Air Fryer Tofu | Oil-Free

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This delicious Air Fryer Tofu is crispy to perfection without a drop of oil in only about 15-minutes. Believe me, the whole family is going to love these little chunks!

air frier tofu on blue asian bowl with chopsticks and dipping sauce in background

Add this crispy tofu to stir-fries or serve as an appetizer with a dipping sauce like Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce. I’ve listed lots of other dipping sauce options below.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to get an air fryer, it’s time to just DO IT!

Vegan air fryer recipes

There are so many healthy air fryer recipes to make, you’re missing out by not already having one. I personally use mine at least once a week for everything from french fries to veggie tempura, to black bean burgers. While you’re at it, check out my Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes recipe.

This link has a list of some of my favorites, Best Vegan Air Fryer Recipes.

vegan air fryer recipes photo collage

How to make air fryer tofu

Air fryer tofu is very easy to make and can be ready in only a few minutes.

Begin by draining and pressing the water from the firm tofu. I like to freeze mine ahead of time because it makes it even firmer.

Two options for draining and pressing tofu

  • Traditional way – Slit the package and drain excess water over a sink. Next, place the tofu block in a tofu press if you have one. Allow 15-30 minutes for pressing. UPDATE: I recently purchased this tofu press and absolutely love it. No more cast iron pan pressing for me. This is much easier and cleaner!
  • DIY way – Place tofu on an absorbent surface such as layered paper towels or a dishtowel. Use another dish towel or paper towels to place on top of the block and top with a heavy plate or cast iron pan. Continue to drain under pressure for approximately 30 minutes.
tofu block being pressed on wooden board with black cast iron pan on top

Freezing tofu

If you want to make it even easier, freeze your tofu ahead of time. When ready to use in a stir fry or other dish, defrost completely by either placing in the refrigerator for 24+ hours, or submerging in a large bowl of very warm water. If submerging, it will take an hour or so and will require changing the water a couple of times to make sure it stays very warm.

Once defrosted, open the container and drain out excess water. You will notice that the molecular structure of the tofu has actually changed. It is much firmer and more sponge-like. It can now be handled with ease and the water can be squeezed out of it using your hands, just like wringing out a sponge. Check out my cooking demo of Breakfast Tofu Scramble to see how easy it is.

block of tofu being sliced into cubes on wooden cutting board

Marinating tofu

Marinating the tofu is completely optional, but it does add more flavor to the finished product, so I highly recommend it.

Dice the tofu into 1″ cubes and mist with soy sauce or coconut aminos and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

tofu marinating in glass dish with bottle of coconut aminos in background

Before cooking, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Coat well by stirring the cubes around a bit.

tofu cubes in glass dish covered with spices and cornstarch

Place in the air fryer, set the temperature to 400°F for 15 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, stop and shake the air fryer basket to redistribute.

tofu in black air fryer

Tofu dipping sauces

Serve with rice and dipping sauce. Some of my favorite dipping sauces for air fryer tofu are:

Whichever sauce you use for dipping, these crunchy tofu cubes are going to be amazing! And, if you don’t want to make your own sauce this Thia sweet spring roll sauce is a good option.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

air fried tofu held in chopsticks over dipping sauce

This recipe makes a great addition to stir-fries and pasta dishes.

If serving as a main dish, some great side dishes are steamed rice, corn on the cob, salad, or steamed edamame (soybeans).

black square plate with steamed rice and tofu overhead shot

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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air frier tofu on blue asian bowl with chopsticks and dipping sauce in background
4.29 from 7 votes

Air Fryer Tofu | Oil-Free

This delicious air fryer tofu is crispy to perfection without a drop of oil in less than 20-minutes. Believe me, the whole family is going to love these!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients 

  • 14 oz block of firm to extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce amino acids, or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch or arrowroot powder

Instructions

  • Drain and press the water from the firm tofu. I like to freeze mine ahead of time because it makes it even more firm. For detailed instructions on how I do that, check out the article above.
  • Dice the tofu into 1" cubes
  • Mist with soy sauce or coconut aminos. More options listed in the article.
  • Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Before cooking, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Coat well by stirring the cubes around a bit.
  • Place in the air fryer, set temperature to 400°F for 15 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, stop and shake the air fryer basket to redistribute.
  • Serve with rice and dipping sauce. I have some great options that I like to use for dipping listed above.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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5 Comments

  1. LOVE air fried tofu! I never press my tofu anymore, though, because I prefer it “puffier” like the fried-in-oil version. Looking forward to trying your coating recipe. ?

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