Recipe and Photography by Sarah Steffens
Dinner on a stick, anyone? Skewers are a summertime staple for easy weeknight meals and cookouts alike—and understandably so, considering they allow you to cook up your favorite plant-based proteins and vegetables all together at once. It doesn’t get more convenient than that!
And while animal proteins like chicken, steak, and shrimp are often go-to’s for grilled skewers, plant-based eaters can easily swap in cubes of extra-firm tofu to make them meat-free. Made with tofu and a variety of fresh summer vegetables, these skewers are a great option for anyone who doesn’t eat meat or is doing a Plant-Based Whole30 program.
You can always keep skewers super simple by keeping marinades and dressings to a minimum and sticking with the usual olive oil, salt, and pepper—but this recipe features a creamy, tasty marinade and an herbed olive oil sauce that really take it to the next level. First, you’ll marinate your tofu and veggies in a mix of smooth tahini, both balsamic and apple cider vinegar, and staple seasonings before grilling them, and then you’ll serve your skewers with a sauce of olive oil and minced scallion and cilantro. We promise the few minutes of extra prep time are well worth all of the extra flavor! In all, this recipe still comes together incredibly quickly.
That said, if you really want to minimize the prep time here, you can speed things up even more by using a bottled Whole30-compliant sauce or dressing in place of either that tahini marinade or herbed sauce. Any of the Made by Whole30 dressings or another option from brands like The Primal Kitchen, Tessemae’s, and The New Primal, work just fine here. Purchasing pre-cut vegetables also saves time chopping; just check that the veggies are cut large enough to thread onto your skewers.
Of course, you’ve also got options when it comes to your actual skewers! Tempeh makes for a nutty, chewy alternative to tofu—and omnivores can always swap in cubes of chicken or beef. (Just make sure you adjust your cooking time accordingly.) And though red onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini are often the go-to’s for grilled skewers, other vegetables—like cauliflower, yellow squash, white onion, or eggplant—grill up nicely, too.
Whatever skewer options you opt for, this quick and convenient meal will surely satisfy on any day of the week.
Plant-Based Whole30 Grilled Tofu Veggie Skewers
Grilled Tofu Veggie Skewers with Herbed Sauce
- 8 wooden or metal skewers
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 lb of extra-firm tofu ,cubbed in 2" squares
- 1 red bell pepper ,seeded & chopped
- 1 medium red onion ,peeled & quartered
- 1 medium zucchini ,ends removed & sliced in 1" rounds
- 2 cups whole cremini mushrooms
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 medium scallion ,minced
- ½ fresh cilantro ,minced
- SOAK your wooden skewers in water for 5 minutes before threading them so that they do not burn on the grill. Skip this step if you are using metal skewers.
- ADD the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- ADD the skewer ingredients to the mixing bowl and toss.
- THREAD tofu and veggies on your skewers until you have threaded all of the contents in the bowl.
- HEAT a grill or cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and when hot, place the skewers on the grill and let sear for 3-4 minutes per side.
- MIX all of the herbed sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- SERVE grilled skewers with herbed sauce.
- STORE any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.