BBQ Tofu Bowls
Yield: 4 bowls
Easy to customize with grains and vegetables of choice, these colorful bowls are equal parts nourishing and delicious and can be meal prepped for added convenience.

For the BBQ Tofu:

  • 1 block (12–15 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

For the Bowls:

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes (~12 ounces each), chopped (no need to peel)
  • 3-4 cups bite-size broccoli florets (about 1 medium-large head of broccoli)
  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil, divided use
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (from 1 cup uncooked*)
  • Dressing for serving: Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette or Ranch Dressing
  • Optional add-ins and variations: 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed; 1 avocado, 1 cup corn; diced; ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, Pickled Onions; and/or other roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or winter squash or fresh greens


  1. Before you start: If your oven has a convect setting, this is a great time to use it since more than one baking sheet will be in the oven – it will encourage more even and quicker cooking. Otherwise, place pans in the upper and lower third of the oven and rotate halfway through, adding an extra few minutes to the cook time as needed. Alternatively, you may roast the vegetables first and then pop them back in the oven for 3-5 minutes to warm just as the tofu is finishing up.

    Preheat the oven to 425℉, and prepare 2 large, rimmed baking sheets: Line the one for the tofu with parchment paper to prevent sticking – or spray or grease it liberally. Spray or line the sheet for the veggies. (They tend to brown better when not lined but cleanup is easier when lined.)

    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 several layers of paper towels or a lint-free tea towel, and then place a large cast iron skillet (or a lighter skillet weighted with a large can) overtop and let the tofu rest for a minimum of 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes, as time allows. (Longer won’t hurt.)

    Next, slice the slabs into 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. Again, longer is fine.

    Transfer the tofu to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tofu is nicely browned on the edges. (Tip: 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.

    For the roasted vegetables: In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the sweet potatoes in an even layer on the second baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, and then remove from the oven and stir. (The broccoli is added midway through as it cooks more quickly.)

    Meanwhile, add the broccoli to the mixing bowl (no need to wash the bowl) and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil (adding an extra drizzle if needed) plus salt and pepper to taste. Gently push the sweet potatoes to one side of the baking sheet and spread the broccoli in an even layer on the other side. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through, and the broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove from the oven.

    To assemble the bowls: Evenly divide the warm rice among four bowls, and then follow with the sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tofu. Add optional ingredients of choice (I like to top with pickled onions and avocado if I have them on hand) and then drizzle with dressing of choice.


* What kind of rice? Black rice is my favorite in these bowls, although white, brown, wild, and other grains like quinoa work well too.

Storage: Leftover bowls will keep for up to 5 days in a covered bowl or airtight container in the refrigerator, making them perfect for meal prep. Gently warm before serving.

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