Recently, tofu has become a very popular ingredient in everyday dishes because it is extremely cheap and is now a readily available and easily purchased source of protein.

Basically, the cool thing about tofu is that it’s relatively flavorless, so you can add it to just about anything, as long as there’s a good sauce to bring out the flavor.

Thus, the tofu dish with some BBQ sauce because it was summer was born. The recipe is so simple that Apronese thinks everyone can complete it perfectly and as quickly as possible.

The ingredients are easy to find and cheap, really cheap. If one day you want to eat frugal food good for your body, you can’t ignore this tofu dish, you must make it.

The Best Way to Make Tofu Is to Freeze It

It was the only method that I found to work for me as I experimented with tofu, which was lightly coating it with cornstarch and then pan frying it. I’ve received a few emails from people that have shared another cool tip—freezing and thawing tofu to change its texture.

I have found that freezing and thawing tofu does indeed change the texture quite a bit, and it is quite good at that! I’m not sure how it works, but it really does!

The thawed tofu was MUCH easier to squeeze water out of and it had a much firmer, meatier texture (not jiggly or egg-like). Hence, if you wish to get a good deal on tofu, you should make sure that you place it in the freezer when you get home from the store and then put it back in the refrigerator to thaw the next day. You won’t be disappointed!

Replace Marinade with Dry Spices

I added an additional “extra” to my cornstarch method this time by coating the tofu in a few spices before coating it in cornstarch.

Usually people marinate tofu to give it flavor, but since you want the tofu to be as dry as possible when using the cornstarch method, marinating in a liquid is not a good idea. My plan was to mix a few smoky spices together to add some flavor to the BBQ sauce, but instead I used a few smoky spices.


I admit that this recipe yields a strange amount of servings (three large sliders), which is due to the size of the standard block of tofu, however if necessary you can stretch this recipe to four smaller sliders. Due to the fact that I was only making three sliders, I used only half of the shredded cabbage slaw mix.

If you have leftover cabbage, you can use it in a variety of ways. You can add it to a quick stir fry like this Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry, or even make a small batch of Savory Cabbage Pancakes.

This recipe yields a strange amount of servings (three large sliders), which is due in large part to the size of the standard block of tofu, however, if you need, you can stretch it to four smaller sliders. This recipe yields 3 large sliders.

Since I was only making three sliders, I used only half of the shredded cabbage slaw mix, but if you have leftover cabbage, you may want to consider using it in a variety of ways as well. It is also a great addition to a quick stir fry, such as this Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry, or even to a small batch of Savory Cabbage Pancakes.

You can add it to almost any dish, from a stir fry to a pancake. Having said that, cabbage is one of the most versatile ingredients available on Budget Bytes. You can find a comprehensive list of cabbage recipes on Budget Bytes, should you need any more inspiration!

Having said that, I did use only three buns out of the eight that were included in the package, but this is not a problem! Buns and other baked breads freeze great, so you can take them out as needed for your small batch recipes. They thaw pretty quickly at room temperature as well.

Front view of BBQ sauce being drizzled onto an open BBQ Tofu Slider.

BBQ Tofu Sliders

This is an excellent vegetarian and vegan alternative to pulled meat sandwiches that is easy to prepare, inexpensive, and contains a simple and uncomplicated ingredient list. This is a tofu dish anyone can prepare easily.

Prep Time: 10 mins/ Cook Time: 10 mins/ Total Time: 20 mins

Tofu pressing time: 30 mins

Servings: 3


BBQ Tofu

  • 14 oz. block firm or extra firm tofu ($1.69)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch ($0.04)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce ($0.15)

Simple Coleslaw

  • 1/2 lb. shredded cabbage slaw mix* (about 3 cups) ($0.60)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise ($0.44)
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey ($0.06)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard ($0.06)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)

For Serving

  • 3 Tbsp BBQ sauce ($0.12)
  • 3 Buns ($0.86)


  • To make the tofu more firm and less jelly-like in texture, you can freeze it at least a day prior to pressing, then thaw it before pressing. This will give the tofu a firmer texture and less jelly-like.

  • In order to prepare the tofu, remove it from its package and place it on a baking sheet. If you want to press the tofu for about 30 minutes, you can do this by placing a cutting board or smaller baking sheet on top, then you can put something heavy on top, such as a pot full of water, or an iron skillet. If you have frozen the tofu in the past, you can press it for approximately half the time since the water comes out more rapidly.)

  • After pressing the tofu, transfer the tofu to a cutting board and roughly chop the tofu in 1/2-inch sized pieces and place it in a bowl. Once the tofu is chopped, you are ready to use it.

  • It would be a good idea to combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl, sprinkle it over the tofu, then gently stir the tofu until all the spices are coated in the tofu.

  • Then add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the tofu and gently fold until it is coated. Repeat this procedure two more times until about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch has been added to the tofu.

  • It is essential that you heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on a medium-high heat stovetop (cast iron or teflon, your choice) before adding the tofu to it. Once the oil is very hot, add the tofu to it. For approximately ten minutes, or until the tofu appears firm and darkened at the edges, let it cook, stirring only occasionally.

  • As soon as the tofu is ready, remove it from the heat, add 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce, and stir well.

  • To prepare the shredded cabbage coleslaw mix, combine the mayonnaise, honey, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Immediately add the shredded cabbage coleslaw mix, and stir again until it is fully coated in the dressing.

  • I always make the sliders with about one third of the BBQ tofu stuffed inside of each bun, drizzling them with an extra tablespoon of barbecue sauce, then topping them off with a heaping scoop of the simple coleslaw and finishing them off with the top half of the bun. Have fun!

*There is a prepared coleslaw mix that is simply shredded cabbage and carrots that haven’t been dressed yet. This is one of the rare prepared salad mixes that I buy since I generally only need a small amount and a small cabbage will yield more than 3 times my requirement once it has been shredded.


Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 612.1 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 43.07 g ・ Protein: 19.4 g ・ Fat: 41.13 g ・ Sodium: 2593.83 mg ・ Fiber: 3.97 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

Two open BBQ Tofu Sliders with coleslaw on a wooden cutting board

BBQ Tofu Sliders: How to Make Them – Step by Step Photos

Pressed Tofu

In spite of its sad appearance, this block of tofu can become the mouthwatering sandwiches shown in the photos above. In any case, you should start with a 14 oz. block of firm or extra firm tofu. If you have the time, freeze the block of tofu (I just did it right in its package) and then thaw it before beginning. The tofu will have a slightly better texture if you freeze it.

It’s always best to press the tofu to remove excess moisture, regardless of whether it’s frozen or not. It’s usually best to put it on a baking sheet between them (so that the rim catches any extra liquid) and then put something heavy on top, such as a pot full of water or a cast iron pot.

If you haven’t frozen and thawed your tofu, press it for about 30 minutes, or for about 15 minutes if you have frozen and thawed it. Once it’s pressed, it will have a similar look to the picture above.

Chopped Tofu

Using a knife, roughly chop the tofu into pieces of any shape, roughly the size of a half inch.

Season Tofu pieces

I placed some chopped tofu in a large bowl and in a separate bowl, I used smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. I sprinkled all of this over the tofu, then gently stirred it until all the spices were incorporated.

Tofu Coated in Cornstarch

After that, add one tablespoon of cornstarch at a time to the tofu, stirring to coat each time before adding more. Do this until you have added three tablespoons (that is one Tbsp) of cornstarch to the tofu.

Pan Fried BBQ Tofu

To cook the tofu, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large non-stick skillet (you can use cast iron or Teflon, whichever type of non-stick you prefer).

Once the oil is hot, add the tofu. Tofu should be cooked for approximately ten minutes, stirring just occasionally, until it feels firm and the edges have darkened. It won’t be super crispy, but it’ll have a firmer texture.

Add BBQ Sauce to Tofu

Once the tofu has been removed from the heat, add 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce to the tofu and stir to coat the tofu.

BBQ Tofu finished

After all that hard work, the BBQ tofu is done and ready for you to enjoy! I can’t help but eat it out of the skillet right now! If you don’t like sliders or buns, you may want to build some bowl meals around it.

Coleslaw DRessig Ingredients

As the tofu cooks, you won’t have to worry much about it, so you can make a simple coleslaw while you’re waiting.

To prepare the dressing, stir together 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, half a tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of salt, and a bit of freshly cracked pepper in a bowl.

Finished Coleslaw

It is a simple matter of adding 1/2 lb. (3 cups) of packaged coleslaw mix in the bowl and stirring until it is coated with dressing. This “coleslaw mix” is a bagged mix of shredded cabbages and carrots. You can find it near other salad green bags.

Front view of two BBQ Tofu Sliders on a wooden cutting board, sauce dripping down the front

Now that we’ve assembled the BBQ Tofu Sliders, let’s take a look at how we’re going to serve them! Place a third of the barbecue tofu mixture into each bun, drizzle another 1 teaspoon of BBQ sauce over the tofu, then pile on a heaping scoop of coleslaw. And then enjoy.

Overhead view of two BBQ Tofu Sliders one with with the top bun off

BBQ Tofu Sliders is still an easy and very strange dish that Apronese introduces to you, easy to find, delicious and cheap ingredients are what can be said about this dish. What about you, have you done it and how do you feel about it, comment below.