These vegan BBQ tofu summer nachos with pineapple salsa are destined to transform your nacho-loving ways. Move over standard nacho toppings and make way for these fresh, vibrant, summer flavors. Crispy, salty tortilla chips are drizzled with smoky chipotle cashew queso and topped with BBQ tofu, pineapple salsa, avocado, cabbage, and scallions.
This post is sponsored by Nasoya. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Blissful Basil!
As I sit here writing this, it's 95 degrees outside and about as humid as a steam shower.
My youngest brother is here watching Sloane and his glasses literally steamed up as he traversed the boundary between crisp air conditioned climate and jungle-like swamp.
There's no arguing the fact that we're in the thick of the midwest summer heat. For the most part, it's making me crave solely veggies. Things like salads as big as my head with garden-fresh tomatoes, crisp mini cucumbers, and bell peppers with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a light drizzle of sesame oil. Super simple, super refreshing.
My inattentive palate can only survive on simple salads for so long before becoming, well... inattentive.
Late last week, that persistent salad obsession of mine morphed into a craving for something, still fresh, but more complex. Something with a kick of protein. A salty crunch. A cheesy drizzle. A juicy sweetness. And lots of color.
From that craving state of mind emerged the idea for this colorful summer tortilla-topping combo:
Is that a rainbow or is that a rainbow? 🌈
These nachos expertly satisfy both those heat-induced cravings for fresh fruits + veggies and that innate desire for more complex flavors and satiating protein.
Nasoya's Organic Super Firm Tofu is the protein star of this BBQ nacho show.
It's pre-pressed, which means it saves you 20 to 30 minutes of tofu-pressing downtime. Win.
Its firmness means it holds up well in lengthier and higher-heat cooking methods, including on the grill and in saucy simmers like this one. Win.
It's very high in protein with each serving containing a whopping 15 grams of plant-powered protein. Win.
In this recipe, the tofu is cut into small cubes, sautéed in a blend of barbecue-inspired spices, and then simmered in your favorite barbecue sauce. It's the perfect protein-packed topping for these fun summer nachos.
Plus, the method is easy, straight-forward, and fairly hands-off. Which means that while the tofu cooks, you can prepare the other nacho toppings.
You'll make a simple pineapple salsa by stirring together diced fresh pineapple, red onion, cilantro, red bell pepper, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and sea salt.
This salsa is incredibly easy to make and so, so delicious. It's sweet, juicy, and super bright tasting. Feel free to make it as a stand-alone salsa recipe on days when you're not up for the extra nacho-making steps.
Once the salsa is made, prepare and gather the other toppings.
Shred the red cabbage.
Dice the avocado.
Slice the scallions.
And finally, just before assembling, prepare the smoky cashew queso. As with any of my homemade cheese recipes, don't be intimidated by this one! It requires nothing more than blending together the ingredients and whisking the mixture over the stove for about 5 minutes. That's it.
Once all of your toppings are ready, begin to assemble your nacho stack.
Chips, queso, BBQ tofu, pineapple salsa, avocado, cabbage. Repeat. Create as many layers as you'd like.
Once you've finished assembling the layers, sprinkle on the sliced scallions as a finishing garnish.
Take a moment to sit back and appreciate your glorious stack of rainbow-hued, plant-powered, protein-packed nacho goodness. 🙌🏻
Then, dig in.
If you like these vegan BBQ tofu summer nachos with pineapple salsa, be sure to check-out these game day nachos, too.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #blissfulbasil on Instagram.
Vegan BBQ Tofu Summer Nachos with Pineapple Salsa
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoke salt (recommended) or sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional_
- 1 block Nasoya Organic Super Firm Tofu , drained, patted dry, and cut into small cubes (about ⅓-inch cubes)*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup vegan barbecue sauce of choice
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- ½ medium red onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Nacho Base + Toppings
- 1 recipe Vegan Smoky Cashew Queso
- 6–8 servings sturdy tortilla chips
- 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 firm-ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
For the BBQ Tofu
- Whisk together the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoke salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
- Dice the tofu.
- Then, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the tofu cubes. Sprinkle the spice mixture over top and use a spoon to toss and evenly coat.
- Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the tofu is just beginning to brown.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and water. Pour over the tofu. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and clings to the tofu, tossing occasionally.
For the Pineapple Salsa
- Prepare the salsa while the tofu simmers.
- In a medium bowl, stir together pineapple, red onion, cilantro, pepper, vinegar, and salt until combined. Refrigerate until serving and assembling.
- Prepare the Smoky Cashew Queso (this takes just 5 minutes or sjust before assembling the nachos.
- On a large serving platter or baking tray, spread out a layer of tortilla chips and top with the cheese, tofu, salsa, cabbage, and avocado. Repeat, creating two to three layers. Garnish with the scallions.
- Serve immediately.