Make these tempeh vegan ribs for an impressive, yet simple meatless lunch or dinner! The tempeh is tender, chewy and delicious slathered in the spicy barbecue sauce. Serve with any side dish of your choice for an exceptional weeknight meal.

Tempeh vegan ribs recipe

I think tempeh is a must-have fridge staple for anyone that loves plant based comfort food. It’s a great meal alternative, versatile, and delicious when prepared correctly. Take these tempeh vegan ribs, for example: a meal that could impress everyone!

Tempeh in a spicy sauce with rice

I make different variations of this recipe all the time. And I think you’ll love it just as much as I do! They’re perfect for a cosy weeknight meal that’s bursting with flavor. Plus, if you have fussy eaters in your house that you need to impress, tempeh ribs may be the way to go. They really are that exceptional.

Tempeh in a spicy sauce

The tempeh is steamed, then baked to ensure the best flavor throughout. As for the texture, it’s meaty, slightly crispy on the outside, and with just the right amount of chewiness. Even if you’ve had bad experiences with bland/boring tempeh in the past, this will change your mind.

Spicy tempeh with rice

The sauce is probably my favorite part. It’s spicy, sticky, and goes perfectly with the tempeh. It’s really the thing that makes this vegan ribs recipe stand out. Plus, you need just simple ingredients to make it. Coat the baked tempeh in the savory and smoky deliciousness, and you’re good to go!

Tempeh ribs with rice

How to make tempeh vegan ribs

Steam the tempeh

This is an essential step because it helps to get rid of the bitter flavor you often find in tempeh.

Simply mix together soy sauce and water in a large frying pan. Then, add the tempeh strips in a single layer and cook for around 5 minutes over a medium heat once the mixture starts to simmer. Then, flip the tempeh and steam for 5 minutes more.

Make the spicy sauce

This step couldn’t be easier! Simply add all the ingredients to a frying pan or saucepan over a low-medium heat. Whisk continuously, until the sauce thickens. It’s now ready to use.

Bake the tempeh vegan ribs

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. Add the tempeh strips to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush them with around 1/2 of the sauce on both sides, then bake for 25 minutes. Flip half way through.

Mix together the tempeh with the rest of the sauce, and the vegan ribs are ready to serve!

Tempeh with a spicy sauce

Recipe tips and substitutions

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
  • This recipe also works with tofu. Just skip the steaming step.
  • Adjust the spices you use depending on personal preference.
  • If you don’t want the sauce to be as spicy, leave out or reduce the amount of sriracha.
  • Don’t leave the tempeh in the oven for too long because it can dry out pretty quickly.
Baked tempeh with rice and sesame seeds

Can I make the tempeh ribs ahead of time?

You sure can! Bake the tempeh as instructed in the recipe, and store it separately from the rest of the sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, stir together with the sauce on the stove over a medium-high heat to warm up.

Sticky tempeh with sesame seeds

How to serve tempeh vegan ribs

These vegan ribs are delicious on their own with sesame seeds and scallions to garnish. You can also serve them over a bed of rice, or pasta/noodles of your choice. They would make a great addition to my caramelised onion pasta!

Tempeh with sesame seeds and rice

Other tofu and tempeh recipes you’ll love

Tempeh vegan ribs

If you give these tempeh vegan ribs a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) and leave your feedback in the comments below!

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Tempeh vegan ribs

Get the Recipe: Tempeh Vegan Ribs

Make these tempeh vegan ribs for an impressive, yet simple meatless lunch or dinner! The tempeh is tender, chewy and delicious slathered in the spicy barbecue sauce. Serve with any side dish of your choice for an exceptional weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 14 oz tempeh, chopped into strips

For the sauce

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Equipment

  • Frying pan
  • Conventional oven
  • Baking tray

Instructions 

  • Mix together soy sauce and water in a large frying pan. Add the tempeh strips in a single layer and cook for around 5 minutes over a medium heat once the mixture starts to simmer. Then, flip the tempeh and steam for 5 minutes more.
    3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 14 oz tempeh
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Add the ketchup, water, sriracha, soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, garlic, cumin, onion powder and cornstarch to a frying pan or saucepan over a low-medium heat. Whisk continuously, until the sauce thickens.
    3/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp sriracha, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Add the tempeh strips to the baking tray. Brush them with around 1/2 of the sauce on both sides, then bake for 25 minutes. Flip half way through.
  • Mix together the tempeh with the rest of the sauce, and serve.

Notes

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
  • Adjust the spices you use depending on personal preference. If you don’t want the sauce to be as spicy, leave out or reduce the amount of sriracha.
  • Don’t leave the tempeh in the oven for too long – it can dry out pretty quickly.
  • To make ahead of time, bake the tempeh as instructed above, and store it separately from the rest of the sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, stir together with the sauce on the stove over a medium-high heat to warm up.
Calories: 302kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 2159mg, Potassium: 670mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 248IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 146mg, Iron: 4mg