BBQ Pulled Tofu Tacos with Citrus Avocado Sauce

BBQ pulled tofu tacos

Here is a life hack: find (BBQ tofu) taco-loving people and surround yourself with them. Then you can have Taco Tuesday all week long, and you will have SO. MUCH. FUN. Your taste buds will be pretty dang happy all the time, too.

I’m pretty obsessed with tacos these days, and with spring and summer on their way, I’ll definitely be creating lots more recipes of this sort. You can also check out my other taco recipes: Pulled Sweet Potato Tacos and Ethiopian Berbere Lentil Tacos!

I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I believe that this is my best taco creation yet. Spicy, smoky, and sweet barbecue “pulled” tofu, crunchy cabbage slaw, buttery roasted squash, and citrusy avocado sauce are piled high onto flour or corn tortillas- your choice! This is my idea of the ultimate fun meal, especially when you pair it with beer or even a margarita! (Yessss margarita season is coming, woo hoo!)

And I know that pulled jackfruit is all the rage, but tofu has this little thing going for it that jackfruit doesn’t, and that is the fact that tofu is packed with complete protein! As I’ve said previously, I try to include all protein, fat, and carbs in balanced proportions in my recipes, and that is why I went with tofu. While tofu is typically prepared in cubes or triangles, why not grate it to simulate pulled meat? It works!

In life news, I think something has finally clicked in my half-marathon training. After months of struggling, running is starting to feel somewhat effortless again. It’s hard to believe that my first race of 2019 is in 19 days. I can’t wait! I love taking the train to Toronto, and having a race is the perfect excuse to eat at all of my favourite vegan restaurants and take in some of Toronto’s sights, like the waterfront, High Park, and its many vibrant neighbourhoods. πŸ™‚ I also just finished watching the Boston Marathon, and my resolve to qualify for 2020 is stronger than ever. Let’s go!

BBQ Tofu Tacos
BBQ Tofu Tacos

BBQ Pulled Tofu Tacos with Grapefruit Slaw, Butternut Squash, and Citrus Avocado Dressing

These tacos are crave-worthy! Pulled tofu cooked in an addictive barbecue sauce, roasted butternut squash, grapefruit cabbage slaw, and citrus avocado sauce combine to knock Taco Tuesday out of the park! 
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4


Barbecue Pulled Tofu

  • 1 block (454 g) firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Wizard brand is my favourite)

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups peeled and 1- inch cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch each fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grapefruit Cabbage Slaw

  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 large grapefruit, peeled, white pith removed as much as possible
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Citrus Dressing

  • 1 large avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
  • 1/3 cup parsley or cilantro
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more as needed

Everything else:

  • 8 small corn or flour tortillas (sprouted grain are my favourite)
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Hot sauce


  • Preheat oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until fork tender and crispy. 
  • Press the tofu if desired (I skipped this step and it turned out perfectly, but pressing the tofu will result in a firmer texture). 
  • Grate the tofu on a cheese grater and set aside until ready to use. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and add it to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add the salt, pepperto taste, and the paprika. 
  • Whisk together the barbecue sauce, Dijon mustard, tamari, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Add the tofu to the skillet, followed by the barbecue sauce mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Cover and set aside until ready to eat. 
  • To make the Grapefruit Cabbage Slaw, place the cabbage, grapefruit, and cilantro into a medium bowl. Measure the olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, maple syrup, salt, and pepper into a glass jar, screw the lid on tight, and shake vigorously to combine. Pour the dressing onto the slaw and toss to coat. 
  • To make the Avocado Citrus Sauce, place all ingredients into the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer into a glass container and cover until ready to serve. 
  • Warm the tortillas if desired. To serve, divide squash, tofu, slaw, sauce, and cilantro evenly among eight tortillas. Garnish with additional hot sauce, if desired. 

If you make these BBQ pulled tofu tacos and post them on Instagram, be sure to tag me @holisticallie and #holisticallie so I can see!

BBQ Tofu Tacos
BBQ Tofu Tacos


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