Chili Honey Marinated Vegetable and Tofu Skewers (plus tips for meat-free grilling)

16 June 2020 by Natanja

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    These flavorful and delicious marinated vegetarian skewers with fresh veggies and tofu are a great addition to a grill party!

    Vegetable and tofu skewers next to a dish of chili honey marinade

    Grilling is most often associated with meat – spareribs, burgers, steak and co. are the words that come to mind. However, grilling doesn’t necessarily have to include meat, or even animal products, to be a delicious feast. With today’s simple recipe for these tasty marinated veggie and tofu skewers, I want to show you that grilling can be much more than that (and equally delicious!). Let’s get into the details!

    Tofu and Vegetables

    For the skewers I used a combination of bell peppers, red onions, pineapple and zucchini. However, there are a lot of other tasty veggies you could use, such as corn, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, or even sweet potatoes. The sky’s the limit! I opted to use tofu to keep this recipe diary-free, but a tasty alternative would be halloumi, which holds its shape nicely during the grilling. If you use tofu, I highly recommend using smoked tofu. If you use plain tofu, make sure it is the firm kind. 

    Colourful chopped veggies on a white plate

    Spicy Chili Honey Marinade

    Granted, tofu doesn’t really taste much like anything. While most people see that as a downside, there is also a great benefit to it – you can make it taste like anything you want it to! I really wanted these veggie skewers to pack a punch, so I opted for strong and bold flavors in this marinade – namely chili and garlic!  The base of our sweet and spicy sauce is honey. While you could use brown sugar, honey gives a deeper and richer flavor and is the secret to getting that yummy flavor! For an intense flavor, I used Langnese Honig’s Wildblütenhonig which is lovely aromatic and semi-dark honey. The practical squeezy bottle makes it super practical to measure out the right amount.

    Other components of our marinade are garlic cloves and chili flakes. The chili gives a nice punch of spice but you could also leave it out if you are making this for kids. Overall the marinade is only moderately spicy. Another ingredient is the rice wine vinegar, which gives a bit of acidity to the sauce. All that is left is the salt and water and you are pretty much set the ingredients for the sauce. Simple, isn’t it?

    The great thing about our marinade is that not only does it work as a marinade, but as a dipping sauce as well. After you marinated the skewers, you can use that leftover marinade and serve it as a dipping sauce for your other grilled goods. Since we aren’t marinating any meat, the marinade is completely safe to use and there is no need to discard it afterwards. This way, you have a two-in-one recipe. 🙂

    Raw veggie and tofu skewers on a white plate

    My top tips for meat-free grilling

    While I don’t eat meat, I’ll admit any day that it has a ton of flavor! When it comes to grilling solely with veggies, you need to really think about your flavors to get a similar result. Marinating veggies is a great way to pack more flavor! Other tips include:

    • Make sure to properly preheat the grill. Ok so this one is generally a grilling tip, but a very important one at that. If you are making any type of bread or pizza, you want to make sure your grill has had the needed time to preheat. Gas grills can take up to 20 minutes while charcoal grills about 40 minutes.
    • Keep different cooking times in mind: softer veggies such as mushrooms and zucchini cook a lot quicker than brussel sprouts or sweet potatoes. It’s generally a good idea to cut softer veggies into larger chucks and harder ones into smaller pieces, particularly if you are adding them to your grill at the same time, such as when making skewers.
    • Don’t forget to incorporate fruit too! Berries alongside grilled goat cheese make a perfect sweet and salty combo. Grilled pineapple or mango goes well with other veggies, tofu or seitan.
    • If using mock meats, make sure they are suitable for the grill. Just because their counterparts are, doesn’t mean they’ll hold up well too.
    • Don’t forget those side dishes. Serving up fresh salads, couscous and other grain dishes, grilled potatoes,… enhances your meal.
    Vegetable and tofu skewers next to a dish of chili honey marinade

    My favorite meat-free options for the grill

    • Homemade plant-based burgers (or store-bought)
    • Firm tofu 
    • Seitan
    • Homemade pizza!
    • Grilled garlic bread
    • Tempeh
    • Tarte flambee 
    • Grilled potatoes or potatoes in foil
    • Corn on the cob
    • Quesadillas
    • Paninis or just generally sandwiches stuffed with grilled goodness and a killer sauce

    Bon appétit!

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    Vegetable and tofu skewers next to a dish of chili honey marinade

    Chili Honey Marinated Vegetable and Tofu Skewers

    • Prep Time: 40 minutes
    • Cook Time: 20 minutes
    • Total Time: 1 hour (plus 1 hour marinating time)
    • Yield: 8 skewers 1x


    These sweet and spicy marinated veggie and tofu skewers are the perfect addition to a grill party.



    Honey-Chili Sauce

    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 125 ml water (1/2 cup)
    • 170 ml honey (1/2 cup), such as Langnese Wildblütenhonig
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
    • ¼ teaspoon dried ground ginger
    • salt to taste

    Veggie Tofu Skewers

    • 230g smoked firm tofu (8.1 oz)
    • 1 medium zucchini
    • ¼ fresh pineapple
    • 3 small red onions
    • 1 red bell pepper


    1. Stir together the cornstarch with a small amount of the water, until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add the cornstarch water, along with all the other ingredients for the sauce to a pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. 
    2. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Let the sauce cool slightly.
    3. In the meantime, prep your veggies and tofu by cutting them into equal sized squares. Skewer the chopped veggies and tofu in an alternating pattern.
    4. Place the skewers on a sheet and pour the marinade over them. Make sure to coat them evenly on all sides. 
    5. Let the skewers marinate at least 1 hour or overnight. Then grill in a preheated grill until charred and soft, brushing the skewers with the marinade halfway through, for about 10-15 minutes or in a greased grill pan for about 20 minutes. 


    Thank you to our friends at Langnese Honig for sponsoring this post

    Keywords: vegetable tofu skewers, veggie skewers, grilling, bbq, honey chili sauce


    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.

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