Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 2 votes

Blueberry barbecue sauce with ginger and maple syrup is a simple way to make grilled summer vegetable and tofu skewers extra delicious. The sticky sauce can be made well ahead of time with under 10 ingredients.

An overhead shot of grilled vegetable and tofu skewers in a white tray. The skewers are brushed with a blueberry bbq sauce.
This post is sponsored by BC Blueberries.
An overhead shot of grilled vegetable and tofu skewers in a white tray. The skewers are brushed with a blueberry bbq sauce.
An overhead shot of blueberries in a white bowl.
An overhead shot of vegetable skewers being assembled on a black cutting board.
An overhead shot of blueberry bbq sauce being made in a white enamelware saucepan.

We’re having a rainy, super humid, and regularly grey summer over here. This hasn’t stopped us from trying to do all the things outside, all the time. Only one of our outdoor dinners has been rained out so far, and even then we sat out there getting sprinkled on, enjoying the thunder, for a good 20 minutes before giving up.

Honestly, my favourite thing about summer (and life in general) is cooking outside, whether that’s a camping scenario or just a weeknight in our backyard. I like bringing all the gear with me and just enjoying the fresh air, sipping a beverage, and ever-so-slowly (but lovingly) getting a meal to the table. The equipment situation is usually a touch more minimal, there’s less distractions, I get to spontaneously grab nearby growing edibles, cleanup is a few solid sprays with the hose, and most importantly: the food always tastes better. Oh, and also: the lighting for Instagram photos is reliably good ;)

This sticky, blueberry BBQ sauce-smothered vegetable and tofu skewer is my latest plant-based outdoor cooking adventure. It’s a pretty basic veg skewer that’s lifted up by a totally transcendent barbecue sauce of juicy highbush BC Blueberries, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili, and a touch of maple syrup. BC blueberries start coming on just a wee bit before Ontario ones (in season from mid-July to mid-September), and for this I’m so grateful. If we can’t get something locally, we always aim to buy Canadian.

I hope that you love these skewers! I used zucchini, red onions, a bell pepper, and some thick peach wedges for the produce component of mine. Extra firm tofu is my protein of choice here, but I think some lightly steamed tempeh pieces would also be great. Once these are sauced up and grilled, I like to serve them with even more sauce on the side. If you aren’t strictly plant-based, I imagine this blueberry barbecue sauce would be good on all sorts of proteins. Let me know how you’re using it!

More vegan grilling goodness for you: The Best Marinated & Grilled Tempeh, Grilled Mini Peppers with Spiced Walnut & Lentil Crumble, and Sweet and Spicy Grilled Tofu with Pineapple & Herbed Cauliflower Rice.

A 3/4 angle shot of a jammy blueberry bbq sauce in a white enamelware pot.
An overhead shot of a block of tofu on a small wooden cutting board.
An overhead shot of assembled tofu and vegetable skewers before grilling.
Image shows a hand basting grilled veg and tofu skewers with bbq sauce on the grill.
An overhead shot of grilled vegetable and tofu skewers in a white tray. The skewers are brushed with a blueberry bbq sauce.

Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Blueberry barbecue sauce with ginger and maple syrup is a simple way to make grilled summer vegetable and tofu skewers extra delicious. The sticky sauce can be made well ahead of time with under 10 ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
Summer Veg & Tofu Skewers with Blueberry BBQ Sauce - The First Mess
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Blueberry BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 small onion, grated with a box grater
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2- inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • sprinkle of chili flakes (optional)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Grilled Veg & Tofu Skewers

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu (350 grams/12 ounces)
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large peach, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • avocado or other high heat-tolerant oil spray
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Equipment

  • Grill

Notes

  • As I mentioned in the post, I could see this barbecue sauce pairing nicely with plenty of different proteins. You could make this on a meal prep day and store it in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • I use metal skewers, but if you don’t have those, you’ll need to soak some wooden skewers ahead of time for this recipe.

Instructions

  • Make the blueberry barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, grated onion, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, tomato paste, tamari, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Set the pot over medium heat and stir. Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer until blueberries are broken down and sauce is slightly thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
  • Preheat your grill to high.
  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Thread the tofu cubes, bell pepper, zucchini, peach, and red onion onto your skewers. Don’t overload the skewers! Spray or drizzle the veg and tofu with oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the skewers until light char marks appear on all sides. Then, brush the skewers with about half of the blueberry barbecue sauce. Grill the sauced skewers for another minute or so. Remove the skewers and serve them hot with extra blueberry barbecue sauce on the side.

*This post was created in partnership with BC Blueberries. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog. 

19/07/2017 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, gluten free, grain-free, grill, main course, nut free, quick, sauce, side dish, smoky, sour, spring, summer, sweet, tofu, vegan

19 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Vallen

    5 stars
    This was such a yummy and unique BBQ recipe! For future reference, my partner (the grill-savvy one) was wondering approximately how long we should have the skewers on the grill? Just a ballpark estimate (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc). Thank you! Can’t wait to enjoy again tonight :)

  • Brad

    Love your recipes, but it’s such an advertising assault to get through an article. I get that it’s an income stream, and it’s not just you. It’s like fighting my way through a jungle with a machete. Great recipes, though.

  • Margaux

    This blueberry bbq sauce is insane! Mind-blowing. I made just the sauce (no skewers) last night, as an easy way to spice up some leftovers, and it was incredible. Then I had it on third-day leftovers today, and it was EVEN BETTER! I cannot get enough, I’ve already sent the link around, and I’ll be making it all summer long. Thank you, Laura, for sharing your wealth of creativity with us. 

  • Samantha

    We made these skewers for dinner last night! Super quick to assemble and the blueberry BBQ sauce was divine! It’s a little too early in Calgary for peach season so I used a jar of canned peaches which worked wonderfully!

  • Stacy Davis

    Last night was a perfect early summer night to grill so we made this recipe. We decided to just grill the tofu cubes directly on the grill to get the crispy exterior we prefer. The blueberry bbq sauce is, in the words of my husband, “Divine”.
    Love this recipe and this blog!

  • Hanna

    Hey there!! look delicious and they are so easy to make. I would love to try them

  • Cassie Autumn Tran

    Skewers are one of my favorite dishes to have all year-round! The blueberry barbecue sauce sounds even more clever than any other barbecue sauce I’ve seen! These bad boys look divine, and I definitely will be making them soon!

  • Heather

    I saw on your most recent post your mention of feeling like things were maybe falling flat and you feeling a little meh about content so I wanted to comment on this – I made this sauce last night and thought it was AMAZING! I’ve always shied away from blueberry bbq sauces, but I had a ton of blueberries on hand this week and gave it a go. I live in an apartment with no outdoor grill access, so instead of doing the skewers I pressed slabs of tofu, coated the slices in a thin layer of the sauce and let them sit for a while and then grilled on my cast iron grill pan on the stove. Served with lots more of the sauce on top with roasted broccoli and zucchini on the side along with a baked potato. So, so, so, so, so good. Your recipes are always my favorites and have been getting me out of some major cooking slumps!

    • Laura

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, Heather! It’s so kind of you. And I’m glad that this worked out on a cast iron grill, too. <3
      -L

  • Emily Erbert

    Made these last night and they were amazing! Blueberry BBQ sauce had the perfect amount of heat. We served this with grilled corn
    and it made an excellent meal for a warm summer night!

  • Yael Tamar

    Wow! OMG! This is amazing. I am a huge fan of BBQ recipe, and that too TOFU SKEWERS in combination with blueberry barbecue sauce seems to be divine.

  • thefolia

    We use blueberries to sweeten up soups in our nest all the time. I’m not a fan of traditional bbq sauce but will give this one a shot since it involves those blue beauties! Happy feasting!

  • Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place

    I am so curious about that blueberry barbecue sauce! I’m sure it tastes amazing! I can’t wait to give this summer veg & tofu skewers a try! It’s light, healthy, and tasty!

  • Jessie Snyder

    I cannot make this sauce fast enough Laura. You. Blow. My. Mind. Ps. Love your words on cooking outdoors <3.

  • Amber | Quite Good Food

    I’ve never tried a savoury sauce with blueberries but I must say this looks divine! What a great idea, sounds absolutely delicious :)

  • Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie

    Those are some FINE looking skewers!!! I have never been a fan really, but I may just be a convert – thanks!

  • Ti

    These look amazing. I am always looking for a vegetarian option to BBQ and this is something anyone would love.

  • Susan Keister

    Could you least subscribe me to your blog. Thanks.

  • Lacey

    I have everything for this blueberry bbq sauce and it sounds delicious, I love blueberry and ginger! Will have to try it out.
    This summer we’ve done lots of grilled garlic scapes (YUM) and leftover polenta too! I make it with veg broth/water and then mix in the pine nut parm from your cookbook plus some earth balance, eat it warm the night of and save leftovers for grilling when the weather cooperates. There’s some in my fridge right now!