BBQ Tempeh Wrap with Creamy Coleslaw


I have a confession to make.

Up until the end of last week, I strongly disliked tempeh. Not as much as when I shudder at the thought of fibrous green stalks of doom, but enough to avoid it in the grocery store.

You may say, “Well, by golly, Jessie, there’s nothing wrong with disliking a food. Heck, there are whole sites devoted to the hatred of certain foods.” And you would be 100% right. There’s nothing wrong with disliking something, whether it’s a particular food, a certain smell (old coins, urg), or an entire category of cinema (with the exception of 50 First Dates and Happy Gilmore, I’m looking at you, Adam Sandler movies).

What’s not so cool is when someone dislikes something, or someone, or an entire group of people without taking the time or effort to try it. Or understand him or her. Or them. On principle. I won’t name other examples, yet I’m sure everyone can think of one or more.

But we were talking about food.

The funny thing about taste? Not only is it subjective, but it can change over time, or even between preparation techniques. And I suspected such would be the case with tempeh. The last time I tried tempeh, I had just started studying nutrition and was eager to try every new food out there. And while this eagerness can help expand a palate, it was not helpful when I tried tempeh for the first time by tossing an entire piece, raw, into my mouth. I haven’t eaten tempeh since.

So here we are, years later. I spotted a package of tempeh at Strawberry Fields and knew I couldn’t go another week without trying this protein-packed food. While the naked taste of tempeh is not my favorite, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this BBQ-sauce slathered version, as first seen on this day.



The BBQ sauce is Peter’s special recipe, but you can easily use a store-bought sauce (watch the sugar!). Or try a chocolate BBQ sauce for ultimate decadence.


Perhaps celery is next on the to-try list?

Let’s not go too crazy, dear reader.

BBQ Tempeh Wrap with Creamy Coleslaw

  Prep Time: 1 hour

  Cook Time: 10 minutes

  Keywords: saute sandwich entree vegetarian tempeh

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 8 oz. package tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 whole grain tortillas


In a shallow bowl or dish, stir together tempeh slices and BBQ sauce. Allow to rest for an hour.

While tempeh marinates, stir together remaining ingredients (except for tortillas) for coleslaw in large bowl. Cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and sauce and heat through, about 10 minutes. Heat tortilla wraps in skillet over medium heat (30 seconds per side) or in microwave (15 seconds). Top with 1/4 of the tempeh and coleslaw. Serve immediately.

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Q: Have you tried tempeh? What’s your favorite tempeh recipe?

P.S. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


  1. I love Adam Sandler! You should watch “Just Go With It”. Just give it a try. It’s his best recent movie and it was actually really funny and cute.

    1. I forgot about that one – Peter and I watched it recently and enjoyed it!

  2. I only seem to really like tempeh when it’s paired with something sweet otherwise it’s a bit too bitter for me. That bbq sauce sounds like the perfect accompaniment!

  3. Ryan loves tempeh, but like you, I have avoided it for the last few years. Your post gave me the inspiration to try it again! Anything with BBQ sauce, right? Thank you for sharing, Jessie. Your posts always make me smile.

  4. I’ve tried tempeh when eating out but I haven’t been brave enough to attempt to cook it at home. Your recipe looks delicious and perfect for spring 😉

  5. I love tempeh, particularly because it’s so versatile! I love it crumbled up and turned into a curry, or in it’s whole form in sandwiches and the such. I also have a recipe I love for tempeh spring rolls with peanut sauce!

    1. Mmm, I love the idea of tempeh spring rolls!

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