The best vegan ribs recipe. Super meaty flavor with a hint of smokiness and sweetness and a great chewy texture. Take it to a summer bbq or to grill on an outdoor grill. Easy to make and super high in protein. Made with seitan and plant based meat.
This recipe is
- high in protein
- vegan & vegetarian
- full of meaty, smoky flavors
- great for a summer bbq
Ingredients and substitutions
- Vital wheat gluten - This is our main ingredient. This flour is what makes seitan (the base of this recipe). Seitan is an amazing meat substitute. Vital wheat gluten is the protein in wheat that they separate from the starch. It's super high in protein and low in carbs. If you're allergic to gluten, steer clear. It's easy to order wheat gluten online or in a health food store or a Whole Foods.
- Vegan ground beef - I love using either Beyond Beef, Beyond Burgers or Impossible meat or burgers. This will add even more meaty flavor. Feel free to keep this out if you don't have access to any vegan ground beef.
- Nutritional yeast - This adds a nice umami, nutty flavor to the ribs. If it's enriched it also adds a lot of B vitamins, especially B12.
- Seasonings - We use a mix of garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika as well as salt and pepper.
- Mushroom seasoning - This adds a deeper umami flavor to resemble the savory deep flavor of real ribs. It's ok to leave it out if you don't have it. I love using Trader Joe's mushroom umami seasoning or you can order it online.
- BBQ sauce - I love using Stubb's. Just make sure you use one that doesn't contain honey or anchovies. Sweet baby ray's is also delicious. You can use homemade bbq sauce, but using store bought makes it easier.
- Vegetable stock or broth- Bonus points if you use a vegan beef flavored broth, but it's not essential.
- Oil - To keep these vegetarian ribs moist, we're adding in some vegetable oil. Feel free to leave this out if you're oil free. You can also use tahini.
- Soy sauce - This adds some saltiness and deep rich flavor.
- Beans - To lighten up the seitan, and to make sure it's not to dense, we're adding in some beans. Chickpeas, black beans or brown lentils work well.
- Liquid smoke - This adds the nice smoky flavor that comes with ribs. If you don't have this, just add some more smoked paprika. You can usually find this in the sauce aisle of most grocery stores or order it online.
If you want to add even more stringy texture, you can add unripe, young jackfruit or artichoke hearts. Just chop and shred them up before adding to the dough.
To get rid of the sour taste of jackfruit, sauté the jackfruit pieces in some vegetable broth on medium, low heat for 10 minutes before adding. Or to save time, add in some store bought jackfruit bbq.
If you don't want to use vegan beef, use smashed chickpeas. Get a can of chickpeas and chop them up in your food processor, or use a potato masher. mushrooms also add a nice additional texture.
Sautéd Baby bella or white mushrooms are also great additions. King oyster mushrooms taste amazing in this as well, but can be hard to find. Just shred them with a fork then sauté them in some oil on medium heat before adding them
These vegan bbq ribs firm up as they cool down.
If you want the ribs to have a more chewy texture and be more dense, make sure to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. If you want it to be more tender and porous, then only knead it for five minutes.
Step one: Mix all of the dry ingredients together first. Then crumble in vegan ground beef and stir.
Step two: Blend wet ingredients and chickpeas until smooth. Add the blended wet ingredients and stir until everything starts to come together.
Step three: Form into a ball and knead for five minutes. The longer you knead, the chewier and more dense it will get.
Step four: Use a rolling pin or wine bottle to roll the dough out. Form it into a rib like shape. Cut in half.
Step five: Add some BBQ sauce to the bottom of a baking dish and add the seitan dough. Brush some BBQ sauce on top.
Step six: To ensure the ribs don't dry out when baking, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cut into strips.
Step seven: Let the ribs cool, then grill them on a grill or grill pan. Make sure to brush on some extra bbq sauce. This will add some nice charred flavor and caramelize the bbq sauce.
Storing and making ahead
These seitan ribs taste even better the next day as leftovers.
Fridge - These last for a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freezer - These freeze well. Just store them in a freezer friendly bag for up to three months. Let them thaw completely.
Making ahead - To make these ahead, you can prepare the seitan dough ingredients. Then let it sit in the fridge. When you're ready to cook, add them to a baking pan, add bbq sauce, a little water, cover with tin foil and bake.
These delicious vegan ribs area an amazing main dish for a summer vegan bbq and go great with a vegan side dish or two like a garden salad, vegan potato salad, easy baked potatoes (without foil), grilled corn, Air fryer zucchini, Vegan collard greens and couscous salad.
This recipe is made with a base of seitan, also called wheat meat. Seitan is the chewy protein found in flour that is then separated from the starch, so it's low in carbs. The seitan is flavored with meaty seasonings like bbq sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and more to give it a meaty flavor.
If you want to omit the oil, use something like tahini to replace it, otherwise the ribs will come out dry. If you want to avoid adding oil to the baking dish, just use parchment paper.
More vegan meat recipes
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Meaty Vegan Seitan Ribs
- ¼ cup bbq sauce
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¾ cup chickpeas
Mix Dry ingredients
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients and stir well. Crumble in the vegan ground beef and stir well.1½ cups vital wheat gluten, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning powder, 1 cup vegan ground beef
Mix wet ingredients
- In a blender or food processor, add in all of the wet ingredients and blend well.¼ cup bbq sauce, ¾ cup vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, ¾ cup chickpeas
- Pour in the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until it starts to come together. Knead it for 5 minutes if you'd like a softer texture and 10 minutes if you'd like a more firm, chewy texture.
Flatten and shape
- Flatten out the dough with a rolling pin or your hands and shape them up a bit to resemble ribs. Cut the dough in half.
Cover & bake
- Brush some BBQ sauce and oil on the bottom of a baking dish. Add in the seitan dough. Brush BBQ sauce on the ribs.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. This is essential to make sure the ribs don't dry out. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
- Once the ribs are done baking, let them cool for 5 minutes. They start to firm up more when they cool as well. Brush on some more BBQ sauce. Cut them into strips and enjoy. For extra flavor, grill on a grill or grill pan. Add as much BBQ sauce as needed.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.