Home » Recipes » Main Dish » How to Make Baked BBQ Tempeh – With Easy Homemade Sauce and Sides!

How to Make Baked BBQ Tempeh – With Easy Homemade Sauce and Sides!

Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD

Are you looking for a flavorful and protein-packed dish that satisfies your barbecue cravings while remaining vegetarian? Look no further than baked BBQ tempeh!

Tempeh is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that serves as the star of this dish. We’ll guide you through the process of making delicious BBQ baked tempeh with an easy homemade sauce that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Plus, we won’t forget to include some delectable side dish suggestions to complete your meal. Get ready to explore the art of creating a mouthwatering vegetarian BBQ experience in your own kitchen!

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a fermented first-generation soy product. It typically comes in unseasoned patties that can be sliced or crumbled and can be found in the refrigerated section of the produce department, near the tofu and wonton/egg roll wrappers.

My Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie crumbled the tempeh to use as a replacement for ground beef. This recipe calls for slicing the tempeh instead. 

Ingredients

Baked BBQ Tempeh Ingredients

This super simple barbecue sauce contains 

  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • garlic
  • 8 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • cumin

You’ll use this to make the barbecue sauce, then marinade the sliced tempeh in it before baking it and then smearing the cooked tempeh to make a gooey sauce.

Strawberry Salsa Ingredients

  • Sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 red onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh mint
  • fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Avocado Salad Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • cumin, smoked paprika salt, pepper
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber sliced into half circles
  • cilantro

Instructions for Baked BBQ Tempeh

Preparing the Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Start by washing your hands and chopping all your ingredients.  Pour a tbsp olive oil into a small saucepan and heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5-6 minutes.   Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  This prevents the garlic from burning and taking on a bitter taste.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as suits you.  Remove from heat.

At this point, your sauce is done. However, if you prefer a smooth texture, you can allow the sauce to cool and then blend until you reach your desired texture.

Marinating the Tempeh

Pour a little bit of sauce on the bottom of a container, spread out the tempeh evenly, then pour more sauce over it, making sure to reserve some to use later.  Makes sure the tempeh slices are evenly covered.

Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, but for as long as overnight is fine too.

Baking the BBQ Tempeh

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper and place the tempeh slices in a single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the tempeh slices halfway throughout. 

Instructions for Strawberry Salsa

Give the strawberries a rough chop to bite-sized pieces and the onions into half circle, thin slices.   Take all the herbs and give them a rough chop as well. I like to leave them a bit chunky, but you could slice them smaller for a more uniform flavor.

Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Instructions for Avocado Salad

Cube your avocado and slice your tomatoes in half.   Slice your cucumber in half, lengthwise, then into half circles.  

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately.

Tips for Success

Make sure that all of your ingredients are fresh. No one wants a mushy strawberry salsa!

For the tempeh, I like to make the slices really thin in order to get maximum flavor from the barbecue sauce. If you were wanting to put these on the grill, you should probably slice them a little thicker to reduce the chance of them falling apart while you’re handling them.

Customizing your Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Make this easy BBQ sauce your own!  Add other flavors or take some away.   Or you could make it super easy on yourself and pick up your favorite sauce from the store.

Here are some customization options

  • Switch out the tomato sauce and vinegar for ketchup
  • Switch out the molasses for something else sweet, such as honey, brown sugar, or pineapple juice.
  • put the sauce in a blender after it’s done cooking to smooth it out.
  • Add some spice with hot sauce, chipotle powder, or red pepper flakes
  • Add more smoke with liquid smoke, increasing the smoked paprika, or using a smoked salt and/or pepper

It’s easy to knock a barbecue off balance, so if you’re adding something, make sure to taste as you go. It’s easy to add, but difficult to take things back out!

Blog Cover graphic with text "How to Make Baked BBQ Tempeh" and a picture of the finished plate

Baked BBQ Tempeh

Vegetarian barbecue the meat-eaters can be happy with!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 5
Author: Jenn

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ sweet onion diced
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • cup molasses
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz tempeh sliced

Instructions

  • In a small saucepot, heat 1 tsp olive oil.  Sautee garlic and onion until soft and fragrant.
  • Add tomato sauce, wine, molasses, vinegar, and spices. Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  • When you have reached the desired flavor and thick consistency, remove the sauce from heat. Marinate the sliced tempeh for at least 30 minutes. (Start working on your sides during the downtime!)
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Place tempeh slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Warm your remaining sauce and use a pastry brush to "paint" the sauce on the tempeh slices before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 4mg

*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.

*We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on our site. These commissions help support our work in providing valuable content to our readers. Thank you for your support!

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Blog Cover graphic with text "How to Make Baked BBQ Tempeh" and a picture of the finished plate

Strawberry Salsa

Such a good, fun take on a familiar fruit.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Jenn

Ingredients

  • 1 lb strawberries sliced
  • ¼ red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • ½ cup basil chopped
  • ¼ cup mint chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a serving dish. Toss to combine. 
  • Chill for 30 minutes. Serve within 2 hours; this dish will not keep well for much longer.

Nutrition

Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.

*We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on our site. These commissions help support our work in providing valuable content to our readers. Thank you for your support!

Tried this recipe?Mention @dietitianjenntx
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Blog Cover graphic with text "How to Make Baked BBQ Tempeh" and a picture of the finished plate

Avocado Tomato Salad

Get your veggies in at your next barbecue! This salad is full of fiber, unsaturated fat, and yumminess.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Jenn

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lime juiced
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 large avocado cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cucumber sliced into half circles
  • 3 Tbsp cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  • In a serving bowl, add the remaining ingredients. Top with dressing and toss gently. 
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 627mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 773IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.

*We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on our site. These commissions help support our work in providing valuable content to our readers. Thank you for your support!

Tried this recipe?Mention @dietitianjenntx
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Storage and Reheating your Baked BBQ Tempeh

Store your Baked BBQ Tempeh in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 3 days.  You can use it to make sandwiches or to top salads or baked potatoes.

Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or the air fryer for ~5 minutes.

The sides won’t hold up well as leftovers, so eat up!

Conclusion

Baked BBQ tempeh is a fantastic way to enjoy a flavorful and protein-rich dish that caters to both your taste buds and your dietary preferences. And now you can make it at home!

Remember, tempeh is not only a great source of protein but also offers a range of health benefits. By incorporating it into your meals, you can enjoy its versatility and adaptability to different cuisines.

The homemade barbecue sauce adds a personal touch and allows you to customize the flavors to your liking, making each bite truly satisfying.

Don’t forget to consider the sides! Other than the recipes included, you could consider adding coleslaw, baked beans, mashed potatoes, or cornbread. ensuring a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Now that you’re equipped with valuable tips and techniques feel free to explore variations and experiment with different flavors. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a cozy meal, baked BBQ tempeh is a crowd-pleasing option that will impress both vegans and meat lovers alike.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on this culinary adventure.

With a little creativity and the guidance provided in this blog post, you’re sure to create a delicious and memorable meal that will leave you craving for more. Get ready to enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of homemade baked BBQ tempeh and the satisfaction of a truly satisfying plant-based meal!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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