If the quantity of photos I include in my posts indicates how much I love a recipe, then you can see that I really, really, really love this recipe.

I try not to go overboard on the photos – I usually include just a couple for each recipe – but I had to share four for this one. And really they’re not all that different from one another. And I wanted to include many more.

Here’s barbecue tofu pizza, in all its glory, whole.

Barbecue tofu pizza with optional chicken substitution | Kitchen Treaty

And again whole. But closer up.

Barbecue tofu pizza with optional chicken substitution | Kitchen Treaty

See all that homemade-barbecue-sauce-drenched tofu? The purple-pink bite of red onions? The cool cilantro?

And then? We cut it.

Barbecue tofu pizza with optional chicken substitution | Kitchen Treaty

Important to show a photo of that. Especially because now we’re that much closer to eating it.

Barbecue tofu pizza with optional chicken substitution | Kitchen Treaty

And now, finally, a close-up of a cut piece. Including a cross-section of tofu. Of course.

Here you get a good idea of just how melty all that cheese is, too. When that hot, gooey melted cheese meets the bubbling barbecue sauce (and all the things in between), magical things happen.

My notes on this recipe? “Ohmygosh soooo good.” I’m so articulate sometimes.

This vegetarian barbecue pizza recipe is essentially the same as your typical barbecue chicken pizza. Except I use this cornstarch-dredged-and-then-sauteed salt and pepper tofu. My happiest culinary discovery of late, salt and pepper tofu is crispy and, so far, has proven to be the perfect substitute for chicken in all kinds of dishes. I’m not big on one-for-one meat substitutions – there’s plenty of amazing healthy, nutritionally-complete plant-based food out there without needing to resort to that – but it’s been fun to play with. I keep this stuff by the bagful in the freezer – so easy to just grab a few hunks for all kinds of recipes.

So far, though, barbecue tofu pizza is my favorite.

I wrote the recipe so that you can choose to make one big pizza with either tofu or chicken, or you can make two smaller pizzas, like I do – one for my resident carnivore, who, of course, gets chicken; and the tofu for me.

And honestly? My guy is totally missing out.

Barbecue tofu pizza with optional chicken substitution | Kitchen Treaty
5 from 1 vote

Barbecue Tofu Pizza with Optional Chicken Substitution

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 4
Crispy barbecue-sauce-coated tofu replaces chicken in this tangy, irresistible vegetarian version of barbecue chicken pizza. Feeding meat-eaters too? It's easy to make a tofu version for the vegetarians and chicken for the meat-eaters.


  • 1 pound 16 ounces of your favorite store-bought or homemade pizza crust
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup crispy salt & pepper tofu pieces -or- 1 cup large-diced cooked chicken (or 1/2 cup of each, if making two smaller pizzas)
  • 1/2 small red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (shredded (about 3 cups) (we use low-moisture whole-milk, but use what you like, even fresh - this recipe is very forgiving))
  • Kosher salt
  • Handful of fresh cilantro (coarsely chopped)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roll/pull/flatten the pizza crust dough to about 14 inches in diameter (if making one tofu and one chicken pizza, divide dough in half and shape into two pizzas about 8 inches in diameter.)
  • Brush a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and carefully lay the pizza crust(s) on the cookie sheet.
  • Spread 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce onto the dough, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the edges. (If making two pizzas, spread 1/4 cup on each pizza).
  • Add tofu or chicken to a small bowl and add remaining barbecue sauce. Carefully toss and evenly place pieces over pizza crust. (If making two pizzas, place tofu in one bowl and chicken in the other, and pour 1/4 cup sauce over each. Toss and spread on respective crusts.)
  • Lay sliced red onions over the top.
  • Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt and the fresh cilantro over the top.
  • Slice and serve!

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