Get ready to sink your teeth into my mouth-watering vegan Tofu Satay Skewers with BBQ Sauce! These skewers are loaded with protein-packed and flavorful extra-firm tofu coated in a sweet, tangy BBQ sauce that will have your taste buds dancing. With only a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time, this delicious recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing appetizer for your next gathering.
You're going to find similar tofu-on-a-stick recipes that call for a creamy peanut butter sauce because tofu peanut satay is a common Thai dish, and it's delicious, but I'm going to sell you on using my homemade BBQ dipping sauce instead.
In this recipe, we will marinate, use a dry rub, then bake. Most recipes will stop there and encourage you to dip the skewers into a delicious sauce, I'm going to encourage you to complete just one more quick step in the name of flavor. These days, recipes need to be mega-flavorful, have a couple of steps, and take 10 minutes to make. In the name of making things taste truly delicious, we are going to panfry the tofu in the sauce so all those flavors soak in before serving, and you can really experience great-tasting tofu.
The vegan satay skewers are great on their own but pair perfectly with these pasta recipes as sides: Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce, Vegan Mac and Cheese (without cashews), or for the ultimate summer meal, try them with my Easy Gluten-Free Pasta Salad.
In this post, I share the following:
- My four simple steps to cooking flavorful tofu that vegans and non-vegans will love.
Use this section to jump to areas of interest within the post.
These skewers are packed with flavor, thanks to the combination of extra firm tofu and a mouth-watering satay marinade made with soy sauce and our dry rub seasonings. Want to make cooking in the kitchen easier? Improve your skills with these 14 Expert Tips to Enhance Your Cooking Skills.
- Extra-Firm Tofu - I recommend one block of tofu per person. This recipe will give you ingredient quantities for one (15-ounce) block.
- Marinade: coconut aminos (or soy sauce), maple syrup, and filtered water.
- Dry rub seasoning: smoked paprika and chili powder
Note: this satay tofu recipe pairs perfectly with my homemade peach BBQ sauce, but you are free to use your own favorite sauce or store-bought for ease.
See the recipe card for full quantities and detailed instructions.
🍢The only rule with this recipe is you must use extra-firm or firm tofu. Otherwise, you risk the tofu falling apart when you go to skewer them.
🍢Coconut aminos (also called liquid aminos) is the sweeter, healthier version of soy sauce that I prefer to cook with. However, soy sauce and tamari could be substituted 1:1.
🍢Dry rub seasoning is completely up to your pallet and spice desires.
🍢Also, to substitute an oven, you can grill or air fry the tofu instead.
After making two cuts to the pressed tofu, marinate, rub, bake, simmer in the sauce, add the skewers, then serve! This is a straightforward, simple recipe that you can use as a main, appetizer, or side dish. Looking to improve your cooking skills? Check out my post that shares 14 Expert Tips to Enhancing your Cooking Skills.
Place the pressed block of tofu and turn it on its side. Make a cut from top to bottom resulting in two pieces that are the same height and width as the original but half the depth.
Create the second cut down the center of both pieces resulting in four rectangular pieces.
Assemble the marinade and place the tofu pieces in a container. Cover completely and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Drain the tofu pieces from the marinade and transfer them to a baking sheet. Mix the two seasoning spices together and rub an equal amount on the fronts and backs with your hand. Send them to the oven and flip them halfway through baking.
For mega-flavor: Once done, remove the tofu from the oven and transfer each piece to a large pan. Soak in BBQ sauce (or whatever sauce you chose) and turn on medium heat. Once the sauce starts to bubble, lower it to a simmer and let the tofu soak in the flavors for 5 minutes.
Once they've cooled, stick the skewers in, brush with more BBQ sauce if needed, and serve warm!
An oven for baking the tofu, a pan for simmering to tofu in sauce, and skewers!
Be aware: if using wooden skewers, wait til the end to pierce the tofu; do not add them first, and then bake in the oven. If you're loving skewers, they're so fun, then you might enjoy my Easy Marinated Vegetable Kabobs. Over there, I teach you how to bake veggies with the skewers on.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I think these taste AMAZING straight from the fridge, but you can reheat them in the oven or pan-fry with leftover barbecue sauce on the stovetop.
This recipe is a great meal prep idea for lunches or ways grab-and-go weeknight dinners high in plant protein. Pair with rice and a veggie!
Press the tofu! Remove the block from its package, wrap it in an absorptive kitchen towel, and place a heavy pan, like a cast iron skillet, on top. Give the tofu 10-15 minutes to press the liquid out. This speeds up cook time and allows more flavors to seep in while marinating.
Nope, cut any way you prefer! Small cubes, triangles, thinner long pieces, whatever you desire! Cook time stays the same.
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Tofu Satay Skewers
- skewers (metal or wooden)
- 15 ounce block of extra-firm tofu
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (you can substitute or soy sauce or tamari)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon filtered water
Seasoned Dry Rub:
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Sweet Peach BBQ Sauce (pick your favorite sauce or use my sweet peach BBQ sauce)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 Farenheit.
- Next, remove the tofu from its package and press it for 10-15 minutes. See 'Top Tip' above for instructions if needed.
- While the tofu is being pressed, prep the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl and mix the smoked paprika and chili powder together in a seperate small bowl.
- Slice the tofu: Place the pressed block of the tofu on its side. Make a cut from top to bottom resulting in two pieces that are the same height and width as the original but half the depth. Make the second cut down the center of both pieces, resulting in four rectangular pieces. Refer to the instruction photos above.
- Make the marinade and place the tofu pieces in a container. Cover completely and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Drain the tofu pieces from the marinade and transfer them to a baking sheet. Rub an equal amount of paprika and chili powder seasoning on the fronts and backs with your hand. Send them to the oven for 30 minutes flipping halfway through.
- Once done, remove the tofu from the oven and transfer each piece to a large pan. Soak in BBQ sauce (or whatever satay sauce you chose) and turn on medium heat. Once the sauce starts to bubble, lower it to a simmer and let the tofu soak in the flavors for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from pan and allow to cool. Once they've cooled, carefully stick the tofu onto skewers, brush with more BBQ sauce if needed, and serve warm with sesame seeds!