This recipe is sponsored by EZ Tofu Press. All opinions are 100% my own.
Sticky baked bbq tofu is the star of this flavor-packed vegan BBQ tofu bowl with creamy mashed potatoes and lemony kale. It's an easy, crowd-pleasy plant-based meal!
I first taught this BBQ tofu bowl recipe at a cooking class years ago, and I'm so excited to partner with EZ Tofu Press to bring that recipe to the blog for you today!
This tofu is seriously addictive, and it's a dream paired up with lemony kale and decadent mashed potatoes. I've got some variation ideas for you below, so feel free to mix up your bowl layers to suit your own tastes!
Making the tofu
The BBQ tofu in this recipe is the sticky BBQ tofu that I've been making for years. It's easy to make and uses my twice-baked method for a super firm texture and deep flavor.
Start by pressing your tofu. I always press my tofu with the EZ Tofu Press. The EZ Tofu Press gets an average of ½ cup of water out of your tofu.
Getting out that much water not only firms the tofu up, but it makes that block thirsty for sauce, so it will soak up the BBQ sauce like a sponge.
Line a baking sheet, then toss your tofu pieces with BBQ sauce. Bake them for 20 minutes.
Then, smother them in BBQ sauce and bake again.
The result is super-firm, sticky-sweet, addictive BBQ tofu. It's a dream in this bowl. Just look at this pan of tofu!
Mash those potatoes
Creamy, whipped mashed potatoes are the base for this cozy BBQ tofu bowl. They're such a nice contrast to that sweet-smoky-spicy sauce!
These mashed potatoes are super simple, and my family loves them! Start by boiling and draining cubed potatoes.
Then, mash and whip them up with vegan butter and vegan milk until they're nice and creamy. I like to start mashing with a potato masher, then get in there with a fork to whip the potatoes to fluffy perfection.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and you're ready to rock.
The key with these potatoes is to choose thin-skinned potatoes. We are not peeling, so russet potatoes will not work in this recipe. The thick skins will take away too much of the creamy texture.
Preparing the kale
For your veggie, I'm keeping things super simple with bright, lemony massaged kale. It pairs up with the rich potatoes and BBQ tofu like a dream!
To make it, just wash your kale and let it dry in a colander. It's important that you let the kale dry for a bit. If the leaves have too much water on them, the water will dilute the dressing ingredients, leaving your kale bland.
Once it's dry, stem your kale and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Stems don't soften well with massaging, so I recommend being thorough here.
Now, just dress the kale with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and massage away with clean hands. Your kale is ready when it turns a vibrant, bright green, like in the photo above.
If kale isn't your thing, no worries! Here are some veggie alternatives that are just as lovely in this BBQ tofu bowl:
- steamed broccoli
- pan fried collard greens
- slow cooked collard greens
- shredded romaine lettuce
Not feeling mashed potatoes? No problem! Serve your tofu and veggies over:
- rice, quinoa, or your favorite cooked whole grain
- cheese grits or plain grits
- salad greens
How to serve and store
To serve, just pile everything into your bowls, and dive in! I like to top this with some chopped green onion, if I have any in the house. It adds a nice crunch and even more umami punch.
You can store leftovers all together or separately. You can also freeze these bowls in a freezer-safe container. Your BBQ tofu bowls will keep for three to four days in the fridge or around six months in the freezer.
To reheat refrigerated leftovers, just pop them into the microwave for a minute or two until they heat through. It's fine if the kale heats up.
For frozen leftovers, thaw them overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave. Stir before serving.
BBQ tofu bowl recipe
For the tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu pressed and cut into ½" cubes
- 1 ½ cups vegan BBQ sauce plus extra for brushing (An 18-ounce bottle will do it.)
For the mashed potatoes
For the kale
- 4 cups loosely-packed kale stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Make the BBQ tofu
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- In a large bowl, toss the tofu with a few tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Arrange the tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bake for 20 minutes. Set aside, and don’t turn off the oven yet.
- Pour ½ cup of BBQ sauce into the bottom of an 8×8" glass baking pan, and shake the pan to spread the sauce out evenly. Arrange the baked tofu cubes on top, then top off with the rest of the sauce, shaking again to distribute the sauce. Bake for 30 more minutes.
Make the mashed potatoes
- While the tofu bakes, add the potatoes to a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the butter and vegan milk, and mash until you get a creamy consistency. Add more vegan milk, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, if they're not creamy enough for you. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the kale
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. With clean hands, massage the kale until it turns bright green.
Assemble the BBQ tofu bowls
- Divide the mashed potatoes between 4 bowls. Top each bowl with the massaged kale and the tofu. Serve with any extra BBQ sauce from the pan on the side, so folks can sauce their bowls to their liking.