clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
vegan bbq tempeh sandwich set on parchment paper with additional bbq sauce in a jar behind it

Vegan BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 46 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Caramelized bbq tempeh gets piled onto whole-wheat buns with a simple vinaigrette-based slaw to create the ultimate vegan bbq sandwich! Try it will my Carolina Gold BBQ sauce or make it with your favorite bottled sauce.


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages tempeh
  • ¾ cup Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, or purchased BBQ sauce of choice, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup *
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  • 5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 4 whole-wheat burger buns, toasted


Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC) with rack set in middle position; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut each slab of tempeh crosswise into 8 slices, about 1-inch thick, then cut each slice horizontally into 3 thinner slices, about ⅛-inch thick.

Bring a large sauté pan of water to a boil. Add tempeh pieces, bring water back to a simmer and cook 12 minutes, flipping pieces halfway through. Drain tempeh then transfer to a large bowl with BBQ sauce and oil; toss to coat.

Arrange tempeh in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake tempeh 12 minutes, then, keeping sheet in oven, increase oven temperature to 450ºF (230ºF) and bake until sticky and caramelized, 8–10 minutes. Let tempeh cool slightly on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cabbage and scallions and toss to combine; season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble sandwiches with a spoonful or two of slaw, 4–5 slices of tempeh, and a spoonful of BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Serve leftover BBQ tempeh on salads, in wraps, or even in an omelet.


STOVE-TOP METHOD: transfer drained tempeh back to now-empty sauté pan; add BBQ sauce and oil. Cook tempeh over medium-high heat until sticky and caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

* HONEY/MAPLE SYRUP: to keep this completely vegan, use maple syrup. If you aren’t super strict, I recommend using honey.

MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: use gluten-free burger buns or bread.


  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich (with bun)
  • Calories: 502
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Sodium: 880mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: vegan bbq, vegetarian bbq, bbq tempeh

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes