salad on colorful plate with tomatoes and baked tofu cubes.

21 Best Vegan Side Dishes for Grilled and Baked Tofu

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Wondering what the best vegan side dishes are for grilled tofu and baked tofu? Here are ideas for what else to serve with tofu to make a satisfying meal.

Grilled and baked tofu are both easy entree substitutions to make in place of chicken, fish, or meats. You don’t even need to have a specific recipe to use: read more for some tips.

Tofu is a good source of protein and may also provide calcium: an important nutrient for vegetarians and vegans. For meal planning, the Harvard Healthy Eating Guide is an excellent research-based guide for the proportions to have from each food group. This guide recommends that the protein food – tofu in this case – makes up a quarter of the plate. Another quarter should be from whole grains. Then over half of the plate should be from vegetables, a little less from fruits, and a small amount from oils.

The portion size for tofu is about 3 ounces according to most package labels.

Nutrition in Tofu

A 3-ounce portion provides 9 grams of protein with 80 – 90 calories. The calcium content runs from 40 – 150 milligrams of calcium per serving – and perhaps even higher for brands made with calcium sulfate. Be sure to check the label if you are looking for a good calcium source since it varies quite a bit.

Baked Tofu

It is super quick to make baked tofu. Start with firm or extra firm tofu. You can also use the silken firm type that is shelf-stable. It has a creamier texture instead of a chewier texture.

Here are 2 slices, which I pressed first, then used a quick marinade of light tamari sauce, fresh lime juice, and rice vinegar (see my recipe for Baby Bok Choy and Tofu Stir-Fry for step-by-step directions for how to press tofu and marinate it).

If you are pressing and marinating for more than an hour, do it in the refrigerator. I recommend spraying a pan with non-stick spray or coating it with a little oil. Then, bake it for 15 – 20 minutes. If you want, cut it into slices or cubes for serving.

2 slices of baked tofu in glass dish

How to Make Grilled Tofu

Start the same way by pressing and marinating tofu. Then spray a grill basket and grill for a few minutes on each side. Check it carefully – I find that even indirect heat on a charcoal grill cooks tofu very quickly.

You can also make tofu on an indoor electric grill or a grill pan. This Orange Tahini Grilled Tofu is a quick recipe for the grill, but it could be baked also. Enjoy the Mediterranean flavors with veggies like grilled zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, onions, or potatoes.

3 slices of grilled tofu on orange plat with grilled red peppers and zucchini

Best Vegan Side Dishes for Grilled Tofu at a Barbecue or Cookout

If you’re grilling some tofu for a barbecue, here are some ideas of what to serve with tofu.

Salads are very popular at a BBQ. Especially potato salad. But, that is not something I like, so please check out this recipe from Chrissy Carroll RD:

Vegan Dill Potato Salad with Fiddleheads (No Mayo)
This vegan dill potato salad is made with a tasty olive oil vinaigrette. Adding fiddleheads (or asparagus) makes it perfect for spring!
Vegan Dill Potato Salad with Fiddleheads
Vegan Dill Potato Salad with Fiddleheads (No Mayo)

To grill tofu, a grill basket is ideal to help prevent any from breaking off. Try this easy recipe from Sharon Palmer MSFS, RD for grilling a variety of veggies:

Herb Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables are so delicious and easy as can be with this healthful recipe, which includes a simple lemon-herb marinade.
Herb Grilled Vegetables
Herb Grilled Vegetables

Instead of baked beans, try a fresh bean salad, like this Easy Bean Salad from

Super Easy Side Dishes with Grilled or Baked Tofu

Try combining baked tofu with veggies and your favorite noodles plus a premade sauce or a few seasonings for flavor.

Here are some ideas: Ramen noodles with frozen Asian vegetables and light soy, tamari, Thai peanut, or vegan tikka masala sauce.

Buckwheat (soba or udon) or rice noodles with fresh napa cabbage, broccoli, green onions, and/or mushrooms and rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, or sesame teriyaki sauce.

Steamed rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa. In the steamer basket, add carrot slices, cauliflower, and peppers plus lime juice, agave nectar, and tamari sauce (for a gluten-free meal).

Potato Rice (Potatoes and Rice Recipe)
This potato rice recipe is based on the easy Indian dish aloo pulao, potato pulao, or aloo rice. Get the recipe for this one pot vegan dish!
Potato Rice
Potato Rice (Potatoes and Rice Recipe)


Try a fresh salad plus roasted or microwaved potatoes for another easy meal. See my photo at the top of this post for a salad idea that includes baked tofu cubes, toasted pecans, tomatoes, blueberries, and carrots over a bed of spring mix with an iceberg lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage combo.

This vegan spinach salad from Nicole Stevens RD features a delicious homemade maple balsamic dressing:

Vegan Spinach Salad Recipe with Maple Balsamic Dressing
Full of flavour and perfectly balanced, this vegan spinach salad recipe with maple balsamic dressing crunchy, creamy and filling with a hint of sweetness.
Vegan Spinach Salad Recipe with Maple Balsamic Dressing
Vegan Spinach Salad Recipe with Maple Balsamic Dressing

I have several recipes for homemade dressing you can try. This tomato-lime dressing with cilantro is perfect for summer:

Fresh Tomato Lime Salad Dressing with Cilantro
A bright, fresh dressing with cilantro, perfect for green salads, taco salads or as a marinade for baking or grilling.
Fresh Tomato Lime Salad Dressing with Cilantro
tomato lime salad dressing with spoon with baguette and salad

A heartier salad goes well with tofu too. Try this classic with some twists: avocado is used instead of salad dressing, and fresh veggies instead of cheeses and meats from Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan RD in Velvety Avocado Vegan Pasta Salad.

Here is my recipe for a salad with pinto beans, quinoa, rice, pecans, and yellow peppers with a fresh lemon herb salad dressing:

Salad with Beans, Quinoa, Rice, and Pecans and Lemon Herb Dressing
This fresh lettuce salad is packed with tasty, filling ingredients, Enjoy it for a refreshing summer meal.
Salad with Beans, Quinoa, Rice, and Pecans and Lemon Herb Dressing
salad with beans, quinoa, rice

A variety of fresh vegetables, hemp seeds, and pecans provide lots of nutrients and a flavorful crunch in this Nicole Stevens RD:

Roasted Roots and Squash Kale-Quinoa Salad
This Roasted Roots and Squash Kale-Quinoa Salad is as equally suited for family gatherings as it is for mason-jar lunch salads.
Roasted Roots and Squash Kale-Quinoa Salad
Roasted Roots and Squash Kale-Quinoa Salad
Sesame Cole Slaw
Sesame cole slaw with black sesame seeds: just look for organic sugar if you want to make sure it's vegan.
Sesame Cole Slaw
Sesame Cole Slaw
Asian Cabbage Salad with Peanut-Lime Ginger Dressing
Enjoy the crunch of peanuts and carrots in this refreshing recipe!
Asian Cabbage Salad
Asian-Cabbage-Salad in glass bowl
Best Kale Salad
Avocadoes and olives plus a simple homemade dressing make this salad flavorful, nutrient dense, and addicting.
Best Kale Salad
Best Kale Salad
Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe
Garlic and fresno peppers bring this salad to life.
Din Tai Fung cucumber salad
Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe

Thanksgiving/Fall or Winter Holidays

Whether it’s Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or a chilly fall or winter day, baked vegetable and whole-grain dishes go well with baked tofu.

Try Simple Orange Cinnamon Acorn Squash Rings for an easy fall vegetable you can pop into the oven while baking tofu.

3 rings of acorn squash on blue plate
roasted acorn squash

I just had coconut rice for the first time at a restaurant and wow! It blew me away – so good! So here is a recipe to make it yourself from Jo at the familyfoodkitchen:

Coconut Rice with Lime (Stovetop or Rice Cooker)
Never quite sure how to cook rice? This recipe is for you. This easy side can be made on the stovetop or in a rice cooker for failsafe way to fluffy rice that’s never mushy or undercooked!
Coconut Rice with Lime
Coconut Rice with Lime (Stovetop or Rice Cooker)

Here is a savory way to make sweet potatoes with Asian flavors:

Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions
Sesame sweet potatoes are an easy side dish with an Asian flair. A different flavor profile than the typical Thanksgiving ones: vegan and gluten-free.
Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions
sesame sweet potatoes on white plate

These stuffed peppers with vegetables, butternut squash, and quinoa would also round out a meal with baked tofu nicely:

Stuffed Peppers with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
These Italian-style stuffed peppers with butternut squash, Great Northern beans, quinoa, and herbs are a great vegan meal for everyday, holidays, and entertaining. They freeze well, too.
Stuffed Peppers with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
stuffed peppers with butternut squash and quinoa in a white baking dish topped with chopped parsley and basil leaves

Finally, add baked tofu cubes to this Mexican rice for a tasty and satisfying meal:

Arroz Colorido – Colorful Mexican Rice
This Mexican style rice recipe is an easy and flavorful side dish. Add your favorite protein for simple meal prep.
Arroz Colorido – Colorful Mexican Rice
Arroz Colorido colorful Mexican rice on red plate with fresh thyme.

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Now you have plenty of ideas of what to enjoy with these easy ways to cook tofu, what do you think you may want to try? Please let me know if you have made any of these recipes and how you liked them in the comments below:

originally published: 7/12/21. Updated 5/17/24

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