Barbecue Tempeh and Coleslaw Sandwiches

Tempeh is one of my new favorite vegetarian proteins. It’s a soy and grain-based protein, and it has a chewy and more substantial texture than tofu. That makes it the perfect candidate for traditionally meat-based dishes, like barbecue sandwiches!

meal1Tempeh is sold at some regular grocery stores, and it’s usually kept next to the tofu. I’ve found it’s often hit-or-miss at a traditional grocery store, but places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s stock tempeh all of the time:

packageThis package of tempeh from Trader Joe’s and it was $.99. Each package as two servings, so a serving of tempeh is only $.50, which is an incredible value. Other brands of tempeh tend to be more expensive, running between $2-4 a package.

To make the barbecue tempeh, start by slicing a block of tempeh:

slicedThen, choose your favorite barbecue sauce. I picked this up at the grocery store:

sauceMarinade the tempeh in the sauce for about 30 minutes. Tip: Pour the sauce into the dish before adding the tempeh, and then pour more on top to really get it covered.

marinadeWhile you wait on the tempeh, prepare a super simple coleslaw. Start by shredding a quarter of a head of cabbage:

cabbageYou could also use about 2 cups of pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix. The, add one shredded carrot:

carrotsTo the veggies, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of mayo of your choice (if you use a vegan mayo, this dish is entirely vegan!), a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and a little sugar. Stir and let sit:

coleslaw1Once the tempeh has marinated, heat a pan over medium high heat. Place the tempeh into the pan and let brown on all sides. Then, heat the extra sauce in the microwave and toast up some buns.

Put each sandwich together by placing a few pieces of tempeh onto the bread, adding a little extra sauce on top, and finishing with some coleslaw.

sandwichThese sandwiches are so filling.



slawI served my sandwiches with a salad and avocado. The perfect meal!

meal2Barbecue Tempeh and Coleslaw Sandwiches

Serves 2


  • 1 package tempeh
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 2 sandwich rolls (I used ciabatta rolls), toasted
  • 1/4 of a head of cabbage, shredded, or two cups of packaged coleslaw mix
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayo of your choice
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Slice the tempeh into 8 even pieces. Pour some of the barbecue sauce into a baking dish, then add the tempeh and top with more sauce. Make sure the pieces of well-covered and let marinate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the coleslaw: Mix the shredded cabbage and carrot with the vinegar, mayo, olive oil and sugar. Let sit.

After the tempeh has marinaded for 30 minutes, heat a pan to medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and brown the pieces on all sides.

Serve the sandwiches by placing the tempeh onto the toasted roll, topping with barbecue sauce, and finishing with coleslaw.


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