Vegan Tempeh Ribs – My Darling Vegan


You’ll love these juicy, sticky and tangy vegan ribs. Smother vegan BBQ tempeh ribs in a delicious homemade sauce and bake and baste to make this mouth-watering barbecue classic! Serve during your favorite summer holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July.

Vegan tempeh-based ribs served on a white plate with a fork and green onionsVegan tempeh-based ribs served on a white plate with a fork and green onions

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As the sun is finally here, I’ve been looking for the best seasonal recipes and this one ticks all the boxes. These vegan tempeh ribs are my new go-to vegan summer barbecue recipe! They’re packed with flavor, satisfying, easy to prepare, and a healthier alternative to classic fried ribs.

Homemade BBQ sauce brings the tempeh to life. Mix with less than 10 ingredients that you probably already have on hand! These tempeh ribs can be served at the next cookout or barbecue and serve as an appetizer or side with rice or vegetables!

Vegans and omnivores will love them!


All you need to make this mouth-watering appetizer is some good quality tempeh, some condiments, seasonings, and a little apple cider vinegar. It’s so easy!

Here’s everything you need.

vegan tempeh ribs recipe ingredients: tempeh, smoked paprika powder, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and sweet paprikavegan tempeh ribs recipe ingredients: tempeh, smoked paprika powder, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and sweet paprika

Notes on ingredients

  • Tempeh – There are many types of tempeh. Feel free to use your favorite type.
  • Mustard – is added to BBQ sauce to give it some spice! Feel free to omit it if you don’t like mustard.
  • Vinegar – This will give the sauce a distinctive sour flavor. Feel free to add less or more depending on your taste.

For this recipe you will need a cutting boardgood quality chef’s knifeA small saucepanand one basting brush. (<)


Step by step instructions

Step One: Prepare the Barbecue Sauce

BBQ Sauce Ingredients in a Small SaucepanBBQ Sauce Ingredients in a Small Saucepan

Start by preheating the oven to 400F. Next, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside for later.

Add all BBQ sauce ingredients (everything except the tempeh) to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Then bring the sauce to a boil and stir occasionally. Once the sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, cook until it becomes thick and stir occasionally. It should take about 20-25 minutes for the sauce to thicken. Once the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, your BBQ sauce is ready!

Remember to stir the sauce occasionally as this will help the ingredients mix well and ensure you get the right consistency.

Time-saving tip: Want to save time? Skip the homemade barbecue sauce and opt for your favorite store-bought option instead!

Step Two – Prepare Vegan Ribs

Chopped tempeh drizzled generously with sauce on one side in a baking sheet.Chopped tempeh drizzled generously with sauce on one side in a baking sheet.

Once the sauce is ready, cut the tempeh into thin strips (between ½” and 1″ thick) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Next, use a basting brush to generously coat each strip with barbecue sauce. Cook the tempeh for 15 minutes.

Pro tip: Leave a slight space between the tempeh when cooking so they don’t stick together.

tempeh drizzled with barbecue sauce on the other side.tempeh drizzled with barbecue sauce on the other side.

After 15 minutes, remove the tempeh from the oven and turn it over. Add more barbecue sauce to the other side of the tempeh and cook for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. The edges of the tempeh should appear caramelized when cooked.

Brush with additional barbecue sauce to serve.

Vegan BBQ tempeh served on a white plate garnished with chivesVegan BBQ tempeh served on a white plate garnished with chives

Serve and store

Portion – Serve vegan BBQ tempeh ribs as an appetizer or side. If serving as a side, serve with rice, salad, fries or vegetables. These make a great addition to any summer barbecue meal.

Storage -Store vegan ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, gently reheat in the oven or on the stovetop.

Tips and tricks

  1. Cut the tempeh into thick, even slices. This will ensure that the tempeh cooks evenly and that they are all ready at the same time. Make sure the tempeh isn’t too thin as you don’t want it to break when you flip or serve it.
  2. Make sure the sauce has thickened before watering the tempeh otherwise the sauce will be too thin and too liquid. As a result, it won’t stick to the tempeh. Stir the BBQ sauce over low heat for at least 25 minutes or until thick.
  3. Flip the tempeh to the other side after 15 minutes of cooking and don’t forget to baste them again to ensure both sides cook evenly and are coated with an equal amount of BBQ sauce.
  4. Want to save time? Skip the homemade barbecue sauce and opt for your favorite store-bought option instead!

Frequently asked questions

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a plant-based protein made from fermented, block-processed soybeans. Store-bought tempeh sometimes includes beans and grains.

What does tempeh taste like?

Tempeh is a vegan alternative to meat with a strong nutty flavor. It is known for absorbing flavors from foods and sauces, making it a great option. Tempeh can be baked, fried and steamed.

Can I use something other than tempeh?

If you don’t like or can’t find tempeh, don’t hesitate to try this recipe with tofu. Be sure to buy extra-firm tofu and drain any excess water from it before brushing it with barbecue sauce.


More Vegan BBQ Recipes

Vegan Tempeh Ribs

You’ll love these juicy, sticky and tangy vegan ribs. Smother vegan BBQ tempeh ribs in a delicious homemade sauce and bake and baste to make this mouth-watering barbecue classic! Serve during your favorite summer holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July.

To print Pin Rate

Preparation time: ten minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 285kilocalories

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces tempeh
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoon. Maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon. mustard
  • 2 vs. tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 vs. tsp. sweet paprika, optional
  • 1 vs. tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 vs. tsp. onion powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • Add all BBQ sauce ingredients (everything except the tempeh) to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. This should take around 20-25 minutes. Once it coats the back of a wooden spoon, your BBQ sauce is ready.

  • Cut the tempeh into thin strips (between ½” and 1″ thick) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Generously brush each strip with barbecue sauce and bake for 15 minutes.

  • Remove from oven and turn over. Add more sauce to the other side of the tempeh and cook for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. The edges of the tempeh should appear caramelized. Brush with additional barbecue sauce to serve.

Remarks

Serve and store – These vegan tempeh barbecue ribs can be served as an appetizer or side. If serving as a side, serve with rice, salad, fries or vegetables. Store vegan ribs in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Recipe Tips:
  1. Cut the tempeh into thick, even slices. This will ensure that the tempeh cooks evenly and that they are all ready at the same time. Make sure the tempeh isn’t too thin as you don’t want it to break when you flip or serve it.
  2. Make sure the sauce has thickened before drizzling over the tempeh, otherwise the sauce will be too thin and runny. As a result, it won’t stick to the tempeh. Stir the BBQ sauce over low heat for at least 25 minutes or until thick.
Variants – If you don’t like or can’t find tempeh, don’t hesitate to try this recipe with tofu. Be sure to buy extra-firm tofu and drain any excess water from it before brushing it with barbecue sauce. Time saving – Do you want to save time? Skip the homemade barbecue sauce and opt for your favorite store-bought option instead!

Nutrition

Calories: 285kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 13g | Saturated fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated fats: 5g | Monounsaturated fat: 4g | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 794mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: teng | Vitamin A: 1484UI | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 4mg

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If you try this recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram. Make sure to tag @mydarlingvegan so I can see your creations!

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