air fryer tofu pin.

This budget-friendly protein-packed tofu is begging to be the center of attention at your dinner table. If you’re looking to fire up a Meatless Monday tradition, or you’ve been on the tofu train for a long time, this Air Fryer Tofu is super easy and tastes great. I toss extra firm tofu in a simple soy sauce marinade and then drizzle with honey, sesame seeds, and green onions after it’s crisped up in the air fryer. The texture comes out perfect and the flavor profile is an easy hit with tofu experts and novices alike!

air fryer tofu on a white plate with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce.air fryer tofu on a white plate with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce.

I remember when my relationship with tofu first started about 20 years ago. Tofu could be found in a big bucket of water in the bottom of a cooler at the health food store, and I had to fish it out with tongs. I remember thinking, “What IS this stuff?!” The various options for firm, extra firm, soft, or silken were hard to come by back then, but now tofu is experiencing a much-deserved Renaissance!

You can find tofu everywhere– and the variety! (Swoon.) Already marinated, soft, extra firm, cut into chicken-like shapes, you name it. Even your local Walmart or Aldi probably has it. We don’t have to break the bank at luxury grocery stores to find it any longer and thank goodness that container full of tofu and water is a thing of the past.

What is Air Fryer Tofu?

Delightfully crispy on the outside with a delightfully chewy center, this Air Fryer Tofu is good enough to convert anyone into a tofu lover. The freezing step of the tofu is one you won’t want to skip! It gives it a dense texture that holds up great with all kinds of sauces. I attempted many different recipes for Air Fryer Tofu, trying to keep things as easy and inexpensive as possible. This recipe yielded the best result every time!

You can add whatever herbs or seasonings you like to this recipe, but the soy sauce and sesame oil are keepers; they add umami and savory notes to otherwise bland tofu. Tofu is so versatile and easy to add flavor to with whatever marinade ingredients you like best.

Here’s what you’ll need to make crispy air fryer tofu:

  • Extra Firm Tofu: This type of tofu holds up best to air frying. It holds its shape well, and it has a chewier texture than firm or regular tofu.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds tons of umami flavor to the tofu.
  • Sesame Oil: Adds a hint of nuttiness to the tofu and helps it brown in the air fryer.
  • Cornstarch: Absorbs excess moisture to create a super crispy coating. My recipe calls for much less than other recipes I have seen and this helps the texture big time!
  • Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness!
  • Sesame Seeds: Add a great crunch to the tofu.
  • Green Onion: Adds a pop of fresh onion flavor.

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to serve this crispy air fryer tofu is over this delicious coconut rice! The slightly sweet and nutty flavor pairs so well with the savory, crispy tofu! For dipping, I love this sweet chili sauce (pictured) or homemade sweet and sour sauce.

  • Extra firm or super firm tofu works best. Firm tofu will also work, but the texture won’t be quite as dense. I do not recommend regular or silken tofu for this recipe, as neither holds up well.
  • Don’t skip freezing the tofu! It creates a denser, spongier texture that has a meatier chew.
  • If you like your tofu crunchier (and less chewy), you can press it between clean kitchen towels using a tofu press, a stack of books, or a heavy pan for 30-60 minutes to remove excess moisture.

overhead view of air fryer tofu in an air fryer basket.overhead view of air fryer tofu in an air fryer basket.
air fryer tofu pin.


Air Fryer Tofu

If you’re looking to fire up a Meatless Monday tradition, this Air Fryer Tofu is super easy and tastes great.

air fryer tofu on a white plate with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce.air fryer tofu on a white plate with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce.

  • 16 oz. extra firm tofu ($1.69)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce ($0.59)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil ($0.33)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch ($0.06)
  • 1 tsp honey ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame seeds ($0.14)
  • 1 green onion, sliced ($0.16)
  • Pat dry and freeze 1 block of extra firm tofu for 1 hour, minimum.* Remove the tofu from the freezer and allow it to thaw to the point where it can be cut with a knife.

  • Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Gather soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch.

  • Toss the cubed tofu with soy sauce and sesame oil. Then, lightly dust the dressed tofu with cornstarch, tossing or stirring until each piece is lightly covered.

  • Transfer to an air fryer basket and fry at 400°F for 10 minutes, shaking halfway through.

  • Garnish with a drizzle of honey, sesame seeds, and sliced green onions. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or over a bed of white rice.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


*I did not press my tofu for this recipe, but you can if you would like it to be more crunchy and less chewy.

Serving: 0.5blockCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 20gFat: 11gSodium: 1765mgFiber: 1g

Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.

overhead view of air fryer tofu with sweet chili dipping sauce on a white plate.overhead view of air fryer tofu with sweet chili dipping sauce on a white plate.

how to make Air Fryer Tofu – step by step photos

comparing frozen and thawed tofu (left) to refrigerated tofu (right).comparing frozen and thawed tofu (left) to refrigerated tofu (right).

Pat dry and freeze 1 (16-oz.) block of extra firm tofu for 1 hour, minimum.* Remove the tofu from the freezer and allow it to thaw to the point where it can be cut with a knife. (Notice the difference in texture with the frozen tofu on the left and the unfrozen on the right.)

diced tofu next to bowls of sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch on a cutting board.diced tofu next to bowls of sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch on a cutting board.

Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Gather 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch.

pouring cornstarch over diced tofu in a white bowl.pouring cornstarch over diced tofu in a white bowl.

Toss the cubed tofu with soy sauce and sesame oil. Then, lightly dust the dressed tofu with cornstarch, tossing or stirring until each piece is lightly covered.

tofu cubes in an air fryer basket.tofu cubes in an air fryer basket.

Transfer to an air fryer basket and fry at 400°F for 10 minutes, shaking halfway through.

cooked crispy tofu cubes in an air fryer basket.cooked crispy tofu cubes in an air fryer basket.

Garnish with 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp sesame seeds, and 1 sliced green onion. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or over a bed of white rice.

dipping a cube of air fryer tofu in sweet chili dipping sauce with chopsticks.dipping a cube of air fryer tofu in sweet chili dipping sauce with chopsticks.

Wonderfully chewy and crisp, this air fryer tofu is sure to be a hit!