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
Colorful sweet and sour tofu on top of white rice in a large bowl on a white counter with wooden chopsticks

Sweet and Sour Tofu

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Sweet, tangy, and delicious, this easy Sweet and Sour Tofu is better than takeout and healthier too. Make it in just 20 minutes!


Units Scale

Main Dish

  • 1-16 oz package (454g) super firm tofu (see note 1)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (see note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small red, sweet, or white onion
  • 2 bell peppers (we used red and green)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced pineapple (fresh is best, see note 4)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegan sweet and sour sauce (see note 5)


  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rice for serving, optional


  1. Prep tofu: Begin by preparing the tofu. Add the arrowroot powder or cornstarch, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, ginger powder, and salt to a large reusable bag, container, or a zip top bag and mix it all around. Cube the tofu and while it’s still wet, add the cubes to the bag or container. Seal it, then shake it all around for a minute to coat the tofu completely in the mixture.
  2. Cook tofu: Either air fry the tofu for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) or bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) until the tofu is lightly browned and a little crispy. Make sure to either shake or flip the tofu halfway through so it cooks evenly. You can continue cooking if you want it crispier.
  3. Make the sauce (optional): While the tofu is cooking, whisk together the vegan sweet and sour sauce ingredients if you’re using homemade sauce.
  4. Cook the veggies and pineapple: Next, start sauteing your onions, bell peppers and pineapple at the same time in a medium to large nonstick pot. You can use a bit of oil if you like, or water, soy sauce, or broth, but try to keep the vegetables and pineapple from sticking. We are really only cooking the vegetables till crisp tender (still with a bit of a crunchy bite), but feel free to cook longer if you prefer.
  5. Add the sauce: Pour in the sauce and cook for a few minutes until bubbling. If making homemade sauce (or if you’d like the store-bought to be thicker), mix together 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add to the pot, stirring until incorporated and starting to thicken.
  6. Add the tofu: Finally, add in the cooked tofu and stir for a minute or two so it is evenly coated.
  7. Serve: Serve over cooked Jasmine (or any) rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
  8. Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.


  • Note 1: I’m talking about the kind in the vacuum-sealed plastic, not a tub full of water. If you only have firm or extra firm tofu (that comes in water), you can still make this deliciousness. Just use a tofu press or two plates or cutting boards, paper towels, and a heavy weight (like books or a cast iron pan) to press the tofu for 20-30 minutes before beginning. Your other options are using soy curls, seitan chunks, or store-bought vegan chicken pieces--all good substitutes.
  • Note 2: Part 1 of the tofu’s breading (garbanzo bean flour will also work). You’re also welcome to bake or air fry your tofu without any breading, but I think the texture’s better this way.
  • Note 3: Part 2 of the tofu’s breading! I know it sounds strange but it’s super savory and delicious here--and no, it does not make the tofu taste cheesy.
  • Note 4: Fresh pineapple is best for this--if you don’t feel like cutting up a pineapple, you can often find pre-cut pieces in the prepared fruit and veggie section of your grocery store. As a last resort, frozen or canned pineapple chunks will work, but they may be a little mushy. Try to throw them in near the end.
  • Note 5: Either store-bought or homemade vegan sweet and sour sauce are fine, just make sure you read the ingredients if you’re picking it up from the store. Sometimes there are sneaky non-vegan ingredients in there.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan Tofu, Vegan Sweet and Sour Tofu