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Credit: Meghan Splawn
Recipe Review

Turn a Big Batch of Tofu and Veggies into 2 Impossibly Easy Weeknight Meals

published Aug 22, 2020
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Welcome to Rollover Dinners, a series to help you make smart use of leftovers. Step 1: Make a family-friendly big-batch recipe for the first night. Step 2: Cook a meal later in the week that transforms the leftovers into a new dinner with minimal extra work.

If you’ve ever used the grill for meal prep, you know firsthand of its many benefits. Not only does it impart its signature smoky flavor on everything it touches, but its wide surface area also lets you cook a bunch of stuff at once. Did I mention it keeps the kitchen cool, too?

This week’s batch of Rollover Dinners takes full advantage of these perks. You’ll grill a batch of smoky, crispy tofu and as many vegetables as you can fit, then turn them into a BBQ salad bowl one night and a meatless, no-cook sandwich with a creamy chipotle ranch the next. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

Up First: BBQ Tofu Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Rollover Recipe Number 1: BBQ Tofu Salad with Grilled Vegetables

If you’re going to fire up the grill, you might as well double whatever you’re making and make a plan for those leftovers. In this case, that means quick-cooking tofu seasoned with smoky paprika and a big batch of summer veggies. The grilling in total takes less than 20 minutes.

My family loves a big crunchy salad, so our first recipe takes the tofu and grilled corn and zucchini, tosses them with tomatoes and lettuce, and finishes everything with a barbecue sauce-spiked dressing. This veggie-packed dinner has a little something for everyone, and the crunch factor is multiplied by using pita chips in place of croutons.

Credit: Meghan Splawn

Roll It Over: Smoky Tofu, Zucchini, and Zesty Ranch Club Sandwiches

The next night, you’ll use the leftovers to make a BLT-like sandwich with the flavorful tofu standing in for bacon. The sandwiches get a zesty chipotle ranch dressing that keeps this recipe from tasting like boring leftovers.

Here’s what to do: Save the smoky (but not sauced) tofu from the previous night’s dinner, as well as the grilled zucchini and any extra lettuce and tomato you didn’t use in the salad. You’ll need 8 slices tofu (about 10 ounces), 8 slices zucchini, 6 lettuce leaves, and one large tomato. Toast your bread if you like, and then whip up a chipotle ranch dressing. These sandwiches have all the smoky flavor you love from a BLT but tons more flavor, thanks to the dressing and grilled vegetables.

Rollover Dinners will win over your whole family with their flavor and ease, and you’ll avoid wasting food and cooking fatigue. Look out for more of these smart, delicious recipes each month here on Kitchn.