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

Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs [Vegan]

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Ingredients You Need for Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs [Vegan]

For the Spice Rub:
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

For the Balsamic BBQ Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded and minced

For the Seitan Ribs:

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke

How to Prepare Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs [Vegan]

  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 chili. 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°F. 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.
  7. For the Tempeh Ribs:

    1. Slice a package of tempeh into 6 or 8 rectangles, depending on how wide you want the “ribs” to be. If you want them to be thinner, slice the tempeh in half like a bagel first. 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.
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Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 4533 | Total Carbs: 363 g | Total Fat: 39 g | Total Protein: 248 g | Total Sodium: 9067 g | Total Sugar: 232 g

Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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  1. Used this recipe and turned out wonderful. I used a baking / cookie sheet with parchment paper instead of a baking dish. I rolled my seitan strips in the rub vs. just putting on top. I made 8 large "ribs"and baked for 50 minutes. After baking I cut the 8 strips in half and rolled in BBQ sauce (used my own) and baked another 10 mins at 400. I made sliders and they turned out amazing.

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