The Best Vegan Ribs

The Best Vegan Ribs

While many BBQ fans will be disappointed that autumn is here, the most dedicated of grillmasters are likely planning one final, giant cookout to close the season with a bang.

If you’re part of the latter group, you may be looking for recipes you can trust will leave your guests feeling replete and satisfied—this can be even trickier for people who adhere to specific dietary restrictions, especially vegans.

However, vegan and barbecuing can coexist. While many people will think of the classics when they think of BBQ, such as burgers and hotdogs, most BBQ fans will agree that ribs are the king of barbecued foods.

Below is a recipe for BBQ “ribs” made out of seitan that vegetarians and vegans can enjoy.  

Seitan BBQ “Ribs”

If you’re vegan or vegetarian and always wanted to try a nice plate of ribs, but can’t due to your dietary restrictions, you may have a slight resentment for BBQ’s. However, with this recipe, now you can try the king of BBQ foods (minus the meat part) without breaking your diet or feeling guilty for eating an animal.


  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Several grinds fresh black pepper
  • ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce of choice, plus more for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish and set it aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the broth, peanut butter, liquid smoke, and soy sauce until evenly mixed. Pour the mixture into a bowl with the dry ingredients and stir gently until evenly dispersed and the mixture has formed a soft dough. With your hands, knead gently for two to three minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the greased baking dish and flatten so it’s spread evenly across the entire pan. Use a knife to make one lengthwise cut across the dough, then cut evenly crosswise to make several one-inch slices (you don’t need to pull them apart; you just want the ability to easily separate them after grilling).
  5. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. While the ribs are baking, heat up your grill or lightly oil a grill pan.
  6. Remove from the oven and brush the top of the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce. Place sauce side down on heated grill (or grill pan on the stove over medium heat). Brush the top with more barbecue sauce.
  7. When the bottom of the ribs is deeply browned (about five to six minutes), flip them over and cook the other side until brown. Remove them from the heat and serve immediately, with more barbecue sauce (if desired).