This BBQ tempeh makes a quick and easy, high-protein meal perfect for serving in sandwiches or wraps. Serve it in a rice bowl, or simply as a side dish or appetizer. You can whip up this dish in a skillet in less than 20 minutes! Sweet, smoky, and bursting with flavor.
Tempeh is a firm block of fermented soybeans that's easy to prepare. Like tofu, it absorbs the flavors of what it is cooked in. I love using tempeh to make vegan tempeh bacon or tempeh tacos.
Tempeh, however, has a slightly bitter flavor that requires boiling or steaming to help improve the flavor. I boil my tempeh in a little vegetable broth right in the skillet to get rid of the bitter flavor before frying and then add some sweet and smoky vegan BBQ sauce.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- It's an easy and delicious way to make tempeh.
- It makes a great sandwich or wrap.
- Adds a healthy protein to a stir-fry or rice bowl.
🧾 Ingredients and substitutions
- Tempeh - you can use any variety of tempeh that you wish for this dish.
- Broth - to flavor your tempeh and boil off the bitter taste. You can use a vegetable broth or even a chicken or beef-flavored vegan broth. (You can also simmer the tempeh in 1 cup of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and a few drops of liquid smoke or smoked paprika.)
- Light Olive Oil - for frying the tempeh, you can use any neutral-flavored oil that you like.
- Vegan BBQ Sauce - any vegan barbeque sauce that you like will work. Many store-bought sauces are naturally vegan, however, I find them to be too sweet, so I like to use my homemade vegan BBQ sauce and adjust the sweetness to my taste. You can check out which brands of BBQ sauce are vegan in my vegan BBQ sauce guide.
🔪 Helpful tools
- A skillet to cook the tempeh in.
🥄 How to make BBQ tempeh
Step 1 - Cut the block of tempeh into slices 1 cm thick.
Step 2 - Place the tempeh in a frying pan and cover it with 1 cup of vegan broth.
Step 3 - Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the tempeh has absorbed all of the broth.
Step 4 - Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and pan-fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Step 5 - Cover with 1 cup of barbeque sauce and simmer for 1 more minute. (You may need to add a tablespoon of water if your BBQ sauce is too thick.) Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6 - Serve as a bbq tempeh sandwich, wrap, lettuce wrap, or simply over rice or on a salad.
👩🏻🍳 Pro Tips
- Be sure to boil the tempeh in the broth to take away the bitterness of the tempeh and give it more flavor to the tempeh.
🍞 Can I make it gluten-free?
Yes, just be sure to buy gluten-free tempeh. Many varieties of tempeh have other grains mixed in with them, so check the label to make sure you are getting tempeh made from only soybeans.
🧈 Make it oil-free
You can make this oil-free, by omitting the step of adding the oil and frying the tempeh. This adds flavor and a little crispier texture but is not necessary. You can also grill the simmered tempeh or bake it on parchment paper in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350° F.
🥡 Storage and reheating
Refrigerate: The BBQ tempeh will keep well in the fridge for 3 - 5 days in a sealed container.
Freeze: Tempeh freezes well and can be stored in an airtight bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating: Reheat BBQ tempeh in the microwave for about 3 minutes, and pan-fry with a little splash of water until warm.
🥗 Serving suggestions
This BBQ tempeh is delicious when eaten plain as an appetizer or as a replacement for meat in a meal. It also makes a great sandwich, sandwich wrap, or lettuce wrap along with some fresh veggies. I also love to add it to a rice bowl with some steamed or sauteed veggies.
BBQ tempeh is delicious when served with some shredded cabbage or vegan coleslaw either on the side or in your sandwich or wrap.
🌟 More protein-packed recipes
- Vegan BLT Sandwich
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
- Chickpea Tofu
- Crispy Deep-Fried Tofu
- Pan-Fried Tofu
- Vegan Chicken Sandwiches
- Tofu Fried Chicken
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
📋 Vegan BBQ tempeh recipe
- 1 1 (8oz) package tempeh
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil or any neutral flavored oil (optional)
- Cut the block of tempeh into slices 1 cm thick.
- Place the tempeh in a frying pan and cover with 1 cup of vegan broth.
- Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the tempeh has absorbed all of the broth.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and panfry for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Cover with 1 cup of barbeque sauce and simmer for 1 more minute. (You may need to add a tablespoon of water if your BBQ sauce is too thick.)
- Serve in a sandwich, wrap, lettuce wrap, or simply over rice.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Click the stars above or leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!
HOW can the SODIUM be reduced? It is OFF the charts for one serving. I only do 250mg a day of sodium.
You can use water instead of broth. You can also make your own BBQ sauce and omit the salt.
This was delicious and so easy! I made it into sandwiches for lunch yesterday. Thanks!
I'm so happy that you liked it, Andy. 🙂
I made this for dinner last night. I couldn't believe how quick and easy it was. I used your BBQ sauce too and it was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!