Air-Fried BBQ Tempeh

I’ve been making BBQ Tempeh in the air fryer for several weeks now, and it’s saucy, sweet and spicy. A batch (or two) can be enjoyed throughout the week in so many ways!

My inspiration arrived with a brand new assortment of balsamic vinegars from California Balsamic recently, along with another favorite ingredient, Date Lady BBQ Sauce (sweetened only with dates).

We’re  loving this with simple steamed vegetables and rice, or rolled into a TLT wrap (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato), and it’s great served along with mashed potatoes and steamed corn too.

If you don’t have an air fryer, no worries. I’ve included traditional oven instructions too.

AIR-FRIED BBQ TEMPEH

1 8-ounce block tempeh
1/4 cup Date Lady BBQ Sauce or BBQ sauce you like without sugar
2 tablespoons 7-Herb Italian Balsamic Vinegar (made by California Balsamic), or other flavored balsamic of your choice
dash hot sauce
dash yellow mustard
pinch kosher salt and black pepper (optional)

Instructions

Slice tempeh crosswise into 16 slices. 

In a flat dish, stir together the marinade: BBQ sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, mustard,  salt, and pepper. Add tempeh and toss until each piece is evenly coated with sauce.

Finish by baking in either an air fryer or traditional oven.

Air Fryer Method…

Reserving as much of the sauce as you can, carefully place tempeh pieces in the basket of an air fryer in a single layer. (I use a Philips Air Fryer Avance Digital TurboStar, and love it.)

I like to use a fork (or two) to lift several pieces at a time, allowing some of the marinade to drip back through into the dish. (You’ll be using reserved sauce again after air frying is complete, but extra sauce in the air fryer will just tend to burn.)

Set temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 12 minutes, or until deeply caramelized and crispy. Remove from the air fryer and toss tempeh into the dish of reserved sauce. Coat each piece of tempeh with remaining sauce, and serve immediately.

Traditional Oven Method…

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Reserving as much of the sauce as you can, carefully place tempeh pieces onto prepared baking sheet.

I like to use a fork (or two) to lift several pieces at a time, allowing some of the marinade to drip back through into the dish. (You’ll be using reserved sauce again after baking is complete, but extra sauce in the oven will just tend to burn.)

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until deeply caramelized and crispy. Remove from oven, and toss tempeh into the dish of reserved sauce. Coat each piece of tempeh with remaining sauce, and serve immediately.

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen