Saturday, February 11, 2012

BBQ Tofu Pizza

This is one of our favorite dishes here at The Chubby Vegetarian. This pie gets a double hit of smoke from the mozzarella plus the BBQ sauce, both of which make it super-savory and awesome. As a bonus, there's beer in the crust to add even more flavor. 

We make pizza for guests all of the time, mainly because I can't think of anyone on this planet who doesn't like pizza. I do get some funny looks when I tell folks that one of the pizzas on the table is BBQ tofu with cabbage. They are quite doubtful. Once they taste this deliciously weird mash-up of Italian and Southern American cuisine, they can understand why it's one of our favorites.

There are two shortcuts you could take here if you don't want to make all of this from scratch. Use two store-bought pizza crusts, or better yet, some pre-made pizza dough and a bottle of your favorite smoky BBQ sauce in order to cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen on this one.

BBQ Tofu Pizza
(Makes two 12-inch pizzas)

Beer Pizza Crust (divided in half, not thirds)
1 cup tomato sauce (divided)
3 cups shredded smoked mozzarella (about 6 ounces, divided)
Chipotle BBQ Tofu (divided, recipe follows)
2 cups shredded purple cabbage (divided)

With a pizza stone in place, preheat your oven to 550 degrees for at least 40 minutes. This will allow the pizza stone to heat up and really crisp the bottom of your pizza. Roll or toss your crust into a 12-inch round. Line your pizza peel with a piece of parchment paper and place the crust onto the peel. Smear 1/2 cup of tomato sauce over the crust. Top that with 1 1/2 cups smoked mozzarella. Place about a cup of the Chipotle BBQ Tofu over that and finish with a cup of shredded purple cabbage. Slide pizza with the parchment paper onto the stone. Cook for only 5-7 minutes or until the outer crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.

Simple Chipotle BBQ tofu
1 block extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons canola
1 cup BBQ sauce (recipe follows)

Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Arrange the cubes on a clean dish towel to allow the excess moisture to drain off the surface of the tofu. This will prevent it from sticking to the pan. Heat a 12-inch frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, add the canola oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, carefully add the dried cubes of tofu to the pan. (If you follow this set of instructions, you shouldn't have a problem with the tofu sticking to the pan. It's all about dry tofu and a hot, hot pan.) Cook tofu for three minutes on one side and turn using a spatula. Cook for three minutes on the other side. Turn the heat off and add the BBQ sauce. Move the mixture constantly around the pan so that the sugar in the sauce doesn't scorch. Once the sauce is thick and has adhered to the tofu, set BBQ tofu aside in a medium bowl. Try to save some for the pizza.

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

(This is a bold, spicy, smoky BBQ sauce when you taste it on it's own, but it evens out and is perfect when applied to tofu or mushrooms.)

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion ( about 1 medium one)
1/4 cup chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Jack Daniel's whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3-4 ounces chipotle peppers from a can (about 1/2 can)
1/2 cup water
1  24-ounce bottle of organic ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire
1 tablespoon mustard
6-8 dashes liquid smoke

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and start to sweat the onion and garlic. Using a wooden spoon, keep the mixture moving so as to not burn the garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic powder, thyme, and black pepper. Deglaze the pan with the Jack Daniel's, and cook until all liquid has evaporated. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, chipotle peppers, water, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, and liquid smoke. Simmer uncovered for an hour; stir occasionally to keep from scorching. (This will make about six cups of BBQ sauce. You will only need one cup for this recipes, but this recipe freezes well.)


  1. Awesome! The sauce is fiery. So, if you want you can back off of the chipotle.

  2. Oh, honey, no.
    I'm really glad you put in the directions to leave some of the tofu for the pizza because Anthony and I are about to eat all of it while we wait for the pizza stone to heat up.

  3. Hey Justin!

    Not sure how helpful my notes on this recipe will be since I didn't follow it to the letter. I had most of the ingredients on hand, except for beer & cabbage. So I used some pizza dough I already had from my own recipe and omitted the purple stuff. I also substituted Prichard's whiskey for Jack :)

    The BBQ sauce is fantastic! A little sweet for my taste, but most BBQ sauces are. But once it went over the tofu and onto the pizza...perfection. I dribbled a little bit of the adobo from the canned chipotles over the pizza once it came out of the oven.

    The technique for the tofu is what I always do anyway (except with tea towels rather than paper towels--not that it matters!) and I think people who are skeptical about tofu in general will really like the way it comes out.

    So again, not much constructive criticism on this recipe! I am running the Sylamore 25k tomorrow in Arkansas and taking some BBQ tofu with me for the pot-luck after the race!

    Keep on cookin'!