Grilled Tofu

Looking for an easy plant-based main dish to throw on the grill? Try this grilled tofu recipe! It's satisfying, flavorful, and simple to make.

Grilled tofu

Have you tried grilled tofu yet? If not, you have to bookmark this recipe! I’ll give you two reasons why:

  1. It’s SUPER simple. Ever made homemade veggie burgers? They’re delicious, but they can be fairly involved to make. This grilled tofu is also very tasty (see #2 below), but the prep is way simpler. Press it, season it, and toss it on the grill. It’s the easiest plant-based main dish for a summer cookout.
  2. It’s delicious! On the outside, this grilled tofu is lightly crisp and perfectly charred, while on the inside, it stays tender and juicy. Seasonings like chili powder, curry powder, or soy sauce infuse it with bold flavor. Even tofu skeptics will like it!

Come on, let’s cook!

Block of tofu wrapped in kitchen towel

How to Make Grilled Tofu

The first step in this grilled tofu recipe is pressing the tofu. Whatever you do, don’t skip it! It removes excess water from the tofu, which makes the tofu more cohesive and less likely to fall apart on the grill.

Pat the tofu dry, and wrap it in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.

Cast iron skillet on top of block of tofu wrapped in a kitchen towel

Place it on a cutting board, and then set a heavy cast-iron skillet on top. You could also use another cutting board topped with several heavy cans. Let the tofu sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes.

Pressed tofu slabs on cutting board with knife

Then, slice the block crosswise into 4 slabs. You’ll notice that it’s much firmer than it was before you pressed it!

Slabs on tray with fajita seasoning and avocado oil

Next, season the tofu. This is the fun part! You can season grilled tofu in all sorts of ways, so you get to pick whatever sounds best to you. Try starting with one of these seasonings:

  • Fajita seasoning mix
  • Chili powder
  • Curry powder
  • Tamari or soy sauce

If you’re using fajita seasoning mix, chili powder, or curry powder, sprinkle the spice over the tofu and drizzle it with avocado oil. If you’re using tamari or soy sauce, drizzle it over the tofu without adding any oil.

Hands patting fajita seasoning onto slabs

Use your hands to coat all sides of the tofu slices in the seasoning.

Finally, grill! Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. When it’s hot, brush or spray the grill grates with oil. Grill the tofu for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until char marks form and the tofu releases from the grill grates.

That’s it!

Grilled tofu on a grill pan with peppers and onions

Grilled Tofu Recipe Tips

  • Extra-firm only! This grilled tofu recipe will only work with extra-firm tofu. Don’t try making it with soft or silken tofu (or even regular firm tofu, for that matter). All of them will be too soft and watery to hold up on the grill.
  • Don’t skip the press. This easy, hands-off step is the key to making great grilled tofu! Pressed tofu has a firmer, more satisfying texture, and it’s much less likely to fall apart on the grill.
  • Get the grill (or grill pan) nice and hot before you add the tofu. Cooking the tofu on a preheated grill helps it form the dark, flavorful char marks you see pictured here. It also reduces the likelihood of the tofu sticking to the grill. If your tofu does stick to the grill – even if you preheated it – try cooking it a minute or two longer before you flip it. Often, if the tofu sticks, it means that it’s not yet fully charred.

Close-up shot of grilled tofu with cilantro, lime, and grilled veggies

Grilled Tofu Serving Suggestions

To take the grilled tofu over the top, I recommend serving it with a flavorful sauce. If you season the tofu with fajita seasoning mix, chili powder, or curry powder, try serving it with drizzles of cilantro lime dressing (a squeeze of fresh lime juice works too). If you season the tofu with tamari, try spooning my sesame ginger dressing on top.

Round out the meal with cooked rice or cilantro lime rice and your favorite grilled vegetables. When I season the tofu with tamari, I love to serve it with grilled asparagus as a side dish. When I season it with curry powder, I like it with grilled sweet potatoes and onions. If I toss it in chili powder or fajita seasoning, I pair it with grilled veggie skewers or fajita veggies.

If you have leftover grilled tofu, tuck it into a sandwich or tacos or add it to a grain bowl the next day.

How do you like to serve grilled tofu? Let me know in the comments!

Grilled tofu recipe

More Favorite Grilling Recipes

If you love this grilled tofu recipe, try one of these summer grilling recipes next:

Grilled Tofu

rate this recipe:
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This grilled tofu recipe is one of our favorite ways to cook tofu! Satisfying, flavorful, and perfectly charred, it's a delicious plant-based main dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 14-ounce blocks extra-firm tofu
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil* (see note), more for brushing

Seasoning options (choose one)

  • tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • tablespoons chili powder
  • tablespoons curry powder
  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce*

For serving (choose one)

Instructions

  • Press the tofu. Wrap each block of tofu in a kitchen towel or paper towels. Place a heavy cast iron skillet on top and let it sit for 30 minutes. This helps squeeze excess water out of the tofu, which keeps it from sticking to the grill.
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • Cut each tofu block into 4 slabs and place on a tray or plate. Drizzle the tofu with the avocado oil and sprinkle with your desired seasoning*. Use your hands to coat both sides.
  • Brush or spray the grill grates with oil. Grill the tofu for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until char marks form and the tofu releases from the grill grates. Remove from the grill and season to taste.
  • If you seasoned the tofu with fajita seasoning, chili powder, or curry powder, serve with lime wedges and/or cilantro lime dressing. If you seasoned the tofu with tamari, serve with additional tamari or sesame ginger dressing. See the blog post above for additional serving suggestions.

Notes

*If using tamari, there's no need to drizzle the tofu with oil. Just make sure to oil the grill grates well before you place the tofu on the grill.

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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.