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Sweet and Sour Tofu

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Sweet and Sour Tofu is made in just about thirty 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.

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 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 and that’s probably the first step in trying tofu! I think this sweet and sour tofu is dinner-worthy and definitely take a step out of that comfort zone and make this!

Why You’ll Love It

  • 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 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. And it comes together in just about half an hour!
the ingredients for sweet and sour tofu are placed on a white surface.

Ingredients You’ll Need

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!

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Cornstarch
  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Bell peppers – You’ll need a medley of green, red, and yellow bell peppers.
  • Pineapple
  • Red onion
  • Green onion

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • Ketchup
  • Sugar
  • White vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Water

How To Make

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 heat over medium-high heat. Toss the cubed tofu in cornstarch, then toss it into the hot skillet. Cook until crispy on all (or just two) sides, depending on your preference.

Cook the fresh ingredients. Set the tofu aside and keep warm. To the same skillet, add the veggies and pineapple. Sauté 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 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!

Substitutions and Variations

Here 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.
white rice and saucy tofu are served on a round plate.

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 it’s 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.
sweet and sour tofu is plated next to a fluffy serving of white rice.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

You can store your leftover sweet and sour tofu with veggies in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2-3 days. 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.

What to Serve with Sweet and Sour Tofu

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.

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.

tofu, veggies, and rice are presented together on a single round plate.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 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

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.


  • 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!


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

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.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: chinese tofu recipes, easy tofu recipes, tofu recipes
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