Grilled Tofu Tacos with Avocado Cashew Cream

The stars of these tofu tacos are the sauces: a smoky chipotle marinade coats the grilled tofu, and a tangy avocado cashew cream tops them off.

Grilled tofu tacos with avocado cashew cream

Who doesn’t love a fish taco? Now that I’m a vegetarian, I love veggie-filled vegetarian tacos, but I miss ones filled with flaky fish. My solution? These delicious tofu tacos! To spice up my tofu, I made a chipotle/paprika/lime marinade, which lends a nice smoky balance to the other elements of these tofu tacos: tangy avocado sauce and crisp cabbage slaw.

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. You’ll love this creamy, spicy sauce, made with avocado, jalapeño, cashews, and lime. What more does one need than nuts and avocados? (You cheese lovers, don’t answer that).

If you make these fresh, summery tofu tacos, please let me know what you think of them in the comments. I love hearing from you. And if you really want to go nuts (oh, bad pun, sorry) with this recipe, you can make your own tortillas.

4.3 from 3 reviews

Grilled Tofu Tacos with Avocado Cashew Cream

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My vegetarian take on a fish taco, these tofu tacos are smoky, spicy, tangy, and delicious! Vegan and gluten-free with gluten-free corn tortillas.
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 2-3
For the marinated tofu:
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon agave
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder (or a few tablespoons of fresh minced onion)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the red cabbage slaw:
  • ½ cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1-2 teaspoons rice or white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Sea salt
  • Splash agave or pinch sugar (optional)
For the avocado cashew cream:
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime (a few tablespoons)
  • 1 small avocado
  • ½ roasted jalapeño (chop up the other half as part of your taco filling)*
  • Sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon agave (optional)
  • Splash white wine vinegar, to temper spice (optional)
To assemble:
  • Tortillas
  • Grilled or roasted corn (I roasted corn at the same time I was roasting my jalapeño – it may need less time, but just watch it, it’s forgiving).
  • Chopped jalapeños reserved from the sauce above
  1. Sprinkle the tofu slices with a generous amount of salt, place them between 2 towels, and put something heavy on top (a few heavy books or a large pot with some cans in it will do). Let sit for 20-30 minutes or so to drain out some of the moisture.
  2. Mix the marinade together: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and zest, garlic, agave, onion powder, paprika, chipotle, cumin, and salt and pepper. After pressing the tofu, cut it into rectangles and place it in a rimmed dish large enough for the tofu to fit in one layer. Pour on the marinade and flip the tofu to coat both sides. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Make the red cabbage slaw: In a small bowl, mix the sliced cabbage with the vinegar, lime juice, a pinch of salt, and a splash of agave, if desired. Let sit, chilling in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until you’re ready to serve. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Make the avocado cashew cream: In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews, water, lime juice, avocado, roasted jalapeño*, salt, and agave, if using. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding a splash of white wine vinegar if it's too spicy. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve.
  5. Remove the tofu from the marinade and grill 1-2 minutes per side – a grill pan is just fine if you don’t have an outdoor grill.
  6. Remove the tofu from heat and pour on the remaining marinade for extra flavor. (You can do this here because this is tofu and not fish or meat – don’t reuse the marinade if you’re grilling fish or meat).
  7. Fill the tortillas with the tofu, cabbage slaw, avocado cashew cream, corn, reserved jalapeño, or toppings of your choice.
*To roast the jalapeño, 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 without letting the plastic touch the actual pepper. Let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle. Using your fingers, peel off the skin. Remove the seeds to reduce the spice. Wash your hands well afterward, and be careful not to touch your eyes for a while.





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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Lisa

    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 🙁

  2. Toni

    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

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

      • Liz Lynn Ford

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

  3. Samantha from

    Made these tonight. They were AMAZING.

  4. Liz from

    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!

  5. Kathryn from

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

  6. Ashlae from

    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.

  7. Heather from

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

  8. jaime from

    sounds delicious- i am so into tofu right now.

  9. Allyn from

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

    • jeanine

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

  10. 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!

  11. Leslie

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

  12. Kare from

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

  13. 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!

  14. Marcie from

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

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

  16. Jess from

    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!

  17. beetree from

    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

      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

        That helps a bunch- thanks! 🙂

        • Christina from

          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

            thanks Christina, you’re so kind 🙂

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

  18. 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!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.