Marinated Grilled Tofu...A Must Try!

Buddha bowl with marinated grilled tofu

Last week I was out for lunch celebrating a colleague's maternity leave and I ordered a buddha bowl with marinated tofu...and all I can say is "WOW!" I never realized tofu could be so tasty.

So we recreated it at home. I marinated the tofu in a lemony, garlic and herb marinade, cooked barley and made a tahini lime dressing. Topped all of that on a some leafy greens, with shredded cabbage, sliced carrots and some cilantro.

The great thing about this meal is the endless possibilities. You could use any marinade that you might also use for chicken, cook any type of whole grain (have you tried millet or farro?), use your favourite salad vegetables and top with a delicious sauce, dip or dressing.

We eat tofu, what I like to call occasionally regularly, about once every 2-3 weeks. And almost every time I make it someone we know asks why...why do we make it, why do we like it, why not chicken, why, why, why?

Well without going into the question of why do we make anything...we make tofu to help add variety to the meals we eat. Tofu does not have much flavour on its own but you can season it to complement any dish you are adding it to.

Tofu is a plant-based protein which Canada's Food Guide recommends we eat more often for our health and also because they have a lower impact on the environment.

Tofu is made from soy beans and is a great source of protein, it is low in saturated fat and sodium, which is great for helping to reduce our risk of heart disease.

For all these reasons we try to eat meatless at least one day a week. Other examples of plant-based proteins include beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.

How to Marinate and Grill Tofu

Because I wanted to grill the tofu I purchased extra-firm. I used one package for four servings.

To marinate tofu, I sliced it into three.

firm tofu sliced with a knife
Then I placed the tofu between paper towel on the cutting board and place a heavy dish on top to help drain some of the liquid. I left it like this for about 30 minutes. During that time I started cooking the barley and made the marinade and dressing (recipe below).

In a bowl or container that will fit the tofu to marinate in, mix together:
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice from about 2 lemons)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
Once mixed, add the tofu and marinate for about 30 minutes in the fridge.

marinating tofu in a bowl
When you are ready to grill the tofu, heat a pan (grill pan or regular frying pan) or an indoor gill to medium heat. Brush lightly with some vegetable oil and when the pan is hot place the tofu in it. Grill each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm or cold on your salad or Buddha bowl. Store leftovers in the fridge. 

Tahini Lime Dressing

It's easiest to make this using some type of blender, immersion blender, or food processor. If you are mixing by hand you may want to melt the tahini and nut butter a little to make it easier to blend.

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (I just peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp. water

Shannon RD
Registered Dietitian


  1. Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

    1. We are so happy to hear this and hope you come back often!
      Shannon RD


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