Think tofu is just for vegans? Think again. This easy BBQ tofu recipe is packed with bold flavor. It’s sweet, savory, and smoky…everyone will love it!
You can make this BBQ tofu recipe in two ways: in the oven or on the grill. The oven version is an easy protein for vegetarian dinners all year round, while the grilled BBQ tofu is perfect for summer cookouts. I’ve loved making it for our backyard get-togethers lately because it’s a) super simple to make, b) bursting with BBQ flavor, and c) a hit with everyone, tofu skeptics included!
This BBQ tofu has a satisfying chewy texture with edges that are crisp and lightly charred. A glossy layer of BBQ sauce coats each cube, giving it an amazing sweet, tangy, and smoky taste. I love using my homemade BBQ sauce here so that I can adjust the balance of flavors to my liking, but if you have a favorite store-bought sauce, feel free to break it out. This recipe is already easy, but pre-made sauce will make it even easier.
How to Make BBQ Tofu: 2 Ways!
The first step in this recipe is pressing the tofu. Don’t skip it! Pressing tofu gives it a firmer, chewier texture that’s SO fantastic in this recipe, and it makes it less likely to fall apart as you work with it. If you think ahead, you can press the tofu overnight in the fridge, but 30 minutes before cooking also does the trick.
Do I need a tofu press?
I definitely recommend one! A tofu press is the simplest way to press tofu, making for easy cleanup and a low chance of cracked or crumbled tofu. Not sure which one to get? Check out my guide to the best tofu presses!
But if you don’t have a tofu press, you can still make this recipe. Wrap the block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel. Place a cutting board with a few heavy cans or a cast-iron skillet on top. Let it sit for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
While you press the tofu, make the BBQ sauce. My recipe calls for pantry basics like ketchup, apple cider vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and smoked paprika, and it cooks up in 20 minutes! If you want to get ahead, you can make it in advance—it keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks. Your favorite store-bought sauce will work here too.
Next, cut the tofu. Slabs and cubes both work great! Brush all sides with BBQ sauce.
For grilled bbq tofu, preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If you’re grilling cubes, thread them onto skewers. Spray the grill grates with cooking spray. Cook the tofu for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until well charred. Brush it with more BBQ sauce before serving!
For baked bbq tofu, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Flip the tofu, and brush it with more BBQ sauce. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until well browned.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Serve BBQ Tofu
This BBQ tofu recipe is a super versatile plant-based protein. Here are a few fun ways to use it:
Got leftovers? They’ll keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Favorite Tofu Recipes
If you love this BBQ tofu, try one of these yummy tofu recipes next:
For baked BBQ tofu:
Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the tofu on a plate and brush with BBQ sauce on all sides. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Flip, brush with more BBQ sauce, and bake for 5 minutes, or until well browned. Serve with more BBQ sauce, if desired.
For grilled BBQ tofu:
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Place the tofu on a plate and brush with BBQ sauce on all sides. If grilling cubes, thread the tofu onto metal or soaked wooden skewers.
Use cooking spray to oil the grill grates well, then place the tofu on the grill. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until well-charred. Brush with more BBQ sauce and serve.