Cilantro Lime Grilled Tofu

Cilantro lime grilled tofu recipe

The Spruce / Andrea Livingston

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Marinating Time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
540 Calories
38g Fat
16g Carbs
47g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 540
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 757mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 47g
Vitamin C 21mg 105%
Calcium 1326mg 102%
Iron 11mg 59%
Potassium 819mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cilantro lime grilled tofu may become your go-to vegetarian and vegan choice for summer cookouts. For a taste south of the border, tofu is marinated in a Mexican spiced cilantro and lime marinade and then grilled on your outdoor barbecue. You can double the recipe and place the tofu on bamboo skewers with vegetables to make tofu kabobs. Or you can cut the tofu into thick slabs and place them right on the grill.


  • 1 block tofu, firm or extra-firm, well pressed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cilantro lime grilled tofu
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  2. Prepare the tofu. Most tofu will taste best if you press it first. This is because tofu is like a sponge—the more water you gently press out of it, the more delicious marinade it can soak up. To press tofu, place it on a layer of paper towels or a clean dish cloth, and place another layer of paper towels on top of the tofu. Place a weight on it, such as a heavy can inside a glass or ceramic bowl. Let it sit for 30 minutes to press.

    Press tofu
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  3. Slice the tofu into four thick slabs. Or if you want to grill the tofu on skewers, chop it into cubes and place them on skewers.

    Slice tofu
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  4. Whisk together remaining ingredients and add tofu, coating well. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  5. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat. Oil the grate lightly.

    Brush grill
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston
  6. Place tofu or bamboo skewers on the grill and cook until lightly browned on all sides (about 5 minutes), basting occasionally with extra marinade. Serve hot.

    Grill tofu
    The Spruce / Andrea Livingston


  • If you make kabobs, choose vegetables such as onions, cherry tomatoes, and red, green, and yellow peppers. If you can handle more spice, you can grill jalapeños or other chiles on the kabobs. Squares of cilantro lime grilled tofu go great with rice and beans on a traditional Mexican plate.
  • If you haven't grilled tofu before, there are a few things you should know. Tofu tends to stick the grill, so it is important to oil the grates. This recipe doesn't use any sugar, but you could experiment with adding a bit as the sugar will caramelize when grilled, giving the tofu a crisp texture. Unlike with a meat or poultry marinade, it is safe to use a tofu marinade as a basting sauce.
  • Other than pressing, another trick to get the tofu to absorb marinade is to freeze and then thaw the tofu. This will make it both more absorbent and chewier—perfect for grilling.

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