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Easy Vegan Ribs | BBQ Tempeh

This easy Vegan Ribs recipe is a finger-lickin’ dish that is fabulous on the grill, baked in an oven, or even slow-cooked in a crockpot. Leftovers make great sandwiches too!

white plate with bbq tempeh strips and antique fork

One of the things I love best about this tempeh recipe is that it’s so versatile. One of my favorite ways to make it is to turn it into a plate full of saucy barbeque vegan ribs that can be served with rice or on a bun.

bbq tempeh on whole wheat bun with onion and lettuce

You’ll love this vegan bbq because it’s…

  • Smokey
  • Tangy
  • Sweet
  • Filling
  • Packed with protein
  • Seriously delicious

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process. Then it is formed into a firm patty or block. It’s a delicious vegan meat replacer in many healthy recipes.

Sliced tempeh on wooden board with cup of marinade in background

While tempeh is traditionally made with soybeans, it can also be made with any type of bean, like black beans, black-eyed peas, and chickpeas. Some kinds of tempeh also include grains, like brown rice, barley or millet, or seeds, so if you need gluten-free make sure it is labeled GF on the product.

Tempeh is found in many grocery stores in the produce section.

How to make vegan BBQ ribs

This bbq tempeh rib recipe does very well in a slow cooker, oven, or on the grill.

Simply slice the tempeh into strips about 1/2″ or so thick and place them in a baking dish. Personally, I always line my baking dishes with parchment sheets for two reasons. One reason is to prevent sticking without using any oil, and the other reason is that they make cleanup a breeze.

tempeh sliced and covered in bbq sauce in a baking dish

Next, dice up the onion and sprinkle it over the top of the tempeh and then drizzle bbq sauce over the tempeh and onion covering them well.

vegan bbq sauce in mason jar on silver plate

Which bbq sauce to use

I like to make my own healthy oil-free bbq sauce because it only takes about 5 minutes and requires only 8 ingredients. However, you can always use your favorite bottled sauce.

If you are looking for a premade barbecue sauce, we love oil-free Bone Suckin’ Sauce.

baked bbq tempeh in baking dish

Baked tempeh method

Place the tempeh with bbq sauce and onions in the oven at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes. The bbq sauce will thicken up and darken a bit which makes this baked tempeh even better.

Crockpot cooking method

Simply turn your crockpot to low heat and cook for approximately 3 hours. Nice and easy for taking to potluck dinners.

bbq tempeh in asian blue bowl with rice and chopsticks

Grilling method

Since grilling is a quicker cooking method, you’ll want to marinate the tempeh in the barbecue sauce in the refrigerator for about an hour before cooking to allow the bbq flavor to marry-up with the tempeh. Then simply place in a grilling pan and grill on low heat for about 15 minutes.

We usually serve bbq tempeh over brown rice or quinoa.  Great side item ideas would be a garden salad, baked white or sweet potato, and/or corn on the cob.

plate with bbq tempeh ribs, baked sweet potato, rice, and broccoli

*Originally published October 2016.

Other great tempeh recipes

white plate with bbq tempeh strips and antique fork

Vegan Ribs | BBQ Tempeh

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This easy BBQ vegan ribs recipe is a finger-lickin' dish that is fabulous on the grill, baked in an oven, or even slow-cooked in a crockpot. Leftovers make great sandwiches too!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz tempeh
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups barbecue sauce, your favorite brand or make mine

Barbecue Sauce

Instructions

  1. This bbq tempeh rib recipe does very well in a slow cooker, oven, or on the grill.
  2. Simply slice the tempeh into strips about 1/2″ or so thick and place them in a baking dish. Personally, I always line my baking dishes with parchment sheets for two reasons. One reason is to prevent sticking without using any oil, and the other reason is that they make cleanup a breeze.
  3. Next, dice up the onion and sprinkle it over the top of the tempeh and then drizzle bbq sauce over the tempeh and onion covering them well.
  4. I like to make my own healthy oil-free bbq sauce because it only takes about 5 minutes and requires only 8 ingredients. However, you can always use your favorite bottled sauce. If you are looking for an oil-free premade barbecue sauce, we love oil-free Bone Suckin’ Sauce.

Baked Tempeh Method


Place the tempeh with bbq sauce and onions in the oven at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes. The bbq sauce will thicken up and darken a bit which makes this baked tempeh even better.

Crockpot Cooking Method


Simply turn your crockpot to low heat and cook for approximately 3 hours. Nice and easy for taking to potluck dinners.

Grilling Method


Since grilling is a quicker cooking method, you’ll want to marinate the tempeh in the barbecue sauce in the refrigerator for about an hour before cooking to allow the bbq flavor to marry-up with the tempeh. Then simply place in a grilling pan and grill on low heat for about 15 minutes.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above. Tempeh is usually gluten-free, but if you are gluten-intolerant, please check the labels.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2.13Total Fat: 8.6gCarbohydrates: 17.3gFiber: 1.3gProtein: 17.9g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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photo collage for bbq tempeh ribs for pinterest
photo collage for bbq tempeh ribs for pinterest

Susan

Saturday 8th of August 2020

I'm getting ready to put the tempeh with your sauce recipe in the oven. Do I cover it?

Terri Edwards

Saturday 8th of August 2020

Hi Susan- I would cover it until the last 10-15 minutes. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Sarah

Monday 24th of June 2019

Can I stack them in the crockpot so I can make a bunch?

EatPlant-Based.com

Monday 24th of June 2019

I would think stacking them would be just fine.

janet

Wednesday 28th of November 2018

How do you cook it in a slow cooker? Any way that it can be done in an Instant Pot?

EatPlant-Based.com

Thursday 29th of November 2018

This recipe also does very well in a slow cooker or crock pot, and eliminates the need for marinating for an hour in the refrigerator before cooking.  Simply turn to low heat and cook for approximately 3 hours. Nice and easy for taking to potluck dinners. I haven't made it in an InstantPot.

Anita

Saturday 7th of July 2018

Great for potlucks. I cook these in a slow cooker.

Valerie

Thursday 3rd of November 2016

Looks wonderful Terri!

EatPlant-Based.com

Thursday 3rd of November 2016

Thanks Valerie!

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