I’ve been on a tofu kick recently, trying to learn new ways to cook it, yet making sure it has lots of flavor. Tofu doesn’t really have a flavor so you have to make sure to season it well & cook it in ways to give it flavor. This make tofu very versatile and it can be used in a variety of dishes that typically might call for meat.
Our favorite family tofu recipe is this Tofu Fingers Marinara!
Sloppy Joes used to be a staple in our house
Before going plant-based, our family used to love having sloppy joe’s a couple times a month. I would use beef or turkey and whatever canned sloppy joe mix I could find at the store. Not healthy at all and loaded with high fructose corn syrup.
I knew that I had to make sure this had lots of flavor and really resembled the savoriness of the original. My true test is my kids. While I like pretty much everything I make, my kids are very picky. Which is good, because it makes me try harder!
Both my kids & husband gave it rave reviews! Phew! It passed the taste test!
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Tofu Crumble Baking Technique
This recipe calls for crumbling the tofu in a spice marinade and then baking it for about 45 minutes. This gives the tofu so much extra flavor! I learned this technique from Sam Turnbull from It doesn’t take like Chicken. Her vegan blog has lots of great recipes, but I usually have to make adaptations to remove oil, sugar, salt, or processed ingredients. I adapted this recipe from her Tofu Bolognese & Tofu Taco Crumbles recipe and added my own spices.
I think the secret ingredient to giving it so much flavor is the baking technique & the vegan Worcestershire sauce – there are vegan brands available like this one here.
Smoked paprika is also better than regular paprika. It smells great!
Tofu is so easy to cook with
Working with tofu is really easy, so don’t be afraid if you haven’t! This recipe calls for extra firm tofu and I really recommend that instead of just firm tofu so it holds together more for a ground meat like texture. In the Tofu Scramble recipe I talk about freezing the tofu & then thawing to create a more meaty texture. This is not really necessary in this recipe because we are baking the tofu first, which helps it hold together and gives it a meaty texture.
After you bake the tofu, you mix it with the sautéed onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato sauce, & spices. Yum!
Make sure you use whole grain buns to keep it whole food plant based!
Related Reading –
- Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burritos
- 5 Easy Chia Seed Pudding Recipes
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake
- The BEST Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Homestyle Tofu Sloppy Joes Recipe
For the tofu crumbles
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To make the tofu crumbles – in a medium bowl mix the vegan Worcestershire sauce, water, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, & smoked paprika. Then crumble the tofu into the bowl and mix with your hands to coat well.
- Spread the tofu crumbles on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until lightly browned.
- Towards the last 5-10 minutes that the tofu are cooking, heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers, & garlic with 1-2 tablespoons of broth or water for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add more broth or water as needed. Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and mix until combined.
- Add the baked tofu crumbles and stir, bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or tofu/sauce is thick.
- Spoon onto whole grain buns!
If you make this recipe, please comment below & let me know how it turned out!