My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh

I have to tell you about this quick meal we’ve been making about once a week around here. 

cover tempeh in barbecue sauce > bake for 25 minutes > stack between a bun > add extra sauce > EAT

With greens on the side and baked potato fries to finish things off!

Incredibly easy. 

So here I go complicating things.  But, can I say making this sauce is totally worth your time??  Just like caramelized onions, it is! 

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective

Homemade barbecue sauce is infinitely better than store bought.  However, if you’re in a pinch the jarred stuff will suffice.  As it has for us the entire past month!

Pineapple is pretty much the best addition to barbecue sauce. <— Concluded from today’s experiment.  It lends a little sweet, a little tang, and a nice juicy bite.  I like my barbecue sauce with texture and this definitely has it.

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective


Welcome to my new favorite way to make tempeh.

BAKED tempeh, dredged in barbecue sauce.

After baking for 25-30 minutes the tempeh becomes tender, delicate, and laced with smoky-sweet barbecue flavor.

I’m sure other sauces will have the same result.  The key is slathering the sauce on so it bakes in.  I’ve experimented with marinating and then baking but there was really no noticeable difference.  This saves you at least 30 minutes of impatiently waiting for your fridge to marinate your dinner.  Hooray!

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective

All of that saucy goodness gets trapped inside while it bakes.

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective

Now back to the pineapple.

Not only is it packed into the barbecue sauce, it’s also the perfect topping for this sandwich.  With a little coconut oil it browns up perfectly in a pan.  During warmer months grilled pineapple would also work just as well.

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective

Open-faced sandwiches have been a favorite since I was a kid.  Although, at that time my favorite was salami + swiss cheese.  Boy how things have changed.  Now, even my parents eat tempeh and they just tried this baked-barbecue idea last week. 

Dad, you’re on sauce making duty next time you guys make this!

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective

Print this!

Pineapple Barbecue Sauce + Baked Tempeh Sandwiches gluten-free, vegan // yields 2 1/2 cups sauce + tempeh yields 3-4 sandwiches

sauce adapted from: pineapple ginger BBQ sauce

for the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle adobo sauce
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh diced pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups no-sugar added pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cups strained tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari/soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium.
  2. Once hot add in the onion, ginger, and garlic and stir frequently until softened. 5-7 minutes
  3. Add the pineapple and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce and stir for 1 minute, then stir in the pineapple juice, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mixture will reduce and slightly thicken.
  5. Whisk in the strained tomatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, molasses, and black pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Stir every few minutes until the mixture has thickened.  Taste and add more adobo sauce if desired, depending on your spice tolerance.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool before refrigerating in a sealed container for 5-7 days.  Mixture thickens more as it cools.

notes/subs:  If you like smooth sauce, use an immersion blender or blender to puree the sauce until smooth.  Chipotle adobo sauce is a spicy sauce that comes in a small can in the ethnic aisle of your store.  You can freeze extra in an ice cube tray then store in the freezer in a sealed container to be used at a later date.

for the pan seared pineapple

  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
  • 4 large fresh pineapple rings, about 1/4-inch thick
  1. Heat a large pan over medium with the oil.
  2. Once hot place the rings in the pan in a single layer.
  3. Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. 
  4. Flip and cook the other side for another 2-4 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Chop into smaller pieces and place over baked tempeh.

for the baked tempeh

  • 1, 8oz package gluten-free tempeh
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350* Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the tempeh intro about 4-inch strips and slice just between 1/8 – 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Place on the parchment lined pan and toss with 1 cup of sauce so both sides are coated.
  4. Baked for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.
  5. Place on buns or bread with extra sauce and seared pineapple slices.

pineapple barbecue sauce + baked tempeh // edible perspective

In a pinch, try the baked barbecue tempeh with your favorite sauce.  But, if you have a little extra time this homemade version is more than worth it!  The juicy pineapple topping seals the deal. 


Reader Comments (26)

Aaah that looks amazing. I love sweet + savoury and I've recently fallen in love with tempeh so this is perfect for me.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
OH MAN!!! This looks freaking amazing!
Oh my goodness, I'm almost drooling. This looks sosososo delicious. I've never had much luck with tempeh, but this recipe looks like it's worth give a try!
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRuta
This looks like a brilliant quick meal. I can barely remember the last time I had barbecue sauce, but I'm craving it after seeing this post :)
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia
This is RIGHT up my alley! I love tempeh and I love pineapple. Especially warm, grilled/pan-seared pineapple. Definitely making this soon!
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
You've done it again girl, loving that caramelized pineapple happening! What is our favorite brand of tempeh? I can't seem to find a great brand!
OMG i want to eat that right now!!!!!
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDana
Big yes to this. I love (looooove) barbecue tempeh but know I'll love it even more with pineapple. You rule, lady.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae
oh my dear! this looks LUSCIOUS. Must, try, soon.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana
This looks delicious, Ashley! I love homemade BBQ sauce :)
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraddie | culicurious
This looks fantastic. Does the BBQ tempeh keep well?
I also want to try this recipe with Butler's Soy Curls instead of the tempeh.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharj
@Abby - We have a local company I love but my next favorite is West Soy "original" flavor. It's not certified GF but contains no wheat and hasn't given me any problems. It comes in a square package instead of the narrower + longer packages you more commonly see. I'm not sure of that brand but those are but they've always tasted really bitter to me. I can eat the West Soy right out of the package!

@Ashlae - Glad you are already on the barbecue tempeh train!

@Charj - I'm not sure exactly how long it will keep. I would think at least 5-7 days. You can definitely freeze it into smaller portions and keep in a sealed container to then thaw and use within about 6 months.
March 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
We make bbq tempeh sandwiches like this too! But I haven't tried a pineapple bbq sauce. It sounds so great--sweet and tangy and delicious. :)
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEileen
oh my gosh, this looks so delcious!! Maybe while the tempeh bakes I'll even take the time to caramelize some onions at a topping in addition to that amazing looking pinapple. holy moly, welcome to delicious town.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTori
That looks so good! I'm always struggling to find a yummy bbq sauce that is gluten free and corn syrup free, but making my own sauce seemed like too much work :) Thanks for sharing this!
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarina
I've never tried tempeh, but this barbecue sauce sounds sooo good. The sweet and savory combo is making me drool :)
i would never have thought to combine those flavors together. sounds great!
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
This looks great. I definitely prefer tempeh over tofu and slathered in BBQ sauce? Yes please! I am sadly allergic to pineapple however ;(
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHerbivore Triathlete
We produced Betsy's Tempeh in Mich. for 9 1/2 years and developed a new process for making tempeh so when we had our monthly potlucks on our farm, tempeh was always on the menu. One time we served bbq tempeh and it was a huge success. This weekend I will be making a roasted tempeh and multi bean salad for a local potluck where all the food is excellent. We now make tempeh for ourselves and friends and are working on a tempeh incubator that would be used in restaurants and small coop shops making healthy food for the local community. Feel free to write with questions, etc.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbetsy shipley
This is like my favorite burger at Red Robin...only it's about 2 gazillion times healthier. Which makes it the most perfect thing ever.
March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
This looks unbelievable! I love the addition of pineapple to the sauce :D
@Tori - I definitely thought about making more caramelized onions. Totally should have. I wonder what adding a little pineapple juice would do as they cook? mmm

@Herbivore - Actually, while I was making this, I was thinking that mango would also work perfectly! Or, even peaches in the summer.

@Katie - I'm assuming you want this for lunch next time? ;)
March 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Ok you've given me a reason to go back to trying tempeh. I've avoided it for years because of a bad experience but you've convinced me! Lovely post by the way.
March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe
This looks great! I can't wait to try it with BBQ sauce. I made a similar recipe below.
March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
This is making me hungry just looking at it, and it's 10:30pm! I will be making this very soon! Thanks!
Awesome. Thank you tons! I was just searching for a good tempeh marinade for tonight! I am going to give this a go (sans pineapple and maple syrup) and see how it turns out! Grateful for the inspiration.
May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Height

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