This Vegan Southern Soul Bowl — or plate — depending how you serve it, is plant-based comfort food at it’s finest! Cheesy pasta, garlicky apple cider-doused collard greens, fluffy cornbread and sticky-sweet baked BBQ tofu cubes, all mingled together on one cozy plate.
And don’t think that you need hours in the kitchen to bring this meal together. I had my cornbread prepped, but after that, everything came together in under thirty minutes. Get excited for some soul on your plate tonight!…
And there is no better way to embrace vegan comfort food recipes than with a classic southern-style platter of goodies. From cozy mac and cheese to fluffy corn bread and of course some BBQ sauce flavors in there too. And not only is this a cozy meal, it’s also good for you! Pile those wilted greens on your plate, and load up on the protein-rich baked tofu….
The cheesy sauce for my Vegan Southern Soul Bowl contains sweet potato too! Bonus antioxidants and fiber and southern food flavor. (Although you can’t taste the sweet potato, it just tastes like cheezy sauce..)
You can use shells or macaroni — or any pasta shape really..
Every Vegan Southern Soul Bowl needs a side of garlicky greens.
I love garlicky skillet greens with a splash of cider vinegar and EVOO. They take only about five minutes to make and they allow you to eat so many healthy leafy greens in one sitting! Collards are super healthy for you. they contain fiber, vitamins K, A and C – calcium, iron and more!
If you don’t have collards, any kale variety would work well too. Chard is also an option.
Serving up some cozy + yum for dinner…
My Vegan Southern Soul Bowl needed a fluffy cube of cornbread. More carbs please!
There are a bunch of recipe options for making cornbread. You can make it totally from scratch, or use a boxed mix for speed. No shame in that, guys! Especially when you are pulling together so many components for one meal.
Boxed Mix: Easy Button
I found a Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free mix and decided to give it a try. It was super easy. I just dumped the mix in a bowl, added vegan milk, sunflower oil and flax eggs in place of real eggs, I also added in some corn I had. Then baked for twenty-five minutes. Easy.
I still prefer my from scratch cornbread recipe, but when in a bind, this mix was very good and super easy. And gluten-free! I have never done a gf cornbread on my own. Check out the Bob’s GF Cornbread Mix on Amazon.
So another shortcut I used to make this Vegan Southern Soul Bowl meal easier: bottled BBQ sauce. Yes, I LOVE making my own. It is the best there is in my opinion, but there are a bunch of vegan sauce options on the market.
I actually was a bit silly and ordered all three of the 365 brand vegan BBQ sauces and did a little mini review of them!..
….I had always wondered what the flavor differences were and quarantine allows time to ponder these deep culinary questions. And discover some insight into the different regional variations on BBQ sauce! Check out my 365 brand Vegan Barbecue Sauce Review results here.
Vegan Southern Soul Bowl
- cornbread recipe here, prep ahead of time for ease
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 4 cups collard greens, chopped – about one bunch
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 oz tofu, firm – cubed
- 1 cup vegan barbecue sauce, DIY or bottled (recipe in notes)
- 3/4 cup sweet potato, baked – mashed – skin removed — 1 small potato
- 4-5 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup pasta water, + add more to blend if needed
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp turmeric, for color – optional
- 1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds, optional
- 3 cups pasta shells
- For ease, I advise making the cornbread ahead of time if possible. This way you can just grab and slice. You can use an easy vegan mix, or follow the recipe linked in notes.
- Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the tofu cubes with the bbq sauce. then transfer the cubes and sauce to the baking sheet. Spread in a thin layer, so the cubes do not overlap or cover eachother.
- Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and let tofu rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta shells. Cook until tender – make sauce while boiling.
- Microwave your sweet potato for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Remove skin. Mash and measure out about 3/4 cups. You can serve any leftover as another side dish.
- Add all the cheesy sauce ingredients to a blender and blend from low to high until smooth.
- Drain pasta and pour most of the cheesy sauce over top the pasta. Stir to combine and fluff. Set aside in a warm pot with a lid on.
- You can start your collards while your pasta is boiling – since they only take a few minutes. Add your olive oil and garlic to a skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add in the collards. Toss a bit with the oil and garlic. Then turn off heat and cover the collards with a lid – even a heavy lid will work. Let them sit for five minutes, then add the cider vinegar and salt and pepper – toss to combine – they should be nicely wilted at this point.
- Add the tofu, collards, cheesy pasta and cornbread to each plate and serve!
- large soup pot
- baking sheet
- mixing bowl
- cornbread pan
- my cornbread recipe
- my BBQ sauce recipe
- cooking speed note: all these dishes can be made at the same time. Start with the pasta or tofu since they will take more time to cook/boil, then move onto the sauce and collards as the tofu and pasta cook.
- Prepping the cornbread ahead of time – or as the very first step will help in cooking speed and ease.
nutrition estimate | per serving
vegan southern pin it for later!…