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Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs [Vegan]

These ribs are indulgent, delicious and will satisfy any BBQ cravings you may get. Serve them with some mashed potatoes and cole slaw or your favorite BBQ fixin’s. They make a great appetizer or entree.

Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs [Vegan]

This Recipe is :

Dairy FreeVegan


For the Spice Rub:

  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 2 Tbs. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs. Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

For the Balsamic BBQ Sauce:

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

For the Seitan Ribs:

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 3 Tbs. Mexican chile powder
  • 3 Tbs. dried onion powder
  • 3 Tbs. dried garlic powder
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke


  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice rub. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, ketchup, red onion, garlic and chile. Stir and let simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 15 more minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir it often. If it seems too thick, add some water.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the seitan and mix well. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Knead the dough lightly until everything is combined and the dough feels elastic.
  4. Grease or spray a baking dish. Add the dough to the baking dish, flattening it and stretching it out to fit the dish. Cut the dough into 8 strips and then in half to make 16 thick ribs. (Note: if you want the ribs thin, this is enough dough to fill 2 baking sheets. If you want them thick, it is enough for one).
  5. Top the dough with the spice rub and massage it in a bit. Bake the seitan for 40 to 60 minutes or until the seitan has a sturdy texture to it (thinner ribs will cook faster). Remove the dish from the oven. Recut the strips and carefully remove them from the baking dish.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Slather the ribs with BBQ sauce and lay them on a baking sheet. Put the ribs back in the oven for just about 10 minutes so the sauce can get a bit charred. Alternatively, you can cook the sauce-covered ribs on a grill or in a grill pan.

For the Tempeh Ribs:

  1. Slice a package of tempeh into 6 or 8 rectangles, depending how wide you want the “ribs” to be. If you want them to be thinner, slice the tempeh in half like a bagel first. I like my tempeh thin so I do this extra cut all the time. Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes until it softens a bit.
  2. Coat the tempeh with the spice rub. Cook the tempeh ribs in the oven or in a skillet until browned on both sides. This should take about 8 minutes per side. Brush the BBQ sauce on the tempeh and cook for another few minutes until slightly charred.


BBQ SauceSeitan (Plant Protein)




When Rhea became vegan, there were no places in her Bronx neighborhood to eat so she had to learn to cook, mostly by watching TV cooking shows, especially Christina Pirello and Rachael Ray.  That led to the creation of The "V" Word website which focuses on vegan versions of favorite, familiar foods. Rhea has written several e-cookbooks which are available on her web site. It is Rhea's hope that she can spread the "V" Word to bring more compassion into the world and it is her dream to become the vegan Rachael Ray.



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81 comments on “Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs [Vegan]”

Click to add comment
Elise Bloomquist
4 Months Ago


Thee Forrest
4 Months Ago

Elise Bloomquist

Teresa Quinones
4 Months Ago

Looks delicious but too complicated

JoJo DeRodrigo
4 Months Ago

looks yummy but wouldnt call it ribs.

Kasey Hagan
4 Months Ago

Cayce Keller

Sophie Roberts
4 Months Ago

Seb Lutjens I'll cook you this

Seb Lutjens
23 Feb 2016

Yes pls. I'd eat that.

Stevie Timmreck
4 Months Ago

Joseph Matthew Cameron we could just use store bought seitan if we wanted but looks pretty lit

Joseph Matthew Cameron
23 Feb 2016

Holy shit we need to do this!

Sherry Anne
4 Months Ago

I can not wait to try this!!!

Gabriela Plazarte
4 Months Ago

Fernando Gracia

Amichai Porges
4 Months Ago

Megan Ferris


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