Spring weather is finally here to stay and we are so delighted because it means that it’s time for block parties, food festivals, and rooftop barbecues! For most of us, barbecues are synonymous with burgers, steaks, and all things meaty — it’s the kind of stuff we grew up loving. And to be honest, we still love sticky, barbecue sauce-covered food — yes, even “ribs.” The trick to making plant-based food is all about choosing the right substitute and seasoning. To learn more, check out The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meats and Meat Substitutes and 5 Tips to Make Meatless Food Taste Meaty.
Recreating your favorite foods in a new way is a fun, exciting affair. That’s why today, on National Prime Ribs Day, we’re celebrating with all the different ways to can make savory, meat-free ribs.
These Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh 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 entrée.
Made from cooked, fermented soy beans and originating from Indonesia, tempeh packs a nutritional punch. What distinguishes tempeh from tofu, you may ask? Where tofu is made from the curds of the bean, tempeh is formed from the whole bean – it is also firmer, so it’s perfect for cutting into “ribs,” as in this Smoky Slow Cooker Tempeh. Tempeh is slow cooked with aromatics and savory spices until perfectly tender, then served with sweet potato. It’s perfect as is or with a little barbecue sauce on the side.
Nothing says springtime like sticky, smoky, barbecue-sauce-slathered eats. These oil-free Sticky Baked BBQ Tempeh Strips would make a delicious addition to your backyard get-together this summer or anytime you’re looking for an easy vegan dish that everyone will love. Just make sure to cook a couple of batches!
As much as we live for barbecue sauce, sometimes these Savory Herb-Baked Tempeh “ribs” are delicious, too! This filling main entrée is full of herby flavor thanks to sage and thyme! Pulling together hearty tempeh with all the tangy notes of apple cider vinegar and sage, this is one dish that is perfect for a nice dinner with friends and family.
Considering how incredibly flavor absorbent seitan is, it’s no surprise that baking it in the oven with BBQ sauce already slathered all over it would yield delicious results. In this recipe for Barbecue Baked Seitan Strips, seitan is made from scratch and then doused in a savory BBQ marinade. Add this seitan to tacos for a zesty Mexican dish, to wraps with vegan mayo, or on top of your favorite salad.
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These Korean Tempeh Ribs are marinated in doenjang, a thick, chunky paste made from fermented soybeans, ketchup, and spices and then grilled so they’re flavorful and delicious. Tempeh is made from soybeans, making it rich in iron and a worthy main course to your weeknight dinner. Added to the marinade here, it gives the tempeh steaks a deep savoriness that’s rare.
After braising in the spicy chili sauce, these Seitan Short Ribs will be tender to the point of almost falling apart. Serve over potatoes or polenta and ladle more of the sauce over everything, after you’ve placed the seitan ribs on top of the mashed potatoes. This dish is so comforting, warm, meaty, and satisfying.
8. Barbecue ‘Ribs’
These Barbecue “Ribs” are a work of genius. A combination of textured vegetable protein and vital wheat gluten, they nail the flavor and texture perfectly. They’re meaty, savory, and absolutely amazing when coated in the homemade barbecue sauce. One bite and they’ll become one of your barbecue essentials.
Who doesn’t need pizza covered in macaroni and cheese and meaty seitan? Yes, you read that right: Macaroni and cheese on a pizza. This Grilled Cheesy Mac n Rib Pizza is an ooey-gooey combination of mac n’ cheese, caramelized onions, and BBQ seitan.
Creamy avocado and tart kale slaw team up with meaty tempeh “ribs” to give you a crunchy and delicious Korean BBQ Tempeh Sandwich. By keeping the marinade liquid and simmering the tempeh slowly, you allow for a tender, juicy cut of tempeh that retains its flavor and moisture.
All of the options are drool-worthy, but which recipe is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
Lead image source: Sticky Baked BBQ Tempeh Strips