Shredded tofu is the perfect vegetarian base for this week’s taco dinner. These Shredded Tofu Tacos are easy to make and feature a smoky red chimichurri—though you can take these tacos any direction with a number of different salsas and toppings.

3 Reasons to Make Tofu Tacos

  • Easy Meatless Meal: cooking meatless isn’t always top of mind for me. And if you’re like me, then this is a great recipe to lean on when you want to make a meatless meal but don’t have something in mind. It’s easy to make, it’s quick and it’s very versatile. A delicious Healthy Tofu Recipe to add to your arsenal! 
  • Unique Way to Cook Tofu: when you want to try something other than cubes or strips of crispy tofu, shredded tofu is a nice option. Armed with the shredded tofu, you can take the tacos any flavor or cuisine direction.
  • Quick Cooking Method: want to make crispy tofu tacos but don’t have time to press the tofu between layers of paper towels for 30 minutes? Shredded Tofu is the method to turn to! 
Tofu, tortillas, cheese, olive oil, garlic cloves, roasted red peppers, cilantro, parsley, spices and vinegar set out on a counter.

Ingredients Needed

  • Tofu: for two servings, you will need 1 (16-ounce) block of extra-firm tofu. There are tons of different types of tofu out there, but I recommend using extra-firm tofu that’s packed in water and sold in the refrigerated section.
  • Oil: for this recipe you will need a high-heat cooking oil. I recommend using a neutral oil like avocado oil or canola oil. But you can also use more flavorful oils like sesame oil or peanut oil. 
  • Garlic: you’ll need 2 large cloves for this recipe. You can skip the garlic if you want to season the tofu with something else or intend to toss it with a sauce. 
  • Cumin Seeds: another optional ingredient. But I think it makes for a very flavorful shredded tofu. If you don’t have cumin seed, skip it and add a dash of ground cumin at the end of cooking. 
  • Butter/Vegan Butter: just a tablespoon is needed towards the end of cooking to encourage browning on the tofu. 
  • Red Chimichurri: for this recipe, I like to use my red chimichurri recipe as the sauce or “salsa” for the tacos (the full recipe for the red chimichurri is also included in the recipe card). You can also use any homemade or store bought salsa of your preference. 
  • Cucumbers: you’ll need a couple of mini cucumbers. Cut into a fine dice, they add a nice fresh crunch to the tacos. 
  • Cheese: I recommend using queso fresco or feta. Something crumbly with a salty bite. 
  • Tortillas: flour or corn tortillas work here, just be sure to use small street-style tortillas. 
  • Cilantro: top each taco off with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. 

How to Make Shredded Tofu Tacos 

  1. Make the Chimichurri 
Minced roasted red pepper and herbs in a food processor.

Pulse together the roasted red peppers, herbs, garlic and spices in a food processor until minced.

Red chimichurri sauce in a mini food processor on a wood board.

Add the olive oil and vinegar and blend until a sauce comes together. 

  1. Squeeze the Tofu with Your Hands 

I promised no pressing and there is no pressing. But I do recommend squeezing the big block with your hands to express any excess water. This isn’t anything too crazy—just give it a good squeeze. It may start to break apart a bit and that’s OK. Just don’t let the block fall apart or that will make it hard to shred. 

  1. Shred the Tofu
Shredded tofu set out on a layer of paper towels.

Use a large hole box grater to shred or “grate” the tofu. I recommend grating the tofu over a single layer of paper towels. For one, it soaks up any excess moisture. But secondly, it makes it easier to transfer the tofu to the hot skillet.  

  1. Cook the Tofu

Add the sliced garlic to the hot oil in the skillet and cook briefly, just until it start to turn golden—it will continue to cook with the tofu so this step is just intended to give it a jump start. Stir in the cumin seeds and cook briefly until fragrant. 

Shredded tofu cooking in a large skillet.

Add the tofu to the skillet and toss to coat in the oil. Spread the tofu into a single layer then allow the tofu to cook, without moving, until starting to brown. Stir and continue to cooking, only stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Shredded tofu cooked in a nonstick skillet.

Add the butter (or vegan butter) and cook until crisp. 

  1. Char the Tortillas

I like to warm and char the tortillas over an open flame. If you don’t have a gas stove top, wrap the tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. 

  1. Assemble

Spoon the tofu into the warmed tortillas and top with Red Chimichurri (or salsa), cucumbers, crumbled cheese and cilantro. 

Shredded tofu stuffed into a flour tortillas and topped with a red salsa, cucumbers, cheese and cilantro.

Variations and Toppings

I’ve said this a handful of times already—you can serve these tacos with any salsa, or sauce for that matter, that you want. I just want you to try this method! It’s so tasty.

Shredded Tofu Tacos Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 2 servings (4–6 tacos)
Category Dinner
Cuisine American, Argentinian, Mexican


A delicious recipe for crispy shredded tofu tacos. No oven or air fryer required! A quick, easy and delicious vegan dinner.


Red Chimichurri (skip if using pre-made salsa or sauce)

  • 1 cup roasted red pepper or one (8-ounce jar), drained
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup loosely packed parsley leaves and tender stems, from 1 small bunch
  • ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

Shredded Tofu

  • 1 (16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegan butter
  • Kosher salt


  • 2 Persian cucumbers, finely diced
  • Queso fresco or feta, crumbled
  • 4 small flour tortillas, slightly charred *


Red Chimichurri (skip if using pre-made salsa or sauce)

  • In a mini food processor, add 1 cup roasted red peppers, ¾ cup parsley, ¼ cup cilantro, 4 cloves garlic, 1 ¾ smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse until mixture is minced.
  • Scrape down sides of bowl, add ⅓ cup oil and 2½ tablespoons vinegar and blend until an emulsified sauce comes together (it should still be chunky in texture). Season to taste with salt and vinegar.
  • Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Shredded Tofu

  • Squeeze tofu over a bowl to remove excess water. It’s OK if the tofu starts to break apart, but avoid crushing it into small pieces. This step is meant to release most of the excess of water, but not all of it.
  • Shred tofu over a layer of paper towels using a large-hole box grater. Spread tofu into a single layer and let drain while preparing and cooking garlic.
  • Slice 2 cloves garlic then add to a large nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, just until garlic starts to turn golden around edges, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and cook 30 seconds.
  • Add shredded tofu and 1 teaspoon of salt; toss to coat (turn those garlic slices up and into tofu!) then spread tofu into an even layer and cook, without moving for 3 minutes. Stir tofu then spread into an even layer and cook without moving for another 3 minutes. Repeat stirring, spreading into an even layer and cooking for 3 more minutes once more.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter and cook until golden brown and crisp, 4–6 minutes. Serve as desired.


  • To assemble, divide tofu between 4 tortillas. Top each taco with a spoonful of red chimichurri, diced cucumber and crumbled queso fresco.


*How to char tortillas: I like to warm and char the tortillas over an open flame. To do this, I heat a gas stove to medium and arrange 2 or 3 tortillas right over the flame. Slightly char the tortillas then flip, using a spatula, until the second side is charred. If you don’t have a gas stove top, wrap the tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds.
Storing Chimichurri:Red chimichurri will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. For longer storage, store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to freeze the sauce in small portions using ice cube trays or Souper Cube trays—it allows you to have control over how much sauce to thaw and it makes for a quicker thaw time. 
Storing Shredded Tofu: Store the cooked shredded tofu in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through. Freeze shredded tofu for up to 3 months.
You can also shred the tofu up to 3 days before cooking it. 


Serving: 1 tacoCalories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 510mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 1.6g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Shredded tofu toacs set on a glass plate with cucumbers, cheese, and salsa set around.

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More Vegetarian Taco Recipes to Try

  • One of my favorite taco recipes of all time is my Tempeh Tacos with Green Apple Slaw. The Tempeh is coated in a sweet-spicy chipotle sauce and roasted until nice and tender. So good! 
  • Breakfast for dinner (or tacos for breakfast), Migas Tacos are an absolute dream. Soft, cheesy eggs tossed with tortilla strips get piled into tortillas and topped with black beans, tomatoes, and avocado. 
  • Keep on with the tofu taco train and make my Crispy Tofu Tacos. The tofu is cut into large squares and tossed in a unique spice blend that makes these one of a kind. 

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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