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BBQ Pulled Tofu Sandwich with Spicy Sriracha Coleslaw

in Other, Sandwiches

bbq pulled tofu 5 y






More than a year after adopting a vegetarian diet, I am still continually amazed by the foods that I not only eat, but crave.  Did I like BBQ pulled pork sandwiches before I ate a vegetarian diet?  I did not hate them, but I sure did not crave them and they were not something that I would ever order at a restaurant.  Did I like coleslaw?  Well, only if you were referring to KFC’s coleslaw.  Any other kind, and I was not a fan!  As a result, you can probably understand my surprise when I actually found myself craving a BBQ pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw.  Obviously pork was not going to cut it, but my good friend tofu stepped right in and did a fabulous (maybe even better?) job!

BBQ Pulled Tofu Sandwich with Spicy Sriracha Coleslaw

Servings: 2 sandwiches


For the Coleslaw:

1/2 small carrot, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup green cabbage, shredded
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp sriracha sauce, depending on your preferred level of heat (I used 1/2 a tsp)
2 TB vegan mayo (I used Vegenaise brand)
1/2 packet natural sweetener (Truvia or Stevia)
salt, to taste

For the BBQ Pulled Tofu:

water, for cooking
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1/2 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste


1. Mix all coleslaw ingredients together in a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water.  Heat over medium-high heat until very hot.  Once hot, lower the heat to medium and cook garlic and onions for approximately 6 minutes, or until softened.  Add additional water, as necessary

3. Crumble tofu and add to the skillet.  Cook 8-10 minutes, or until the tofu begins to take on a golden hue.  Add additional water, as necessary, to prevent burning and sticking.

4. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

bbq pulled tofu 6 y






5. Scoop half of the BBQ Pulled Tofu mixture onto a whole wheat bun or thin bun.  Top the tofu mixture with half of the coleslaw.  Top with the whole wheat bun.

bbq pulled tofu 7 y






I served my BBQ Pulled Tofu Sandwich alongside roasted parsnip fries which, by the way, are seriously delicious!

bbq pulled tofu 10 y






Oh, and let’s not forget the required dill pickle spear on the side ;).

bbq pulled tofu 4 y






I can honestly say that I prefer the taste and texture of using tofu in this barbecue sandwich as opposed to using pork.  I have said it before and I will say it again…who needs meat when you can eat this good??  Oh, and if you take only one thing away from this sandwich at all, make it the Spicy Sriracha Coleslaw.  I am definitely a coleslaw lover, but after making a spicy version I am REALLY a coleslaw lover.  I cannot imagine making any other kind.  Even if you must use pork instead of tofu ;), at least make sure that you top it with some Spicy Sriracha Coleslaw.

This is a fabulous vegan version of an American classic that you just have to give a try!  Seriously..you will not regret it :).

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{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance March 10, 2013, 10:02 am
    The BBQ pulled tofu sounds delicious. I bet this would work really well with tempeh, too! And, I agree, parsnip fries are the best!!
  • Alex @ therunwithin March 10, 2013, 10:21 am
    oh man this looks awesome!
  • jessiebearwhat March 10, 2013, 11:29 am
    oh man I love the flavors in pulled pork. I bet this tastes delicious
  • Little Miss Fit March 10, 2013, 11:31 am
    This recipe looks SO good! I am a sucker for anything BBQ! yum yum! :)
  • quartercenturysouthernliving March 10, 2013, 11:41 am
    Oh wow, please come cook for us! Haha, I am only kind of kidding. These look absolutely incredible!!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 10, 2013, 2:56 pm
      I can come be your personal chef. I will warn you though that I will have to charge a hefty fee in order to make a living! ;)
  • Nicole March 10, 2013, 12:05 pm
    These sound really good! Does vegan mayo taste/have similar texture to regular mayo? I can't stand mayo. Maybe I could try with Greek yogurt?
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 10, 2013, 2:58 pm
      Honestly I am not sure because regular mayo totally freaks me out and I have not eaten it in years!! I think that the vegan mayo has a good taste to it. I do not see why you couldn't use Greek yogurt, though. You should absolutely give it a try and let me know how it goes!
  • erinksage March 10, 2013, 2:49 pm
    This looks great! Sounds like an excellent substitute with tofu! I just tried tofu fries the other day and they did not impress :( They were just way too bland, and the texture didn't quite work. This BBQ pulled tofu sandwich is something I could get behind, though :) Those parsnip fries sound good too. I'd like to give those a try. How do they compare to normal french fries?
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 10, 2013, 2:59 pm
      You should definitely give this a try. This certainly makes tofu taste SO good! Parsnip fries are really delicious. They are obviously not the same as a fry made with potatoes, but if you like parsnips then you should definitely enjoy them!
  • Danielle March 10, 2013, 3:39 pm
    That looks and sounds amazing! Keep the recipes coming!
  • cookingfortheotherhalf March 10, 2013, 4:11 pm
    Your posts NEVER fail to make me so hungry, despite the fact that I may have just eaten before reading. My tummy is growling again.
  • Brittany March 10, 2013, 4:35 pm
    UGH I need to come over for dinner!! This meal looks unreal. I need that slaw in my mouth!
  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 10, 2013, 5:53 pm
    I love BBQ tofu! I tried a recipe for it from one of my Moosewood cookbooks over the summer and it was fabulous. I have to say, yours looks even better though! ;)
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 10, 2013, 8:56 pm
      BBQ tofu is amazing. I am so glad that I do not have to give up my love for barbecue sauce even though I eat vegetarian!
  • Annie March 10, 2013, 9:21 pm
    These look delicious!
  • Alaine @ My GF & DF Living March 10, 2013, 10:28 pm
    Sriracha coleslaw? I think you may just have won over my heart with this one. Sriracha makes anything better!
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies March 11, 2013, 7:18 am
    I've never had actual pulled pork (at least that I can remember) but it always looks and smells so good, especially because I'm a BBQ sauce fanatic. I know people use young jackfruit as a sub sometimes, but I can never find it anywhere. SO happy to have a recipe I can actually make and devour!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 11, 2013, 10:24 am
      Please let me know if you try it!! I really love using tofu, and I am sure that it would be great with tempeh, too!
  • Megan March 11, 2013, 9:16 am
    That looks good! Just out of curiosity why do you use water instead of non stick spray or olive oil? And I just had a batch of pulled pork come out of the crock this morning and while I am sure that the tofu version is awesome I love the real thing too : )
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 11, 2013, 10:25 am
      I often use water for cooking onions/veggies because it works just the same but cuts down on the fat and calorie content of a meal!
  • Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen March 11, 2013, 12:26 pm
    Looks good! What recipe did you use for the parsnip fries? I'd love to try those!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 11, 2013, 12:59 pm
      I just spray them with EVOO cooking spray and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then I roast them for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, flip them, and roast an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • ashley March 11, 2013, 12:54 pm
    This looks so good! Parsnip frieds? That sounds so interesting - you should post the recipe for those! (maybe you already did) :)
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 11, 2013, 12:59 pm
      I just spray them with EVOO cooking spray and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then I roast them for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, flip them, and roast an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Sally March 11, 2013, 1:30 pm
    OH my goodness! We eat pulled chicken all of the time (I'm not a vegetarian), but I have been dying to make it with tofu. I've never come across a recipe before. This saves my life. :) Thank you so much for posting and I can't wait to try it for dinner!
  • Natalie March 11, 2013, 1:49 pm
    Amazing recipe! Perfect meatless meal.
  • Rach @ This Italian Family March 11, 2013, 3:04 pm
    Oooh, I love some good BBQ! Memphis is famous for BBQ and we are currently on a quest to find the BEST of the best here. But I sure love making it homemade too! :)
  • Martha March 12, 2013, 7:05 pm
    Hannah, aside from the coleslaw how is this recipe different from the BBQ tofu recipe that you have also posted? I think this is what I want to make next.
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl March 12, 2013, 8:35 pm
      If you look at the other recipe, you will notice that the ingredients are different and the form of the tofu used is different.
  • Oh My Veggies (@ohmyveggies) March 13, 2013, 9:43 am
    Sriracha coleslaw?! Yes please! This is pretty much my dream sandwich.
  • Morgan March 13, 2013, 11:55 am
    I am so trying this recipe! I am really new to eating healthy and this looks AMAZING! : )
  • Melanie May 5, 2014, 8:17 am
    So glad I made double the recipe- this was amazing! Not sure how long my second portion will remain in the fridge though.... its too tempting!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl May 5, 2014, 12:30 pm
      I am SO glad that you liked it! Thank you for letting me know :)
  • Crystal May 28, 2014, 8:22 pm
    Made this tonight - it was fantastic! Just what I needed on a stormy but hot/humid summer day as it was too hot to turn the oven on and too stormy to BBQ. The coleslaw was a great addition! Will definitely make again!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl May 28, 2014, 9:57 pm
      Thank you, Crystal! I am so glad that you tried and enjoyed them. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know! :)

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