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+ servings
Cubes of crispy, marinated air fried tofu in a white bowl.

Air Fryer Tofu

Super crispy and so versatile, this air fryer tofu is the best way to prepare a basic meat alternative to be used in a variety of dishes.
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield:4 servings


  • Paper towels or clean dish towel
  • Large plate or cutting board
  • heavy skillet or tofu press
  • Sharp knife
  • Air fryer
  • neutral spray oil safe for air fryers
  • Large bowl or serving plates


  • 1 16-ounce block tofu firm or extra-firm, drained
  • salt to taste


To Prepare Tofu

  • Wrap tofu completely in 2 layers of paper towels. Make sure all sides of tofu block are covered and place wrapped tofu on plate or cutting board.
    A block of tofu resting on layers of paper towels.
  • Place heavy skillet on top of wrapped tofu. Leave tofu under skillet 30 minutes.
    A heavy cast-iron skillet sitting on top of a block of tofu, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
  • After 30 minutes, remove skillet, then unwrap tofu and discard paper towels. Wrap tofu in 2 layers of fresh, dry paper towels, making sure to cover all sides of tofu block completely.
  • Return tofu to plate or cutting board, and place skillet on top of wrapped tofu. Leave tofu under skillet 30 minutes more.
  • After second round of 30 minutes, remove skillet, then unwrap tofu and discard paper towels.

To Air Fry Tofu

  • Preheat air fryer to 380° Fahrenheit.
  • Cut pressed tofu block into evenly-sized cubes. Pat cubes completely dry on all sides with paper towels, then liberally sprinkle salt over all sides of tofu cubes.
  • Place tofu cubes in air fryer basket, working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding basket. Spray cubes lightly with neutral spray oil, then shake basket to toss tofu in spray oil.
    Uncooked cubes of tofu in a black air fryer basket.
  • Place basket in air fryer. Air fry tofu 5 minutes, then remove basket. Shake basket to toss tofu and check doneness.
  • Return basket to air fryer and fry tofu 5 minutes more. Repeat process, air frying tofu for 5 minutes then shaking basket and checking doneness, until desired doneness is achieved. See Notes for recommended cooking times.
    Air fried tofu cubes in a black air fryer basket.
  • When satisfied with doneness of tofu, carefully remove basket from air fryer and transfer tofu to large bowl or serving plates. Toss tofu in sauce if desired, or serve tofu immediately with desired sides and preferred dipping sauce.


  • To get crispy, golden tofu, it's absolutely imperative you drain and press the tofu block.
  • Seasoning: Feel free to marinate or season your tofu any way you like before air frying it! We intentionally kept things simple here and used on oil and salt, as this is intended to be a foundational recipe that you can customize however you like or use in other recipes.

Suggested Cook Times

  • 10 Minutes Total: for tofu that's golden in color and crispy on the edges (pictured in this post).
  • 15 Minutes Total: for tofu that's crispy all over but still a little soft.
  • 20 Minutes Total: for tofu that's very crispy and very firm, almost like it's been commercially deep fried. Not recommended for tofu eaten on its own, but great to use in a saucy stir fry.


Serving Size: 1serving | Calories: 62kcal | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 175mg | Total Carbs: 2g | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Net Carbs: 2g | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe By:Cheryl Malik