Marinated Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich

This Marinated Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich is the perfect summer sandwich packed with protein and herby flavor. Make ahead for fun sandwiches during the week.

Tofu sandwich stuffed with mashed avocado, zucchini slices and lettuce stacked on a plate.

This sandwich is not just a summer sandwich I made up in my head. It’s a hope that one day sandwich shops will go above and beyond to offer a vegetarian option that is not just grilled veggies stuffed between two slices of bread and maybe a smear of hummus. I need more than that to stay full!

Why You’ll Love Marinated Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich

  • High in plant-protein. Using super firm tofu along with sourdough bread provides up to 30 grams of plant protein.
  • Meal prep ahead for easy lunches. I like to make a batch of the tofu and squash at the start of the week, so I can make sandwiches with them for lunch through the week. See notes below for storage instructions.
  • The perfect sandwich for the season. To give this sandwich some summer vibes, it is stuffed with some sauteed zucchini. A great way to use up that summer produce.
Tofu, zucchini, summer squash, basil, parsley, lime and garlic on a cutting board.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Tofu: I like using super firm tofu, but feel free to use extra firm tofu. If using extra firm tofu, just make sure to press it before using, to remove excess moisture.
  • Summer Squash: I used a mix of zucchini and summer squash. Feel free to use just one or the other based on your own preference.
  • Avocado: This is a base ingredient for our spread, so I don’t recommend swapping. However, you can swap the spread itself for another spread you love more. Try this sandwich with your favorite pesto or hummus.
  • Basil: Not a fan of basil? This works well with finely minced chives, cilantro or dill. Pick your favorite.
  • Tamari: This is just a thicker type of soy sauce, so feel free to use soy sauce if you prefer. You can also use coconut aminos.
  • Lime: I love lime, but this also works with lemon. Make sure to use fresh so you can use up the zest.
  • Vinegar: I used white wine vinegar. You can swap with white balsamic vinegar as an alternative.
  • Seasonings: I used a combination of garlic and coriander and relied a lot on herbs to bring out some of the fresh flavors. Feel free to add more based on your own preference.

How to Make Marinated Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich

If using the oven, preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the block of tofu from its package and pat dry with a clean towel. Using a sharp knife, cut the block into thin slabs and place the pieces in a shallow bowl or airtight container.

To a small bowl, add the grated garlic, vinegar, tamari, lime, oil, parsley and coriander and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade overtop of the tofu slices then tilt the container side to side to make sure the slices are coated then set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat then add the oil. When hot, add enough squash to cover the bottom of the pan without overcrowding. Spread the zucchini out as best you can, then allow to cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes. Flip the squash and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked zucchini to a plate and repeat with the remaining squash.

Once all the squash is cooked, return to the pan with the sliced garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes until the garlic is cooked through then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and transfer back to the plate.

To bake the tofu, place the slices on a parchment lined baking tray then bake for 8 minutes. Flip the tofu, then bake for another 7-8 minutes until the edges start to brown. To pan sear the tofu, add a batch of tofu slices to the same skillet used for the squash over medium-low heat. Cook undisturbed in the pan for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden. Repeat with any remaining tofu.

To a mortar and pestle, add the garlic and salt and crush it into a paste. Add the basil, then move the pestle in a circular motion around the mortar to crush the basil into a paste. Add in the avocado, lime zest and juice then mash together until well combined. Alternatively, use a food processor. Add a grated garlic clove, basil, avocado, lime juice, zest and a pinch of salt and process until mostly smooth.

To build the sandwich, toast your bread then spread the avocado mixture on both slices. Layer one slice with lettuce, then the tofu slices, a layer of squash, some extra fresh basil leaves then top with the other slice of bread before enjoying.

Expert Tips

  • This can be made with super firm or extra firm tofu. Super firm tofu can be used right out of the package, no pressing required. If using extra firm tofu, just make sure to press it using a tofu press or your own diy method for at least 15 minutes before using.
  • For the best flavors from your basil avocado spread, try using a mortar and pestle. While not required for the recipe, I feel it really does bring out the best flavors from the basil compared to using a food processor. The crushing motions of the mortar and pestle result in the cells of the garlic and basil opening more, which gives you more depth of flavor from your basil and garlic.
  • Save on cooking, just enjoy your tofu slices cold. You don’t have to bake the tofu if you don’t want to. Just let it marinate for at least 30 minutes before using. Sometimes I will go with this method when I’m feeling more lazy in the summer months.
Close up of a sandwich wrapped in parchment paper cut in half to show layers of tofu slices, zucchini slices, lettuce and mashed avocado.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I meal prep this sandwich?

Make the tofu slices and zucchini in advance! Cook the tofu then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The zucchini can be made in advance as well, just sauté and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The basil avocado spread is best enjoyed fresh as avocado can oxidize. You can try storing in the fridge for up to 2 days by placing in an airtight container along with the avocado pit and covered with plastic wrap to help reduce the oxidation process. Alternatively, use your favorite pesto as an alternative.

Can this be made gluten-free?

The only items you would need to potentially change are the tamari and bread. If using tamari, just make sure you are using a truly wheat-free tamari. Instead of sourdough bread, use your favorite gluten-free bread or place in a gluten-free wrap to enjoy.

Sandwich halves on a plate stuffed with avocado, tofu slices, zucchini slices, and lettuce.

How to Serve

Assemble the sandwich by toasting the bread then layer on the mashed avocado, lettuce, the tofu slices, some of the zucchini slices, and more fresh basil. Serve the sandwich as is or enjoy with some extra veggies like carrot sticks with a side of hummus.

More Sandwiches and Wraps to Make

Stuffed sandwich with avocado mash, tofu slices, zucchini slices, and lettuce.

If you tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, then let me know what you thought in the comments below! And if you loved it, don’t forget to rate it too. Feel free to follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok for the latest nutrition tips and recipe videos.

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Tofu sandwich stuffed with mashed avocado, zucchini slices and lettuce stacked on a plate.

Marinated Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich

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  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Marinated Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich is the perfect summer sandwich packed with protein and herby flavor. Make ahead for fun sandwiches during the week.


Ingredients

Scale

Herby Tofu Slices

  • 16 oz block of super firm tofu
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp coriander

Sauteed Squash

  • 3 summer squashes (I used a mix of zucchini and summer squash), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt

Basil Avocado Spread

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1 medium avocado
  • Juice and zest of half a lime

Sandwich Fixings: Toasted sourdough bread, fresh basil leaves, lettuce


Instructions

  1. If using the oven, preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the block of tofu from its package and pat dry with a clean towel. Using a sharp knife, cut the block into thin slabs and place the pieces in a shallow bowl or airtight container.
  2. To a small bowl, add the grated garlic, vinegar, tamari, lime, oil, parsley and coriander and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade overtop of the tofu slices then tilt the container side to side to make sure the slices are coated then set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat then add the oil. When hot, add enough squash to cover the bottom of the pan without overcrowding. Spread the zucchini out as best you can, then allow to cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes. Flip the squash and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked zucchini to a plate and repeat with the remaining squash.
  4. Once all the squash is cooked, return to the pan with the sliced garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes until the garlic is cooked through then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and transfer back to the plate.
  5. To bake the tofu, place the slices on a parchment lined baking tray then bake for 8 minutes. Flip the tofu, then bake for another 7-8 minutes until the edges start to brown. To pan sear the tofu, add a batch of tofu slices to the same skillet used for the squash over medium-low heat. Cook undisturbed in the pan for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden. Repeat with any remaining tofu.
  6. To a mortar and pestle, add the garlic and salt and crush it into a paste. Add the basil, then move the pestle in a circular motion around the mortar to crush the basil into a paste. Add in the avocado, lime zest and juice then mash together until well combined. Alternatively, use a food processor. Add a grated garlic clove, basil, avocado, lime juice, zest and a pinch of salt and process until mostly smooth.
  7. To build the sandwich, toast your bread then spread the avocado mixture on both slices. Layer one slice with lettuce, then the tofu slices, a layer of squash, some extra fresh basil leaves then top with the other slice of bread before enjoying.


Notes

This can be made with super firm or extra firm tofu. Super firm tofu can be used right out of the package, no pressing required. If using extra firm tofu, just make sure to press it using a tofu press or your own diy method for at least 15 minutes before using.

For the best flavors from your basil avocado spread, try using a mortar and pestle. While not required for the recipe, I feel it really does bring out the best flavors from the basil compared to using a food processor. The crushing motions of the mortar and pestle result in the cells of the garlic and basil opening more, which gives you more depth of flavor from your basil and garlic. Save on cooking, just enjoy your tofu slices cold.

You don’t have to bake the tofu if you don’t want to. Just let it marinate for at least 30 minutes before using. Sometimes I will go with this method when I’m feeling more lazy in the summer months.

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase from those links. I only recommend and share products that I know, trust and personally use myself!

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