Vegan BBQ “Ribs”

  • Published on February 1st, 2009 by

Eating fewer animal products is a great way to improve your health, along with the health of the planet.

If you’re not yet ready to give up meat altogether, try having a couple of vegetarian days a week.  You’ll soon discover the joys of meatless dining, and learn to appreciate the flavors and variety of vegetarian meals.

This is a great recipe if you’re wanting something slightly “meaty” and covered with spicy BBQ sauce!

Vegan BBQ “Ribs”

Use organic ingredients whenever possible

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce    Use your favorite bottled sauce (look for one without high fructose corn syrup, worcestershire sauce, or anchovies), or if you have a homemade recipe you enjoy, use that instead.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil an 8×8 baking dish.

Mix the water with the tahini, tamari, and liquid smoke.  Stir until blended.

In a separate bowl, mix the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Whisk to combine.

Add the wet mixture to the dry, stir to combine, and then knead for a couple minutes until strands of gluten form.

Press and stretch dough into pan, cut into 8 strips, turn pan and cut strips in half to form 16 strips total.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven , re-cut strips, and cover with BBQ sauce.

Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes more.


Image credit: ashley rose on flickr creative commons.

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About the Author

Amy is a vegan, working mother of one with a degree in Nutrition Education. She has had a longtime interest in natural health, animal rights, human rights, and environmental issues. She shares her Midwestern home with her husband and son, as well as with what many would consider to be a lot of pets.
  • Ryan

    Hail Seitan! This looks delicious. Thanks!

  • Xiaolu

    That recipe appears to be adapted from Susan of the FatFreeVegan Blog ( It’s quite tasty though my boyfriend tells me it doesn’t taste anything like the real thing (I’ve never tried ribs).

  • Amy Bell

    Thanks for your comment Xiaolu. This recipe was given to me a while ago, and since then I too have noticed several versions of it on various blogs and websites. I’ll have to check out the one you mentioned.
    I’d tried ribs back in my meat eating days, and your B-friend is right about it not tasting like the real thing….which is OK with me. I don’t personally care for things that are too much like real meat, it creeps me out a little bit.

  • Lisa

    Susan adopted/adapted it from vegweb (without giving them credit of course) so don’t feel bad

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