Vegan Blackened Grilled Tofu

Vegan Blackened Grilled Tofu on a plate

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinate: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
213 Calories
17g Fat
5g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 213
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1163mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 345mg 27%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 320mg 7%
*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.)

Blackened seasoning is a potently fragrant and flavorful seasoning blend used on all sorts of proteins to give the outside a dark and charred crust when cooking in a cast-iron skillet. This type of seasoning is a popular spice for grilling fish, chicken, and steaks, and it works beautifully on plant-based proteins like grilled tofu and tempeh as well. A combination of dry herbs, paprika, black pepper, garlic, and onion powder; this seasoning is also a great addition for roasted vegetables or potatoes, so having extra in the cupboard is always a good idea. Simply follow our measurements, double or triple them, and reserve what you're not using for the recipe for later dishes.

Packed with protein and mild in flavor, tofu is a protein derived from soy. Also called bean curd, it has the appearance of a block of fresh cheese and is usually sold in water. Because of its porous texture, tofu is a great ingredient to marinate or add sauces to as it soaks in anything you put on top or cook it with. It's found in various textures, but always choose extra firm tofu when you're grilling, so it keeps its shape.

For best results, take the time to press the tofu. As in most vegetarian tofu recipes, pressing the tofu also allows it to absorb more of the flavorings and seasonings. If you don't want to use the grill, a greased cast-iron skillet or a nonstick pan works well, but you won't have the very charred appearance, or smoky flavor from the grill.

"Blackened tofu is a great meat-free alternative for the summertime that comes together quickly once the tofu is pressed and marinated. Pressing is really important here as it makes flipping the tofu on the grill easier. Be sure to oil the grates of the grill too!" —Kayla Hoang

Vegan Blackened Grilled Tofu/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Tofu:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

For the Blackening Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • Canola oil, for the grill

Steps to Make It

Marinate the Tofu

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tofu on a plate and sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Slice the pressed tofu block into 4 pieces of about 1-inch thickness each.

    Tofu cut into four pieces on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Place soy sauce in a shallow dish and add the tofu. Marinate, covered and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes, turning once or twice to marinate evenly.

    Tofu in a shallow dish with soy sauce

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Blackening Seasoning

  1. Gather the blackening seasoning ingredients.

    Glackened seasoning ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. Mix well.

    Blackened seasoning in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Tofu

  1. Prepare a medium (350 F to 375 F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Oil the grill grates to create a nonstick surface. Remove the tofu from the soy marinade and dip each piece into the blackened seasoning spice mixture, making sure the tofu is generously coated on both sides.

    Tofu with blackened seasoning on a plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Grill the tofu until it has blackened on both sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total.

    Tofu with blackened seasoning on a grill

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

How to Serve Blackened Tofu

This flavorful tofu steak can be served in a variety of ways. Here are a few of our favorite preparations:

  • Blackened Tofu Salad: In a big bowl, mix 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of baby arugula, 1 large chopped avocado, and 1 small apple with 4 tablespoons of olive oil a squeeze of lime. Divide the salad among 4 bowls, and top each with a piece of blackened tofu. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with crusty bread on the side.
  • Blackened Tofu Sandwich: Slice a large fresh baguette lengthwise and spread a generous amount of your favorite homemade or store-bought hummus. Place the slices of blackened tofu on the prepared bread. Add a handful of baby kale and a drizzle of olive oil on top. Cut into 4 individual sandwiches and serve with cassava chips.
  • Blackened Buddha Bowl: Prepare 4 bowls with a cup each of cooked brown rice or quinoa. Place a piece of blacked tofu on top. Dollop a tablespoon of hummus, a handful of sunflower seeds, 4 slices of avocado, a handful of baby spinach, and 3 tablespoons of canned, drained black beans around the tofu. Drizzle each bowl with a generous serving of vegan goddess dressing.