Nooch-Encrusted Air Fryer Tofu Cubes

Nooch-Encrusted Air Fryer Tofu Cubes

Two of the most common questions we’re asked are: “What do I do with tofu?” and “What can I make in my air fryer?” Well, dear readers, today we are tackling both questions with one easy vegan snack recipe. And it’s one of our favorites of all time. Meet our nutritional yeast encrusted air fryer tofu cubes.

These are a staple in my house because they take just 15 minutes total to make, and they’re absolutely delicious. And quite filling! I call these petit tofu cubes “popcorn tofu” because I snack on them straight from the bowl, just like popcorn. They’re flavorful, salty, sprinkled with nooch, and make a totally perfect popcorn alternative.

The Best Air Fried Tofu With Nooch!

In case the photos haven’t already swayed you to cook these up this week, here are a few more reasons you should add this recipe to your weekly meal planning (or snack planning) rotation:

  • It’s deeelicious—whether you eat it on it’s own or dipped in your favorite dipping sauce!
  • Super-quick to make (just 6 minutes of prep time and 8 minutes in the air fryer)
  • Just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen!
  • A healthy snack. Skip the chips and reach for these nutritious snackable cubes instead!
  • Protein-packed—thanks to the tofu, which is one of the best sources of protein (and calcium!) around!

Star Ingredients in these Air Frier Tofu Cubes

Super-Firm Tofu – Super-firm tofu is the most firm widely-available tofu and we use it in this recipe because it doesn’t need to be pressed before use like other types of tofu do. You’ll find super-firm tofu in the refrigerated section of your grocery store in vacuum sealed plastic packaging. This should not be confused with extra-firm tofu which is slightly softer and typically packaged in plastic tubs. If you do use extra-firm tofu, make sure to press it first to remove the excess water.

Nutritional Yeast – Also known as “nooch” or “vegan fairy dust,” this cheesy-flavored ingredient is a favorite in vegan kitchens. And it adds a serious “wow” factor to these tofu cubes! For a long time I made these air-fried tofu cubes without nooch, but when I saw my friend Taylor Wolfram post about her own nooch tofu recipe, I thought I’d try adding nooch to mine. Adding it in as a final coating before they go in the air fryer has been game-changing.

Corn starch – Corn starch is a common key ingredient in crispy fried food because it allows additional oil absorption and creates that crispy coating that is universally loved. Even when you’re air frying rather than frying in oil, a coating of cornstarch can help achieve that crispy-outer-coating effect. We use a very modest amount in this recipe because most of the crispiness comes from the nooch!

Toasted Sesame Oil – We use this oil because it’s sesame oil can withstand extremely high heat, and because it carries with it a delicious flavor adding a lil’ extra somethin’ to these tofu cubes! But don’t worry, if you don’t have toasted sesame oil on hand you can use any vegetable oil (canola will work great as well).

Sauce ‘Em up With a Dip

You can enjoy these on their own (that’s what I usually do). But you can also serve them up up with a side of Sriracha (or “Srirachup”—a mix of Sriracha and ketchup), buffalo sauce, mustard, vegan ranch, or other favorite dips.

Air Fried Tofu Cubes Encrusted in Nutritional Yeast

Q&A About These Air Fryer Tofu Cubes

Can I make these without corn starch? Sure! We’ve made these without corn starch, without oil, and even without nutritional yeast. The final texture comes out differently, but if you’re a tofu lover like we are, you’ll probably still find them totally delicious and addicting. We do!

How big should I make the cubes? I like to chop my tofu into quite small cubes, about a centimeter in size. This creates a popcorn-like eating experience and also ensures that they’re flavor-packed and crispy. You can make the cubes larger if you’d like but keep it mind the tofu texture inside will be more apparent. That’s a win for tofu lovers, but maybe not so much with tofu skeptics.

My air fryer is set in Celsius, not Fahrenheit! Not to worry, cook these tofu tots up at 200° Celsius for the same allotted time (5 minutes, flip, and then 4 more minutes).

Can I make these in advance and store them in the fridge? It’s best not to—these taste best fresh out of the air fryer. They will be fine for a few hours left out at room temperature, but when you put them in the fridge they will get a soggy and lose their charm.

Equipment You’ll Need

Air Fried Tofu Recipe—Nooch Encrusted Popcorn Tofu

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Air Fryer Tofu Cubes

Nooch-Encrusted Air Fryer Tofu Cubes

  • Author: Michelle Cehn
  • Prep Time: 6 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 - 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This air-fried tofu is the most delicious protein-packed snack that comes together in minutes with the help of an air fryer. It’s so simple—made with cubed tofu, some spices, and nutritional yeast—and surprisingly healthy! This is one of our favorite snacks and make a delicious alternative to popcorn for movie watching or snacking. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 block of super-firm tofu (the kind in a vacuum-sealed package)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Slice your block of super-firm tofu into small cubes (about a centimeter in size) and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and toasted sesame oil and mix until evenly coated. 
  3. Add corn starch and mix until evenly coated. 
  4. Add nutritional yeast and gently mix until all tofu is well-coated. There may be some loose nutritional yeast at the bottom of the bowl—that’s okay, just get as much as you can to stick on. 
  5. Spread tofu cubes evenly in the air fryer in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes at 390° F. Using a spatula, flip the tofu (no need to be too precise here, just shake them up a bit), and air fry for another 4 minutes at 390° F. 
  6. Place in a bowl and enjoy! 

Notes

These are best enjoyed fresh, so while they will last several hours on the counter, it’s best not to refrigerate and reheat them. That said, I’ve never once had leftovers—even if I’m the only one eating them! They are that good.

This recipe is very versatile. You can leave out the red pepper flakes if you’re not a fan of spice, and even skip the corn starch and/or nutritional yeast if you don’t have those on hand. It won’t be quite the same but will still be delicious, and I enjoy it that way often! 

Keywords: snack, healthy, popcorn, tofu, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, nutritional yeast, easy

Crispy Tofu Made In The Air Fryer

More Air Fryer Recipes:

More Tasty Tofu Recipes:

This recipe for crispy air fryer tofu cubes comes from the kitchen of Michelle Cehn. Air-fried tofu recipe, photos, and article copyright of World of Vegan. Please note that this article contains affiliate links that support our work at World of Vegan. Happy air frying!

Share This Post

12 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. These air fried tofu cubes are my FAVE!!! I make them all the time, whenever hubby and I need a snack and have tofu on hand. The air fryer is at the ready, and I love that they only take 15 minutes TOTAL—most of which is hands-off.

    Reply
  2. Anyone who is intimidated by their air fryer should try this recipe! It’s so simple, and SO good! My hubby and I make these alllll the time.

    Reply
  3. Amanda · Edit

    I LOVE tofu and it’s hard to imagine a better use of an air fryer than to make these nooch nuggets!

    Reply
  4. Beatriz Buono-Core · Edit

    I love this tofu! It is not an easy feat to make tofu crispy and this recipe achieves it to perfection 🙂 we need more air fryer recipes!

    Reply
  5. Marie H. · Edit

    I’m not a huge fan of tofu, but these crispy little cubes really tempted me! Can’t believe that they’re super quick to make and come out so good! I love the addition of the sesame oil, red pepper flakes and nooch. I was so surprised at how much I liked them!

    Reply
  6. Andrea · Edit

    Yessss! I love everything about this recipe!! This is going to be a staple in the house from now on!

    Reply
  7. Janaye · Edit

    I got an air fryer for Christmas so I definitely want to do air fried tofu! love this

    Reply
  8. I love this air fryer tofu recipe so much!! I never thought of adding nutritional yeast, but it’s such a good addition for some extra cheesiness and flavor.

    Reply

Post Comment

Recipe rating