Honey Garlic Air Fryer Tofu

By Rena Awada | Updated On April 2, 2023

Honey Garlic Air Fryer Tofu is bites of perfectly crispy tofu tossed in a flavorful sweet & savory sauce. Enjoy served over rice or pair with steamed veggies for the perfect vegetarian main course that’s packed with flavor, protein and nutrients! The best part is, this recipe is ready in just 25 minutes!

Tofu in a honey garlic sauce served over rice.

This Honey Garlic Air Fryer Tofu is an easy and DELICIOUS alternative to air-fried chicken. You can make the tofu on its own as an appetizer OR make an entire meal out of it by serving it with a grain and vegetables. This makes a fantastic dinner for busy weeknights and is also a great meal prep option.

Not only is this recipe tasty and easy to make, it’s hearty and satisfying, packing in plenty of plant-based protein. It’s also really amazing to be able to get a flavorful dinner on the table in under 30 minutes with very little mess or cleanup needed. This air fryer tofu is definitely a winner!!

Why you should make this recipe

  • Fast & easy to make: Have this dish on the table in a flash, by multitasking and make the sauce while the tofu and veggies are cooking. A great option for workdays when you get home in the evening and don’t have a ton of time to make a meal.
  • So tasty: The honey garlic sauce that coats the tofu is super tasty. It’s a nice balance of sweet and savory, and it really takes this tofu to the next level.
  • Healthy & filling: This tofu recipe is super satisfying. It’s a great source of plant-based protein, and serve it with rice and veggies for added nutrition.
Using chopsticks to take a piece of tofu.

Ingredients needed

This air fryer tofu recipe is made with simple ingredients that come together for an amazing meal! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tofu: For perfectly crispy tofu that absorbs all of the delicious flavors from the sauce, you’ll want to press extra-firm tofu.
  • Cornstarch: This is the trick to making the tofu extra crispy!
  • Seasonings: To add extra flavor to the tofu, we’re tossing it in a blend of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, and kosher salt.
  • For the sauce: The flavorful sauce is a simple mix of vegetable broth, cornstarch, honey, coconut aminos, sesame oil, and garlic powder.
  • Garnish: Top with sesame seeds and green onion for a pop of color and extra texture.
Tofu and other ingredients divided into small bowls.

How to make this recipe

  1. Prep: Preheat the air-fryer to 400ºF for 4-5 minutes. Cover the tofu in a paper towel and gently press to remove the excess moisture, then cut it into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Season tofu: Place the tofu cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with the seasonings. Gently toss to evenly coat each piece, then drizzle with the oil or spray with cooking oil spray.
  3. Cook tofu: Transfer the tofu to the preheated air fryer and fry for 16-18 minutes, shaking halfway.
  1. Make the sauce: Meanwhile, in a pan whisk all the honey garlic sauce ingredients and place over medium-low heat. Simmer for a couple of minutes, until thickened.
  2. Combine tofu with sauce: Once the tofu is done cooking, transfer it to the pan with the honey-garlic sauce and stir to coat.
  3. Serve: Enjoy overcooked rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions or steamed veggies, if desired.
Honey garlic air fryer tofu with rice and topped with green onion.

Expert Tips

  • As the tofu sits and soaks up the sauce, it will lose some crispiness, so it’s best served immediately
  • To ensure the tofu cooks evenly, cut the tofu into similar-sized cubes.
  • Don’t have an air fryer? You can bake the tofu. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Bake cubed tofu for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Looking to lower calories or carbs? Try serving this air fryer tofu recipe over cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice!
  • Want to make this a vegan meal? To make this vegan-friendly, simply use maple syrup or agave instead of honey.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to press the tofu before air frying?

For the best results and for the crispiest, crunchiest tofu possible, we recommend pressing the tofu before cooking it. This step adds some extra time to this recipe, but it’s totally worth it. Pressing the excess water out of the tofu helps it cook up nice and crisp.

Why won’t my tofu get crispy?

Tofu has a porous surface and releases water before the coating gets crispy, so it works great to toss it in a bit of cornstarch or arrowroot powder, as instructed in this recipe.

How do you keep the tofu from sticking to the air fryer?

To decrease any sticking to the air fryer, be sure to drizzle the tofu with some oil or spray it with cooking oil spray. It also helps to spray the bottom of the basket and shake the basket halfway through cooking.

top view honey garlic tofu pieces served over white rice

Variations

While this dish is delicious as-is, you can change up the ingredients to customize it to your taste preference or use up the veggies you have on hand. Here are some options:

  • Low carb: Swap out the rice for cauliflower rice or even mashed cauliflower.
  • Other grains: Instead of rice, try this over quinoa, farro, or couscous.
  • Other vegetables: A variety of different vegetables work great with this honey garlic tofu. Try steamed or roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, or asparagus.
  • Flavorings: You can add a dash or two of any of your favorite spices or seasoning salts. Make it spicy by adding 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the sauce.

Storage recommendations

Add any leftovers to an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Rewarm it in the air fryer, in a skillet on the stovetop, or pop it in the microwave to reheat. Reheating tofu in the air fryer or skillet will crisp it up the best.

Air fryer tofu served with rice in a small bowl.

More vegetarian recipes

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top view honey garlic tofu bites served over a bowl of rice

Honey Garlic Air Fryer Tofu

Honey Garlic Air Fryer Tofu is cubes of crispy tofu coated in a tasty sweet & savory sauce. Serve over rice or pair with steamed veggies for the perfect meatless main course that’s packed with flavor, protein and nutrients! Best of all? This recipe is ready in just 25 minutes!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 248kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fine kosher salt
  • 1 -2 tbsp olive oil

Honey Garlic Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • OPTIONAL: cooked rice of choice and green onions or steamed veggies to serve with

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF for 4-5 minutes.
  • Cover the tofu in a paper towel and gently press to remove the excess moisture, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • Place the tofu cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with the seasonings. Gently toss to evenly coat each piece, then drizzle with the oil or spray with cooking oil spray.
  • Transfer the tofu to the preheated air fryer and fry for 16-18 minutes, shaking halfway.
  • Meanwhile, in a pan whisk all the honey garlic sauce ingredients and place over medium-low heat. Simmer for a couple of minutes, until thickened.
  • Once the tofu is done cooking, transfer it to the pan with the honey-garlic sauce and stir to coat.
  • Serve over cooked rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions or a side of steamed veggies, if desired.

Notes

Add any leftovers to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Rewarm in the air fryer, in a skillet on the stovetop or pop it in the microwave to reheat. Reheating tofu in the air fryer or skillet will crisp it up the best. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 852mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 338IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
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