20-Minute BBQ Tempeh

If you’re on a bit of a health kick this year, you might be wondering how you can continue eating all your favorite foods without damaging your body. Most people think that eating delicious and healthy food is impossible. But that’s not true. You just have to get good at cooking. 

This ten-minute BBQ tempeh recipe is a case in point. It mimics the experience of BBQ ribs, but without all the fat and sugar that makes it so unhealthy. And the best bit: it still tastes pretty good. 

For those of you who don’t know, tempeh is a type of unrefined tofu. It’s not as squidgy as the original, and it offers a heck of a lot more flavor. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll want more of it. 

You shouldn’t go into this recipe believing that you’re going to get something that feels exactly like pork ribs. That’s just not possible with a product made of beans. Instead, see it as a new kind of dish. If you don’t like it, you can always go back to meat in the future. 

So how do you make it?


  • 8 oz. pressed tempeh
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Making The Sauce

Making the sauce is easy if you buy store-bought. 

You can, however, make your own version without all the usual added sugar. 

Just blend the following ingredients in your food processor: 

  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 10 pitted dates
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

That’s it. If you want to make a more umami sauce, you can add MSG instead of salt – or use miso paste instead. 

Making The Tempeh Ribs

Making the tempeh ribs is incredibly simple. 

First, take a non-stick tray or, if you need to, line it with greaseproof paper. 

Next, cut the block of tempeh into fingers, about half a centimeter wide, so that they look a bit like fish fingers. 

Carefully baste the tempeh in the BBQ sauce until you cover all sides of it. Place the tempeh on the baking dish and drizzle any remaining sauce over it. 

Then place it in the oven for 20 minutes at 420 F.

Once the tempeh cooks, it will come out crispy and golden. If you want a slightly more charred flavor, just increase the cooking time slightly. Do be warned, though, that tempeh can dry out. 

You can serve your BBQ tempeh with all the usual accouterments you’d have with ribs. Add it to fries, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. 

The best thing about this recipe is that you never feel like you’re missing out. The BBQ experience is similar to meat. And it’s a great stop-gap method if you’re craving something umami, but want to cut down on your unhealthy food consumption. 

Making your own sauce is often vastly healthier than getting it from the store premade. And it tastes better too. You get a thicker, fresher, and richer experience.

So give it a try. It’s amazing!

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3 Responses to 20-Minute BBQ Tempeh

  1. Leslie says:

    Wow Helen! I’ve never heard of tempeh, when I clicked on the picture I thought these were ribs for sure! Thanks for introducing us to new things!

  2. Pingback: The Best BBQ Tips for Making Your Summer Cooking That Much Better - The Lazy GastronomeThe Lazy Gastronome

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