This tasty salad features tempeh, a traditional soy food that’s been around since about the 12th or 13th century – tried and true. It’s made from whole, naturally fermented soy beans, so it’s easy to digest and high in protein (16 grams in a 3 oz. serving), fiber (7 grams) and vitamins.

Like tofu, it tastes best when it’s marinated and then stir-fried or baked. In this recipe I used a high-quality bottled BBQ sauce (no high fructose corn syrup, limited and recognizable ingredient list) and baked it in the oven ahead of time for an easy mid-week meal.

If you cannot eat soy, some BBQ beans would be a good substitute for this salad.  I eat a lot of beans, which I enjoy, but I like having a whole food protein option with health benefits like tempeh for a change.

BBQ Tempeh Ranch Salad

BBQ Tempeh

1 package organic tempeh (I used Lightlife)
1 bottle high-quality vegan BBQ Sauce (I used Stubbs Sweet Heat)


Cut the block of tempeh cross-wise into ¼ inch slices.

Steam & Marinate:

Layer the tempeh strips in a glass dish and cover with boiling water. Let the tempeh sit for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place the tempeh strips back in the dish, layering with BBQ sauce. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.

NOTE: If you don’t have time to marinate, just give the strips a quick soak in really hot water, drain, pat dry, brush with BBQ sauce and proceed to baking them in the oven. They’ll still taste good!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the tempeh strips in a single layer on a sheet pan covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn, brush with some BBQ sauce, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and store in a lidded container in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use on sandwiches, salads or noodle dishes.

Salad Ingredients

These are general guidelines for a good ratio of salad greens and salad veggies. Feel free to eat more or less depending on your needs.

2-3 oz. “heavy” salad greens (romaine, baby kale, baby chard, “power greens” mix)
OR 1-2 oz. “light” salad greens (baby spinach, leaf lettuces, “spring mix”)
6 oz. veggies (I used a mix of corn, tomatoes, cucumber, and a few black olives)
3 oz. BBQ tempeh strips

Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp. vegan ranch salad dressing
1 Tbsp. vegan BBQ sauce

Stir to combine, pour over your salad and enjoy. If you don’t have any ranch dressing, some straight BBQ sauce will taste good too.

Questions or Comments? Please share them below.