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Grilled Tofu Chicken

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Making a Grilled Tofu Chicken Filet is equally easy, fun, cheap and delicious! A super versatile vegan protein for any dish!

Before going vegan, I ate a ton of grilled chicken. It was my go to protein source when I was trying to eat leaner and lighter than my usual burger or fried chicken. Unfortunately, at the moment, there aren’t a ton of options for a grilled vegan chicken cutlet on the market.

They are usually breaded and fried. Which is great, but sometimes I want something lighter! So I took it into my own hands and developed this simple and easy recipe for a Grilled Tofu Chicken!

And I gotta say, I’m really stoked on this one! I’ve had it all week in a bunch of different meals and not only does it hit the spot, but it’s satiating but not heavy. It goes well in literally anything you can make with regular grilled chicken!

why you’ll dig grilled Tofu Chicken

Bottom line is these are super easy to make. They are relatively cheap since it’s just tofu and a bunch of pantry staples for the marinade or dry rub. You can customize it to your heart’s content!

And like I said, you can use it in any dish that would normally call for grilled chicken. Meal prep is an option too since you can make a bunch in advance.

Or just let them marinate in the fridge until you want one and grill one at a time! I can’t repeat this enough, but they are super easy and convenient!

But you can seriously make whatever you like with it! It works great in sandwiches, salads, tacos, literally anything!

What’s the best tofu for grilled tofu chicken?

I highly recommend Super Firm Tofu as I found it had the best texture and was the easiest to work with. Once it’s been scored and marinated and grilled, it’s really hard to beat the taste and texture for the time and effort spent.

Super Firm is vacuum sealed and doesn’t require any pressing so it’s really the easiest and quickest choice. I can find it at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s and a 1 pound block is usually around $2 – $3. If you can only find Extra Firm, just make sure you press it for at least 30 minutes.

I also highly recommend scoring the tofu, which will accomplish two things. First it allows the marinade to get into the tofu and not just on the outside. And second, it creates a better texture when you bite into it as the tofu will “shred” better.

ingredients for grilled tofu chicken

  • Marinade – I wanted to keep the ingredients as common as possible. So the marinade is just things like soy sauce, nutritional yeast and pantry staple seasonings.
  • Dry Rub – You can also use a dry rub instead of a marinade. Or you can use a combination of both!

I have a recipe for a dry rub, or you can use any store-bought seasoning blend that you like! Since tofu is super low in fat, I recommend coating the tofu filets in some oil before applying the dry rub as well.

how to make Grilled Tofu chicken

The process is quite simple! First we’ll slice our block of tofu into fillets. The next step is optional. However I find that replicating the shape of a chicken breast really sells the dish! The eyes eat first as they say!

So if you wanna get creative, round off the edges of two corners.

Your filet should look something like what I’ve got on the left (below). If you want to get even more artistic, you can shave off the edges and make them a bit rounder and softer. Again, totally optional, but I like to do it!

You can make a Tofu Scramble or Tofu Ground Beef with the scraps!

Once your filets are looking good, score them lightly so the marinade can penetrate a bit more. I like to score them one way on both sides. Make sure you don’t score too deeply as this will make the fillet a bit more delicate and might fall apart. But scoring will create a more “shreddy” texture as well.

After that we’ll just whip up a quick marinade!

Then we can marinade or add some oil and a dry rub. I recommend marinating for 30 minutes to overnight.

After that we just need to grill our tofu chicken until it’s looking beautiful! You can also brush on more of the marinade as it grills to infuse more flavor as well.

Or feel free to brush on an BBQ sauce or marinade of your choice!


You can make these and store them in the fridge for 4 – 5 days. I’ve had a few of them marinating in the fridge all week, and then just pulling one out and grilling it real quick for an easy meal. I haven’t tried freezing them, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work!

other vegan chicken recipes you’ll dig!

handy dandy video here!

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Yield: 3 Servings

Grilled Tofu Chicken

Grilled Tofu Chicken


  • 1 (16 oz) block Super Firm Tofu*


  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce*
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil or vegan mayo
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice

Dry Rub

  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp citric acid (optional)


Marinade & Rub

  1. Simply mix and combine the ingredients respectively!
  2. For the marinade, I found that vegan mayo is a better emulsifier than oil, but they both work great.
  3. For the dry rub, you can grind everything in a spice grinder if desired. It seems to intensify the flavors a bit more.

Tofu Filets

  1. Make sure to use super firm tofu, the kind that's vacuum sealed and doesn't need pressing. Otherwise, if you are using extra firm, you should press it for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cut block of tofu into 3 or 4 filets (I prefer 3). Optional but recommended, carve each rectangular filet into a more chicken breast like shape. You can also shave off the edges to make them smoother if you choose as well.
  3. Lightly score the filets on each side, but only score them one way (as opposed to cross hatch). This will help the marinade penetrate as well as create a more "shreddy" type of texture.
  4. Once the filets are looking good, you can either coat them in the marinade. Or alternatively, you can coat them in a little oil and then as much of the rub as you'd like. You can also marinade them and add some of the rub. Honestly, any option will work great, however I did prefer the marinade over just the rub as it was more flavorful!
  5. Marinade for at least 30 minutes to overnight or even longer.
  6. Get a pan up to medium high heat, add a little oil and then grill the filets for about 5 minutes per side. Feel free to brush the leftover marinade before and after you flip them. Seriously, season them and brush them with whatever you like, it'll be delicious! Once they are cooked to your liking remove from the heat.
  7. ENJOY!


*Instead of soy sauce you can use 1 tsp of vegan chicken bouillon and 2 Tbsp of water if you like too!

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  1. As much as i love your videos (and that content other vegan creators put out), it would be about once in a blue moon when id actually make a recipe and even then itd only ever be once.

    Since the video for this dropped, Ive made it three times now. I am so thankful for this; it may genuinely be the most versatile, least intimidating recipe ive ever made; vegan or omni

    1. That’s awesome, I’m glad it made it into the rotation! I plan on using it for a lot of different recipes in the future!

  2. Great recipe! The marinade is delicious and is now apart of my regular rotation. I’ve even used it with tofu crumbles and it is bomb with tacos. Question: Do you think lime could be used instead of lemon juice/vinegar?

  3. I love this recipe. I have shied away from using tofu as an alternative to grilled chicken in the past because I thought the sauce/marinade necessary to imitate grilled chicken would defeat the purpose of grilled chicken, which, to me, is to be mild and simple.

    This proved me completely wrong. I tried it without the dry rub plus omitted the hot sauce. It is delicious, mild but also flavorful, evokes a “grilled chicken style” perfectly, and it’s simple and so versatile. I cannot wait to make coq au vin with this one. Thank you so much!

    1. Excellent, so glad you tried it and liked it despite your skepticism! Chicken can be rather neutral in flavor without seasoning too, so that was my approach!

  4. Wow this marinade is snip-snappin’! I made it along with a free-styled tofu cream sauce (charred peppers and tomatoes with garlic, shallots and nooch, real nice!) for pasta, the sauce was yummy and healthy but the toficken was the star! Along with the carving and the grill pan the presentation was amazing and the flavour was top tier!! Will definitely be making it again, the effort to deliciousness ratio is just how I like it too. 🙂

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