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Grilled Chipotle + Lime Tofu Fajitas

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Tofu is one of those love it or hate it ingredients that is enormously misunderstood — and why wouldn’t it be? Not only is it dull in appearance (seriously… a slack white brick?), but it’s muddy, tasteless and seems impossible to work with. The good news is you don’t have to be some kind of conjuring wizard to transform tofu into tasty food.

This is my second go at creating a vegetarian-friendly fajita recipe, and I’m glad the first one was a muck up; this one takes the proverbial cake.

The first time around, I used marinated portobello mushroom strips. I thought they’d be the sub-in of all sub-ins for chicken because they’re girth-y, meat-y and marinate easily.

Well.

First of all, I don’t even like portobello mushrooms (lawl) — so that’s kind of a problem in itself. I can tolerate them if they’re hidden, but for the most part, gtfo. Second, the marinade was lacking punchy-ness — *not* a good thing when you’re marinating something you’re trying to mask, amirite? I truly believed that with a tasty marinade, I could accept portobello mushrooms in all of their grotesqueness, but we’re just not there yet.

Marinated + grilled tofu, however, is a total win.

The bright and tangy flavors of the marinade seep right into the tofu, and the grilling creates an awesome crispy outer layer.

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Though I swapped sour cream for plain Greek yogurt and cilantro for kale microgreens (I’m one of those folks who is genetically predisposed to hating cilantro, so it tastes like poison to me), I remained true to the fajita when it came to the veggies and fried up a simple medley of red onions + colorful bell peppers.

fajita-vegetable-collage

The marinade is a swoon-worthy balance of smoky chipotle goodness and tangy lime. It also works well for chicken — my husband can vouch for that. I had made him some traditional chicken fajitas and he was uber satisfied.

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Grilled Chipotle + Lime Tofu Fajitas

Prep time, including tofu press and marinade, is 1 hour.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

  • 16 oz extra firm tofu
  • 6 small soft shell tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper I used 1/2 red bell pepper + 1/2 yellow bell pepper for extra color, gutted and julienned
  • 1/2 red onion sliced into thin wedges
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Garnishes:

  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Microgreens or chopped cilantro

For the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth

Instructions

Marinating the tofu:

  • Press the tofu (see notes for directions).
  • Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together.
  • Carefully place the tofu slices into a large freezer bag. You could also use a container with a large bottom surface area so that you can lay the tofu steaks down in one layer. You want to be sure that every steak is marinating.
  • Pour 3/4 of the marinade over the tofu steaks and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Grilling the tofu:

  • Heat a lightly greased grill to medium heat. I like to use my stovetop double-burner grill for tofu. If using a grated grill, instead of greasing the grill I'd instead place tinfoil on the grill. This will prevent you from losing any tofu bits in the event one of your steaks split/break. This can happen if the grill isn't greased enough, so better safe than sorry.
  • Place tofu atop the grill and let it cook for 7-10 minutes. Carefully flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove tofu from grill.
  • Slice each steak in half, length-wise, to mimic chicken strips.

Vegetables:

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add olive oil.
  • Add the onions and bell peppers, then hit them with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Fry the veggies until tender, approx. 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Assembly:

  • Place two grilled tofu strips on each tortilla shell.
  • Top with a helping of fajita vegetables.
  • Top with your choice of garnishes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Tofu acts as a sponge and, since it's been sitting in water, it's full of water. You need to press out the water in order to let other liquids in — like your marinade. If you skip this step, you'll end up with a flavorless tofu. Pressing tofu is easy peasy, you just need to sort of plan a head — but just a bit!
!Pressing the tofu:
Slice the package of tofu open and drain out all of the water.
Cut the block of tofu, length-wise, into 1/2 inch thick slices. You should get 6-7 of them.
Place a dish towel on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, cookie sheet or tray.
Set down a few paper towels on top of the towel.
Place the tofu slices on top of the towels and add more paper towels on top.
Set some heavy objects on top of the tofu. The best way to go about this is to set another cookie sheet on top, and then set heavy things on top of the cookie sheet — such as a heavy pot or canned goods.
Let it be for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.
Grilled Chipotle and Lime Tofu Fajitas | Killing Thyme

15 Comments

  • […] If you like experimenting with tofu, try this Easy Thai Red Curry With Tofu or these Grilled Chipotle and Lime Tofu Fajitas. […]

    Reply
  • Suzy
    November 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    *drools forever*
    I’m totally gonna make this Dana!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      November 29, 2016 at 7:48 am

      I was stunned at how tasty the grilled tofu was.

      Reply
  • Megan
    November 5, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Your photos are gorgeous -so bright and colourful! You’re right, tofu may not look that appealing but it’s like a sponge that soaks up all the flavour if you marinate it. That marinade sounds incredible!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      November 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Thanks, Megan!
      I’ll be the first to admit that I was a tofu skeptic for a *long* time. But, being on a mostly plant-based diet, I knew I’d have to play around with it and at least TRY to enjoy it. Low and behold, I love it now!

      Reply
  • Cassie | Crumb Kitchen
    October 2, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Tofu is indeed a love it or hate it type of food, but honestly, it’s all about how to marinade or season it! While I’ve developed a tofu sensitivity in recent years, I still am obsessed with tofu and will give it a spin every once in a while when I find a good recipe. And anything with the words ‘fajita’ and ‘chipotle’ in it are good recipes to me! :)

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 5, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks, Cassie! Yeah, I mean, tofu is basically a sponge so it only makes sense to make it suck in something good. It’s a shame that you’ve developed a sensitivity. Hopefully these sit well with you if/when you try them!

      Reply
  • Justine | JustineCelina.com
    October 2, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I’m on team tofu (there aren’t too many of us!) and I love what you’ve done with it in this vibrant spin on fajitas, Dana! I’m totally going to try this marinade / method of cooking it. Typically I like to cube my tofu and toss it in a light layer of corn starch (after marinating) to make it extra crispy — but I like the idea of cutting it into strips and doing it this year! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration, friend!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks, Justine! I’m excited to report that the cornstarch way worked *extremely* well for me the other day. I played around with your marinade to, and I’m hoping to get that posted today! I’ll be linking back to your blog :)

      I hope you loved these when you get around to trying them!

      Reply
  • Dylan Cutler
    October 2, 2016 at 1:53 am

    These look like a lot of fun to make. Your photo quality is stunning by the way! I always get mixed comments when I post tofu recipes, but as a vegan I definitely eat tofu! Just in moderation to control my soy intake.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks, Dylan! Tofu is definitely something I eat in moderation too, but gosh it’s so good. I haven’t yet ventured into the world of tempeh or seiten. I need to try those next.

      Reply
  • Amanda from Peppers and Pennies
    September 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I thought I hated tofu, until I had it done properly and it completely converted me. The trick is to buy the right firmness for your dish paired and then match that with care in the actual cooking technique. Sounds like you know exactly what you are doing, and provide some gorgeous photos to boot!

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 5, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! Truth be told, I’ve only ever worked with extra firm tofu. I have yet to really think of a use for the softer types, except for smoothies, but I’m not really into tampering with my go-to smoothie recipe so I don’t bother with it. I’ve got another great tofu recipe coming up on the blog later today — it’s crispy and hella good. Keep your eyes peeled!

      Reply
  • Nicoletta @sugarlovespices
    September 30, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I am among the tofu lovers and loved your fajitas as soon as I saw them. I know marinating tofu takes it to a whole new level! I also agree on swapping kale for cilantro (it doesn’t enter our household ????), and Greek yogurt for sour cream. They look beautiful and so appetizing.

    Reply
    • Killing Thyme
      October 5, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks, Nicoletta! Yeah, I’m pretty grateful that there are successful substitutes for cilantro. I usually use parsley, but I had none so went with the kale microgreens instead — a little extra nutrition is never a bad thing!

      Plain Greek yogurt > sour cream. Forever.

      Reply

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