Baked BBQ Tofu
Yield: 2-4 servings
Sweet, savory, smoky, and spicy notes highlight this protein-rich recipe that will make a tofu fan out of the toughest critic. Enjoy as is or use as a topper for favorite grain- and veggie-based bowls.


  • 1 block (12 to 15 ounces) extra-firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon each smoked paprika and kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ¼ teaspoon black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup (66g) barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

    To prepare the tofu: Drain the tofu, and then slice the block in half lengthwise so you have 2 even slabs. Place the tofu halves between a lint-free tea towel or several layers of paper towels, and then place a large cast iron skillet (or a lighter skillet weighted with a large can or another heavy object) overtop and let the tofu rest for a minimum of 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

    Next, slice the slabs in 4 strips lengthwise and 5 strips widthwise to form 40 cubes. Now you will have uniform bite-size pieces.

    In a mixing bowl, stir together the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne or black pepper. Add the oil and stir to combine. Add the tofu and gently toss to evenly coat. If you have time, let the tofu sit for 10 minutes to better absorb the flavors. Longer is fine.

    Transfer the tofu to the prepared baking sheet and arrange it in an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tofu is nicely browned on the edges. (The longer you bake the tofu the firmer/chewier it will become. I prefer to remove it from the oven when it is lightly crisp on the outside but still tender inside—in my oven this takes 22 minutes when using a dark coated baking sheet and an extra 5 minutes when using a light-colored sheet.)

    Immediately push the tofu into a pile and drizzle with the barbecue sauce. Toss to evenly coat and enjoy.

    Leftovers will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.


Servings ideas: I like to serve as a part of tofu bowls that include rice, roasted vegetables (sweet potatoes and broccoli are my go-tos), and a drizzle of ranch or cilantro lime vinaigrette. Avocado, black beans, pickled onions, and cilantro are nice additions as well.

As a quick alternative to the spices listed above, I’ve used 1 tablespoon All-Purpose BBQ Spice Rub or Sazón Seasoning.

To grill the tofu: Thread the cubes on skewers (which, if wooden, have been soaked in water for about 20 minutes to prevent burning). Grill over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side (exact time may vary depending on grill; if the tofu begins to burn, lower the heat), basting with barbecue sauce each time the skewers are turned. The tofu is done when there are visible grill marks and the sauce is beginning to caramelize. This is a great way to cook the tofu, but the cubes are delicate, so make sure to oil your grill grates if you have an issue with sticking – we don’t so the oil in the recipe was sufficient to prevent sticking. It is also helpful to turn the tofu by using tongs to pick up the skewer itself, rather than squishing and potentially breaking the tofu.


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