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Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Wraps with Creamy Sesame Dressing Recipe

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Sesame DressingPhotos by Lindsey Johnson

Do a quick search for “grilling recipes,” and 9 out of 10 of the results mention some sort of meat. It’s no wonder even long-time vegetarians sometimes feel a little stymied when it comes to meatless recipes for the grill (although here are 50 of them that we rounded up, for loads of inspiration!).

That’s why I love the idea of these Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps. Each main component — tofu, pineapple, and zucchini — gets grilled to perfection, then they’re chopped into manageable pieces and served up in crispy butter lettuce cups. Don’t forget the dressing — a sesame-based affair with a little sriracha for zip.

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps
Although it’s notoriously known as a vegetarian staple, tofu might not actually be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re dreaming up foods to barbecue. But it should be! Tofu on the grill can be sublime — and it’s so easy. I like to start with an extra-firm block (be sure to press it first!) and cut it into 6 slices, about 1/2-inch thick — thin enough to take on a flavorful marinade, but thick enough to hold up to a little bit of handling on the grill.

Be sure to coat the grilling surface with a high-smoke-point oil, because tofu can stick. Then just slap it right on the BBQ grates and cook on medium-high — around 400°F. The tofu will turn golden and develop tasty grill marks, and all the flavor from the marinade gets seared right in. I like to serve my grilled tofu with a little dipping sauce, because, depending on the marinade, it can be a little dry.

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Sesame Dressing
Whether it’s served up in slices, on skewers, or in lettuce cups, grilled tofu is definitely a win for vegetarians’ summer repertoire. Go forth and grill, vegetarians!

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Wraps with Creamy Sesame Dressing Recipe

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Teriyaki-marinated tofu, sweet pineapple, and tender zucchini, all grilled to perfection, and then served up in crispy lettuce cups and drizzled with a sesame-Sriracha sauce. Beware: this one can be a little messy to eat -- but it's so worth it!
Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings



  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil divided
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 fresh pineapple peeled, cored, and sliced into 3/4-inch rings
  • 1 medium zucchini cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Pinch kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-10 butter or Bibb lettuce leaves washed and dried well

Creamy Sesame Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup honey would work too
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root


  • Marinate the tofu. Drain tofu and press for 25-30 minutes (detailed tofu pressing instructions here). Cut into six 1/2-inch slices. Place the tofu slices into a small baking dish or zipper bag. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Pour the marinade over the tofu and turn tofu to help ensure the marinade has coated all sides. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 1-2 hours, turning occasionally.
  • When you're ready to start grilling, brush the zucchini with 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high, about 400ºF. Oil the grates with a high smoke-point oil such as canola or grapeseed oil (or use non-stick cooking spray). Lay the tofu, pineapple, and zucchini on the grill and close the lid. Beware: the marinade on the tofu may cause it to flame up at first! Cook the pineapple and zucchini until they show golden-brown grill lines (about 5 minutes). Turn over and cook until lines appear on the other side (2-3 more minutes). Transfer to a large platter to cool. Flip the tofu when it starts to show grill lines (after 8-9 minutes). Cook on the other side until heated through and showing lines (3-4 more minutes). Transfer tofu to the platter. Let pineapple, zucchini, and tofu sit until they're cool to the touch and then cut them all into 1/2-inch size squares. Return to the platter and toss gently to combine.
  • Make the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to the pitcher of a blender. Blend until completely pureed and creamy.
  • To serve, scoop tofu mixture into lettuce leaf cups and drizzle with a little sauce. Fold sides of leaves over the top and eat.


Prep time includes 2 hours for marinating.
Dressing recipe adapted from Food52.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    July 17, 2014 at 8:50 am

    That sauce is soooo getting made! It looks like it could be a great salad dressing.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2014 at 12:18 am

      It’s definitely versatile! I’ve been craving it on everything. 🙂

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    July 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I’m so into this, mainly because it uses grilling for allllll the things!

    • Reply
      July 18, 2014 at 12:18 am

      It’s so nice to be able to do most everything outside when the last thing you want to do is hang in the kitchen!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Everything on this site always looks amazing… but lettuce wraps have a truly special place in my heart. Or… on my plate. Yummmmmm.

    • Reply
      July 18, 2014 at 12:19 am

      I’m with you there. 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    July 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    This looks like one of those meals that I can be Miss Piggy guilt free. I adore those meals. Its such a good summer meal too. Light, but the flavor still has plenty of kick to be interesting. I think the dipping sauce is out of sight.

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    July 19, 2014 at 2:35 am

    the vegetarians in my household would definitely appreciate me creating this dish.. love that creamy sesame dressing, i can only imagine how good this would have tasted.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I often feel like vegetarians get the short end of the stick when it comes to all these lists of grilling recipes or food magazines dedicated to grilling because maybe there’s one token veg recipe…and it’s usually fairly lackluster. But this is all sunshine and rainbows and get in my belly. Can’t believe I’ve yet to grill tofu! Time to take control of the grilling reigns in my family.

  • Reply
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}
    July 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Great minds think alike – I totally have a recipe for teriyaki lettuce cups coming up next week! No grill at my place though 🙁 The pineapple and sesame dressing are such great additions – looks delicious!

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