These grilled Vegetable Tofu Skewers are made with cubed tofu and a rainbow of fresh veggies (bell pepper, poblano, zucchini, red onion, and cherry tomatoes). Just build the kebabs, marinade in a garlicky and herbaceous chimichurri sauce, and grill until they're browned and crispy on the edges. Easy, healthy, and so delicious.
These Grilled Tofu Skewers are proof you don't need meat to make your summer barbecue a success. Crispy, grilled tofu, colorful veggies, and a flavor-packed sauce. What more could you want?
Chimichurri is traditionally used as a marinade or sauce for grilled meat, but it works equally well on the tofu and vegetables in this vegan kebab recipe.
My chimichurri marinade is similar to the traditional Argentinian sauce using garlic, vinegar, and lots of fresh herbs.
One change is that I use grapeseed oil instead of the olive oil in most chimichurri recipes. This is because grapeseed oil stands up better to high-heat cooking on the grill. (It has a higher smoke point.)
With the magic of a hot grill, these vegan tofu skewers with chimichurri sauce make a delectable summertime dinner.
Here's what you'll need to make Chimichurri Grilled Tofu Skewers at home:
- Yellow bell pepper
- Poblano pepper
- Zucchini (small)
- Red onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grapeseed oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Crushed red pepper
- 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
To prep for this recipe, start by pressing the tofu. If you're new to this, you can read my full tutorial about how to press tofu here.
If you're using bamboo skewers, you'll need to soak them in water before using, too.
To make this chimichurri marinade, first, mince fresh parsley and cilantro into very fine pieces. Then, whisk the fresh herbs with garlic, crushed red pepper, grapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. Taste the sauce and adjust the flavorings as needed.
Next, build the skewers. Thread the bell pepper, poblano pepper, zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and cubed tofu on each skewer. Then, brush about half of the chimichurri sauce on each side of the assembled skewers.
Set the skewers aside to marinate for about 30 minutes. You can do this while you preheat the grill.
Once the grill is preheated, spread the skewers directly on the grill grates, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until grill marks appear on the bottom of the tofu and it no longer sticks to the grates.
Then, flip and rotate the skewers and cook for 10 additional minutes, or until the tofu and vegetables are browned on both sides. (You'll need about 20 minutes for the total cooking time.)
After the skewers are grilled, transfer them back to the baking sheet or place them on a serving dish. Brush them with the remaining chimichurri sauce.
Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro leaves if you want to add some more fresh, green color and herby flavor.
Hint: I like to use pepper or onion on each end of the skewers because they're the least likely to break. Otherwise, the order doesn't matter.
- Cilantro - If you don't like cilantro, omit it and double the fresh parsley.
- Mild - Use any color bell pepper in place of the poblano pepper for a sweeter and milder flavor. Omit the crushed red pepper to make the chimichurri sauce less spicy.
- Zucchini - Substitute yellow summer squash for the zucchini.
- Oil - Use any high-heat liquid oil in place of the grapeseed oil, such as canola oil or avocado oil.
- BBQ - Use barbecue sauce instead of chimichurri sauce.
- Italian - Swap in pesto sauce or marinara for the chimichurri sauce.
- Thai - Use Thai-inspired peanut sauce.
- Without an outdoor grill - Cook the skewers on a greased grill pan or large, greased skillet on the stovetop.
- In the oven - I haven't tested this, but you should be able to bake the skewers in the oven. Just arrange the skewers in a single layer in a baking dish and bake at 450ºF for 25-30 minutes.
- Knife and cutting board
- Skewers (metal or bamboo — if you use bamboo, just be sure to soak them in water first)
- Small mixing bowl
- Basting brush
- outdoor grill or grill pan
You can make these tofu skewers up to four days in advance.
Store the prepared tofu skewers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave, on the stovetop or grill, or in the oven.
You can also remove the tofu and vegetables from the skewers and store in a freezer-safe bag for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Tofu is made from pressed soybean curd and is a rich source of plant-based protein.
- Vegetables provide filling fiber and beneficial phytonutrients, which are also responsible for their bright, pigmented color.
- Garlic has natural sulfur compounds that are antimicrobial and beneficial to the cardiovascular system.
If the tofu is sticking to the grill, you need to cook it longer. Wait a couple more minutes before flipping the skewers. Once full cooked, the tofu will easily release from the grill.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes before using them. This prevents them from burning on the grill.
Build the tofu kebabs and then brush both sides with the marinade. Allow the tofu to rest with the marinade for about 30 minutes. You can do this while the grill is preheating.
Grill tofu skewers for about 20 minutes total, flipping them halfway through. The tofu should be brown on the edges and easily release from the grill grates. If the tofu is sticking to the grill, cook for a couple of minutes longer.
Grilled Vegetable Tofu Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce
- Knife and cutting board
- Small mixing bowl
- Basting brush
- grill or grill pan
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and chopped into ½-inch cubes (see note)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 small zucchini, chopped into ½-inch rounds
- ½ red onion, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 12 cherry tomatoes
Optional for serving:
- Fresh parsley leaves
- Fresh cilantro leaves
Mix the Chimichurri Sauce:
- Whisk parsley, cilantro, garlic, crushed red pepper, grapeseed oil, red wine vinegar, and salt until evenly mixed.
Build the Skewers:
- If using wood skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes before using.
- Build the skewers, alternating between the bell pepper, poblano pepper, zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and cubed tofu. (Use peppers or onion on the ends of the skewers to prevent pieces from breaking.)
- Brush half of the chimichurri sauce on both sides of the assembled skewers. Set the skewers aside to marinate for about 30 minutes. You can marinate the skewers while the grill is preheating.
Grill the Skewers:
- Preheat the grill to high heat.
- Once preheated, spread the skewers directly on the grill grates, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until grill marks appear on the bottom of the tofu and it easily releases from the grill. If the tofu is sticking to the grill grates, cook for 2 additional minutes and then check again. The skewers should be easy to flip and should not stick to the grill.
- Flip and rotate the skewers and cook for 10 additional minutes, or until the tofu and vegetables are browned on both sides. (20 minutes total cooking time.)
- Transfer the skewers back to the baking sheet or to a serving dish and brush with the remaining chimichurri sauce. Serve with additional fresh parsley and cilantro leaves if desired.
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