This meal prep recipe featuring BBQ tempeh is dedicated to my favorite BBQ takeout/fast-casual place: Mighty Quinn’s BBQ. It’s one of those places where you build your plate (like Chipotle) with all your favorite BBQ sides and it’s so good.
I’ll be honest, it took me a LONG time in the kitchen to make everything in the photo below. It was a ton of work, but so worth it.
So in this meal prep recipe, you’ll find the abbreviated version featuring corn fritters (SO GOOD), mayo-less crunchy slaw, BBQ tempeh, and roasted green beans. That’s like the bare minimum of this vegetarian BBQ buffet, but you can of course do more!
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BBQ Tempeh & Sides: Recipe Overview
In this recipe, we’re putting together a BBQ tempeh, crunchy slaw, roasted green beans, and corn fritters. None of these elements takes a ton of work, but since there are four of them, it will feel like a good amount of cooking. I promise it’s worth it!
What to know about tempeh
You can find tempeh in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the tofu! I recommend grabbing tempeh that’s not flavored for this recipe (usually labeled “original”). It generally comes in 8 oz packages.
Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans and is a great vegan protein option for those who can eat soy. It has a slightly nutty and sometimes bitter flavor. Some folks parboil tempeh before cooking it to get rid of the bitter flavor, but I’ve never really had an issue or had to take that step! Using a sauce with lots of flavor like barbecue sauce usually does the trick. Don’t be intimidated by tempeh! It’s one of the easiest proteins to cook.
Things you can add that you normally find on BBQ plates:
- Mac N’ Cheese
- Mashed Sweet Potato
- Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad
- BBQ Baked Wings
- Braised Collard Greens
- Broccoli Salad
Not sure what a buffet meal prep is?
A buffet meal prep means that you keep the ingredients separate and build plates with them as you go. The pros of prepping this way are that you get more variety and the food feels a bit fresher. The cons are that you have more dishes to deal with and sometimes the portions can be off. Try it out! See if you like it.
For the BBQ Tempeh
- If you don’t like tempeh, tofu or seitan could also work in this!
- You can also try BBQ jackfruit if you have access to it!
- You can use any barbeque sauce for this tempeh, or make your own sauce!
- I recommend cooking tempeh in a non-stick pan for best results. I love to use a grill pan for BBQ tempeh.
For the Corn Fritters
- Use a GF all-purpose flour blend if needed
- Heavy cream works the best, but you can use any milk of your choice. Use dairy-free milk if needed.
- Fresh, frozen, or canned corn will all work here (you will need two cobbs if using fresh)
- You can add scallions, bell peppers or jalapenos to the fritters.
For the Green Beans:
If you don’t like green beans, there are a lot of green veggies you can use here! Here are a few I would recommend:
- broccoli or cauliflower
- broccolini if you can find any (I never can)
- collard greens
- brussels sprouts
For the Crunchy Slaw
If you want to make your own slaw instead of using a mix, here are some veggies that you may want to include:
- green cabbage
- shredded carrots
- purple cabbage
- red onion
If you want a creamier dressing with mayo, try this one from love and lemons!
Storage & reheating notes:
This vegetarian BBQ buffet meal prep will last in the fridge for up to four days. I recommend reheating everything except the slaw in the microwave or on the stove. Keep the slaw cold or at room temp!
Corn fritters are freezer friendly for up to 3 months.
And don’t forget to try our other delicious vegetarian recipes!
- Korean-Inspired Bibimbap Bowls
- Grilled Veggie Hummus Wraps
- Easy, Vegan Tofu Scramble for Meal Prep
- Pineapple Fried Rice with Peas, Red Pepper and Tofu
- Vegetarian Meatballs Made With Chickpeas and Miso
Vegetarian BBQ Buffet Meal Prep: Tempeh, Roasted Veggies, Corn Fritters & Slaw
- 8 oz tempeh sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour sub GF all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal if you don’t have it, sub flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk of your choice plus more as needed
- 2 cup corn fresh, frozen or canned (2 corn cobbs)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil for frying
roasted green beans
- 16 oz green beans ends trimmed, sub green veggie of your choice
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 clove garlic minced or grated
- 1 bag of coleslaw mix
- 1 TBSP olive oil extra virgin is best
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp agave, maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 tsp salt plus more to taste, add pepper if desired
- 1 clove garlic minced or grated
- Preheat your oven to 400 F
- Prepare the green beans: Add the green beans, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic to a sheet pan. Toss with a wooden spoon or your hands to coat the green beans and spread them out a bit on the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The green beans should be bright in color and slightly wrinkly when finished. If they’re still too hard, flip them and bake for another 5 minutes or to your preference.
- Prepare the tempeh: in a bowl, toss the sliced tempeh and BBQ sauce. Heat up a skillet (nonstick, cast iron or stainless steel) for a minute or two, then add the oil and let that heat up for another minute. Add the tempeh (you may need to do it in batches) to the pan. Avoid getting a lot of sauce in the pan, otherwise, it won’t be crispy! Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. The edges of the tempeh should look crispy and the strips should be darker in color. Set aside when finished cooking.
- Make the corn fritter batter: Add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar to a bowl and mix. To the same bowl, add the milk and fold in the corn. Here, you can add chopped scallions, red bell peppers or any other veggies you want!
- Cook the corn fritters: LIne a plate with paper towels. Heat up a nonstick skillet over a medium flame for 1-2 minutes, then add the vegetable oil and let that heat up for 2-3 minutes. It needs to be hot! Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or standard ice cream scooper, add the batter to the pan. I was able to fit 3 in a 10″ skillet at once. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes (they cook fast!). Set aside on the plate lined with paper towels and keep cooking until you’re out of batter!
- Make the slaw: pour out the entire cole slaw bag in a bowl. In a separate smaller bowl or measuring glass, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, liquid sweetener, salt, pepper if using and garlic. If you like a little kick, add a pinch of cayenne or chipotle powder. Mix well and taste it – adjust flavors as necessary. Add the dressing to the bowl of slaw and toss.
- Assemble! To make this a buffet prep, keep all the ingredients in separate containers. You can also pre-portion the meals (like we normally do) in containers as you wish! This should yield 3-4 meals depending on how much you like to eat.