These sandwiches have the flavor of a barbecue pulled jackfruit sandwich and the texture of sloppy joes. Firm tofu is marinated in a combination of spicy barbecue sauce and cola, giving it spicy, smoky flavors and a hint of sweetness. These are perfect when served on a bun with cool, crunchy vegan slaw.

Cola BBQ Sloppy Joes [Vegan]

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  • 1 14-ounce block of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 can of regular cola
  • 1-2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
  • 1 cup of vegan barbecue sauce (a spicy variety is best for this recipe), plus more for drizzle
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hamburger buns


  1. Prepare your tofu by first pressing all the liquid from it. There are a few ways you can do this. You can either freeze your tofu, and then cut the ice off 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 barbecue sauce if yours isn’t as drippy as you like, then plop onto a bun, add toppings like vegan slaw, and serve.


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