I gotta be honest, now that I live in the ‘burbs I can smell about half of the neighborhood grilling on any given weekend and that has left me craving some smoky foods.
As someone who has zero skills at grilling, and also not enough time or patience to actually learn it, I’ve got to find some other way to get my fix with minimal effort. That’s where my oven comes into play.
Baking tofu leaves it chewy and gives it crispy caramelized edges when sauce is applied. Add extra layers of flavor thanks to a dry rub and pickle juice brine, and you’re set with a plate of BBQ tofu that would be welcome at any cookout.
Since I am a self-admitted BBQ novice, I drew inspiration for this recipe from Food Network’s Rib Dry Rub and the sauce is a riff off an oil-free recipe on Inside Kelly’s Kitchen. Both were great jumping off points for mixing and matching to my family’s tastes.
Baked BBQ Tofu
Serves 4, 4 slices per serving
- 2 blocks firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 4 cups pickle juice (can be from store-bought or homemade)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut or brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Cut each block of tofu into 8 ½-inch thick slices. In a shallow casserole dish, layer tofu and pour pickle juice over. Marinate for at least 1 hour, flipping tofu as necessary for all sides to be well coated.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, sugar, black pepper, and white pepper.
- Drain tofu and roll each piece in the dry rub mixture. Place tofu on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.
- In a small bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard, and liquid smoke. Set aside.
- Once tofu has baked for 20 minutes, use a basting brush to coat one side of tofu pieces with sauce. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip tofu, baste the other side, and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with any leftover BBQ sauce on the side.
Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 181 Fat: 7.5g Saturated Fat: 1.4g Protein: 17g Carbohydrates: 16g Sugars: 7.8g