BBQ Soy Curls cooked in the Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting are the best, easiest, most flavorful vegan BBQ! They're so flavorful and have a perfectly meaty texture. Great for sandwiches, bowls, pizza, and salads! Even better, all you need for this recipe are 3 ingredients and a few minutes of prep. Free from gluten, oil, and nuts.
About Soy Curls
Are you cooking with soy curls yet? If not, I'm here to cheer you on. Soy curls are made from just one ingredient, whole, non-GMO soybeans, and they're incredibly versatile.
Those geniuses at Butler Foods figured out a way to cook and shape the nutritious soybean into meaty strands. They're also dehydrated, which gives them a longer shelf life and makes them a great vessel for soaking up sauces and seasonings.
You can sometimes find Butler soy curls in small, local health food stores. You can also order online through Amazon or directly from the Butler Foods website. I recommend buying them in bulk to save money. Trust me, you'll easily find ways to enjoy them!
More Ways to Use Soy Curls
- Air Fryer Soy Curls
- Mock Pork and Cucumber Stir Fry
- 1-Skillet White Chili Casserole
- Vegan White Chili
- Mediterranean Soy Curl Pita
- Vegan Taco Meat & Ground "Beef"
- Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry
- Instant Pot Millet With Veggies
- and Soy Curl Bacon Bits!
Update! Check out this post ALL about soy curls, including 19 fantastic vegan recipes to try.
Best Cooking Method
I tried a few different cooking methods for this recipe because I wanted to come up with an option with the best balance of simplicity AND flavor. I tried:
- Stovetop sauté - easy and quick, but not the best flavor or texture
- Instant Pot low pressure - not enough liquid; triggers a burn warning
- Instant Pot slow cooker setting - WINNER!
I'd really hoped the pressure cooker method would work but figured there wouldn't be enough liquid. And since we don't want to dilute the flavor of the barbecue sauce, I nixed that idea pretty quickly.
The great thing about the slow cooker option is that it's just as easy! Plus, during the 1 hour of cook time, the sauce really soaks into the soy curls and their texture improves.
The soy curls end up firmer and meatier than when cooked on the stovetop.
Step By Step Process
I'm someone who likes her Instant Pot recipes on the SUPER easy side - like put everything in the Instant Pot, give it a stir, press a few buttons, and walk away. And that's exactly what happens here! The basic process looks like this:
- Rehydrate the soy curls with vegetable broth (10 min).
- Optional: once they're plump, use your hands to shred and tear some of the larger pieces.
- Add the soy curls and your favorite BBQ sauce to the Instant Pot or other slow cooker, and stir to combine.
- Slow cook on high for 1 hour.
And that's it! You now have tangy, sweet, smoky, satisfying vegan BBQ to add to everything from sandwiches and nachos to bowls and pizza.
Ideas for Serving
BBQ soy curls taste amazing in almost any dish you can dream up...
- Vegan BBQ sandwiches with fresh coleslaw and pickles
- In a tortilla loaded with veggies and lettuce
- In a bowl with your favorite steamed veggies and a side of oil-free cornbread or savory southern-style cornbread
- On nachos (check out the coleslaw link above!)
- BBQ "chicken" pizza, anyone?
- On a huge salad with all your favorite toppings plus vegan ranch dressing
And this Creamy Kale Salad is a delicious side to serve with a BBQ soy curl sandwich.
Storage and Freezing
This recipe makes a large amount so it's great for families, weekly meal prep, or if you're cooking for a party. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Barbecue soy curls can also be frozen. Just thaw in the fridge overnight, and reheat on the stovetop or in a microwave.
If you try the recipe I would love to hear from you! Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know.
More Vegan BBQ Recipes
BBQ Soy Curls (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker)
- 8 ounces Butler soy curls (1 bag)
- 3 cups vegetable broth, any salted variety - Or use water + bouillon powder/paste.
- 1 ⅔ cups barbecue sauce - Or one 18 ounce bottle (check for allergens).
- black pepper, optional
- Place soy curls in a large, shallow bowl. Add broth, stir, and let sit 10 minutes. At this point most of the broth should be absorbed. If there's more than about ¼ cup of broth left in the bottom of the bowl, stir the soy curls again and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Check again, and carefully drain away any excess.
- Optional step: If you prefer small pieces, use your hands to tear and shred some of the soy curls.
- Pour rehydrated soy curls into the Instant Pot insert (see NOTES below if using a standar slow cooker). Add BBQ sauce and black pepper, if using, and stir well. Lock on the lid.
- Press the Slow Cook button. Slow cook on high for 1 hour. Carefully remove lid, stir, and enjoy.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
BBQ soy curls are a big hit at our house. Quick and easy and freezes well.
It turned out really well. This form of cooking definitely made the soy curls tender. This was an easy recipe.
We made these last night, and while it was pretty yummy (Hubby had seconds), it was really messy. Knife and fork messy. But--having said that, these are a keeper and will be added to the rotation. They're really easy to make and yummy. Thank you for the recipe!
Finally a great recipe for BBQ soy curls! I had tried the slow cooker, and the stove top too! But, not impressed at all. I said, well I will give it one more try and oh my gosh…this is a winner. The texture is the key!
Thank you for another great recipe. I will be enjoying this with your perfect Cornbread recipe…yummy!
So this recipe is one hour in the instant pot or crockpot?
You can slow cook on high using the *slow cook* function on an Instant Pot (I believe most models have this setting) or a slow cooker like a Crockpot. Depending on the appliance, it may take a bit longer, but the Instant Pot gets it done in exactly 1 hour.
This was delicious! I served it on GF toast with Red Cabbage Slaw and Cowboy Pinto Beans (Trader Joe's). This is a keeper! I only made half the recipe, as I was the only one eating it, AND I still had enough for at least one or two more servings. Which I will gladly have tomorrow!
Thanks for the recipe. It was a real treat. We had some leftovers, so added some peas and had it again. There was still some left so we used it in stuffed peppers, in the air fryer,before I saw your stuffed pepper recipe.
Soy curls have been on back order from Amazon for weeks, so I ordered soy jocks which turned out fine. We live on Asheville, as well. I'm a big fan of yours and look forward to getting more of your recipes.
Thanks so much for the kind words. It's nice to e-meet you! I'm happy you enjoyed the BBQ soy curls. Have you seen my soy curl recipe roundup with 19 different recipes? You might like that one, too.
Thank you for the feedback!
I can't wait to try this recipe. I just bought some soy curls.
That’s exciting,Grace. I hope you enjoy your new soy curl adventure. 😁 Let me know if you have any Qs!
After the curls are rehydrated, are we supposed to squeeze the water out? The directions do not say to do that, but I’ve never not done it.
No, you don't need to squeeze them for this recipe. The amount of broth used to rehydrate the soy curls is just enough. Note, the instructions do mention to discard extra broth left in the bottom of the bowl. The Instant Pot takes care of creating great texture, so unlike when cooking soy curls on the stovetop there's no need to squeeze them out here.
Everyone thought it was delicious including the skeptical non-vegans. So easy to pull together. Thanks!
Woohoo! It's always great when even the non-vegans approve. Thanks, Shannon!