Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (2024)

By: Denise Bustard29 Comments
Posted: 7/2/20Updated: 3/12/21

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This ultra crispy air fryer tofu is seasoned with a delicious spice rub and cooked through in just 13 minutes! Golden and crisp on the edges while soft on the inside.

The air fryer is such a great appliance for making crispy chickpeas, zucchini fries, and so much more. One of our favorite ways to use it is to make crispy tofu!

Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (1)

Just like ourEasy Baked Tofu, this air fryer tofu is crispy and coated with a delicious seasoning blend that gives it so much flavor.

And the best part is that by cooking it in the air fryer, we reduce the cook time from 45 minutes to just 13 minutes. Yeah!

Reasons to ♡ air fryer tofu

  • it has SO MUCH FLAVOR and is even kid-friendly
  • you don't need to make a sauce or marinade, simply season with a few spices
  • it cooks in just 13 minutes

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Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (2)

Choose the right tofu

High in protein and containing all the essential amino acids, tofu is a great plant-based protein option.

Tofu is made from compressed soybean curds, and comes in many different varieties including including silken, regular, smoked and extra firm (among many other varieties!). We want our tofu to hold its shape while cooking, which is why you'll need extra firm tofu for this recipe.

Start by pressing the tofu

Pressing the tofu is important for a few different reasons: 1) it helps remove extra moisture from within the tofu, and this helps the tofu get nice and crispy; 2) it improves the flavor by pressing out the flavor-less liquid; 3) it helps the tofu retain it's shape- unpressed tofu can be more delicate and may crumble in the air fryer.

To press the tofu, place tofu between paper towels and plates, then stack a heavy can on top (pictured above). Press for 30 minutes. You can also purchase a tofu press, which may be a good investment if you eat tofu often.

Making the seasoning

The superstar hero of this crispy tofu recipe is the seasoning blend, which is made with simple pantry ingredients, but gives the tofu so much extra flavor.

Mix together paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. You can double or triple this recipe and store it for later (up to a year) in an air tight container! It works great on roasted vegetables, potatoes, and more.

Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (3)

How to cook tofu in the air fryer

  1. Press tofu for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat air fryer to 390°F/200°C.
  3. Toss tofu in avocado oil.
  4. Toss tofu in cornstarch until completely coated.
  5. Toss tofu in a seasoning blend of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and salt.
  6. Add tofu to the basket of your air fryer. Cook, shaking the basket occasionally, for 13 minutes, or until tofu is crispy to your liking

Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (4)

Serve it with

Crispy tofu goes so well with a dip. Here are some tasty ideas:

  • the peanut sauce from this Peanut Ginger Tofu Stir Fry
  • Healthy Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • One of these 7 Amazing Hummus Recipes
  • Super Speedy Tzatziki
  • Healthier Caesar Dressing

Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (5)

More air fryer recipes

  • Crispy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tots
  • Air Fryer Chickpea Cauliflower Tacos
  • Air Fryer Cauliflower
  • Air Fryer Honey Lime Shrimp
  • Air Fryer Thai Salmon Patties

Did you make this? Tag me on social @sweetpeasandsaffron and be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe!

Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (6)

Crispy Seasoned Air Fryer Tofu

5 from 28 votes

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 13 minutes mins

Pressing Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 23 minutes mins

Print Rate

This ultra crispy air fryer tofu is super flavorful and cooked through in just 13 minutes! Popular with kids and adults and an easy vegan recipe.



  • 12 oz block extra firm tofu (350 g)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Press tofu:

    Sandwich between paper towels and two plates. Place a heavy object (like a 28 oz can) on the top plate. See photo in post for a visual. Press for 30 minutes or more.

  • Heat air fryer to 200°C/ 390°F.

  • Cut tofu into ½ inch or ¾ inch cubes.

  • Toss tofu in avocado oil, then in cornstarch.

  • Toss tofu in all remaining spices until evenly coated, then place in the air fryer basket.

  • Cook for 13 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

  • Tofu is ready when it is firm on the outside. It should still be soft on the inside, as it hardens as it cools.

  • Enjoy immediately!


1- Other high smoke point oils that may be suitable for air fryer tofu include: peanut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil and vegetable oil.

2- Tofu may be pressed 3-4 days before cooking and stored in an air tight container in the fridge


Crispy tofu does not keep well and is best served fresh.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1/4 batch, Calories: 94kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 346mg, Potassium: 153mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 490IU, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Author: Denise Bustard

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

© Sweet Peas & Saffron - Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Meet Denise Bustard

Denise Bustard is the creator of Sweet Peas and Saffron, a meal prep-focussed food blog. With a PhD in biochemistry, Denise takes a scientific approach to perfecting her recipes. You can find Denise's work featured on Huffington Post, MSN, Self and more.


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Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

  1. Paula says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (13)
    Easy to make and everyone liked it.


    • Denise Bustard says

      Hi Paula! I'm so happy to hear that. Thanks so much for coming back to leave a review!


  2. Amber says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (14)
    I made this for my kids to try bc they like Tofu, but unfortunately it was pretty salty and to bold of a spiciness for my kids. I had to eat it. Next time I plan on cutting the amount of salt, pepper and paprika to see if my kids will like it.


    • Ben | Sweet Peas & Saffron says

      Hi Amber, If you find a ratio your kids like, please let us know. Thanks,


  3. Isabella says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (15)
    I like to call this “crack tofu” because it’s so good that I can’t have just one. I’ll have leftovers and often toast them in the air fryer the next day. Delicious!


    • Jasmine @ Sweet Peas & Saffron says

      Hi Isabella, haha that's amazing!! Grat tip to toast up the leftovers to make sure they are crispy! Thanks for taking the time to leave a rating and review 🙂


  4. Aimee says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (16)
    This is the first time I’ve EVER liked tofu!!! It’s delicious!! Thank you!


    • Denise Bustard says

      Oh YAY! This makes me so happy to read, Aimee! Thanks so much for reporting back and leaving a review, I really appreciate it 🙂


  5. Karen Moorhead says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (17)
    Loved this recipe! Excellent way to prepare tofu.


    • Denise Bustard says

      Hi Karen, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed the tofu! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to come back and leave a review, I really appreciate it 🙂


      • Shelley Keckler says

        Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (18)
        Love this recipe. I actually used them instead of croutons in my salad today. YUM. Curious if you have tried to freeze and reheat in air fryer?


        • Denise Bustard says

          Hi Shelley! I love that idea, they would be great 'croutons'! I have not tried freezing them. If you try, would you let me know how it goes?


          • Shelley Keckler says

            Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (19)
            It went great. Just heated back up in the air fryer. They will forever be in my freezer. Thank you.

          • Denise Bustard says

            Yay! Thanks for reporting back, Shelley!

          • Denice says

            i freeze cooked tofu all the time - no issues

  6. Margaret Ann Denton says

    This looks so good! I think I'm going to throw it in some Thai Curry noodles!


    • Denise Bustard says

      Thanks, Margaret! I hope you give it a try!


  7. Steve Miller says

    Which Air Fryer do you prefer? This recipe looks great!


    • Denise Bustard says

      Hi Steve! I own a Phillips air fryer and it's served us well for 2 years, however if I were to do it over again, I would buy the XL Phillips model because our model is kind of small. I just purchased an Instant Pot Vortex air fryer and haven't tried it yet...will keep you guys posted on how I like it!


  8. Jeanne says

    Great recipe! I'd love to know what anyone dipped this in. The pic shows a sauce, but I can't tell what it is!


    • Denise Bustard says

      Hi Jeanne! I can't remember what that was now, but I think it would be great in a cashew-based dip, or if you're not vegan, in a homemade caesar or ranch dip https://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/healthy-homemade-ranch-dressing/


  9. Victoria says

    I am so happy I found this recipe and now my tofu turned up perfect! Thank you so much


    • Denise says

      So happy to hear this, Victoria! Thanks for reporting back 🙂


  10. Becky says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (20)
    This was perfect for a quick supper tonight! While I had it cooking I made a quick fried rice and I had a meal in less than 20mins. Thanks!


    • Denise says

      So happy to hear you enjoyed, Becky! Don't you love how fast the air fryer cooks?


  11. Jae says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (21)
    Was craving junk food and needed a quick dinner. So happy I found this - it was delicious. Added leftover veggies - perfect! Thank you for such a quick, simple and yummy recipe!!!


    • Denise says

      Hi Jae! I'm so happy you enjoyed! Thank you so much for your review 🙂


  12. Alyssa says

    Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (22)
    This went so well! I added chipotle pepper to my seasoning mix for a little heat, and it was so good! Love how fast, easy, and yummy this was! Thank you!


    • Denise says

      I'm so happy to hear this! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, Alyssa!


Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu (2024)


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