Want to up the protein on your pizza while keeping it plant-based? Try this delicious take on a tangy BBQ "chicken" pizza, made with crispy tofu pieces, sweet-smoky BBQ sauce, red onion, and vegan or classic mozzarella cheese.
Who doesn't love to throw a pizza party?
And just because you're vegetarian or vegan doesn't mean you're limited to veggie-only toppings. That's why we created this hearty pizza recipe with tofu tossed in BBQ sauce for an extra kick of protein without skimping on the flavor.
You can easily adapt this recipe to vegetarian or vegan based on the cheese you use - every other ingredient is 100% plant-based.
BBQ Pizza - FAQ
Is tofu pizza healthy?
Tofu pizza is healthier than a traditional BBQ chicken pizza because much of the excess fat comes from animal products, like fried chicken, pepperoni, and cheese.
Using tofu instead, you have a lean, vegetarian protein source that's high in iron and other essential minerals in a vegan diet.
That said, pizza is still pizza. Crust recipes can be high in carbs, though you can find healthier options made with whole wheat flour instead. You can also cut down on the cheese if you want to make a lighter version, but it's a meal to eat once or twice a week, not daily.
Is this pizza vegan?
This pizza is vegetarian if you use classic mozzarella made from cow's milk. If you use vegan mozzarella instead, you can make your pizza 100% vegan.
Our favorite cheese is Miyoko's mozzarella made with cashews, but Daiya products melt nicely, too.
Can I use regular or firm tofu instead?
Extra-firm tofu is the best choice for this recipe because it contains the least amount of water, so it gets nice and crispy on top of your pizza.
You can use firm instead in a pinch, though you'll want to press it a little longer to remove more of the water. You shouldn't use regular, soft, and silken tofu in the recipe - they'll crumble apart and make your pizza soggy.
Do I need to press the tofu?
Yes, you need to press the tofu to remove the excess water; otherwise, you'll end up with a soggy wet mess instead of a crisp, delicious pizza.
Using a tofu press is the simplest method - your tofu drains in just 15 minutes. If you don't own a press, you can wrap your tofu in a paper towel and press it between two heavy plates for 2 - 3 hours instead. It's more time-consuming, but it gets the job done!
If you're worried about time, you can make the tofu up to 1 day ahead and store it in the fridge until you're ready to bake your pizza.
Is pizza dough vegan?
Usually, pizza dough is vegan, made with water, yeast, salt, and flour. Always read your labels closely if you're using store-bought, just in case!
Is this pizza spicy?
The primary flavor in our BBQ chicken pizza is sweet and smoky. Depending on the BBQ sauce you use, you might feel the heat. If you love spice, you can mix a few drops of your favorite hot sauce into your BBQ tofu mixture to amp up the dish's heat.
Final Notes: Tasty BBQ Tofu Pizza
This BBQ tofu pizza is rich and delicious; you won't even know it's vegan.
Enjoy it at your next plant-based pizza party with some veggie sticks and vegan ranch for dipping!
Plant-Based BBQ Tofu Pizza With Red Onion and Cilantro
1 lb (16 oz) store-bought or homemade pizza crust
1 c. barbecue sauce
1 package extra-firm tofu
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 c. (8 oz) dairy or vegan mozzarella cheese
Fresh cilantro to garnish, coarsely chopped
Other toppings of your choice!
Place your tofu in a tofu press and leave to drain for 15 mins. Remove the tofu block, then cut into 1-inch cubes.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, adding a tbsp of oil. Place the tofu in the pan and leave untouched, cooking until golden brown on one side. Flip and repeat until all sides are crispy. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Roll the pizza crust dough into a circle 14 inches in diameter, or two 8-inch circles.
Brush a non-stick cookie sheet with some olive oil, carefully placing the pizza crust on the sheet.
Spread 1/2 c. of the barbecue sauce onto the pizza dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Split it if making two pizzas.
Add tofu to a small mixing bowl and toss in remaining barbecue sauce until evenly coated. Place the cubes on the pizza.
Place sliced red onions on top, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese of your choice.
Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 10 mins, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese melts.
Remove the sheet from the oven, sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt, and top with fresh cilantro.
Slice, serve, and enjoy your vegan pizza!