Wondering what the best vegan side dishes are for grilled tofu and baked tofu? Are you are looking for what else to have to make tofu into a full meal? Or if you want to see what goes well with tofu if a family member or friend has changed their diet, here are some ideas.
Grilled and baked tofu are both easy entree substitutions to make in place of chicken, fish, or meats. Especially if you don’t have a specific recipe to use. 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 option 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. For the portion size for tofu, one pack of 14 ounce about 4.5 servings.
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. Definitely check the label if you are looking for a good calcium source since it varies quite a bit.
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, 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.
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 even indirect heat on a charcoal grill cooks very quickly. You can also make it 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 some grilled zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, eggplant, onions, or potatoes.
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:
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:
Instead of baked beans, try a fresh bean salad, like this Easy Bean Salad from LostinFood.co.uk
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 rice noodles with fresh napa cabbage, broccoli, green onions, and/or mushrooms and rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, or sesame teriyaki sauce.
Steamed rice. In the steamer basket, add carrot slices, cauliflower, and peppers plus lime juice, agave nectar, and tamari sauce (for a gluten-free meal).
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 included 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:
I have several recipes for homemade dressing you can try. This tomato-lime dressing with cilantro is perfect for summer:
A heartier salad goes well with tofu too. Try this classic with some twists: avocado is used in place 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, and pecans, and yellow peppers with a fresh lemon herb salad dressing:
A variety of fresh vegetables, hemp seeds, and pecans provide lots of nutrients and a flavorful crunch in this Nicole Stevens RD:
Thanksgiving / Fall or Winter Holiday
Baked and hot vegetable and whole-grain dishes go well with baked tofu in cooler months. Try Simple Orange Cinnamon Acorn Squash Rings for an easy fall vegetable you can pop into the oven while baking tofu.
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:
Here is a savory way to make sweet potatoes with Asian flavors:
These stuffed peppers with vegetables, butternut squash, and quinoa would also round out a meal with baked tofu nicely:
Finally, add baked tofu cubes to this Mexican rice for a tasty and satisfying meal:
Check out these Easy Foods for Hot Weather from Sisley White, including carrot hummus and ideas for strawberries.
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Now you have lots 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: