Let’s talk about sliders. You see them all over Pinterest and in your favorite vegan cookbooks, but do you know where these mini burgers originated? I sure didn’t until I looked it up to write this blog post! Sliders were first made by a fast food chain called White Castle – if you’re from the Midwest, you’ve definitely heard of it. They were super tiny burgers that sold for five cents a piece until the 1940s and for 10 cents a piece for a while after that. At that price, we can only imagine the quality of ingredients going into those bite-sized sandwiches. Yikes! I came up with a vegan version of the popular slider using tempeh and other plant-based ingredients and I am totally obsessed.
Have you ever tried tempeh? Like tofu, tempeh is a soy product. Unlike tofu, tempeh is made with whole soybeans and a type of healthy mold (don’t freak out!) and fermented into solid blocks that can be sliced, chopped, cubed, or cooked whole. Tempeh is a fantastic source of plant-based protein! It can also taste a little bitter right out of the package, so I like to steam tempeh for 10 minutes before cooking with it.
Making these Smoky BBQ Tempeh Sliders couldn’t be easier from there. Just marinate the tempeh in your favorite BBQ sauce, cook until crispy and browned, and put it on a bun with your favorite burger trimmings. I slathered the bottom buns with a heaping spoonful of our Smoked Provolone Cheeze Spread and it added amazing creamy texture and smoky flavor!
I highly recommend lettuce, pickles, and red onion for topping, though I’m sure anything you come up with is going to taste fantastic. How will you build your Smoky BBQ Tempeh Sliders? Let me know on Instagram!
Vegan Smoky BBQ Tempeh Sliders Recipe
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Makes 6 sliders
- 1 8-oz. block of tempeh
- ½ cup BBQ sauce (I like Primal Kitchen)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 package Plant Perks Smoked Provolone Cheeze Spread
- 6 vegan slider buns
- 1 head of romaine or butter lettuce
- ½ cup sliced pickles
- ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- Slice the tempeh into three equal sections. Then slice each section in half widthwise so you have six tempeh patties about ½-inch thick.
- Place the tempeh patties in a large skillet and fill with ¼-inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer and steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Transfer the tempeh to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Pour the BBQ sauce in a shallow dish and add the tempeh patties. Brush some of the BBQ sauce over top of the patties, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (the longer, the better). Flip the tempeh patties occasionally so they soak up as much flavor as possible.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the marinated tempeh patties, leaving excess BBQ sauce in the dish. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until slightly crisp and browned in spots. Transfer to a plate to cool and brush with leftover BBQ sauce if desired.
- To assemble the Smoky BBQ Tempeh Sliders, spread a teaspoon of Smoked Provolone Cheeze Spread on the bottom of six slider buns. Top each with lettuce, a tempeh patty, pickles, and red onion. Enjoy!