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This BBQ tempeh sandwich recipe is an easy four-ingredient, one-pan dish for lunch or dinner with your favorite toppings.
Tempeh is a great substitute for chicken, especially in sandwiches. It soaks up flavor well and has a hearty texture, unlike other vegan meat substitutions, like tofu or jackfruit. While both are delicious options, sometimes I just want more substance to bite into.
That's why these sandwiches have become my new favorite go-to vegan lunch recipe. They're also kid-approved and make an excellent low-stress dinner for busy weeknights too.
You only need four basic ingredients, plus your favorite toppings, to make this healthy BBQ tempeh sandwich recipe. Reminder: You can find the printable, detailed recipe in the recipe card below.
- Tempeh. I use Lightlife original tempeh, but another flavor will also work well. Instead of slicing, you can also chop up the tempeh into bite-sized pieces.
- BBQ Sauce. Use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce (I love the original Sweet Baby Ray's). Or if you have time, make homemade BBQ sauce.
- Hamburger buns. Make sure that you're choosing vegan bread (brioche, for example, often includes butter or eggs).
- Vegetable stock. Use low-sodium stock so you can control the saltiness of the sauce.
- Serve the sandwiches with your favorite veggies, roasted garlic potatoes, mashed potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, or baked vegan mac & cheese.
Sandwich Topping Ideas
Here are some of my favorite ways to top your BBQ tempeh sandwich:
Substitutions & Swaps
- Gluten-Free Tempeh BBQ Sandwiches. To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free buns or bread.
- Spicy BBQ Tempeh. You can add a bit of spicy either by using a hot BBQ sauce or adding a sprinkle of chili powder, cayenne, or crushed red pepper flakes.
Store leftover BBQ tempeh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
For longer storage, store leftovers in the freezer for up to three months. Defrost the tempeh in the fridge and reheat on the stove or in the microwave to serve.
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BBQ Tempeh Sandwich
- Cut tempeh into ¼-inch slices. Place in a frying pan in a single layer.
- In a bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce with the vegetable stock. Pour the mixture into the pan with the tempeh.
- On medium heat, bring the pan to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the liquid has mostly absorbed and you are left with tender tempeh and a thick sauce.
- Serve on your favorite bread or buns with vegan coleslaw, pickles, or whatever toppings you love.
- Nutrition facts do not include coleslaw or other toppings.
More Vegan Lunch Ideas: