BBQ roasted tempeh and vegetables uses common vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, onion and zucchini, and mushrooms, adding up to a good, sturdy vegan main dish. If you’re looking for an easy tempeh dish that makes a generous quantity, this is an excellent choice.
This recipe makes a heaping helping, so it’s an economical meal for a big family, and a good choice for meal prep. You can freeze half for a later meal, or cut the recipe in half if you don’t want to make as much.
What to serve with barbecue roasted tempeh
Hot cooked rice or couscous are good carbs to serve with this dish; since you have the oven going at 425º F, you can dice some potatoes or sweet potatoes (or a combination), toss with a little olive oil, and roasted at the same time.
A simple salad or slaw rounds out the meal. Fruity Red Cabbage Slaw is a simple choice whose sweetness is a great foil to the barbecue flavor.
Barbecue sauce choices: Use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce, preferably with all-natural ingredients, or make our Easy No-Cook Vegan Barbecue Sauce.
What is tempeh?
For those who aren’t familiar with it, tempeh (pronounced tem-pay) is made of cooked and fermented soybeans formed into firm blocks.
A traditional food of Indonesia, it has long been adopted in the west as a good source of plant-based protein — it’s even higher in protein than tofu, another traditional soy food. A 3-ounce serving of tempeh contains about 16 grams of protein.
Like tofu, tempeh is also versatile, though perhaps not as much, since it has a more distinct flavor and chewy texture. Though somewhat of an acquired taste, if you do take a liking to it, you’ll find it quite useful.
Tempeh is usually sold in 8-ounce cellophane-wrapped packages, and though you’re more likely to find it in natural foods stores, it has made its way into supermarkets as well.
How does tempeh taste?
It’s challenging to describe the flavor of tempeh. I’ve heard it being compared with chicken and mushrooms, but that’s hardly the case. Its taste defies comparison, but depending on the variety, it can taste mildly nutty to distinctly fermented.
Some people enjoy the fermented flavor, while others are somewhat put off by it. Tempeh may be an acquired taste, but with careful and creative preparation, it’s a taste worth acquiring. See more in our Guide to Tempeh.
Explore more …
Recipe is adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- Two 8-ounce packages tempeh, any variety
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into wide strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into wide strips
- 1 cup baby carrots (cut thicker ones in half lengthwise)
- 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced, rings separated
- 1 1/2 cup good-quality barbecue sauce (or Easy No-Cook Barbecue Sauce; see link to recipe in Notes) or as needed
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 cup or so cleaned, stemmed, and sliced cremini mushrooms, or 1 large portobello mushroom, stemmed, cut in half, and sliced
- Dried hot red pepper flakes or other hot seasoning to taste
- Thinly sliced scallions for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425º F.
- Cut the tempeh in half lengthwise, then crosswise into short, 1/2-inch-thick strips.
- Combine the tempeh with the bell peppers, baby carrots, and onion in a mixing bowl. Pour the barbecue sauce over them enough to coat them generously.
- Transfer the mixture to two parchment-lined roasting pans and spread out evenly.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then stir in the zucchini and mushrooms. Season with red pepper flakes if desired (or just pass around at the table). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Stir every few minutes.
- Once the tempeh and vegetables are out of the oven, see if you’d like to moisten them with a little more barbecue sauce.
- Serve hot over rice or couscous if desired and/ or garnish each serving with a little scallion.
If you’d like to make your own barbecue sauce, try our Easy No-Cook Vegan Barbecue Sauce.