You all know that I love vegan-izing my favorite foods from my pre-plant-based days, and this post falls under that category. Growing up my dad would grill bbq chicken breasts in the summer and although the bbq chicken itself didn’t do much for me, I looked forward to making a sandwich with the leftovers. Nothing complicated yet so delicious, my bbq chicken sandwich included sliced leftover chicken stacked on toasted wheat bread with rich mayo, tangy mustard, extra bbq sauce (duh) and some fresh shredded lettuce. Simple? Yes. But super satisfying none the less.
This sandwich was not hard to make vegan. My cashew cream (yep, that one I always have on hand) works perfectly in place of the mayo, and roasted tofu takes the place of the chicken without sacrificing the hearty texture and savory-sweet flavor profile. So how do I make that tofu? Well that’s what this post is all about!
I often get comments about tofu… mostly questioning whether it’s actually good or not. Trust me when I say, even as a vegan, I’m no ride-or-die tofu fan. I don’t like the taste or texture of raw tofu, and I like it cooked it very specific ways. Because of this, I often shy away from tofu dishes at restaurants… I just can’t trust they’ll get it right. If it’s deep fried, I can usually get on board, but who likes to deep fry things? Not me… too much mess and too much hassle. But I do like to roast tofu. High heat and a lengthy stint in the oven achieves my ideal tofu texture… chewy with some bite. This also allows for the added seasonings and flavors to take over the tofu taste, making tofu a blank canvas for me.
For this BBQ Roasted Tofu, I cut extra firm tofu into slabs and season with olive oil, salt and maybe some pepper, if you’re into that. Toward the end of roasting, I brush bbq sauce on the slabs and let them roast even more until they are firm with crispy edges and lots of saucy goodness. This recipe is so stinkin’ easy and absolutely perfect for my vegan-ized BBQ Chicken Sandwich (see below and prepare to drool).
Easy BBQ Roasted Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
black pepper (optional)
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (I love thick Kansas City and Texas style for this)
Press tofu for about 20 minutes. I do this by wrapping the tofu block in a dish cloth and sandwiching it between two plates. I then place something heavy on top, like an empty tea kettle.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). When tofu is finished pressing, lay flat on a cutting board and cut into 3 rectangular blocks. Slice each block into 4 thin slabs (12 total pieces).
Lay out tofu slabs on a baking sheet in a single layer with some space in between each slab. Brush both sides of each slab with olive oil and season with salt (and pepper, if using).
Roast tofu for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and flip. Push tofu slabs together and brush the top side with 1/3 of the BBQ sauce. Return to oven for 15 minutes.
Remove tofu from oven, flip slabs again and brush the second side with another 1/3 of the sauce. Return to oven for another 15 minutes (or until desired texture is reached). Remove from oven and brush with remaining sauce.
*want a homemade BBQ Sauce recipe? My 5-minute healthy BBQ Sauce is one of my top recipes…check it out here!
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