This baked BBQ tofu with a smoky, rich saucecan make anyone fall in love with tofu! Crispy on the outside, chewy, and flavorful, it’s the ideal add-in to salads, sandwiches and meal prep boxes. Also super easy to make, even as a complete beginner!

Baked BBQ tofu vegan

How’s everyone doing?! I’m happy that it finally stays sunny for longer than around two hours here in the UK. It never feels like spring until the end of April, but when it does – that’s the moment everyone loves.

I’ve been cooking up a storm and finding new ways to cook familiar ingredients. Or even perfecting old techniques. Cooking is a constant learning experience, even if you do it every day for hours, and that’s what I love about it. No learning = stagnation and boredom in any area of life.

Baked BBQ tofu

But I won’t ramble for much longer, because I’m pretty sure we’re all here to talk about tofu. Or maybe not, if you’re currently a tofu hater. I’m sure, however, that by the end of this post, I’ll convince you to try the recipe!

Vegan baked tofu with BBQ sauce

You’ve probably gone to restaurants before, ate tofu, and couldn’t believe that it’s possible to make tofu taste that good. It is possible and very easy too, and I’m here to talk you through the process. We’re making crispy, chewy, flavourful and moreish BBQ tofu with a hint of spice, the right amount of saltiness, and just all-round YUM.

love BBQ flavours, and you’ll be glad to know that this marinade requires NO store-brought BBQ sauce which is full of needless sugar, salt and strange ingredients. Baking tofu is my favourite preparation method because it absorbs flavours really well, and it’s also healthier than frying.

BBQ tofu with sesame seeds

Tips to make baked tofu taste good

It’s not a mystery that tofu by itself is pretty bland. The texture is also off-putting to many people – but I would never recommend eating plain tofu to anyone! There are certain tips you need to keep in mind to make incredible tofu every time:

Tofu with sesame seeds and rice
  1. Press the tofu if necessary! You may not need to do this if using extra firm tofu, which is my usual go-to variety. But if using normal firm tofu, cover it with a paper towel and put something heavy on top of it for around 30 minutes to get rid of the liquid.
  2. Sauces/marinades are your BFFLs. This is a pretty straight-forward point, but a good sauce or marinade is THE thing that will take your tofu to the next level. Experiment with different flavours and ingredients to discover your personal favourite.
  3. The longer you marinade it, the better. At least 30 minutes, but overnight is even better.
  4. Don’t use too much marinade. This will cause soggy tofu – a big no-no. A thin layer on each piece is ideal. But, if you have any leftovers, you can store them and use at a different time.
  5. Make the pieces around 1/3-1/2 inch in thickness. This will allow them to absorb enough flavour all the way through without burning.

How to make BBQ tofu

Firstly, you want to start by pressing the tofu if necessary, then add it to a bowl with cornstarch and stir together thoroughly. After that, add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.

Next, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pieces half way through.

When the tofu is almost done, prepare the BBQ sauce. Add ketchup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, coconut sugar, mustard, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, water and cornstarch to a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Whisk continuously until the sauce thickens.

Stir together the tofu and the sauce, then it’s ready to serve.

Baked tofu serving suggestions

  • Add it as a filling protein to any salad of your choice.
  • Serve it as a delicious filling for wraps and sandwiches.
  • Eat it by itself as a snack!
  • Dice it into finer pieces and stir into pasta dishes.
  • Use it as a topping for pizza.
BBQ tofu in a bowl over rice

Instructions for storage

This tofu keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Store it separately from the sauce, then combine and stir together in a saucepan when ready to serve.

Looking for more tofu recipes? Here are some of my favourites!

  • Lasagna with tofu is a delicious idea.
  • You can’t go wrong with a simple tofu curry.
  • Sheet pan potatoes and tofu is a great weeknight dinner.
  • Cold spaghetti salad with balsamic tofu makes another wonderful meal.
  • Sweet and sour tofu is one of my go-tos.
Baked BBQ tofu
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Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite way to cook tofu? If you give this flavourful baked BBQ tofu a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below.

Baked BBQ tofu

Get the Recipe: Baked BBQ Tofu (Vegan, Gluten-free & Oil-free)

Make the perfect baked BBQ tofu! This is the ultimate way to make tofu taste good – crispy on the outside, chewy, spicy, and full of flavour. Perfect for adding to salads and meal prep, or served over rice with sesame seeds.

Ingredients

For the marinaded tofu

  • 10 oz extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the BBQ sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Conventional oven
  • Saucepan

Instructions 

  • Add the tofu to a bowl with cornstarch and stir together thoroughly. After that, add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cumin. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pieces half way through.
  • Add ketchup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, coconut sugar, mustard, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, water and cornstarch to a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Whisk continuously until the BBQ sauce thickens.
  • Stir together the tofu and the sauce, then it's ready to serve.

Notes

This tofu keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Store it separately from the sauce, then combine and stir together in a saucepan when ready to serve.
Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 633mg, Potassium: 300mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 345IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 1mg