonings are minimal but these crispy air fried tofu nuggets are just perfect in flavor.

They’re basic enough to go with almost anything you serve them with but flavorful enough to stand out on their own.

The arrowroot powder is optional (cornstarch or tapioca powder can be substituted if desired) and the tofu will crisp up without it but I enjoy the result just a little bit more using it.

Helpful Accessories
Air Fryer Essentials: Must-Have Accessories for Perfect Results

From oil sprays to muffin cups and from pizza pans to racks, we've got them all, and they make fantastic Christmas presents, too!

Using avocado oil is a purposeful decision when air frying the tofu. Avocado oil, unlike olive oil, has a higher smoke point as well as a more neutral flavor.

Sesame oil is another higher smoke point oil and can be substituted or used half and half with the avocado oil in this recipe. It brings a nice flavor and Asian vibe to the tofu as well.

Learn how to make tofu in an air fryer with this quick and easy recipe.


Unlike traditional frying, air frying uses substantially less oil, doesn’t make your entire house smell and results in an equally crispy outcome.

How can you beat that?!


No matter if using a tray or basket model air fryer, don’t overcrowd the tofu.

Same advice applies to making air fryer cauliflower gnocchi. A simple yet important tip!

Work in batches if necessary because overcrowding will lead to less crispy tofu and we don’t want that!

Choose organic and/or sprouted organic tofu if possible.

GMO tofu will likely have been sprayed with glyphosate (aka Roundup) as the soybean crop tends to be heavily sprayed. Choosing organic ensures your tofu is not GMO.

Feel free to switch up the seasonings but using powdered spices versus whole (like minced garlic) is preferable so no flavor falls through the tray or basket when cooking.

Making tofu in the air fryer is quick and simple with this easy recipe.


When I make tofu like this, just like when I make my marinated tempeh, our favorite way to round out the meal is with some cooked white rice and a roasted vegetable. Roasted romanesco or roasted radishes are great options. Simple is sometimes best!

Other options are roasted purple sweet potatoes and a bok choy salad (I love the variety of textures in that combination!) or, using the air fried tofu to top a salad.

Crispy air fryer tofu would be a great on this baby kale salad in place of the roasted chickpeas. Or, on top of this cold Thai kohlrabi noodle salad.

Use the air fryer method to make tofu for sweet and sour tofu or in place of the tofu in my sheet pan tofu recipe and just make the other ingredients on the sheet pan.

Crispy tofu in the air fryer is super versatile.

You can even enjoy it as a snack. They’re almost nugget-like so dunking the tofu in your favorite sauce as an appetizer would be another completely delicious option!

This air fryer tofu recipe results in the crispiest golden brown tofu in just 15 minutes!


If you happen to have leftovers, store the air fried tofu in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and re-heat in either a toaster oven or the air fryer for a few minutes.

Either of these options are preferable to the microwave as they will re-crisp the tofu as it heats back up. Reheating in a microwave will result in a soggier texture.


Mapo tofu

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Healthy peanut butter cookie dough

5 from 10 votes

Air Fryer Tofu

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Crispy air fryer tofu
This air fryer tofu recipe is extra crispy and full of flavor using just a handful of ingredients. Making tofu in the air fryer will be your new favorite method once you try this easy recipe.


  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, optional
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, *see note
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cube the drained and well pressed tofu and place in a bowl with arrowroot powder. Toss to combine.
  • Add avocado oil, tamari, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and gently toss again until each piece of tofu is coated.
  • Place tofu in air fryer either in the basket or on the trays depending on model.
  • Air fry at 400°F for 15 minutes shaking basket or rotating trays half way through.
  • Remove from the air fryer once finished and serve hot.


*Substitute low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos if preferred.
**Cooking time does not include pressing tofu. I press mine for 15 minutes which is sufficient if using extra firm tofu.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 13gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 583mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. My pampered chef air fryer has been sitting in the box for two years, I said this year (2023) that I will finally use it and I googled vegan recipes using it. I came across this recipe first and tried it right away. Needless to say I ate the whole block of nuggets straight out of the air fryer (lol) This recipe was simple and delicious. The only substitution I made was using sunflower oil as I didn’t have avocado or sesame oil on hand. Thank you for this recipe, this will be in constant rotation in my air fryer!

  2. 5 stars
    You’re right, this is a great way to get the crispy on the outside and soft inside tofu we all love! The seasonings used are delicious! Keep going with your air fryer recipes! They’re so good!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking to use my air fryer more often because it is healthier, as you’ve also described. This recipe fits right into my collection, and it will definitely be a part of my weekly dinners. Tysm!

  4. These look amazing!! Perfect substitute for greasy french fries! I’ll be keeping my eye out for the vegetable ‘fries’ you talked about – yum!