Vegan Blackened Grilled Tofu

Vegan Blackened Grilled Tofu on a plate

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinate: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
120 Calories
6g Fat
5g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1691mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 346mg 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 so it keeps its shape when grilled. 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 non-stick pan works well, but you won't have the very charred appearance, or smokey flavor from the grill.

Ingredients

For the Tofu:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu (pressed)

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

For the Blackening Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

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 four 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 pan and add the tofu. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning once or twice to marinate evenly.

    tofu in a bowl with soy sauce

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Blackening Seasoning

  1. Gather the blackening seasoning ingredients.

    blackened seasoning ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    blackened seasoning in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prepare the Tofu

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-hot. Remove the tofu from the soy marinade and dip each piece into the blackened seasoning spice mixture, making sure the tofu is generously coated with the spice mixture on both sides.

    tofu with blackened seasoning on a plate

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Grill the tofu for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until it has blackened on both sides.

    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 and the squeeze of a 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 four bowls with a cup each of cooked brown rice or quinoa. Place the blacked tofu on top and put around the tofu on each bowl a tablespoon of hummus, a handful of sunflower seeds, 4 slices of avocado, a handful of baby spinach, and 3 tablespoons of canned and drained black beans. Drizzle each bowl with a generous serving of vegan goddess dressing.