BBQ Tofu Bowl

I’m about to lay some magic on you. This vegan BBQ tofu bowl meal with spicy green beans and sweet potato mac and cheese is absolute comfort food at its finest. It’s three simple recipes in one meal to create a perfectly balanced bowl of garden-fresh green beans, macaroni and cheese, and BBQ chicken-style tofu. It’s the perfect comfort food with homegrown flavor.


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I love bowl meals. Three or more complementary items as a full meal in one large bowl. You’ve seen them advertised at the fast food places or in the Facebook groups, I’m sure. And this homemade BBQ tofu bowl is just perfect. 

Three components, one ideal dinner: BBQ tofu pieces, sweet potato mac and cheese, and spicy, seared green beans. And each one is an easy recipe!

The bbq tofu recipe is an adaptation of our popular Tofu Freezer Trick method that gives you the best meaty tofu packed with flavor. I’s my favorite way to make tofu!

And the green beans? This is the green bean dish that got me to really fall in love with green beans. The mix of peppers and beans is a flavor wow and that nice charred taste takes it to another level.

Finally, the sweet potato mac and cheese is the perfect complement to both: a little sweet, a little savory, with just a hint of smoke and cheesiness. It ties into the bbq theme so well like how people traditionally serve sweet potato sides with bbq. 

All in all, this fun plant-based comfort food meal is majorly impressive and massively delicious! And while it may seem like a lot, it comes together so easily!

Why We Love These Vegan BBQ Tofu Bowls:

  • Our recipe uses common garden veggies like peppers and green beans! 
  • It’s the perfect blend of flavors and textures. Creamy cheesy mac n cheese, smoky meaty baked tofu, and charred spicy veggies. It pulls you in and gives you a big hug!
  • It’s a total crowd-pleaser (we tested it!). It’s great served outdoors for a casual late summer or early fall dinner party with friends!

Pin this recipe for later.

Overhead photo of a bowl with a sliced barbecue tofu cutlet on top of vegan mac and cheese and next to green beans and peppers

Ingredients for BBQ Bowls

This bbq tofu bowl is composed of 3 separate components, but all with simple ingredients: the bbq tofu cutlets, the sweet potato mac and cheese, and the seared green beans!

To make the sheet pan bbq tofu, you’ll need:

  • Extra-firm tofu – This recipe works best when you first freeze the tofu (in its package), then defrost it and press as you normally would before continuing with the recipe. This is called our Tofu Freezer Trick (we have a whole freezer tofu guide on it!), and it is a life-changing way to cook tofu!
  • Barbecue sauce – We love Organicville BBQ sauce for this, but feel free to use your favorite bbq sauce or even homemade bbq sauce.
  • Vegan chicken bouillon powder – We use our homemade bouillon powder. It’s so easy to make!
  • Olive oil – optional

For the vegan mac and cheese, you’ll need:

  • Sweet potato puree 
  • Cashews – unsalted, unroasted
  • Nutritional yeast
  • More bouillon powder + BBQ sauce
  • Garlic – fresh
  • White miso paste – Miso Master is our go-to. Their mellow white miso paste adds the cheesiest flavor to this vegan mac!
  • Smoked salt
  • Onion powder
  • Liquid smoke
  • Macaroni – elbows or shells

For the seared green beans, you’ll need: 

  • Green beans – fresh, ends cut off
  • Red bell pepper – thinly sliced
  • Long hot pepper – minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Substitution Options

For the cashews: If you’re allergic or don’t have cashews, sunflower seeds or hulled hemp seeds can also be used for the mac n cheese sauce!

For the sweet potato puree: Plain pumpkin puree also works. Just make sure you DO NOT use “pumpkin pie mix”. That is something TOTALLY different. You can also use fresh sweet potatoes to make your own sweet potato puree.

For the green beans: If you don’t like or can’t find green beans, you can use broccoli or cauliflower. Sweet corn on the cob would also be great! Feel free to try some of your favorites!

For the peppers: You can also mix up the peppers here. Yellow and orange, even green, bell peppers add a great color variety. If you really don’t like spicy foods, you can use fewer hot peppers, choose less spicy ones, or omit them completely. If you don’t like peppers at all, you can try subbing some sliced red onion.

To make it gluten-free: Swap the regular elbows in the macaroni and cheese for your favorite gluten-free pasta! And choose a gluten-free BBQ sauce.

For the block of tofu: You can skip the tofu cutlets and just toss some cooked vegan chicken in your favorite vegan-friendly BBQ sauce. We LOVE the Ultimate Chicken from Gardein for breaded or Tofurky’s Chik’n pieces for unbreaded. We also have a BBQ Soy Curls recipe that’s made in the air fryer!

For the mac n cheese: If you don’t want to make your own mac and cheese, you can totally substitute your favorite store-bought vegan mac and cheese. We love the dairy free mac options from Daiya and Annie’s. Feel free to try any of the ever-increasing vegan varieties available in the grocery store.

How to Make This Tofu Bowl Recipe

Step 1: Prep the tofu. 

Slice the frozen, thawed, and pressed tofu into 6-8 cutlets. 

To a large measuring cup, add the BBQ sauce, olive oil, and bouillon powder. Mix with a fork or small whisk until completely combined. 

Pour this bbq tofu marinade on top of the tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight for best results. 

Step 2: Bake the tofu. 

Preheat your oven to 350F and line the tofu cutlets in a single layer on a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet

Bake the cutlets for 30-40 minutes, stopping once to flip them halfway through. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving. 

Step 3: Make the sweet potato mac and cheese. 

Get a large pot of water boiling on the stove. While you wait, add all the ingredients (except the macaroni) to a high-speed blender or food processor, pouring the hot water in last. Let this sit, so the cashews can soften while you start cooking the pasta. 

Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the box. While the pasta cooks, blend the sauce ingredients on high until it’s completely smooth. 

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it, spray it with cold water, and add it back to the pot. Pour the cheese sauce on top and stir until combined. 

Heat it on low, uncovered and stirring often, for about 7-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and everything is warmed through.

Step 4: Sear the vegetables.

 Heat a cast iron pan on medium-high heat and carefully add 1 Tbsp olive oil (or 1 tbsp vegetable oil). Then, add your green beans and peppers and use a spatula to roll them around so they’re coated in the oil. 

Then, let them pan fry in the skillet for 3-4 minutes so they get a bit of a char. 

Next, drizzle them with ½ more Tbsp oil and stir until everything is coated again. Let them cook another 3-4 minutes like this. 

Finally, sprinkle the veggies with a little salt and carefully add 1-2 Tbsp water to the skillet to deglaze the pan (be careful not to breath in the steam that comes out of the skillet when you do this – it will make you cough). 

Stir everything around once more and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the veggies are nice and charred. Feel free to add another pinch of salt and a little bit of black pepper if you like.

Overhead photo of a bowl on a long wooden plank with bbq tofu, sweet potato mac and cheese, and vegan green beans

How to Serve Barbecue Tofu Bowls

Serve this vegan bbq tofu bowl hot family-style or in a large bowl with a glass of California Zinfandel

It’s the perfect recipe for a late summer / early fall dinner party. Especially if you have plenty of fresh garden green beans and peppers!

Another idea: Top with some fresh green onions or sesame seeds. 

How to Store Leftover Smoky Vegan BBQ Bowl

In the fridge: I’d store leftovers separately or in segmented airtight containers. The leftover tofu and mac n cheese should be good for up to a week in an airtight container, but the veggies should be eaten within about 3 days. 

In the freezer: These might make good homemade freezer meals if you have those segmented containers for meal prep. We haven’t tried it yet, so let us know if you do!

More Vegan Tofu Recipes:

If you try this BBQ Tofu Bowl recipe, we’d love to hear all about it! 

We always appreciate it when you leave a star rating and review in the comments section below. It’s a great way to get more recipes like these to people like yourself! 

Hope you enjoy this easy vegan summer dinner as much as we did creating it. Cheers!

Yield: 6-8 bowls

Smoky Vegan BBQ Tofu Bowls

Overhead close up photo of a round white bowl with mac and cheese, sliced bbq tofu, and seared green beans

I’m about to lay some magic on you. This vegan BBQ tofu bowl meal with spicy green beans and sweet potato mac and cheese is absolute comfort food at its finest. It’s three simple recipes in one meal to create a perfectly balanced bowl of garden-fresh green beans, macaroni and cheese, and BBQ chicken-style tofu. It’s the perfect comfort food with homegrown flavor.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the BBQ tofu:

For the sweet potato mac and cheese:

  • 1 (15-oz) can sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup cashews (unsalted, unroasted)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup vegan chicken bouillon powder
  • 4-6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 (16-oz) box of elbows or shells

For the green beans:

  • 1/2 pound green beans, ends cut off
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 (7-inch) long hot pepper, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Step 1: Prep the tofu.

  1. To a large measuring cup, add the BBQ sauce, olive oil, and bouillon powder. Mix with a fork or small whisk until completely combined.
  2. Pour this marinade over the tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight for best results. 

Step 2: Bake the BBQ tofu.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line the tofu cutlets on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake the cutlets for 30-40 minutes, stopping once to flip them halfway through.
  3. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving. 

Step 3: Make the sweet potato mac.

  1. Get a large pot of water boiling on the stove and add a generous pinch of salt.
  2. While you wait, add all the ingredients (except the macaroni) to a high-speed blender or food processor, pouring the hot water in last. Let this sit, so the cashews can soften while you start cooking the pasta.
  3. When the water is boiling, cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the box.
  4. While the pasta cooks, blend the sauce ingredients on high until it’s completely smooth.
  5. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it, spray it with cold water, and add it back to the pot.
  6. Pour the cheese sauce on top and stir until combined.
  7. Heat it on low, uncovered and stirring often, for about 7-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and everything is warmed through.

Step 4: Make the spicy green beans.

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and carefully add 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Then, add your green beans and peppers and use a spatula to roll them around so they’re coated in the oil. Let them cook in the skillet for 3-4 minutes so they get a bit of a char.
  3. Next, drizzle them with 1/2 more Tbsp olive oil and stir until everything is coated again. Let them cook another 3-4 minutes like this.
  4. Finally, sprinkle the veggies with salt and carefully add 1-2 Tbsp water to the skillet to deglaze the pan (be careful not to breath in the steam that comes out of the skillet when you do this - it will make you cough).
  5. Stir everything around once more and cook for another 2-4 minutes until the veggies are nice and charred.

Notes

*The Tofu Freezer Trick: This recipe works best when you first freeze the tofu (in its package), then defrost it and press as you normally would before continuing with the recipe. This is called our Tofu Freezer Trick (we have a whole freezer tofu guide on it!), and it is a life-changing way to cook tofu!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 411Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1865mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 20g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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