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BBQ Tempeh Bowl

I don't often see a recipe and immediately want to make it, let alone have all the ingredients to do so, but when Kathy Patalsky posted "Kathy's Special BBQ Tempeh Bowl", I knew I needed to make it for Lexi. As always, I did not have everything I would need to follow the recipe exactly, but I worked it out, substituting items I did have and things I thought would be good.

That being said, these bowls were fantastic and the first time that Lexi really enjoyed Tempeh. I made some changes (omissions and selective ingredients, we'll say) that might have been unnecessary, but fit my recent kick for mainly natural flavors.1 Either way, I would make this dish again with a few changes to the process and potentially with the actual ingredients for which the original recipe called.

Based on Kathy's Special BBQ Tempeh Bowl from the Lunch Box Bunch Blog.

BBQ Tempeh Bowl

Yield: 3 Medium Servings, Total Time: 45 minutes


  • A handful of leafy greens per bowl (we used Spinach)
  • 6 small Red Potatoes, cubed
  • One 8-oz package of Tempeh, cut into twelve small triangles
  • 4 Tbsp BBQ Sauce, plus 1 Tbps per bowl to use as dressing
  • One medium Tomato, sliced and slivered
  • 1/3 to 1/2 an Onion, chopped
  • One medium Avocado, halved and sliced
  • 2 Tbps Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water, if necessary


  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Wrap potatoes in tin foil with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Bake for thirty to forty-five minutes or until desired consistency.
  2. Meanwhile, prep your veggies and warm a skillet with olive oil over high heat. When oil is hot, reduce to medium and add the tempeh triangles to the pan. Saute the tempeh until browned on each side. Add barbecue sauce and coat the tempeh. Add water if pan gets too dry. Remove tempeh from heat and set aside.
  3. Add a bit more oil and saute onions, until softened and semi-transparent. Reduce heat and add tempeh back to the pan to keep warm.
  4. Prep bowls with greens, top with tempeh/onion mix, tomatoes, avocado, and potatoes. Finally, drizzle BBQ sauce over the top.

Recipe Notes

  • You can prepare the potatoes beforehand to save time. If you do so, add the potatoes to the tempeh/onion mix to warm. Grilling or pan roasting would also work well.
  • I used red potatoes instead of sweet because it was what I had, but I also thought the taste would be complimentary to the BBQ style. Using a grill for the entire process would probably enhance the smokey flavor overall.
  • The tempeh will coat with BBQ better if you can avoid using water in the pan at all.
  • I had some left over grilled onions from the weekend, so I went ahead and sautéd them with the tempeh to mix the flavors. Caramelizing the onions and mixing with the tempeh at the end would be enough to achieve the same effect.
  • Water down the BBQ sauce at the end to achieve a better coating and presentation. Also, this would create a better dressing-style thickness.
  1. The irony does not escape me that I am talking about the natural flavors of a dish that contains a strong "artificial" flavor, namely BBQ sauce, as its base.