Smokin’ BBQ Maple Tempeh Sandwich with Easy Slaw (Vegan)

A tempeh sandwich recipe that looks as good as it tastes! Enjoy this smoky-sweet sandwich with a big glass of lemonade or a side of chips. Who says vegans can’t barbecue?

This week we’ve had our first snowfall in Montreal and the chilly weather has made me crave comfort foods with a Canadian twist. Maple marks the Canadian winter season, but mix in hot smoky chipotle peppers and you have a killer northern-southern combo.

This recipe makes 4 sandwiches and packs well in a lunch. Enjoy and let me know what you think.


BBQ Maple Tempeh Sandwich with Classic Coleslaw

A BBQ Maple Tempeh Sandwich recipe that looks as good as it tastes! Enjoy this smoky-sweet sandwich with a big glass of lemonade or a side of chips. Who says vegans can’t do barbecue?
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4 sandwiches


Barbecue Maple Tempeh:

  • 1 240 g 8.40 ounces tempeh, defrosted*
  • 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin ground
  • 1/4 tsp coriander ground
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion diced
  • extra oil for sautéing


  • 2 cups green cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 carrot finely shredded
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Other ingredients:

  • 4 whole wheat buns
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • Mayonaise vegan or non-vegan


  • To begin, preheat oven to 400F, lightly grease a medium-large cookie sheet, set aside.


  • In large bowl, toss cabbage and carrots with salt, let stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Whisk together vinegar, oil, maple syrup, and dijon mustard; toss with cabbage mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prep tempeh:

  • Cut your slab of tempeh into small squares (about 1.75 x 1.75 inches), they should be a thin as you can get them (between 1/4 - 1/8 of an inch). The thinner, the more flavourful.

Make the marinade:

  • Blend maple syrup, chipotle peppers, sunflower oil, vinegar, tamari, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and water in a blender. You can also opt to mince the ingredients and mix by hand – I just find the blender way easier.

Marinate tempeh:

  • Place tempeh in a wide bowl or Tupperware container, pour marinade on top. Make sure all pieces are well covered by marinade, refrigerate for minimum 1 hour.

Bake tempeh:

  • Pre-heat over to 400F(200C). Remove tempeh from marinade (do not discard marinade) and place pieces on a the lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins, flip pieces over, bake for another 10 mins (20 mins total).

Cook seasoned onions:

  • While tempeh is baking, heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat, add onions, stirring frequently until lightly browned and translucent. Once onions have browned, lower heat and continue to cook over low temperature for another 10 minutes. The goal is to get the onions very tender and mild in flavour. Add leftover tempeh marinade to the onions, raise heat slightly, stirring frequently. Allow liquid to evaporate, leaving behind tender (almost sauce-like) seasoned onions.
  • Remove tempeh from the oven, place in a medium bowl, add seasoned onions; very gently toss, spreading the seasoned onions among the tempeh slices.

Assemble your sandwich:

  • Toast you buns, spread mayo and other desired condiments on both sides, add 2-4 pieces of barbecue tempeh, a few slices of avocado, tomato and a handful of coleslaw.
  • This recipe makes 4 sandwiches with hamburger buns but feel free to change up the bread according to your preference.


* I use the frozen noble bean brand of Tempeh, made in Montreal. Avoid tempeh that already have flavouring added.
*Chipotle in adobo sauce is pretty easy to find in an asian or ethnic grocer. The most common brand is La Costena.


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