BBQ soy curls sandwich, vegan, oil free, gluten free, topped with red onions, sitting on a cutting board that's on a gray marble surface with modern black background

BBQ Soy Curls Sandwich is an easy, healthy, satisfying, plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free barbecue recipe using Butler brand soy curls that you prepare in an Instant Pot—Instant Pot soy curls are so delicious!

This BBQ sandwich is one of those meatless recipes that sounds too good to be true, yet it is. Thanks to Butler soy curls, this dish takes very little time or effort.  

There are quite a few vegan barbecue recipes out there that have you going over the river and through the woods to accomplish a simple sandwich.

So to save precious time, in this Instant Pot soy curls BBQ, we use bottled sauce. We found this beautiful plant-based sauce that tastes fantastic—we highly recommend it. 

By the way, if you have a go-to sauce recipe you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it! This vegan barbecue recipe will work with any sauce that makes you happy.

If cooking with an Instant Pot is not your thing, there are instructions for stovetop and Crock-Pot cooking provided in the notes below the recipe.

butler soy curls vegan bbq sandwich on cutting board, empty bottle of sauce, gluten free recipe yellow mid century modern bowl of slaw behind

What are Soy Curls? Are Soy Curls Healthy?

Until last year, to my knowledge, I’d never had soy curls. And now that I have, well—I’ll never look back!

Like tofu, soy curls take on whatever flavor you’re craving, which makes them hugely versatile.

Soy Curls are whole soybeans that have been boiled, shredded, and dried. 

Most consider soy curls an excellent choice for protein for those following a whole food plant-based lifestyle since they’re made from non-GMO soybeans and processed very little. 

Soy curls are processed even less than tofu and have no additives, hard to pronounce chemicals or preservatives.

And nutritionally, in addition to protein, Butler soy curls, Butler is the leading brand, provides plenty of fiber and omega-3.

Also, because soy curls are non-GMO, they’re free from chemical pesticides and other unnatural modifications.

And an especially wonderful part of this particular Instant Pot soy curls recipe is that it provides a meatless vegetarian meal that’s not only healthy, it’s cruelty free.

Winner, winner—but not a poor chicken, dinner!

saucy bbq sandwich, butler brand soy curls, meatless bbq, yellow bowl, coleslaw, bottle of bbq sauce

How to Cook Butler Soy Curls

Since soy curls are dry bits of plant-based and gluten-free protein, to prepare them, the first thing you do is rehydrate the curls. In this Butler soy curls recipe, we soak our curls for about 10 minutes.

Rehydrating the soy curls can get them ready to use in nearly any way you would utilize ground or chopped meat.

Once the soy curls are moist, you’re ready to add layers of flavor—and the only cooking needed is reheating!

How to Use the Instant Pot Slow Cooker Setting

The slow cooker setting on an Instant Pot is for times when you want to cook, well, slowly. It’s the perfect setting to use for your favorite Crock-Pot recipes.

One point that I want to share is regarding the steam valve. The steam valve should be open so the steam can vent when using the slow cooker setting. If you forget to open it to allow steam to escape, you’ll be pressure cooking rather than slow cooking. For this particular recipe, it’s not the end of the world if you forget to vent the pot—this vegan Instant Pot BBQ, soy curls recipe, will still turn out delicious!

Our Instant Pot has buttons that allow you to select low or high when using the slow cooker setting. 

For this recipe, we select the slow cook setting and set the temp to high. For the time, choose one hour for this whole food plant-based BBQ soy curls recipe.

In our experience, the slow cook setting is a steady level of heat very similar to that of a traditional Crock-Pot. It works beautifully for warming foods that don’t need cooking but rather need heating through.

Where to Buy Butler Soy Curls

Butler soy curls are available at many grocery stores such as Whole Foods and various online retailers.  

One online seller of Butler soy curls, in addition to Amazon is a site called,  Plant-Based Grocery.

Plant-Based Grocery is located in Texas and has been providing plant-based grocery items since 2015.

sandwich with top bun to the side, red onion rings n top of bbq soy curls, sitting on a cutting board, white counter, crumbs

10 Side Dish Recipes to go with Vegan BBQ and Soy Curls Sandwiches

We have delicious plant-based, oil-free, vegan, and gluten-free sides that pair perfectly with hearty dishes like this recipe for a BBQ soy curls sandwich.

prepped sandwich, toasted gluten free bun, dripping bbq sauce, cutting board, gray marble and white background, extra bun on the side

10 More Healthy Vegan Sandwich Recipes

Raise your hand if you love a good sandwich?  We feel you, and we’re right there with you—that’s why we’re so happy to share this Butler soy curls recipe with you!

And if you happen to be avoiding gluten like we are, you know how good it is to discover a satisfying, healthy, vegan and gluten-free sandwich, burger, or wrap—so here you go!

Thank You for Your Interest in our Vegan BBQ Soy Curls Sandwich Recipe!

We’ll keep the NEW whole food plant-based, oil-free, vegan and gluten-free, health-minded recipes coming as long as you keep reading.

Thank you for your kind words in comments, helpful suggestions and for sharing our recipes wherever and whenever you feel like spreading some plant-based cheer!

Happy Eating!

butler soy curls recipe, vegan bbq, red onions, gluten free toasted bun sitting on a cutting board
on a thin natural wood cutting board sits a vegan BBQ Butler soy curls sandwich topped with red onions on a gluten free toasted bun, black background

Easiest BBQ Soy Curls Sandwich | Instant-Pot

  • 10
  • 60
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 8 Servings

Loaded with hearty protein and fiber, this satisfyingly smoky BBQ Soy Curls recipe makes plenty to share or stash away for later—well, hello there, meal preppers! It’s quick and easy to make so it’s a perfect go-to for busy families, game day feasting and other casual entertaining!



  1. First, soak the soy curls by placing them in the cooking pot of your Instant Pot or Crock-Pot. (We lift and remove our cooking pot from the base for this part.) Add the water, stirring a bit to be sure that each piece is moist. Allow the wet soy curls to soak for about 10 minutes or so. 
  2. After the 10 minutes are up, give the soy curls another stir and lightly drain the excess water into a liquid measuring cup or another container. There's no need to press the water out of the soy curls; you only want to drain the loose, excess liquid.
  3. Then, add the BBQ sauce, salt, and optional black pepper and stir until every piece is seasoned. If it seems a little dry, add back some of the soaking water you drained, but not more than 1/2 cup or so—you don't want to dilute the flavor of your sauce too much. I often use just a small bit of the previously drained water to rinse out the bbq sauce bottle and add that to the pot—it makes me feel all frugally inside.
  4. Now, return the cooking pot to the base, and after securing the lid, open the steam vent, press the Slow Cook button on the Instant Pot and cook on high for 1 hour. 
  5. After carefully removing the lid, stir, taste, adjust seasonings to preference, and enjoy! Should you be so lucky, any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze it for weeks.


  • Bite-Size: Sometimes soy curl pieces are cut a bit large. If you prefer smaller pieces, you can easily crush them a bit when they're dry, or use your hands to tear or even shred the soy curls into bite-size portions once they've soaked.  For this recipe, we're usually pretty happy with the size as is, right out of the package. 
  • Salt:  The smoked salt adds a lovely touch, but regular salt works fine, too. Still, when you have the chance, give the smoked salt a try!
  • Additional Seasoning:  If you'd like, you may add a bit of smoked salt, or another salt, to the soaking water for extra flavor.
  • BBQ Sauce:  For those who like their BBQ sammies a bit saucier, add additional BBQ sauce to the soy curls after cooking or serve extra sauce on the side.
  • Meal Planning:  BBQ soy curls freeze well!  Thawing in the fridge and then reheating on the stovetop or in a microwave makes for a wonderfully quick and easy, made-ahead homemade meal.
  • Crock-Pot Slow Cooker:  Cook on a low setting for at least an hour or so or better still, follow the general cooking instructions for your particular slow cooker model as some run hot and fast and others especially slow.
  • Stove Top Cooking Instructions:   First, follow the soaking instructions described in the recipe steps above. Then add the soaked and drained soy curls to warmed skillet, cover with BBQ sauce, stir to coat in sauce evenly—cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until heated thoroughly heated.  
  • Serving Size:  Each 8-oz package of soy curls provides about 1.5 pounds of plant-based protein once it's rehydrated. This recipe makes about eight 3/4 cup servings. The nutrition info provided below does not include the bread or optional toppings.  By the way, the gluten-free buns in our photo are from DeLand Bakery.


% DV

Calories Per Serving: 163
  • Total Fat 4.7 g 7 %
  • Saturated Fat 0.9 g 5 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 456.7 mg 19 %
  • Carbohydrates 20.1 g 7 %
  • Fiber 6.3 g 25 %
  • Sugar 11 g ---
  • Protein 10.4 g 21 %
  • Vitamin A 3 %
  • Vitamin C 5 %
  • Iron 10 %
  • Calcium 5 %

Leave a Comment


  • I never rehydrate in plain water, it’s such a good chance to add flavor. Also a quick pulse in the blender makes them looks just like shredded chicken or pork.

    1. Thank you for sharing your helpful experiences and various methods, Joan. It’s true that adding salt or other seasonings to the soaking water will add flavor. And if you prefer smaller pieces, by all means, give those soy curls a chop or two or toss them in a food processor – I can see that being a nice way to get a ground beef type of texture.