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!
So here I go complicating things. But, can I say making this sauce is totally worth your time?? Just like caramelized onions, it is!
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.
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!
All of that saucy goodness gets trapped inside while it bakes.
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.
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 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
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium.
- Once hot add in the onion, ginger, and garlic and stir frequently until softened. 5-7 minutes
- Add the pineapple and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce and stir for 1 minute, then stir in the pineapple juice, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture will reduce and slightly thicken.
- Whisk in the strained tomatoes, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, molasses, and black pepper.
- 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.
- 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
- Heat a large pan over medium with the oil.
- Once hot place the rings in the pan in a single layer.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
- Flip and cook the other side for another 2-4 minutes until golden brown.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350* Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the tempeh intro about 4-inch strips and slice just between 1/8 – 1/4-inch thick.
- Place on the parchment lined pan and toss with 1 cup of sauce so both sides are coated.
- Baked for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.
- Place on buns or bread with extra sauce and seared pineapple slices.
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.