Tempeh Barbecue Sandwiches

This is the most popular month of the year for fitness and everyone knows it. I’m right in there with everyone else, trying out new things and thinking grandly about setting myself up for the rest of the year. So far, I’ve started running again (we’re all talking about signing up for the Wild West 10 Mile Run), tried out yoga class on my new Roku and 60” TV (which apparently doesn’t sound insanely huge to anybody but me)(it belongs to my roommate), and bought a new mountain bike!

Tempeh BBQ Sandwich

Wes took me on my first mountain bike ride in years last week at our local park. He taught me some techniques and let me have a little taste of different types of terrain, from semi-steep uphills to a few rocks and ruts in the road. I felt ok about my abilities, but was worried about going on a slightly harder ride with a friend the next day. Luckily, that friend cancelled on me, but somehow I was signed up to participate in the SoCal 12 Hrs of Temecula Race instead!

Emily Mountain Bike Race

The boys kept telling me that I only had to do one lap, our team wasn’t competitive at all, and I’d be fine. I got on my bike and took off on my own, straight up a mountain, and immediately fell over in front of a speedster who was definitely being competitive, almost getting my head run over. I just carved up my knee instead. The mountain kept growing in front of me, for endless miles. I had to pull over twice on the verge of heat stroke, but never fell again. By the end of the 8.6 mile loop, I’d started feeling awesome about my skills, no longer afraid of steeps or ruts or boulders, and even making it up some hills (my weakness) without having to hike. Its too bad nobody I knew was there to see me, because I totally looked like a pro by the end. Although I can’t imagine having done so well if a friend was there to listen to me whine. Funny what you can do when you are all alone and stuck with no option other than to toughen up and deal with yourself. If you haven’t been in that situation in a while, I encourage it.

SoCal Mountain Bike Race

This recipe is a great one to add to your fitness-filled winter camping trip. Its really just a hearty delicious grilled barbecue sandwich that everyone will love, but its more focused on health than any other you’ve had. Its made from tempeh, which many of us have a hard time loving, but trust us on this one. You’ll get everyone on board. The spicy slaw brightens the sandwich up and is hearty enough to withstand a good day of hiking (in cool weather). Thanks again to one of our current favorite cooks, Bryant Terry for another fabulous recipe to inspire us. Keep playing!

Tempeh BBQ Sandwich with cat

Tempeh Barbecue Sandwiches


4 sandwiches

Prep Time / Cook Time


Activity Guide

Car Camping, Day Trip, Picnic


  • 2 packages tempeh, sliced into half inch fingers
  • 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Sturdy bread, such as ciabatta rolls
  • --
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 5 little radishes, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Cutting board
  • Foil
  • Knife
  • Microplane grater or zester
  • Small bowl
  • Tongs


  1. If you’re using a thick-style barbecue sauce, place 1 cup into a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of water. Stir until the sauce thins out and looks more like a marinade.
  2. Divide tempeh fingers into two foil packets. Cover each with 1/2 cup of (thinned) barbecue sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Close foil packet.
  3. Place foil packets on the grate over a campfire. Let cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until sauce is absorbed by the tempeh.
  4. Remove packets from fire, and tempeh from the packets. Place a new, oiled piece of foil flat on the grate over the campfire.
  5. Place tempeh fingers on the grate and grill, basting occasionally with the remaining cup of barbecue sauce (thick or thin is fine at this step). Flip halfway, and continue to baste until sticky and ribletty.
  6. Grill the bread slightly just before serving. Top with mustard, mayo, slaw, and tempeh fingers.

*This can all be made at home before a day trip or picnic and served cold.

One thought on “Tempeh Barbecue Sandwiches

  1. I made this last night over the campfire and I have to say, it was very tasty. I only used regular sliced bread and next time I’ll use something fancier and thicker. We added some havarti cheese to the mix and it was really delicious. The campfire was VERY hot and it literally took 2 minutes to cook the tempeh and it was starting to get charred on one side. I cooked it in a cast iron pan on the grill on the campfire instead of foil. I’d imagine that the results are similar. Anyway, thanks for the recipe. It was great and I know I’ll make it next time we camp.

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