Enjoy a cookout in the comfort of your own home with these delicious BBQ tofu bowls. These balanced vegan bowls can easily be customized to use ingredients that you already have on hand.
Spring is here and with spring comes the promise of all things outdoors. For me, that means BBQ flavors! Today I'm focusing on one of the best ways to enjoy BBQ as a vegetarian: BBQ tofu bowls!
- Dietary-features: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free optional, nut-free
- Made with BBQ tofu bites, homemade coleslaw, garlicky kale, and quinoa for a well-balanced plant-based meal.
- Perfect for meal prep or weeknight dinners.
- Tastes like a BBQ picnic in a bowl! These BBQ tofu bowls are perfect for when you're craving that picnic/cookout flavor but don't want to spend hours in the kitchen.
If you like my BBQ tofu sandwich recipe, then you will love these BBQ tofu bowls because the tofu is cooked using a similar method.
- Tofu: I recommend using extra-firm or super firm tofu for the best texture.
- BBQ sauce: I use my homemade vegan BBQ sauce because I prefer a sweet and spicy sauce. Any kind of BBQ sauce works in this recipe.
- Coleslaw: The slaw is made with vegan mayonnaise, cider vinegar, stone ground mustard, sugar, and hot sauce. It is similar to the coleslaw that I use in my BBQ portobello tacos.
- Kale: Dinosaur kale or curly kale work in this recipe. Spinach is also a good option but wilts much more quickly than kale.
- Quinoa: Choose any color of quinoa. An equal amount of rice or another whole grain also works.
The best way to make flavorful BBQ tofu is to marinate it. This BBQ marinade is made with sweet BBQ sauce, vegetable broth, hot sauce, and apple cider vinegar. You can also use my baked BBQ tofu recipe for a baked option.
If you prefer vinegar or mustard-based sauces (or any sauce that isn't "sweet"), I recommend replacing the apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of vegetable broth.
As the tofu marinates, it takes on the flavor of the BBQ sauce. Marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Heat a cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add olive oil or any neutral oil, like canola or vegetable oil.
Once hot, add the cubes of tofu without the marinade. Don't add the tofu until the pan is completely hot or it might stick. A regular skillet can also be used for this.
Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat on all sides.
All parts of these BBQ tofu bowls are easy to customize. Here are a few of my favorite swaps and additions:
- Tofu: This can be replaced with tempeh. You can also add baked beans if you're looking for a quicker source of protein.
- Kale: Try sauteing mustard greens or collard greens for a different flavor. Sauteed spinach can also be used, but do note that it will be done cooking much more quickly than hearty greens like kale.
- Quinoa: Choose your favorite grain, such as white or brown rice, pearl barley or even vegan macaroni and cheese!
- Coleslaw: For a mayo-free coleslaw, try my spicy mustard slaw or vegan tahini coleslaw. You might even like adding plain sauteed cabbage.
- Toppings: Sprinkle in toasted pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch and flavor. Don't forget to add a little extra BBQ sauce or vegan ranch dressing on top!
Leftovers and reheating
There are two ways to store leftovers. Either store each component in its own container or assemble the bowls and refrigerate them for meal prep. These bowls are best enjoyed within 3-4 days.
Reheat leftover tofu on the stove-top over medium heat until crispy. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
Looking for similar recipes?
If you're looking for more Southern vegetarian recipes, you might like my vegan cornbread muffins, vegan biscuits and gravy, or my southern style vegan banana pudding.
Did you try this recipe? You can leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ in the recipe card or a review down in the comments section. I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow along on my YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest or sign up for my newsletter!
BBQ Tofu Bowls
- 1 block (14 ounces) extra firm tofu
- ½ cup sweet barbecue sauce of choice plus more for topping
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup water or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 2 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 bunch lacinato or curly kale
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Press the tofu for 10 minutes. To do this, use a tofu press or place tofu between two plates. Weigh down the top plate with a bag of beans or a can.
- After pressing, cut tofu into one inch cubes. Place the cubes in a shallow dish or plastic bag for marinating.
- Stir together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl: BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, water, hot sauce. Coat the tofu in the marinade. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon neutral oil. Once hot, add the tofu (don't add the marinade). Saute each side for 2-3 minutes, or until browned and crispy.
- In a small bowl, mix together coleslaw ingredients: mayo, apple cider vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and optional hot sauce. Drizzle on top of shredded cabbage. Stir to combine.
- Remove stems from the kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Heat two teaspoons olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat (I usually use my cast iron pan that the tofu is cooked in). Once hot, add the kale, minced garlic and pumpkin seeds. Saute until kale is wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
- To make one bowl: Add ¼ of the tofu (3-4 pieces), ½ cup quinoa, ½ cup coleslaw, and ¼ of the kale. Enjoy drizzled with extra BBQ sauce!
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Your BBQ Tofu Bowl was delicious! We enjoyed the contrast between the tofu, the BBQ sauce over the quinoa with pumpkin seeds and the sharp creamy taste of the coleslaw. Super easy meal to prepare. Thank you Cassidy.
Thanks, Lynn! So glad to hear that you enjoyed it.