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Vegan Ribs w/ Tempeh

You’re going to love these juicy, sticky, and tangy vegan ribs. Smother vegan BBQ tempeh ribs in a delicious homemade sauce and baked and basted to make this mouth-watering bbq classic! Serve on your favorite summer holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


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


  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set side.
  • Add all the BBQ sauce ingredients (everything expect the tempeh) to a saucepot and place it over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let cook until thick, stirring occasionally. This should take about 20-25 minutes. Once it coats the back of a wooden spoon, you BBQ sauce is ready.
  • Cut the tempeh into thin strips (between ½" and 1" thick) and place them on the prepared baking tray. Brush each strip gnerously with the bbq sauce and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and flip. Add more sauce to the other side of the tempeh and bake for another 20 minutes or until you get a nicely browned color.  The edges of the tempeh should look caramelized. Brush extra bbq sauce over to top for serving.  


Serving and Storing - These vegan BBQ tempeh ribs can be served as an appetizer or side. If serving as a side then serve with rice, salad, fries or vegetables. Store vegan ribs in an airtight container for up to 3 days in a refrigerator. They can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Recipe Tips:
  1. Chop tempeh into thick equal sizes. This will ensure that the tempeh bakes evenly and that they are all ready at the same time. Make sure that the tempeh is not too thin as you don't want them to break when you flip them over or serve them.
  2. Make sure the sauce has thickened before you baste the tempeh otherwise the sauce will be too thin and runny. As a result, it won't stick to the tempeh. Stir BBQ sauce on low heat for at least 25 minutes or until thick.
Variations - If you don’t like or can’t find tempeh, feel free to try this recipe with tofu. Make sure to buy extra-firm tofu and drain any excess water from it before slathering it in BBQ sauce.
Time Saving - Wanna save on time? Skip the homemade BBQ sauce and opt for your favorite store bought option instead!


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 794mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1484IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 4mg