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Grilled Steak (or Tofu Steak) in Chipotle Garlic Lime Marinade

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Grilled Steak (or Tofu Steak) in Chipotle Garlic Lime Marinade

Grilled Steak (or Tofu Steak) in Chipotle Garlic Lime Marinade

Jessica Braider
Have you ever tried chipotle peppers in adobo sauce? You buy them in little cans in Latin markets or the international aisle of many supermarkets. They are incredibly flavorful, but can be pretty spicy if you use too much. I love the rich, smoky flavor of them in marinades. If you can’t find them, you can use chipotle chili powder, which is more widely available, or if you have neither of those, then regular chili powder or smoked paprika will do (or roast a couple of jalapenos and add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the marinade). I like the tofu preparation even better than the steak because the tofu really absorbs the marinade’s flavors.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 1/4 lbs. skirt or flank steak, trimmed of visible fat, or 2 15-oz. blocks of extra-firm tofu, drained and wrapped in a clean dishtowel, if using tofu, and cut into 8 even rectangles (be sure to cut the tofu across the middle so it’s half its original height for good grilling, then cut the halves into 2 pieces each)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes juice only, about 1/4 cup
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 7 oz. canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, found in international aisle of grocery stores use 3 chipotle chilies with some of their surrounding sauce, or use 3 roasted jalapeño peppers and 1 Tbsp. tomato paste or use 2 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder or traditional chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • Put the steak or tofu in a glass or ceramic dish with sides just large enough to hold it in one layer. If using steak, poke holes all over it with the tines of a fork.
  • In a blender (or using an immersion blender in a large measuring cup), combine the remaining ingredients and puree.
  • Pour the marinade over the steak or tofu, flipping several times to coat. Cover and marinate it for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours, refrigerated if using the steak.
  • If you are making both the steak and tofu, cook the tofu first, then raise the heat to make the steak (unless you have a large grill where you can do both at once).
  • For steak: Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade, letting the excess drip back in the dish. Reserve the marinade. Grill the steak for 4 – 6 minutes per side to desired doneness. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the marinade to a boil and simmer it for at least 2 minutes to kill any bacteria from the meat. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes, before slicing it against the grain into thin strips. Serve it immediately with the (boiled) marinade or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
  • For tofu: Preheat the grill or a lightly oiled grill pan to medium-high heat. After the grill preheats, scrub it with a grill brush and oil it well using tongs and vegetable oil rubbed on a paper towel. Remove the tofu from the marinade, letting the excess drip back in the dish. Reserve the marinade. Put the tofu on the grill or grill pan, and reduce the heat to low and cover the grill. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes per side, rotating the tofu midway through each side’s cooking time to create cross-hatches, if desired. Remove the tofu from the grill to a serving plate and spoon the remaining marinade over it. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • There's no need to marinate in advance. Place the steaks (tofu or meat) in the slow cooker, then pour the blended marinade ingredients over the top, turning the steaks several times to be sure they are well coated with the marinade. Cook on low for 6 - 7 hours, or on high for 3 - 4 hours, until steaks are done to desired level. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Drain, wrap and slice the tofu if using it, juice the lime, peel and chop the garlic, combine the spices, make the marinade and marinate the steak or the tofu (if using steak, marinate it in the refrigerator), or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 2 – 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro to the marinade.
Tip: I freeze leftover chipotle peppers and adobo sauce in a small container and break off small pieces when I need them.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 235, Total Fat: 13g, 19%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 20.5%; Cholesterol: 76mg, 25%; Sodium: 394mg, 16.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 4g, 1%; Dietary Fiber: 1g, 2%; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 26g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Company/Entertaining, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Grilling, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
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