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

Orange Tahini Grilled Tofu

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Orange tahini grilled tofu brings the bright flavor of oranges and ginger to your barbecue. This is a quick meal for summertime or anytime of the year because you can cook it on an indoor electric grill. The step is to marinate the tofu so it will absorb the Middle Eastern flavors.

3 slices of grilled tofu on orange plate with cilantro, red peppers, and zucchini
orange tahini grilled tofu

If you’re working on including more plant-based foods into your dietary pattern, you might get stumped when it’s time for a barbecue. If everyone else is having grilled steak, burgers, chicken, or seafood, what’s an easy substitution? Well, now you will have a great recipe for grilled tofu. There are also grilled veggies (portobello mushrooms are especially good), homemade bean burgers, potatoes, corn, cauliflower, mango, and pineapple for some more ideas.

While tofu is a popular choice among vegans, others may question if it is a) healthy, and b) appealing. For the health effects of tofu, I recommend reading this summary from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As you can see, it seems to be neutral or beneficial for various health conditions. Then, having plant-based protein sources like soy also is good to decrease less healthy foods in the diet.

Ingredient Notes

Tofu – use firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe. For the brand I purchased, a 3 ounce serving provides 80 calories, 8 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of total fat with only 0.5 grams of saturated fat, and 10% of the Daily Value for calcium, which is 100 milligrams. Compare food labels if you are looking for one higher in calcium: they do vary. There is no cholesterol, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.

Tahini – this is a Middle Eastern sesame seed paste. It gives a lot of flavor to the tofu.

Za-atar – this was tricky for me to find. I was on the hunt for it for months last year! It is terrific with warm whole wheat pita bread and olive oil. You can substitute with a mix of sesame seeds, oregano, and thyme… and sumac if you can find it.

White wine vinegar – feel free to use rice, apple cider, or red wine vinegar.

Ginger – remove the peel with a paring knife and grate it with a grating plate ideally. If you don’t have fresh ginger, substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger sprinkled over the tofu.

How to Make Orange Tahini Grilled Tofu

In an effort to make a quick meal, I did not press the tofu this time. If you do, it will give you a chewier texture. I have an example of how to press tofu in this recipe for Baby Bok Choy with Tofu.

I marinated the tofu after combining all of the other ingredients. Some I grilled after marinating for 15 minutes. The other batch marinated overnight (both times in the fridge). I can’t say that I could tell the difference.

marinating orange tahini tofu on glass plate
marinating orange tahini tofu

I grilled these tofu pieces on an indoor electric grill. A grill pan would also be a convenient method for any time of the year.

grilling tofu and vegetables on indoor grill
grilling tofu and vegetables on indoor grill

If using an indoor grill, the size of the pieces doesn’t matter too much. But for an outdoor grill, I would definitely keep it in larger rectangular pieces and run two skewers through each…or use a grill pan. I have lost some food through the grill bars so be careful! You can also place cubes of tofu on skewers for kabobs.

Also, be sure your grill is oiled so the tofu doesn’t stick. I use a charcoal grill and recommend cooking these over indirect heat. A grill pan sprayed with nonstick spray works well too. Check to see if the tofu is browning and should be turned in just 2 – 3 minutes: it is easy to burn foods on a charcoal grill!

What to Do with Grilled Tofu

You can eat it as is, or serve it with grilled vegetables over noodles like buckwheat soba or rice. Or use it for a sandwich. Here are 15 Best Vegan Side Dishes for Grilled or Baked Tofu too.

grilled tofu with carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and yellow peppers over buckwheat noodles on plate with glasses of water and wine.
grilled tofu with vegetables and buckwheat soba noodles

It goes well with grilled potatoes or corn on the cob. You could have it over a salad, or in a sandwich or wrap. It also would make a nice appetizer.

More Recipes You May Enjoy

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

Orange Tahini Grilled Tofu

Melissa Altman-Traub
Orange tahini grilled tofu brings the bright flavor of oranges and ginger to your barbecue. A quick meal for summertime or anytime of the year.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
marinating 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 96 kcal


  • Grill or grill pan


  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • zest of ½ of an orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 12 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon za'atar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Combine the tahini, orange zest, and orange juice marinade in a small bowl and stir.
  • Slice the tofu into 6 rectangles. Place in a shallow bowl or on a plate and cover with the marinade. Flip over so the other side of the tofu absorbs the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • Preheat an electric grill to 400°F. Grill for 10 minutes on each side until lightly browned. If using a charcoal grill, grill over indirect heat and check in 2 minutes before turning.


The calorie estimate is from USDA FoodData Central


Calories: 96kcal
Keyword Ginger, Grilled tofu, Orange, tahini, Tofu
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12 thoughts on “Orange Tahini Grilled Tofu”

  1. 5 stars
    This looks like a great recipe. I love both tahini and tofu but have never thought about combining them! I like the idea of the orange marinade too.

  2. I absolutely love tahini and ginger – I’ll have to give this one a try! Your photos make it look so yummy! I’ve never grilled tofu (even as a vegetarian years before) but it looks delicious esp. with the soba noodles!

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