Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Vegan Quesadillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These vegan quesadillas are a delicious combination of Tex-Mex and Southern BBQ. For best results, start the cashew cheese the day before. (Please note that the Prep time does not include soaking and marinating times.)
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
For the Cashew Cheese
  • 1 cup (113 g) raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sea salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) hot water
For the Quesadillas
  • 1 (14-oz [400-g]) block super firm tofu
  • ⅓ cup (83 ml) Big Mama’s Homemade BBQ Sauce (page 161), plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 teaspoons (9 g) coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) bourbon
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 12 (6-inch [15-cm]) or 8 (8-inch [20-cm]) flour tortillas
  • Cilantro, for topping
  1. Cover the raw cashews in hot water for 3 hours. For best results soak overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse.
  2. Place the cashews, lemon juice, garlic, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and water in the blender and blend on a high speed until smooth and creamy. The cheese should be slightly thin but not runny. Set aside.
  3. Press the liquid out of the tofu, approximately 10 minutes. Crumble the tofu into a small bowl with the BBQ sauce, toss until coated and set aside in the refrigerator.
  4. In a small saucepan on medium heat, whisk the sugar and the bourbon until the sugar is dissolved and it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly until it’s reduced to a thick and sticky marinade, approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Toss the peppers and onions in the bourbon–sugar mixture until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Sauté the bell pepper–onion mixture and stir frequently until the onions become translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add the tofu to the bell pepper–onion mixture, add salt and pepper to taste and stir for approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  8. Spread 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of cashew cheese on top of a tortilla, then a layer of the bell pepper–onion mixture on top of the cheese. Drizzle another tablespoon (15 ml) of cashew cheese on top of the veggies and put a tortilla on top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  9. Heat a grill pan or skillet on medium heat and brush with the oil. Cook the quesadillas for approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown (flip carefully).
  10. Let the quesadillas rest for 4 to 5 minutes, then slice into quarters. Drizzle with any extra BBQ sauce you have left and sprinkle with cilantro.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at