BBQ Tempeh

Usually around lunchtime I start thinking about dinner, if I haven’t already thought about it days in advance. But the other day around lunchtime, since I had no set idea for what to make for dinner, I started googling around and Tweeting asking for some creative tempeh ideas. Usually I’ll marinade it in some sort of soy sauce and then bake it in the oven, or sprinkle it with taco seasonings and stuff it in some veggie tacos. But I was looking for a new idea, and came across a recipe for BBQ tempeh. I actually had all the ingredients on hand to make my own BBQ sauce, and as easy as it looked, when 7pm rolled around and my stomach was rumbling, I turned to the bottled stuff. Thanks, Trader Joes, for not filling your BBQ sauce with all sorts of chemicals and fillers, and for giving it a nice zing!

I started off by steaming the tempeh for a few minutes to soften it up and get rid of that slightly bitter taste it can have. Meanwhile, I diced an onion and a half of a container of some leftover sliced mushrooms.


I sauteed the mushrooms and onions for 5-7 minutes, and then added the tempeh and BBQ sauce – about 1/4 cup – and broke up the tempeh until it crumbled. I cooked this another few minutes and added a few drops of liquid smoke to get it extra smokey.


To enjoy on the side was a massaged kale salad. In the 7 years (ohmygoodness SEVEN!?) that I’ve been living in Boston and shopping at Trader Joes, they’ve sadly never carried kale. It is one of the few, rare ingredients I’ll ever venture out to another grocery store to get. Not anymore! On Sunday I squealed in Funk’s face as we were getting groceries when I saw this:


(Cue the angel noises and the clouds parting to shine down on this bag of greens!)

Ta da! Now I truly have no reason to ever shop anywhere else. My favorite veggie has been found! I massaged it in my bare hands with some sesame oil, salt and pepper and had it on the side with my BBQ tempeh sandwich on an English muffin.


While it certainly didn’t taste like meat, I actually think even the most diehard carnivores might enjoy this meal. It was spicy from the BBQ sauce and smokey from the liquid smoke and the mushrooms made it feel that much meatier. And it came together in minutes. A new favorite in the books, for sure.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my taste tester, my sous chef, my groommate, and my husband-to-be (in one month!!!) Wanna wish Funk a happy birthday? You can tweet him some well wishes!


  1. Posted May 12, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    This looks so good! Meatless sloppy joes, of sorts. I definitely want to give this one a try.

  2. Posted May 12, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Ha! Love the “angel noised and clouds parting.” I need to learn to cook tempeh. I eat it at restaurants, but can’t seem to get it to taste right at home. I converted NourRD into a tempeh lover at a restaurant last night 🙂 Tempeh panini!

  3. Claire
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    So what kind of tempheh do you use? I assume it’s store-bought? I’ve never tried it but would be willing to get BBQ sandwiches! Yum!

  4. Janel
    Posted May 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve bought the store brand Trader Joes or Whole Foods Tempeh. Let me know if you try this!

  5. Claire
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Also, I have a logistical question. I like to print your recipes a lot, but the ingredients and instructions are kind of scattered throughout your post, which means I have to copy and paste them to a Word document to print. I like your pictorial instruction and the way you do it now, but do you think you could also include all of those things at the end, grouped into one paragraph so that I could just select it and then print that part? There must be other people who could use the same thing too…

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