This BBQ seitan recipe is made with jackfruit for ultimate texture. After baking, the jackfruit seitan is easy to grill for easy vegan ribs! Vegans and meat eaters alike can enjoy the delicious barbecue flavors of this delicious plant-based grilling recipe.
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BBQ Seitan Recipe: How to Barbecue Seitan
Seitan is a fantastic meat alternative for vegans; it can be flavored however you like and has an amazingly chewy, meat-like texture!
With vegan grilling, a common concern is that the food won’t hold together on the barbecue. This isn’t the case with this recipe as seitan is firm enough to be grilled to perfection!
Before barbecuing seitan, it first needs to be baked in the oven. This step allows the seitan to cook and form a firm, chewy texture needed to hold together on the grill.
After the seitan bakes, slather it with BBQ sauce and grill it for that amazing BBQ seitan flavor. For this recipe, coat and grill each side of the seitan twice, or repeat for a third time if you like!
If attending an event like a barbecue, the seitan can be baked in advance and brought with you. It takes about 15-20 minutes to heat through from cold (depending on the temperature of the barbecue).
Sometimes the grill marks or cuts (to form the “ribs”) push too deep and end up going through the piece of seitan. No worry if this happens, just continue grilling two separate pieces.
Make Jackfruit Seitan Ribs
Jackfruit seitan creates fantastic texture, especially for vegan short ribs! Adding jackfruit to seitan creates a texture that pulls apart more easily because it breaks up gluten, the main component of seitan.
With jackfruit you’ll get a seitan that’s softer, but still firm enough to grill easily. It’s also satisfying and chewy enough to be meat-like!
Jackfruit pieces mimic the texture of a fattier piece of meat. Since ribs tend to be high in fat, the jackfruit does a nice job creating a vegan short rib texture.
Use a jackfruit canned in brine for this recipe (and most savory jackfruit recipes).
Seitan Barbecue Sauce
The flavor of your BBQ seitan depends primarily on the type of barbecue sauce used.
While you can modify the flavors added to the seitan itself, the flavor of the BBQ sauce is by far the most prominent taste in this recipe.
Feel free to use your favorite store bought sauce or make your own homemade vegan BBQ sauce.
Plant-based Grilling Ideas
When moving to a plant-based or vegan diet, knowing what to grill on a nice summer day can be a challenge. Most traditional barbecue recipes center entirely on animal products.
Store-bought vegan alternatives may be an option, but many vegan meat alternatives fall apart on the grill. Seitan is a great option for a vegan protein that grills easily. Blocks of tofu and tempeh are also delicious on the grill.
Some delicious plant-based grilling ideas are:
- Corn on the cob
- Skewer loaded with veggies and tofu
- Pineapple rings
- Portobello mushroom caps
- Vegan hot dogs or sausages
- Fingerling potatoes
- Bell peppers
There are countless ways to flavor the ideas in the list above with different marinades and/ or sauces.
If you have tin foil, or a veggie tray for the barbecue, the options expand even more. It’s simple to fill a tin foil packet or veggie tray with whatever veggies you like, then add some seasonings and grill away!
How to Serve Vegan BBQ Seitan Ribs
This BBQ seitan ribs recipe is packed with protein and ideal to serve with grilled vegetables. Asparagus is a favorite in my house as well as green beans. Vegetable skewers or tin-foil wrapped potatoes are also great options.
To me, dipping delicious vegan BBQ recipes in something creamy is the perfect combination. Barbecue sauce, or almost anything spicy, pairs great alongside a mayonnaise, cashew or sour cream based dip.
You can use a store bought dip (as I did for these photos) or make your own.
Check out my recipe for a healthy vegan Caesar salad dressing or jazz up some vegan sour cream!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
BBQ Seitan with Jackfruit (Vegan Ribs)
- Barbecue and barbecue utensils (tongs/ spatula/ BBQ sauce brush)
- 2 cups gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- ½ teaspoon Herbamare seasoning (I use spicy Herbamare)
- black pepper (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup jackfruit (canned in brine)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Drain liquid from the can of jackfruit and finely dice jackfruit pieces (core, seeds and all). Set aside.1 cup jackfruit
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.2 cups gluten flour, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon celery seed, ½ teaspoon Herbamare seasoning, black pepper
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. The tahini won’t fully mix in (there will be flecks of tahini and oil throughout, which is fine).3 tablespoons tahini, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 cup vegetable broth
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until a ball of dough forms. Stir the ingredients with a spoon. Use your hand to finish mixing when it becomes too doughy to stir.
- Add chopped jackfruit into the mixture and knead until it’s well incorporated throughout. You want the jackfruit as dispersed as possible (no clumps of jackfruit in any one spot).1 cup jackfruit
- Dump the dough onto a large piece of tinfoil and shape into a flat rectangle. It can be however thick you like but around 1 inch (2-3 centimeters) works well.
- Carefully wrap the dough with the tin foil as tightly as possible. Take a second sheet of tin foil and wrap the dough a second time, placing the open edge of the tin foil down onto the center of the new sheet to create a good seal.
- Place the tin foil-wrapped dough onto a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, allow to cool completely. Carefully unwrap the cooked seitan and place in the fridge for fast cooling. It’s helpful to allow this to sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight if you have the time.
- When ready to barbecue, make careful slices across the cooked seitan, halfway down and about 1 inch (2 centimeters) apart. Then, brush BBQ sauce across the top of the seitan and work it down into these slices.1 cup BBQ sauce
- Heat your barbecue to about 500 °F. I use 3 burners on my barbecue (the 2 on the outer edge set to medium-high and the center one, which the seitan will be directly over, as low as possible).
- Place the seitan on the barbecue, sauce side down. Brush the opposite side with BBQ sauce. Allow to cook for 5 minutes then flip. Sauce the side that’s now face up, cook for 5 minutes then flip. Repeat again so both sides are sauced and grilled twice.
- Remove from the barbecue and slice into individual “ribs” for serving.
More Vegan Meat Recipes
Like this recipe? You should also try:
About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.
Can this be premade and or frozen for later use?
The seitan can be frozen after baking it. I've never tried freezing after grilling.