Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Tofu

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

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!

close up shot of air fryer tofu in bowl with dip

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

And the top 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

Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!

pressing the tofu between plates with a can of tomatoes on top

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 air fryer tofu to hold its shape while cooking, which is why you’ll need extra firm tofu for this recipe.

You may wish to select non-GMO *, organic tofu, as the GMO soybean is usually sprayed with round-up (a herbicide) to kill off competing weeds, which has negative environmental implications (ref).

*Though I do wish to note (as a PhD in biochemistry), that in general GMO’s have an unfairly bad rep, and that we should do our research as to the type of genetic modification the crop has had and make an educated decision rather than avoiding all GMO’s.

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 obtain kind 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.

Choosing the right oil

Oil helps the surface of the tofu crisp up, but you want to make sure to pick the right one. When cooking in the air fryer, avocado oil is a great choice over olive oil. The reason? Because it has a higher smoke point. While olive oil can burn and smoke at 375°F, the smoke point of avocado oil is closer to 480°F (ref).

Other high smoke point oils that may be suitable for air fryer tofu conclude peanut oil (smoke point of 450°F), grapeseed oil (420°F), sunflower seed oil (420°F), vegetable oil (400°F) and even sesame oil (410°F) (ref).

Making the seasoning

The superstar hero of this air fryer 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.

hand holding bottle of avocado oil

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

tofu cubes tossed in seasonings

Serve it with

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

tofu in air fryer basket

More air fryer recipes

Air Fryer Tofu

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Keyword: air fryer, gluten-free, tofu, vegan

Calories: 94kcal

Author: WPOPT

Servings: 4

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

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time13 mins

Pressing Time30 mins

Total Time23 mins


  • 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 1/2 inch or 3/4 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 each 5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

  • Tofu is alert 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 conclude: 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 Storage Crispy tofu does not keep well and is top served fresh.


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

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