BBQ Tofu Veggie Skewers
on Aug 25, 2022
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If you’ve never had tofu on the grill, it’s about time that you start. Besides grilled tofu shawarma, I absolutely love making these bbq tofu kebabs stacked with a mix of vegetables. There’s just something about that combination of grilled, smoky flavor with barbecue sauce that just works so well together.
Table of Contents
Why You Need This Recipe
It is easy. Period. Taking advantage of store-bought barbecue sauce and seasonings that you probably already have in your spice drawer adds a lot of flavor without much effort.
Get your veggies. The tofu and vegetables are threaded on skewers, so they all cook at the same time in a beautiful and conveniently timed rainbow.
It’s vegan. Usually when you’re grilling for a crowd, you need to accommodate all sorts of dietary preferences. These kebabs are simple to include with everything else you’re planning to grill and serve.
Tips for Grilling With Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce is not a marinade. Because of its sugar content, it will burn. That’s why I wait to brush the skewers until the last few minutes of grilling. Think of this sauce like a light glaze.
Read the label on store-bought barbecue sauce. Avoid any with high-fructose corn syrup or a bunch of unrecognizable ingredients. And double check to make sure it’s vegan if that’s a requirement for you.
Try different brands including ones that are local. Making barbecue sauce is a real art. Often times you can sample them at farmers markets.
This is what you need:
- Tofu: It’s important to use extra firm tofu because it easily threads onto the skewers, and it holds its shape as it grills.
- Seasoning Mix: This is my go-to seasoning blend for everything from chicken to turkey to veggies. It’s a combination of cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Vegetables: Zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers are my summer grilling vegetable trio because they are great lightly grilled. You want them to still retain their bite. I also include red onions.
- Barbecue sauce: As mentioned, farmers markets are great opportunities to try sauces and other goodies made by local purveyors, so try to discover a really excellent sauce.
- Parsley: I like to add just a sprinkle of fresh herbs on the finished veggie skewers before serving them.
How To Make BBQ Tofu Veggie Skewers
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.
1. Prep the tofu. Press out the moisture letting the tofu stand for 15 minutes. You can do this with a tofu press. Or wrap the block in a towel and place a heavy pot or cutting board on top of it. Then cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
2. Combine the spices and olive oil in a bowl that’s big enough to hold all the cubed tofu.
3. Stir the tofu into the spiced olive oil. You can use a big spoon or your hands to do this.
4. Prep the veggies. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
5. Put the tofu and vegetables on skewers including slices of zucchini and squash along with red peppers and onions. It is up to you whether you want to do the same pattern for the rainbow of veggies.
6. Grill the skewers. Give them about 2 minutes per side. They should have grill marks and a little char. In the last few minutes of grilling, brush them all over with bbq sauce.
7. Finish the tofu and veggies with chopped parsley before serving.
- If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for 30 minutes before grilling. This prevents them from catching on fire.
- Don’t skip pressing the tofu. This can be done in a tofu press or with a heavy pot set on top of the block of tofu. It’s important to remove as much of the moisture as you can.
To turn these veggie kebabs into a meal, I like to serve them with an herby lemon quinoa with toasted pine nuts. Any cooked grains are good with them. Also, don’t forget the warm pita bread or naan. For dipping, try roasted garlic hummus or whatever kind you happen to have in your fridge, homemade or store-bought.
Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. It is up to you if you want to take everything off the skewers or not. Do whatever makes it easier for you to store.
You can rewarm leftovers in a 350-degree F oven, but I prefer them cold. Just combine them with greens and a splash in vinaigrette to create a grilled vegetable tofu salad. If you don’t mind if the salad isn’t vegan, you can also add crumbled feta cheese too.
More Grilled Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes
Let me know if you tried these grilled tofu skewers. Please leave a comment and rating below. Thanks!
Barbecue Tofu Veggie Skewers
- 1-14 ounce block extra firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 small zucchini sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 2 small yellow squash sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 2 red pepper diced 1 inch
- 1 small red onion diced 1 inch
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- Chopped fresh parsley for serving
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat. (You can also use a stovetop grill pan. Just wait to heat it until you have the skewers assembled.)
- Pat the tofu dry with a towel. Wrap it with a dry towel and place a cast iron pan or cutting board on top to press out more of the liquid. Let stand for 15 minutes. Then cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add the tofu to the spiced oil, stirring it around, so the tofu is coated in the mixture.
- In another bowl, toss the vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Thread the tofu and vegetables on the skewers.
- Grill the skewers until the tofu and veggies are charred at the edges and have grill marks, about 2 minutes per side. In the last few minutes of grilling, brush with barbecue sauce.
- Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.