Grilled Tofu Tacos

Yes, I know, I’m really into the nut sauces… cashew cream, pestos, romesco. I can tolerate very little dairy, and people give me such sad looks when I tell them that. But really folks… I’m not missing out. What more does one need than nuts and avocados? (you cheese lovers, don’t answer that).

These tacos are kind of fish taco inspired. (So if tofu isn’t your thing, sub in some fish). I made a chipotle/paprika marinade for the tofu which lends a nice smoky balance to the tang of the avocado sauce and the cabbage.

If you really want to go nuts (oh, bad pun, sorry), you can make your own tortillas.

serves 2-3. 

Marinated & grilled tofu:
block of extra firm tofu, sliced into slices a bit bigger than 1/4 inch
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon agave
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (or a few tablespoons of fresh minced onion)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt, pepper

Sprinkle tofu slices with a generous amount of salt, place it between 2 towels and put something heavy on it (a few heavy books or a large pot with some cans it it will do). Let it sit for 20-30 min or so to drain out some of the moisture.

Mix the marinade together. After pressing the tofu, cut into rectangles and place it in a dish that has edges – and one that’s large enough for the tofu to fit in one layer. Pour on marinade, flip tofu to coat both sides. Let sit for as long as it takes to prepare everything else.

Once it’s sat for a bit, grill 1-2 minutes per side – a grill pan is just fine if you don’t have an outdoor grill.

Remove from heat, and pour on the remaining marinade for extra flavor (note – you can do here b/c this is tofu and not fish or meat – don’t reuse the marinade if you’re doing this with fish or meat).

Red cabbage simple slaw
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
1-2 teaspoons rice or white wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons lime juice
a few pinches of salt
splash of agave or a pinch of sugar (optional)

Mix together. Let sit, chilling in fridge for 15-20 minutes or until you’re ready to serve. Taste and adjust.

Avocado cashew cream (makes about 1 cup – you will have extra)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted, cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour*
1/2 cup water
juice of 1 lime (a few tablespoons)
1 small avocado
pinches of salt salt
1/2 teaspoons agave (optional)
1/2  roasted jalapeño (chop up the other half as part of your taco filling)
splash of white wine vinegar or if you made it too spicy on accident

Blend in a high speed blender. Taste and adjust. Chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve. Leftovers will be good for 2 more days. If it gets thick, thin it by stirring in some water.

To roast the jalapeno, place it under the broiler or on your gas stove (which is harder because they’re so small), and roast it until black blistering forms. Remove and place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap (don’t let the plastic touch the actual pepper). Let it sit until it’s cool, enough to handle and then using your fingers, the skin should be easy to peel off. Remove the seeds to remove some of the spice (some say). Wash your hands well afterward, and be careful not to touch your eyes for awhile.

*It’s very important to use raw cashews so this doesn’t taste “cashew-ey.” Also, some recommend soaking them for 6 or more hours. I never remember to soak mine very far in advance and I’ve found that even 30 minutes works out just fine. But I use a vitamix – if you have a less-powerful blender, you will likely have to soak the cashews longer.

grilled or roasted corn (I roasted corn at the same time I was roasting my jalapeno – it may need less time, just watch it, it’s forgiving).

Chopped jalapenos reserved from the sauce above

…or whatever grilled veggies you like

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. First off YUM, these tacos look perfect! Gosh your photos are just beautiful! And secondly, we are totally on the same page, I just posted a recipe for a creamy pasta sauce that features a yummy cashew cream. I am pretty amazed at everything you can do with those little dudes once you soak them!

  2. beetree from on said:

    These look so good! And I have everything except the cashews, but that will be remedied soon… 🙂 would you say this serves around 4?

    • jeanine from on said:

      Thanks, I always forget to add the serving sizes… this served 2 of us (we’re kind of big eaters), with plenty of extra sauce left over. It was about 3 small tacos each. (my homemade tortillas are on the small side). Maybe get just a bit more tofu and make double the slaw. I only used half of this mini cabbage (pictured) so any cabbage you buy would be plenty big, just add more of the vinegar, etc.

      Or this might serve maybe 3 if two of them were little kids and you had side dishes (rice, beans, etc) to go along with it.

      (I should also add that when we actually sat down to eat these I think we put 2 little tofu pieces in each taco, where the photo shows just 1).

      • beetree from on said:

        That helps a bunch- thanks! 🙂

        • Christina from on said:

          Best comment yet. I love hearing what actually happens behind the scenes of your great pictures (which just get better and better by the way). And here I was thinking you’d eat one, your husband would eat too, and feeling guilty that I plan to make 3 each for us! Ha. Thanks for being real Jeanine, it’s what keeps food blogs achievable.

          • jeanine from on said:

            thanks Christina, you’re so kind 🙂

            a girl’s gotta eat, right? (and a guy too I guess).

  3. Jess from on said:

    Each of these elements look so great on their own! I bet your avocado cream would be amazing on top of grain salads as well. I am convinced that avocado can make even us die-hard cheese-lovers overlook its absence!

  4. Courtney Jones from on said:

    The cashew avocado cream looks like the best thing ever invented 🙂

  5. Marcie from on said:

    Thank you for posting. bought ingredients to make tonight while we watch the Braves game.

  6. Absolutely stunning! I’ve been on a huge Mexican kick myself these days– something about steamy August days gets me craving tacos every year. I love, love LOVE the idea of using almonds & cashews for your avocado cream. I can’t wait to give these babies a try!

  7. Kare from on said:

    The avocado cream drew me in but that marinade is what really has me sold. Divine! And what a cute little cabbage. 🙂

  8. Leslie on said:

    This looks great. I’m going to make the tofu and slaw, but use “regular” toppings.

  9. I have not eaten tofu for probably like five years. The last time I ate it I was a vegetarian. Sigh, college days. I have to try this! I never thought to use red cabbage on a taco, sounds brilliant and delicious!

  10. Allyn from on said:

    My sweet husband is allergic to dairy, but he’s also allergic to nuts! Sigh. So many lovely nut sauces ruled out.

    • jeanine from on said:

      oh how sad, a nut allergy must be so so difficult…

  11. jaime from on said:

    sounds delicious- i am so into tofu right now.

  12. Heather from on said:

    Wow these are gorgeous – the colors are so vibrant and pretty!

  13. Ashlae from on said:

    Cashew cream is easily one of my favorite things to make. It’s so. friggin’. versatile. And I love that you added an avocado! If I had cashews soaked (or a grill, or a grill pan, or the courage to make my own tortillas), I’d be all about making these tacos for dinner.

  14. Kathryn from on said:

    I’ve been heating so many tacos this summer – there’s something about them that just works so well when it’s hot outside.

  15. Liz from on said:

    yum, this looks so amazing! Tacos are one of my favorite things to eat and make, and I’m definitly feeling a Mexican food kick coming!

  16. Samantha from on said:

    Made these tonight. They were AMAZING.

  17. Lesley from on said:

    Looks divine!

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  25. Toni on said:

    I had to make these! I didn’t use the jalepeno pepper though. Husband is veg and he isn’t fond of tofu but I made him try it! He actually came back for more and more and more! I was happy they turned out soooo good! I would for sure triple the cabbage recipe, but that’s just me. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • jeanine from on said:

      yes! I love winning over the husbands with tofu… Thanks for sharing!

      • Liz Lynn Ford on said:

        Roasted jalepeno is a game changer.. tastes great too if you roast also corn then add to peppers.

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  33. Lisa on said:

    Could you marintate the tofu and then bake it? I live in an apartment and my smoke alarm goes off every time I use the grill pan 🙁

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  38. Rachel Page from on said:

    Yum! I can’t wait to surprise my family with this

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  52. Mo on said:

    These look lovely! So I’m vegetarian with a meat eating Hubs so I usually Cooke a veg and meat version of most things. He will eat tofu on occasion in soups, but I’m doubting in a taco. What kind of fish would you recommend for this?

  53. Monogram from on said:

    I love tofus! I will definitely try to make this at home. Thanks for sharing the picture of a delicious grilled tofu tacos avocado cream and recipe.

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