Vegan BBQ Tempeh Ribs (oil-free)

Hello friends!

I can’t wait to share this recipe for vegan BBQ tempeh ribs with you all. These plant-powered vegan ribs are a great alternative to meat ribs as they have all the yummy flavors without any of the health ramifications or cruelty. It’s a win-win folks.

A lot of people are skeptical of tempeh and honestly it took me 4 times of trying it to actually get into it. It’s more dense than tofu, it’s hearty and satisfying but it’s not like meat so don’t have that expectation. The bbq sauce it what takes it to the next level and gives it that classic rib-like feel.

You will need ingredients for bbq sauce and 1 block of tempeh! That’s’s actually pretty simple. Forget about smoking ribs all day long, this vegan version takes less than 30 minutes and even less time if you have store bought bbq sauce.

Cut the tempeh into rib like strips about 3/4 inch thick!

I made my own homemade plant-based no refined sugar added BBQ sauce but if you are short on time, feel free to get store bought.

Saute the tempeh with as much or as little BBQ sauce as you’d like. I like mine really saucy so that it’s more flavorful but do what works for you.

Add all ingredients for bbq sauce into a small/medium pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low/medium and let cook until thick, stirring occasionally. Should take 20-30 minutes or until it thickens up nicely.

I like to store the extra BBQ sauce in a little mason jar in the fridge.

The Method

For firmer ribs you will saute in a pan until golden brown or you can even put them on your grill

For softer more tender ribs you can saute them in water to soften them up a bit.

I can’t wait for you to try these vegan bbq tempeh ribs – WOW!

Vegan BBQ Tempeh Ribs

…and there you have it! Vegan BBQ tempeh ribs! It’s easy, delicious, perfect for meat-eaters or someone who wants to transition to being plant-based OR if you are already plant-based but you are in the mood for some bbq ribs.

These are seriously SO freaking yummy, we gobbled them up.

Vegan BBQ Tempeh Ribs

These vegan BBQ tempeh ribs are: 








A lil spicy

Vegan BBQ Tempeh Ribs

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Vegan BBQ Tempeh Ribs

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Vegan BBQ Tempeh Ribs

Smoky, sweet, hearty, meaty, bbq tempeh ribs are a great 100% plant-based alternative to animal based ribs. Super easy! Use my homemade bbq sauce recipe or use store-bought.
prep time 5 minutes
cook time 30 minutes
total time 35 minutes

the ingredients

Homemade BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup organic ketchup
  • 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2/3 cup water


  • 1 block tempeh


BBQ Sauce

  • Add all ingredients for bbq sauce into a small/medium pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low/medium and let cook until thick, stirring occasionally. Should take 20-30 minutes or until it thickens up nicely.


  • Cut the tempeh into strips about 3/4 inch thick.
  • For firm ribs: Grill/saute them on medium heat in a non-stick pan until golden brown on each side.
  • For softer/tender ribs: Saute them in 2-3 tbsp water for about 4 minutes on each side.
  • Turn heat on low and pour in 3/4 cup bbq sauce. Toss and make sure they are evenly coated.
  • Brush on more bbq sauce for serving.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Try out more recipes from Danielle at HealthyGirl Kitchen!

Chickpea Nuggets

Crispy Chickpea Nuggetsgl

BBQ Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” Sandwich

White Bean Alfredo (vegan, no oil, gf optional)

High Protein Vegan Alfredo

Classic Plant-Based Potato Salad

Healthy Vegan Potato Salad

In good health,


Danielle Brown

Hi! I’m Danielle Brown, the face behind HealthyGirl Kitchen! I share easy, approachable plant-based recipes that are not only healthy but taste amazing. Follow me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for free vegan meal ideas, recipes and healthygirl tips.

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