vegan sloppy joe

Vegan BBQ Cola Tofu Sloppy Joes

Ok, I don’t know about you, but every time I bite into a sloppy joe, I’m disappointed. For some reason, maybe I’m crazy, I always expect the sloppy joe to taste similar to barbecue, but nope, instead it tastes like ketchup! But with this recipe, I’ve created the best of both worlds, a barbecue tofu sloppy joe, where it has the texture of a sloppy joe, but the flavor of a barbecue mock pulled “pork” sandwich! Plus this recipe is cruelty-free!

vegan bbq tofu

Vegan bbq tofu sloppy joe piled high on top of some mayo free kale slaw


So, I began perusing Pinterest for some bbq inspiration and something that kept coming up was cola bbq and with my interest peaked, one can of soda in my fridge, I decided to give it a whirl! I’m actually glad I did. As weird and gross as it sounds, it was delicious. It gave a hint of sweet to my bbq tofu and helped keep it moist while marinading and cooking.

cola mock pulled pork

Vegan barbecue sloppy joe with a cola marinade.

Plus, the cola caramelized in the pan a little giving the tofu a little something. You can omit the soda if you want to or if you want a more savory bbq recipe. I won’t judge. Nor will I judge if you decide to try this recipe with the soda! But I can see what all the pinners are pinning about!

vegan bbq sloppy joe

vegan bbq sloppy joes are a great back to school classic

If you liked yesterday’s post, then you’ll love today’s and yesterday’s together. The kale slaw on the same bun as the bbq sloppy joe makes for a delicious combo! Sure it’s a summer favorite, but who says we need to abide by seasonal food rules? Plus I have a lot of fall recipes up my sleeve! So for this recipe, you can sorta just throw together a bunch of ingredients to marinate your tofu for at lest 2 hours (ideally overnight), so do what you’re in the mood for. I suggest a spicy bbq sauce since the cola adds a lot of sweetness to the dish, but if you like a sweeter bbq style, then by all means buy some sweet barbecue sauce! As a side note, make sure to read your bbq label so that you’re sure it’s vegan because they often contain honey!

Best of Both Worlds BBQ Tofu Cola Sloppy Joe Sandwich
Recipe type: vegan, vegetarian, dinner, lunch
Cuisine: american, bbq
  • 1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ can of regular cola
  • 1-2 Tbl of liquid smoke
  • 1 cup of vegan barbecue sauce (a spicy variety is better for this recipe), plus more for drizzle
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • vegan hamburger buns
  1. Prepare your tofu by first pressing all the liquid from it. There’s a few ways you can do this. You can either freeze your tofu, and then cut the ice off as you can and as it thaws, or you can take the unfrozen tofu and press it between your hands, releasing the liquid from it. To drain more liquid place the tofu on a clean kitchen towel, cover it with another kitchen towel, and stack something heavy on top of the tofu for about 20 minutes so that the water drains out of the tofu. Don’t worry if it’s still moist.
  2. Crumble your pressed tofu into a medium bowl. If you did a really good job of pressing your tofu and it’s still firm, then you can alternatively try shredding the tofu like a mock pulled pork.
  3. Once all your tofu block is crumbled or shredded, add in your garlic powder and onion powder and stir until the tofu is close to evenly covered. Don’t worry if it cakes in places.
  4. Add in your cola (slowly, it fizzes) and liquid smoke, and stir until your tofu is well coated in the liquid.
  5. Finally add in your barbecue sauce and stir until everything is well incorporated and mixed into the marinade. Let marinade for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. After marinating your tofu, try to drain out some of the excess liquid that the tofu didn’t absorb.
  7. Heat a little coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  8. Add in your tofu crumbles and cook until most of the moisture is gone from the tofu making sure to stir the tofu often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. This might take awhile between 7-15 minutes.
  9. Once all the liquid is gone from the pan, your sloppy joe mix is ready.
  10. Taste for salt and pepper and add some more bbq sauce if yours isn’t as drippy as you like, then plop onto a bun with some vegan no-mayo kale slaw, or eat plain!
  11. Happy Snobbing

Celebrate the end of summer with this vegan back to school favorite! Leave me a comment and let me know how yours went!

Happy Snobbing,


Like this recipe? Want more?

Then check out my 20+ page back to school vegan recipe ebook!

7 vegan back to school recipes vegan


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