This vegan souvlaki recipe uses juicy marinated tofu pieces on a skewer with creamy tzatziki finished with fresh tomato, red onion, and herbs on easy flatbread.
All this can be made from scratch and impress your family and friends. There’s so much flavour nestled in a bread parcel. Even the pickiest of eaters will love it.
This veggie souvlaki recipe makes the best barbeque addition or a delicious weeknight dinner option. My version is so satisfying using everyday ingredients; you’ll be adding it to your meal rotation in no time!
All the components can be made ahead of time and finished off just before serving. In fact, the flavours will just intensify and improve if left to marinade and develop over 1-2 days.
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What kind of food is souvlaki?
A typical Greek fast food option, souvlaki is normally made using pork, chicken, or sometimes lamb or beef and even veggies marinated and grilled on a skewer.
Souvlaki is typically served hot straight off the skewer in pita bread or flatbread with tzatziki and different fresh veggies and herbs, and you can understand why it’s so popular! This much-loved traditional dish is a better alternative to so many other fast food options available.
I love Greek food, and anything inside pita bread has my attention. I was contemplating what to replace the meat with. I thought maybe eggplant or mushrooms, but that doesn’t really add any protein to the meal and doesn’t quite feel satisfying enough.
Tofu is a very versatile plant-based protein that soaks up flavour and grills well. It’s also available everywhere these days. So tofu it is!
I’ve got a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to transform that sometimes dull soy product into a delicious and juicy meat alternative.
This souvlaki marinade can be applied to other ingredients, so if you’re soy-free, you can try it with other things. Alternatively, you can swap them out altogether for my falafels for more of a Middle Eastern take.
What is souvlaki marinade made of?
This will vary from recipe to recipe, but I’ve used a blend of traditional ingredients with some vegan flavour enhancers to get the most out of tofu. You’ll need the following:
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Cumin powder
- Smoked paprika
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Tomato paste
Tips for making vegan souvlaki
- The tofu skewers are best done on the barbecue, but if you don’t have one you can grill them on a stove grill, skillet, or in the oven (on the grill setting). I haven’t tried these methods, so please let me know in the comments how it went if you do try any of them. The key is to get some char on it so that the texture on the outside is transformed.
- You can use bamboo or metal skewers. If you’re using bamboo (wooden) ones, make sure you soak them beforehand. I normally find that running them under the tap for a minute is enough. But please check the packet instructions.
- If you want to get fancy for plating and add another flavour dimension, you can create skewers out of rosemary branches. Just strip most of it (leaving some rosemary at the top) and cut the bottom of the branch at an angle to create a sharp enough skewer for the tofu to slide on easier. Give it a run under the tap before use. It’s the perfect way to use rosemary bushes if you have them in your garden.
- The tofu should be marinated at least overnight. I find that the longer I leave it, the better the outcome.
- The tofu and tzatziki should be prepared the day before. So when you’re ready to go, you just need to grill the skewers, chop up the veggies and warm up the pita bread (if using store-bought). Or if you’re gluten-free, some rice.
- You can mix up the veggies that you add. Other options are lettuce, cucumber, fresh dill, red peppers (chargrilled are even better), or olives.
- Place the flatbread (unless made freshly) over the skewers about a minute before you remove them so that the bread soaks up some of the flavours and softens.
What else can you serve with tofu souvlaki?
Since souvlaki is simply the marinated tofu on a skewer, you can serve it in so many other ways! Here’s some inspiration to get your creative juices following:
- On a bed of fragrant rice (as pictured) or couscous
- Caprese salad
- Using it as a dipping device for tzatziki, hummus,
- Served as an appetiser
- In place of the shredded tofu in this Turkish-inspired wrap
- With a potato salad
- In place of falafels in this rainbow salad with a tahini dressing
How to make quick homemade vegan yoghurt flatbread
Making homemade flatbread is actually easier than you might think. It’s ready in under 15 minutes and takes only four ingredients to put together.
Here’s how it’s done. In a bowl, add the Greek-style yoghurt and olive oil and mix. I like using the Coyo Greek-style coconut yoghurt as I use it for the tzatziki as well.
Follow with the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until you start to form a dough. At this point, I get my hands in there and combine into a rough ball.
Bring it over to a lightly floured surface and knead it for a couple of minutes until the dough is a cohesive ball and springs back a little when you poke it. If it’s too wet and sticky, add more flour gradually until it comes together.
The amount of flour will vary slightly depending on the yoghurt you use. Please make sure that it’s a Greek-style yoghurt because it’s thicker and has less liquid in it.
If you don’t have access to Greek-style yoghurt, place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth that’s sitting in a sieve over a bowl. Leave it overnight to drain. This is the same method as the vegan tzatziki which makes it thick and creamy.
Cut the dough into four equal portions and roll them into balls. Sprinkle some flour on your working bench again. Roll out each ball with a rolling pin into a round or oval shape into a relatively thin flatbread.
Heat a skillet or frypan on medium-high heat and brush one side with water to create a non-stick surface (just like in my naan recipe) and place that side facing down on the skillet. Cover it with a lid to trap the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes until the bread has created bubbles and is cooked on one side. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute on the other side.
Place it in a tea towel-lined plate and wrap it up to keep it warm while you make the others. Repeat the process for the rest of the flatbreads.
If you want to save on time or don’t have the ingredients, you can always use store-bought flatbread and vegan tzatziki. I would, however, highly recommend you make your own if you can, as it will take this dish to another level. The effort is worth it!
These vegan souvlakis are such a great alternative to a sandwich or a burger. Using wholesome ingredients, I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.
Other wonderful recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Gado Gado (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce)
- Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Panzanella Salad (Italian Tomato & Bread Salad)
- Vegan Falafel Wrap
- Vegan Moussaka
- Vegan Falafel Bowl