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BBQ Flavored Tofu Crumbles

from 10 reader reviews

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These tofu crumbles have the bright bold seasonings of an American Barbecue. They are tasty tiny nuggets bursting with flavor! Sprinkle them on salad, veggie bowls, or wraps. Top baked potatoes or vegetable dishes. These BBQ flavored tofu crumbles will be a new family favorite.

bbq tofu crumbles in a glass bowl with red checked napkin

Can I tell you a secret? This vegan gal doesn’t like tofu. Really. And by tofu I mean chunks of white, mushy, weird tofu. It’s a texture thing. There I said it!

What I do love are my tofu crumbles! They are so flavorful and versatile and make the perfect toppings for veggie dishes and bowls, salads, or to just eat as a snack. And the texture isn’t at all mushy or weird. Trust me!

bbq salad with tofu crumbles
These tofu crumbles are perfect for a BBQ salad!

Why you will love these BBQ flavored tofu crumbles

  • the seasonings are just right
  • can use in place of ground meats with bbq flavors
  • perfect topping for bbq salads
  • versatile
  • great high protein snack

For some other tasty tofu crumbles recipes try my:

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bbq tofu crumbles in a glass bowl with red checked napkin with pinterest text overlay

Ingredients needed to make BBQ Flavored Tofu Crumbles

Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients. The flavors combine and work so well together that it will be worth it in the end!

ingredients needed to make bbq tofu crumbles including tofu, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, ketchup, tahini, worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, hot sauce, nutritional yeast, coconut sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

How to make these tasty tofu crumbles that will remind you of a barbecue

Step 1: Press and drain the tofu and chop the onion

Start pressing the tofu. Using a tofu press is so very easy! If you don’t have a tofu press then you can place the tofu between two plates and weigh it down. You will need to press the tofu for about 30 minutes.

While the tofu is pressing, you can chop the onion and get the rest of the ingredients together. Chop the onion in small pieces. You won’t want the onion pieces to be much larger than the tofu crumbles.

Step 2: the seasonings

Mix all of the seasonings together in a med/large bowl. Stir well. You might need a strong spatula to break up and stir in the tahini paste if it is too stiff.

While the tofu is pressing, it’s a great time to mix all of the seasonings together so that you’ll be ready to go once the tofu is pressed and drained. You can stir in the chopped onions as well.

pressing tofu on the left and stirring the sauce together on the right

Step 3: hand crumble the tofu and mix it all up

Hand crumbling the tofu is the best way to get the perfect size, shape, and texture. While it might be easier to use a knife and cut the tofu, you really don’t want uniform pieces. You want them to be crumbles!

crumbling tofu into sauce mixture

Stir the sauce mixture, chopped onion, and tofu together so that the crumbles are well coated. Scrape the bottom as you stir so that you get all of the tasty barbecue flavors.

Step 4: Bake the tofu crumbles

Turn the tofu onto a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or with parchment paper.

unbaked tofu on pan
Notice the tofu is very light colored. It will brown as it cooks.

The tofu will be cooking for an hour in a 375° oven (plus time to take it out and stir it around three times).

You need to take pan of tofu out of the oven every 15 minutes to stir and turn with a spatula. Move the more cooked pieces from the edges to the center and move the less cooked center pieces to the edges. This will allow for more even cooking.

Every time I take the tofu out to flip and stir it, I also take the opportunity to break up any larger pieces.

turning the almost baked tofu
Notice that the cooked tofu is lightly browned.

After the tofu has cooked for an hour, it will be lightly browned. You need to be careful to move the tofu around when you take it out to flip. Move the more browned pieces to the center and the uncooked pieces to the edges.

If you don’t move the tofu around then you might have overly browned (burned) pieces on the edges.

showing overcooked - burnt - tofu on the edges

After the tofu crumbles have fully cooked, remove from the oven. I honestly think they taste better as they cool slightly and the flavor further develops.

A few FAQs and answers

Do I have to use a tofu press?

No, for the longest time I just stacked plates and books on top of my tofu and pressed it that way. Using a tofu press WILL make things easier. And YES, you do need to press your tofu!

Can I freeze the tofu first?

Yes, in fact that will make for a chewier finished product. I don’t usually like to take the time though. For directions on how to freeze the tofu first, read about it in my Tofu Bacon Bits recipe.

What if I don’t take it out of the oven every 15 minutes to turn and stir?

The outer edges might burn and the inner part will be mushy and uncooked.

This recipe has a lot of ingredients!

It does! And every one of them makes these tofu crumbles super delicious so don’t leave any out!

Serving suggestions

Top vegetables, potatoes, rice, and soup. Put in a sandwich or wrap.

I make a super tasty BBQ salad with crispy romaine, corn, avocado, black beans, tomato, radishes, and cucumber. It’s super delicious topped with these BBQ tofu crumbles, a little barbecue sauce, and my fabulous Jalapeño Ranch Dressing.

bbq salad with tofu crumbles

I also use these flavorful tofu crumbles as part of a nourishing Buddha bowl. Make a section for vegetables, rice or corn, perhaps some avocado pieces, and BBQ tofu crumbles. I also top with pumpkin seeds and squeeze a little jalapeño ranch on top.

bbq tofu in a buddha bowl

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Want to share the love? It would be great if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help Google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

bbq tofu crumbles in a glass bowl with red checked napkin

BBQ Flavored Tofu Crumbles

These tofu crumbles have all the flavorings of an American Barbecue. They are tasty tiny nuggets bursting with flavor! Sprinkle them on salad, veggie bowls, or wraps. Sprinkle on baked potatoes or vegetable dishes. These BBQ flavored tofu crumbles will be a new family favorite.
from 10 reader reviews
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack, toppings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tofu crumbles, vegan BBQ
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
taking out from the oven and stirring: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 77kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey


  • oven
  • sheet pan with silicone mat or parchment paper


  • 14 ounces tofu extra firm
  • 1 cup shallot chopped
  • 2 Tablespooons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce vegan
  • ½ Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375° and prepare a sheet pan or cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Press and drain the tofu. Discard the liquid.
  • While the tofu is being pressed, chop the onion and set it aside.
  • Measure out all of the other ingredients in a med/large bowl and mix well: the red wine vinegar, maple syrup, ketchup, tahini, worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, hot sauce, nutritional yeast, coconut sugar, garlic and onion powders, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • With your fingers, crumble the pressed and drained tofu into small pieces (similar in size to when one would cook ground meat).
  • Add the crumbled tofu and chopped shallots to the bowl. Stir to combine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so that the tofu is well coated with all of the seasonings and sauce mixture.
  • Turn the tofu mixture into the pan on top of the parchment paper. Spread evenly and place into a 375° oven. (It will cook for one hour total in the oven but you will need to set the timer pull it out and stir it around every 15 minutes.)
  • After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir and turn with a spatula, breaking up the tofu. Try to pull the dry crispier edges to the center and the wet center pieces to the edges.
  • Continue this for three more times every 15 minutes for a total of one hour cooking time (about 1 hour 15 minutes total by the time you pull it out and stir 3 times.) By now, most of the tofu pieces should be mostly dry and slightly chewy.
  • Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. As long as your tofu doesn't exceed the expiration date, you should be able to keep it for up to a week.


The 30 minute time to press the tofu is just an estimate and will vary depending on the type of tofu press you use. I used the Tofo Bud and it was ready to drain in 30 minutes. 
The 30 minutes pressing time is included in the prep time at the top.
I set the servings for10 which will give you 1/4 cup servings. If you use less or more, adjust the nutrition information accordingly.
I used shallots in this recipe. You can use the onion of your choice. I’ve also used yellow onion and it turned out quite well. I just happen to love shallots!
I set two timers – one to go off every 15 minutes and then I also set a timer for one hour so that I don’t loose track of how many times I’ve pulled it out of the oven and turned/stirred the tofu. It will be an hour in the oven, but pulling it out ever 15 minutes to stir and flip the tofu will add another 10-15 minutes to the total cooking time. 


Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg

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By on August 3rd, 2021

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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5 thoughts on “BBQ Flavored Tofu Crumbles”

  1. 5 stars
    We are enjoying quite a few more meatless meals these days but I do miss my BBQ! These came along just in time to make me feel like I am enjoying summer and still eating meatless!

  2. 5 stars
    Second time I’ve made these! I love the flavor of the BBQ sauce and the versatility of the crumbles. We’re having them over baked sweet potatoes with spinach side salads tonight!


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