One of my favorite restaurants in the world is this little Greek place from my home town. It’s family owned, quaint, and consistently delicious. My family has been going here since I was a kid. As a teenager, my friends and I would order it for take out, and then drive our cars to the bay and chow down while we watched the waves crash on the shore. To say I love Greek food is an understatement.
It’s been pretty sad for me to give up Greek food. Sure, I have falafel and hummus, but I missed tzatziki. Today I decided to veganize one of my all time favorite Aegean-inspired meals. Chicken souvlaki –> Tofu souvlaki. It honestly turned out better than I could have imagined!
To start, I bought extra firm tofu, pressed it to squeeze out the liquid, chopped it into cubes, and seasoned it. It’s super important to really press tofu if you want it to get firm and crisp. Do not skip this part or else you will end up with mushy, bland blocks of tofu!
My trick is to take two dish towels, fold each of them in half 3x, put the tofu block between the towels, and then place between two plates. (Dish towels are better than paper towels because they will absorb more liquid- not to mention more eco friendly). Press down on the top plate and squeeze it out! Place something heavy on the top plate and return to the fridge to finish chilling and draining. Alternatively, if you are good at planning ahead, pressing and then freezing tofu 24 hours in advance (and subsequently defrosting) does wonders for the texture as well!
Greek Tofu Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
A classic Greek favorite that's not falafel
I recommend pressing the tofu before you do anything else, then making the tzatziki sauce so you have time for it to drain.
- For the Souvlaki:
- 1 package of extra firm tofu
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp oregano For the Sandwich:
- 1 small red onion or 1/2 of a large red onion
- 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
- 1 bunch of spinach or lettuce
- 1 package of pita bread
- 1 small cucumber or 1/2 large cucumber For the Tzatziki:
- 2 cups of plain, unsweetened, plant based yogurt
- 1 cucumber
- 2 tsp white vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-4 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped dill or mint
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Start with the tofu. Drain the water out of the package and press the tofu between two folded up dish towels and place between two plates to squeeze out as much water as possible. Place a heavy object on the top plate and return to the fridge to continue draining while you make the tzatziki.
- If using an oven to bake the tofu, begin pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees. To make the tzatziki, begin by peeling the cucumber. Either grate the cucumber over a bowl OR coarse chop the cucumber and place in a food processor and pulse until it is ground into fine pieces. Take the ground cucumber and strain through a cheese cloth, thin towel, or stack of paper towels. Squeeze the cloth to get out as much liquid as possible, then add the grated cucumber to a large mixing bowl and add the yogurt, oil, garlic salt, pepper, dill (or mint), and vinegar (or lemon). Stir to combine and place in fridge while you return to the tofu.
- Now that you are done with the tzatziki, the tofu should have had enough time to drain. In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Chop the tofu into small cubes and sprinkle on both sides with the dry seasonings. If baking the tofu, it will likely take 30 minutes to get firm and dry, depending on your oven. Check on the tofu every 10 minutes and flip each time. The tofu is done when it is golden brown and slightly crisp on all sides. If using an air fryer, set to 400 degrees as well. You will likely need only 20 minutes depending on your air fryer. Remember to turn halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- While the tofu is baking, chop the vegetables to combine in the pita. I actually forgot to get an extra cucumber today, but I do recommend it to balance out the sharpness of the red onion!
- When the tofu is complete, combine your veggies, greens, and tofu on the pita and drizzle with tzatziki. Enjoy!
I hope you love it as much as I did. Drop a comment below if you try it!