Easy BBQ Tofu Sandwich

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Marinated BBQ tofu is pan-fried and paired with creamy tahini coleslaw in this flavorful vegan sandwich.

BB sandwich sitting on a white plate in front of a gray background.

With spring comes all things outdoors, and with that comes all things barbecue. Barbecue is a big deal in the south, so BBQ tofu is the natural answer for a vegetarian Southerner.

Because yes, BBQ is still possible without meat!

I’m lucky to have a few vegetarian barbecue options where I live, but there’s nothing like making your own BBQ sandwich.

The best part of these tofu sandwiches?

It’s actually so easy to make homemade BBQ tofu. And you can easily customize this recipe to make it your own, just as barbecue should be.

The tofu is marinated in a simple 3-ingredient marinade that uses your favorite BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, and hot sauce. That means your tofu will be sweet, tangy, and just a little bit spicy!

Two slices of bbq tofu on a bed of coleslaw.

Choose your barbecue sauce

Use your favorite sweet barbecue sauce for the marinade. Or try out my favorite homemade sweet and spicy vegan BBQ sauce for a classic brown sugar sauce.

Recipe tip: If you’re vegetarian or vegan, check the label for Worcestershire sauce, which usually isn’t vegan.

How to make vegan BBQ tofu

Press extra firm tofu for 10 minutes. You can use a tofu press, or place tofu between two plates. Weigh down the top plate with a bag of dry beans or a can.

Four slice sof tofu covered in BBQ sauce marinade in a green baking dish.

Make your marinade. Coat the pressed tofu with the marinade in either a shallow dish or a plastic bag. Just as with barbecue meat, the longer you marinate the tofu the better.

Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Crispy blackened tofu being pan fried in a cast iron pan.

Crispy blackened tofu being pan fried in a cast iron pan.

In a medium skillet or cast iron, saute the tofu over medium high heat. Flip when the tofu is crispy and blackened, about 5 minutes each side.

Close up of tofu covered in barbecue sauce on a wheat bun.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe makes two large tofu sandwiches or four regular sized sandwiches.
  • In true barbecue fashion, these sandwiches can get a bit messy! Keep a napkin at the ready.
  • Swap out tofu for tempeh for an alternative protein.

BBQ Tofu Sandwich being held in a hand. A bite is taken out of the sandwich.

Easy BBQ Tofu Sandwich

Marinated and pan-fried tofu is paired with crunchy coleslaw in this vegan BBQ sandwich recipe.

  • Prep Time 15 mins
  • Cook Time1 0 mins
  • Marinating Time 30 mins
  • Total Time 25 mins

Servings: 2 servings

Calories: 309kcal


  • 1 block (14-16 ounces) extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2-4 whole wheat burger buns
  • 1 cup tahini coleslaw
  • optional toppings: lettuce, pickles, pimento cheese


  • 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. 
  • Cut the block of tofu lengthways into 5 slices. Place the rectangles 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 the oil. Once hot, add the tofu (don’t add the marinade). Saute each side for 5 minutes, or until browned and crispy. 
  • This recipe makes 2-3 large sandwiches or 5 regular sandwiches. Add two blocks of tofu to one burger bun for a large sandwich or add one for a regular sized sandwich. Top with tahini coleslaw and optional burger toppings. Enjoy!

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