Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette


Are you a fan of MasterChef Junior? Though I haven’t seen every episode, I admit to being pulled in by all of those cute chubby cheeks and amazing natural culinary skills (I mean seriously, have you ever seen an 8 year old wield a fry pan like that?) for at least 2 full seasons. The first of which unleashed the talents of Alexander Weiss, age 13.

Alexander’s curly locks and flare for adventure with ingredients were impossible to ignore, so I was excited to discover that he had made a few dairy-free, and even vegan recipes to share, including this easy Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad with a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette - A dairy-free, vegan, optionally gluten-free recipe created by the adorable Alexander Weiss, Season 1 winner of Masterchef Junior!

To heat things up for the warm weather ahead, Alexander partnered with House Foods to make this protein-packed recipe that is made for the grill. Whether in need of an easy weeknight al fresco dinner or a vegetarian addition to your next barbecue, this spicy grilled tofu salad has you covered.

And just look at how flavorful it is! Evidenced by both the pictures and the ingredients – cayenne, garlic, paprika, chili, sriracha, tamari – this is a bold and scrumptious dish to woo even die-hard meat eaters.

Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette - A dairy-free, vegan, optionally gluten-free recipe created by the adorable Alexander Weiss, Season 1 winner of Masterchef Junior!

Special Diet Notes: Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.

For a nut-free spicy grilled tofu salad, simply omit the walnuts, or toss with 1/2 cup sunflower seeds instead.

Spicy Grilled Tofu Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Alexander was the Season One winner of “MasterChef Junior” on Fox. He created this recipe for House Foods, and they have shared it with us! Please note that the prep time does not include the marinating time for the tofu - plan ahead!
Serves: 4 servings
For the Spicy Tofu
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or wheat-free tamari for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon non-GMO canola oil (or other high-heat oil), plus extra for the grill
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 block Organic Firm Tofu, sliced about 1 ½ inches thick
For the Salad
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup olive oil, plus extra for the grill
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large bunch of your favorite salad mix (arugula, mesclun, romaine lettuce, etc)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (see note above for nut-free)
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
For the Spicy Tofu
  1. In a small pan, toast the cayenne, garlic powder, cinnamon, and paprika until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. While the spices are toasting, mix the sriracha, soy sauce, and canola oil in a small bowl, then add in the toasted spices. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. Add the tofu to a large zippered plastic bag and drizzle in the spiced marinade. Press the air out, seal, and let the tofu marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  4. When ready to prepare, heat a grill or grill pan over high heat and oil it well to prevent the tofu from sticking.
  5. Once hot, place the tofu on the grill and cook until thoroughly colored, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat.
For the Salad
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Add the salad mix, walnuts, and raisins to the bowl with your vinaigrette. Toss well to thoroughly coat.
  3. Plate the salad (or arrange in a serving bowl), and fan out the tofu on top to serve.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Pingback: Leafy Vegetables Protect Against Skin Cancer, but Dairy Increases Risk

  2. Pingback: How to Grill Pizza plus a Vegan Grilled Pizza Recipe

  3. Pingback: 30 Vegan BBQ & Grilling Recipes - Vegan Heaven

Leave A Reply

Rate this recipe: