BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches with Apple Slaw

Barbeque sandwiches with crunchy apple slaw just scream summertime, don’t they?

BBQ Tempeh Burgers with Apple Slaw (85)

When I saw this recipe on Kristin’s blog, I immediately started drooling. She’s always whipping up something incredible in her kitchen and I just can’t resist trying to recreate vegetarian friendly versions of her food.

BBQ Tempeh Burgers with Apple Slaw (91)

After listening to Michael Pollen’s book, it sparked my curiosity on the wonders of fermentation and started me on a bit of a tempeh kick.  Tempeh bacon BLT’s, tempeh lettuce wraps with peanut sauce (recipe to come soon!), and now tempeh barbeque sandwiches. I just can’t get enough!

BBQ Tempeh Burgers with Apple Slaw (11)

If you’ve never heard of tempeh, it’s basically just fermented soybeans (read: full of healthy probiotics) lumped together in a square.

BBQ Tempeh Burgers with Apple Slaw (16)

I know, it doesn’t sound or look very pretty (and I need a new cutting board) but after you smother it in your favorite sauce it’s great, I promise! It isn’t mushy like tofu and it can actually be very versatile. Oh, and did I mention how healthy it is?

If you haven’t tried it, I urge you to be brave and give it a go!

Whether or not you make these sandwiches with tempeh or chicken, you have to try them with the apple slaw. It’s incredibly easy to make and it pairs perfectly with the gouda and barbeque sauce.

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I’m telling ya’, that Iowa Girl knows where it’s at.

By the way, if you’re a vegan, you can always make this sandwich using agave in place of the honey as well as vegan cheese instead of gouda.

And making the barbeque sauce yourself does add on some extra work so feel free to marinade the tempeh in your favorite bottled barbeque sauce to save time, if you please.


BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches with Apple Slaw

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Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


  • 1 (8 ounce) package organic tempeh, sliced vertically into 16 strips
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (use agave for vegan version)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 slices smoked gouda
  • 4 buns

Apple Slaw

  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • dash of salt & pepper

Makes 4 large sandwiches


  1. Start by combining all of the ingredients for the sauce (starting with the ketchup and ending with chili powder) in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about thirty minutes.
  3. Remove sauce from heat and transfer to a shallow bowl or dish.
  4. Place tempeh in the bowl and coat well with the barbeque sauce. Allow to marinate for an hour.
  5. Start to prepare slaw about 10 minutes prior to cooking tempeh so that the apples don’t brown. For the slaw, combine ingredients from olive oil down in a large bowl and mix well.
  6. Add the sliced cabbage and apples to the bowl and toss until well coated.
  7. To cook the tempeh you can either bake it at 400°F for about 10 minutes on each side or you can cook it in a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. Reserve the left over sauce in the bowl after cooking the tempeh.
  8. Place 4 strips of tempeh on each bun and top with remaining sauce and a slice of gouda. Broil for about 2 minutes so that the cheese is melted.
  9. Top with apple slaw and second half of bun and serve.

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I really loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again!



Have you ever tried tempeh?

Do you prefer spicy or sweet barbeque sauce?