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BBQ Tempeh Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

Posted Oct 13 2010 5:00am

Believe it or not, the sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors of barbecue sauce go great with tempeh .


Confession: I love barbecue. The moist, tenderness of slowly roasted barbecue chicken or pulled pork really makes me swoon. However, it is not really possible for me to slow roast an entire chicken on my front porch. I neither have the time nor the resources to start a BBQ pit outside.

To satisfy my BBQ needs, (I was inspired by Noelle’s BBQ Tempeh Quesadillas) I created something a little different last night.


While I am still a “newbie” when it comes to cooking and preparing tempeh, the flavor and texture is really starting to grow on me. It is firm and chewy, but with a slightly nutty flavor that is oddly addicting.

Like most foods, it takes a few tries to acquire a taste, but once you do, I think you will like it.


  • 1 package of tempeh (I used Lightlife Flax )
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


  1. Cut the tempeh in half and then cut each piece in two lengthwise. You should end up with 4 semi-square pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil, add tempeh, and steam for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and place tempeh in a small bowl. Cover with half of the BBQ sauce and marinate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Fry tempeh for 5 minutes per side, until crispy.
  5. Caramelized Onions: In a medium non-stick skillet, heat the butter over medium heat and add sliced onion. Sauté until brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  6. Assembly: Place 1 or 2 slices of BBQ tempeh on a whole grain sandwich bun. Top with caramelized onions and more BBQ sauce.


While the BBQ tempeh was great, the real star was the caramelized onions. I LOVE caramelized onions and they can seriously take anything for good to great. Trust me, this was a great sandwich.

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