Grilled Tofu Shawarma

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When you prep this grilled tofu shawarma, you quickly marinate the tofu in lemon juice, olive oil and mix of dried seasonings. You also toss the veggies in that marinade to make the most of it. After you thread the tofu and vegetables onto skewers, they are ready for grill. This easy vegan main dish recipe is served with an herby tahini sauce. Add it to your summer grilling list.

Grilled tofu and vegetable skewers with couscous on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This is an easy vegan dinner recipe. There’s no complicated prep work. Just press the tofu and cut it along with the vegetables. Dried pantry spices and fresh lemon juice deliver on flavor. 

The tahini sauce is perfect with the smoky taste of the spices. All you have to do is whisk the sauce ingredients together. It’s super quick. Then you can drizzle that over the grilled tofu and vegetables or serve it on the side for dipping, or both.

There aren’t enough vegan grilling recipes. This one is simple enough that you can include it in your summer spread when you’re grilling for a group to cover everyone’s dietary preferences. 

What Is Shawarma?

Typically made from chicken, beef or lamb that is thinly sliced and stacked into a cone shape, shawarma is served wrapped in a pita or flatbread with pickles and veggies. It is considered street food and has roots that date back to the Ottoman Empire.

My grilled tofu version goes very big on vegetables. You can serve it on a plate or in a bowl rather than in a pita. I also make a vegan version of the white sauce that goes with shawarma. 

The Ingredients

Ingredients including tofu, spices, lemon, olive oil, tahini, parsley and garlic.

This is what you need:

  • Tofu: You want to use extra firm tofu because it easily threads onto skewers and holds its shape when you grill it.
  • Seasoning mix: The spices in this blend include turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, salt and pepper.
  • Lemon juice: With so many dried spices, lemon juice adds brightness to the marinade.
  • Zucchini, yellow squash & red peppers are my go-to summer grilling vegetable trio. You lightly grill them, so they turn out tender but still crisp.
  • Vegan white sauce: It has tahini, chopped parsley, minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and water. 

How To Make Grilled Tofu Shawarma

1. Prep the tofu. Wrap the tofu in paper towels and place a heavy pot or cutting board on top of it. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. After that, cut it into 1 1/2-inch x 1-inch pieces. I cook tofu so often that I have a tofu press.

2. Marinate the tofu. Combine the turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil in a large bowl. Stir in the tofu. I like to use my hands to toss it in the mixture.

Tofu in cubes on a cutting board. Tofu stirred into marinade in a bowl.

3. Thread the tofu cubes onto skewers.

4. Marinate the vegetables. All you have to do is toss them in the bowl with the remaining tofu marinade. There should be enough left to lightly season the veggies.

Tofu on skewers on a plate before you grill them. Vegetables stirred in marinade in a bowl.

5. Thread the vegetables onto skewers.

6. Grill the tofu. Give it 2 minutes per side on the hot grates until it has grill marks.

Vegetables on skewers on a plate before you grill them. Tofu on the grill.

7. Grill the veggies, again for 2 minutes per side like the tofu.

8. Make the sauce. Stir the tahini, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and water in a small bowl. You want it to be a thick but pourable consistency.

Vegetables on the grill. White sauce in a bowl.

Serving

I like couscous for a side dish because it cooks so quickly. You can also pair it with this herby lemon quinoa. For a salad, try this arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette, a cucumber tomato feta salad or a mediterranean bean salad.

Leftovers & Storage

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Keep the sauce in a separate jar. Reheat the tofu and veggies in a 350-degree F oven or in the microwave. Let the sauce sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Grilled tofu and vegetable skewers on a serving platter.

Recipe Tips

If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water. Give them 30 minutes before you thread on the tofu and vegetables. This prevents them from catching on fire. Obviously, you don’t have to do this for metal skewers.

Make sure to press the tofu. It’s important to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

Always use fresh lemon juice and never bottled. It will have the best flavor.

Recipe FAQs

Can you use a stovetop grill pan to grill tofu?

Yes, tofu and vegetables are great when you grill them this way.

Is there another sauce you can serve with grilled tofu?

Store-bought hummus in any flavor is also tasty with this recipe.

More Tofu Recipes

Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
BBQ Veggie Tofu Skewers
Tofu Pumpkin Curry
Sesame Tofu Asparagus
Ginger Garlic Veggie Tofu Stir Fry
Teriyaki Tofu Broccolini
Honey Garlic Tofu

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Grilled Tofu Shawarma

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Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Marinated with pantry spices and lemon juice, this easy grilled tofu shawarma is served with grilled zucchini, yellow squash and peppers and tahini sauce on the side.

Ingredients 

For tofu

  • 1-14 ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For vegetables

  • 2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 small yellow squash, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced 1 inch

For sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons water

For serving

  • Couscous
  • Pita bread

Instructions 

  • 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 1/2-inch x 1-inch pieces.
  • 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 tofu and vegetables prepped).
  • In a large bowl, stir together the turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, juice of half a lemon and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Gently stir in the tofu, coating it in the mixture. Let it marinate for 15 minutes. Then thread the tofu onto skewers.
  • Toss the vegetables into the bowl with the remaining marinade. Thread them onto their own skewers.
  • Grill the skewers until the tofu and veggies are charred at the edges and have grill marks, about 2 minutes per side.
  • For the sauce, stir together the tahini, garlic, parsley, juice of half a lemon, pinch of salt and water in a small bowl.
  • Serve on a platter or on separate plates with couscous or pita bread. Drizzle with the sauce or serve it on the side.

Notes

If you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes.
Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 3 days. The veggies and tofu should be separate from the sauce. Reheat the tofu and vegetables in a 350-degree F oven or in the microwave. Let the sauce sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 662mg | Potassium: 721mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2328IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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