Fuss-Free Sticky BBQ Tempeh

GFGluten Free

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This BBQ Tempeh is tangy, sticky, spicy, and most importantly, easy!
All you need is 3 simple ingredients and 20 minutes to make it.

This BBQ Tempeh is so stinkin’ easy, that practically anyone could do it! Seriously. All you need is one pot3 ingredients, and just around 20 minutes. Thanks to my tried & true tempeh cooking method, you’ll have a delicious, saucy, and delightfully addicting plant protein on your table in no time!

close up image of bbq tempeh on white plate with navy napkin

Yep, you heard me right. All you need is tempeh, vegetable broth, and barbecue sauce for this recipe. I used my favorite store-bought sauce for time + ease, but you could also make your own if you are feeling extra fancy. 

ingredients for BBQ tempeh arranged on round marble cutting board

The secret to making fuss-free tempeh is to combine the marinating, steaming, and sauteéing steps….into one. I use a similar process with my Smoky Tempeh recipe, and it works just as well here. Cooking the tempeh in the marinade + a little extra liquid infuses it with extra flavor. Plus, the evaporating water helps to steam the tempeh as it cooks down, which gets rid of that funky “sour” taste that raw tempeh can have.

chopped tempeh and vegetable broth in small white pan

How to Make BBQ Tempeh

All you really have to do is chop your tempeh, bring it to a boil in a pot with some vegetable broth, and then stir in the BBQ sauce and cook it down until it’s glossy and crispy. That’s it, friends! No separate bowls, long oven bake times, or fancy equipment required.

close up photo of BBQ tempeh in pan after cooking

This BBQ tempeh is saucy, sticky, and finger-lickin’ good. I also love how it’s totally customizable – you can use a milder BBQ sauce if you don’t like heat, or a sweeter one if you want things extra juicy. Honestly, you can use this cooking process with just about any marinade or sauce and it will work! I started cooking my tempeh this way a few years ago, and I haven’t looked back since.

You can also grill your tempeh if you’re looking for those classic char marks and an extra layer of flavor. It only takes about 10 minutes (the instructions are in the recipe card), but it’s totally optional. I enjoy it both ways!
grilled bbq tempeh on white plate with napkin

Ways to Use Barbecue Tempeh:

  • as a side (with Macaroni Salad, perhaps?)
  • in tacos
  • chopped up in a salad
  • stuffed into a sandwich or wrap
  • served alongside grilled veggie skewers

Honestly? This stuff is so good, I see it becoming a weeknight staple in my house. It’s so easy to make, plus I always seem to have some BBQ sauce in my fridge!

This BBQ Tempeh is tangy, sticky, spicy, and most importantly, easy! All you need is 3 simple ingredients and 20 minutes to make it.

If you’re looking for more tempeh recipes, you’ll also love this Smoky Tempeh recipe and this Maple Mustard Tempeh!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Fuss-Free Sticky BBQ Tempeh

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5 from 5 reviews

This BBQ Tempeh is tangy, sticky, spicy, and most importantly, easy! All you need is 3 simple ingredients and 20 minutes to make it. 

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American



For the BBQ Tempeh:

  • 2 8-ounce (227 g) packages tempeh
  • 1 cup (237 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (118 ml) BBQ sauce of choice*


For Grilling: (optional)

  • Additional barbecue sauce, to spread on top
  • High-heat cooking oil, to brush the grill


  1. Remove the tempeh from the packaging and cut each block into thick strips about ¾” wide. Add the tempeh and vegetable broth to a large, deep sauté pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Set a timer and cook for 5 minutes after the mixture starts to bubble.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, then stir in the BBQ sauce. Cook the tempeh for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, flipping it every 2 to 3 minutes to ensure both sides cook evenly.
  3. To Grill (optional): heat a grill or grill pan and brush generously with oil. Place the cooked tempeh strips on the grill and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Brush each side with BBQ sauce liberally after it finishes cooking, then serve.


  • Barbecue Sauce: feel free to use your favorite barbecue sauce in this recipe! I used this organic store-bought one, but you can also make your own.
  • You can easily double or triple this recipe to serve a larger crowd, or cut it in half to serve 2 🙂

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. I was afraid to try tempeh, but finally did with this recipe. Like others have said, there isn’t anything I have not liked from your blog. I will definitely be using tempeh from now on. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This has become my go-to recipe when I want something quick and delicious or even when I am just craving tempeh. I tried tempeh a year ago, and I did not enjoy it at all, but I decided to give it another try based on liking everything else I have made from this blog, and I enjoy it more than tofu now. I am so happy to follow you and your work, and I look forward to purchasing your cookbook!

    1. That’s awesome! Tempeh can take a little bit of an introduction, but so happy you’re enjoying it now!

  3. This was absolutely delicious! I ate it over rice with some sweet corn on the side. I used a homemade barbecue sauce and the better than bouillon concentrate as my broth which gave it a kind of subtle chicken flavor. I will definitely be making this again!

  4. Haven’t tried yet but looks great! What kinda grill do you have in your kitchen? Any recommendations? PS: When does your cookbook come out? Can’t wait ????

  5. This was SO good!! I made it for some sandwiches and it hardly lasted 2 minutes! Will definitely make again.

    1. If you wanted to do tofu you would probably want to use extra firm, use a tofu press to get the water out, and just be mindful that tofu does have issues with sticking to pans. A good nonstick pan would be ideal!