This easy vegan ribs recipe uses a homemade vegan BBQ rib sauce with slices of tofu to make the barbecue ribs vegan. This plant-based ribs recipe is best when you marinate them the night before you cook them. Tofu is a great meat substitute because it’s high in protein and absorbs the flavour you want it to taste like. In this case, vegan barbeque ribs.
Once you marinate the tofu for however long you want, just brush barbeque sauce on and pop them in the air fryer to be cooked for 30 mins. Air fryer ‘ribs’ are great because they’re quick to cook, and have a nice crispy taste.
Vegan Ribs + BBQ Sauce
GLUTEN-FREE & MEAT-FREE
This simple vegan ribs recipe is perfect to serve as the main dish accompanied by BBQ side dishes or my air fryer broccolini recipe. The vegan BBQ ribs are full of flavour with the marinade and homemade BBQ sauce.
TIP: Press the liquid out of the tofu! You can use a tofu press or just press your tofu with a heavy cast iron pan on top for a minimum of 15 mins. It’s important to make the tofu absorb as much flavour as possible from the marinade as well as get crispy on the edges.
Related Recipe: Air Fryer Broccolini
INGREDIENTS FOR BBQ RIBS (VEGAN):
- Tofu (Firm or Extra Firm Tofu)
- Vegetarian Hoisin Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Poultry Seasoning
- Mustard Powder
- Black Pepper
- Brown Sugar
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
- Corn Starch (optional but great to make ribs more crispy)
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT I USED:
- Large Rectangle Dish
- Chef’s Knife
- Measuring Utensils
- Sifter (if you use corn starch)
- Air Fryer
FULL RECIPE DOWN BELOW
What is vegan ribs made of?
Vegan ribs are made from tofu, seitan or even tempeh. These vegan ribs are made from tofu, as it’s high in protein and the easiest meat substitue to cook with bbq sauce.
What is an air fryer?
If you’re not sure what an air fryer is, it’s basically a small convection oven. It cuts out preheating time and cooks quickly using the circulation of hot air, allowing you to use very little oil. When the timer is up, the air fryer will turn off, allowing you to pull out freshly cooked veggies at the perfect time.
Do you put BBQ sauce on ribs before baking?
Yes, put BBQ sauce on ribs before baking as you want the BBQ sauce to marinate your protein. After marinating, brush more BBQ sauce on the ribs before baking or frying in the air fryer.
How do I convert an oven recipe to an air fryer?
As a general rule, cut the cooking time by 20% and turn the heat down by 25 degrees F. You can also use an online resource like airfryercalculator.com.
- 2 - 350g packages firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetarian hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ tbsp brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp corn starch
- Press tofu for at least 15 mins.
- In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, mustard powder, and pepper.
- Slice the Tofu into thick strips, and place into the marinade for a min of 15 mins.
- Drain off the marinade and pour into a small saucepan. Add brown sugar, and over medium-low heat gently cook for about 10 mins stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make 2 “racks” of vegan ribs. Use two skewers per rack to attach the tofu, leaving space between.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve or flour sifter, sprinkle both sides of the racks with corn starch.
- Line the fryer basket with a mat or a sheet of lightly greased aluminum foil or parchment.
- Add the racks of vegan ribs to your air fryer basket, set the air fryer to 375F for 5 mins.
- Brush both sides of the vegan ribs with the cooked bbq sauce, set your air fryer to 375F and cook for 8 mins.
- After 8 mins, flip the vegan BBQ ribs and brush with additional bbq sauce. Cook for another 5 mins, or until slightly charred.
- Remove from the air fryer and brush with additional bbq sauce if you like more BBQ on your vegan ribs.
Hey I’m Candice aka The Edgy Veg – I veganize popular food recipes for vegans, plant-based diets, eco-conscious eaters & people who are trying to eat more plants over… y’know animals or their by-products. I hope you enjoy this tasty vegan recipe!
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