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Sweet and sour tofu is made in just about 30 minutes with simple and inexpensive ingredients! Bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks accompany the crispy pan fried tofu in the most mouthwatering homemade sweet and sour sauce.

Tofu, veggies, and rice are presented together on a single round plate.
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We all love a classic sweet and sour chicken, but have you ever had sweet and sour tofu? The sweet and tangy sauce coating the crispy tofu makes it so tasty that you won’t even know it’s tofu – or I mean, I guess you will, but you won’t miss the meat, that’s for sure!

Also, you know how I feel about cooking tofu correctly. It’s probably the first step to becoming a tofu lover, so definitely give those tips a read-through before making this recipe. I think this sweet and sour tofu is dinner-worthy, and it will definitely help you take a step out of your comfort zone, so let’s give it a go!

And, if you’re looking for more easy tofu recipes, I highly recommend trying these teriyaki tofu and broccoli bowls, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu, or this spicy chili tofu stir fry.

Why You’ll Love Sweet and Sour Tofu

You need this colorful sweet and sour tofu recipe in your life! Here’s why:

  • The homemade sweet and sour sauce! I’m sure you can guess what I’m going to say… but it’s so true. This homemade sweet and sour sauce recipe is SO MUCH better than anything you could ever buy in a bottle! The flavor is bold and the consistency is so thick and smooth.
  • Perfect for Meatless Mondays. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, it’s nice to take a break from the same old carnivore routine with tofu recipes like this one. Plus, it’s got tons of protein and flavor so you’ll still leave the dinner table satisfied.
  • Quick and easy. There’s a reason this is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes, and not just because of how tasty it is. This easy dinner is just that – easy. It comes together in just about half an hour!
The ingredients for sweet and sour tofu are placed on a white surface.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s the short list of ingredients you’ll need to make easy sweet and sour tofu. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements!

For the Tofu

  • Extra-firm tofu – Extra-firm tofu holds its shape really well when cooking, so I usually go with that. Firm tofu should be fine as well.
  • Cornstarch – This is the secret to getting extra crispy tofu!
  • Oil – Using a cooking oil with a high smoke point is very important – I tend to use avocado oil, but other neutral cooking oils like canola oil work well, too.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is best, but store-bought works in a pinch!
  • Bell peppers – You’ll need a medley of green, red, and yellow bell peppers.
  • Pineapple – You can leave this out if you don’t like pineapple, but I love the sweet, tangy flavor it adds!
  • Onion – This recipe calls for both red onion and green onion.

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • Ketchup – This gives the sauce its classic vibrant red color, and adds the desired sweet and sour flavor.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar is my go-to.
  • White vinegar – Apple cider vinegar can be substituted if you prefer.
  • Soy sauce – Tamari is good here too, especially if you need a gluten free substitute.
  • Cornstarch and water – To thicken up the sauce a little.

How to Make Sweet and Sour Tofu

Here’s a little sneak peak of how to make the best sweet and sour tofu! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

  • Cook the tofu. Add oil to a skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Toss the cubed tofu in cornstarch, then toss it into the hot skillet. Cook the tofu until it is crispy on all (or just two) sides, depending on your preference.
  • Cook the fresh ingredients. Set the tofu aside and keep it warm. To the same skillet, add the veggies and pineapple. Sauté them for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
  • Make the sweet and sour sauce. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and pour it into a skillet. Allow it to simmer for about 3 minutes to thicken up.
  • Toss to coat. Toss the crispy tofu and sautéed veggies in the sweet and sour sauce. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips for Success

Here are just a few helpful tips to make sure this sweet and sour tofu turns out perfect every time:

  • Whisk the cornstarch and water. Don’t just pour the cornstarch and water in with the other ingredients as two separate entities. To ensure the cornstarch doesn’t clump, whisk together the two ingredients to create a slurry, then add that mixture in with the other sauce ingredients. This is what gives the sauce its thickness and signature glossy sheen!
  • Make sure the tofu is crispy. I’m so not a fan of mushy tofu. I don’t know if anyone is! When it comes to extra firm tofu, it’s always best when coated in cornstarch and cooked until crispy on at least two sides. Personally, I like it best when it’s crispy all the way around.
  • Try to make sure the veggies are uniform in size. You’ll want the peppers, onions, and pineapple pieces to all be relatively the same size. This is so they fit perfectly together on your fork and always make for the best bite.
White rice and saucy tofu are served on a round plate.

Substitutions & Recipe Variations

These are just a few easy ways you can customize this classic sweet and sour tofu to best fit your tastes:

  • Make it gluten-free. All of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free, except for the soy sauce! Simply replace it with gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos. I also always recommend checking the labels on every other ingredient just to be sure they’re all gluten-free as well.
  • You can use canned or fresh pineapple. Either option will work well here! While fresh pineapple is usually my favorite to use, it’s not always fun to cut up an entire pineapple. The canned stuff is also delicious and so much easier to access!
  • Switch up the bell peppers. Some people have strong aversions to some bell peppers, and that’s okay! If you choose to omit one color of pepper, just replace it with one that you know you like.
Sweet and sour tofu is plated next to a fluffy serving of white rice.

What Goes With Sweet and Sour Tofu?

The short answer is, a whole bunch of things! These are some of my favorite side dishes to serve with this sweet and sour tofu recipe:

  • Rice. Round out your meal with one signature side – rice! Rice does a fantastic job at soaking up the sweet and sour sauce so you don’t have to let one single drop go to waste. Sticky rice, jasmine rice, or even plain white rice all do the trick.
  • Drinks. Since sweet and sour tofu features a medley of veggies, I usually don’t plate it with anything other than rice. However, I do like to pair it with some summery drinks. Compliment the pineapple flavor in your entree with Pineapple Orange Rum Punch! You can also choose a non-alcoholic option like Refreshing Summer Punch that’s just as tasty.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Sweet and sour tofu can be saved for later if you have leftovers! Here’s the best way to do that:

  • To store. You can store your leftover sweet and sour tofu with veggies in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
  • To reheat. When reheating, you can use the microwave but I do recommend using your stove-top instead if you can. Tofu tends to hold up much better when reheated in a pan over medium-low heat until warmed through.

More Easy Tofu Recipes

On the lookout for more easy tofu dishes? I highly recommend trying these ones!

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5 from 2 votes

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Sweet and sour tofu is made with crispy tofu, colorful veggies, and a homemade sweet and sour sauce! Serve it over rice for a simple but incredibly flavorful dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 4 slices pineapple, cubed, about ½ cup
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, sliced

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • cup sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add oil to the skillet.
  • Toss tofu in cornstarch and when the skillet is hot, add the tofu and don't move it until you need to flip it to ensure a crispy crust. You can do all sides or just two sides – depends on how much time you have.
  • Remove tofu from skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, add garlic, bell peppers, pineapple, red onion, and green onions. Sauté until softened and tender, about 10 minutes.
  • In a measuring cup or bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce then pour into the skillet. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken up.
  • Add the tofu back in and toss to coat in the sauce.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm!

Notes

  • To store. You can store your leftover sweet and sour tofu with veggies in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
  • To reheat. When reheating, you can use the microwave but I do recommend using your stove-top instead if you can. Tofu tends to hold up much better when reheated in a pan over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 385kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Sodium: 1152mg, Potassium: 593mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 36g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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