There are some meals people think vegans simply can’t eat, like burgers, sausages, and ribs. But this long list of scrumptious vegan ribs recipes proves the naysayers wrong!
Check out these fantastic vegan ribs recipes and find your favorite for the next barbecue.
1. Classic Short Ribs by Vegan Heaven
For that classic and comforting taste of short ribs, it doesn’t get better than this short ribs recipe by Vegan Heaven. These are tender and meaty with the perfect barbecue flavor for your next picnic.
This inventive recipe uses mushrooms, peanut butter, wheat gluten, and other ingredients to achieve the perfect texture. Mushrooms are a genius substitute for beef because they have the rich umami flavor, along with the soft yet firm texture of ribs.
If you want to wow your carnivorous friends with some vegan ribs, this recipe is a must-try.
2. The Best Vegan Barbecue Riblets by Brave Little Vegan
What’s cuter and yummier than some barbecue riblets that are soft and flavorful? Nothing!
These little riblets are the best substitute for those delicious Chinese spare ribs that you may miss since going vegan. Just swap out the barbecue sauce for a Chinese-style marinade, and you’ll be in take-out heaven.
And while you need the wheat gluten and nutritional yeast to make the rib dough, most of the other ingredients are simple pantry staples you probably already have. These are super easy to make as you roll out the sticky dough and cut it into riblet shapes before baking!
3. Jackfruit Barbecue Ribs by LiveKindly
If you haven’t hopped on the jackfruit train yet, now is your chance. Jackfruit is an interesting replacement for meat as it’s a fruit, similar in flavor to mango or pineapple. But the texture is what makes it the best alternative to meat for vegans.
It has a stringy but dense texture that makes it excellent in place of pulled pork or braised beef. Using this meaty fruit along with wheat gluten, mushroom powder, and other seasonings achieves a delicious umami flavor that is great for barbecues or picnics.
Plus, it features a smokey and tasty dry rub that makes it bold and flavorful.
4. Barbecue Tempeh Vegan Ribs by Connoisseurus Veg
Tempeh is another popular protein alternative for vegans. It’s made from soybeans and some other binding ingredients. They have a firm and dense texture, making them filling and hearty in any meal.
Using them to make ribs is a super-easy way to achieve that meaty texture. This recipe from Connoisseurus Veg is smokey and incredibly easy to make compared to other vegan ribs recipes.
The most interesting ingredient is the liquid smoke, which is optional, but it adds depth and richness to the ribs that you won’t want to miss out on.
5. Vegan Barbecue Ribs by Baked In
These vegan barbecue ribs are delicious and filling. They’re made with wheat gluten, peanut butter, and nutritional yeast for a chewy and meaty texture that you’ll fall in love with right away.
They’re firm but fall apart when you cut into them just how you want ribs to. You make the ribs dough from the gluten and yeast and then pop it in the oven until it gets hot and slightly brown on the outside.
The entire rib recipe only takes about 45 minutes, which is a lot less time than normal ribs take.
6. Vegan Ribs and BBQ Sauce Recipe by The Edgy Veg
If you are more concerned about the rib flavor than the texture, you can follow this easy-peasy recipe for skewered tofu ribs. They have the meaty flavor you want with a surprisingly soft and delicate texture that is unique but pleasant.
All ingredients are items you likely have in your kitchen, making it an easy last-minute meal to whip up when you’re in the mood for some barbecue. The recipe has that traditional barbecue flavor with an element of Asian flavors because it uses some hoisin sauce in the marinade.
7. Sweet and Sour Vegan Ribs by VegNews
For a vegan ribs recipe that’s a little different, these sweet and sour ribs with lemongrass bones are heavenly. You get the meaty flavor of the ribs and the tender texture you want, but you even get to eat them off the bone like classic ribs.
These ribs use wheat gluten to make the rib dough that has the ideal texture, but the dough goes around charred lemongrass stalks, so you get to grab the bone and eat them like most ribs.
And as a break from the typical barbecue flavor, the sweet and sour sauce is bright and flavorful, with pineapple juice for sweetness and Sriracha for a bit of heat.
8. Vegan Barbecue Ribs by Plantifully Based
Not only do these ribs taste and feel like real meat ribs, but they look just like them too!
If you want to fool your meat-eating friends at the next barbecue, this recipe from Plantifully Based is your best bet. They get the perfect amount of sear and crunch outside while staying tender and soft inside.
While you can use wheat gluten and nutritional yeast on their own to make vegan ribs, this recipe also incorporates artichoke hearts for that stringy and firm texture you expect from beef. These are a great alternative for vegans that don’t love jackfruit.
9. Smoky Vegan Ribs by the Veggie Society
This recipe is all about that smoky flavor you want from barbecue ribs. They have a rich meaty flavor that is perfectly savory, even if you don’t put them on the grill. It probably won’t surprise you that the recipe calls for liquid smoke.
Make sure you get the liquid smoke if you want that aromatic and charred flavor you get from ribs fresh off the grill. But these only need an oven! The jackfruit takes on the smoky flavor, making every bite an indulgent, meaty experience that will fool your friends and family.
10. Barbecue Seitan Vegan Ribs by One Green Planet
If the bones are an essential part of the rib-eating experience for you, this recipe will satisfy your rub cravings. You can even use taro root for the “bones,” which will also make it edible.
The ribs use whole wheat flour, wheat gluten, nutritional yeast with onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and liquid smoke for a tasty treat that will fool even the biggest rib-lovers. And the vegan barbecue sauce and steak sauce add a ton of flavor to every bite, so you won’t be able to stop enjoying these vegan ribs.
11. “Honey” BBQ Ribs by Veganosity
Some people like their barbecue subtle, others like it spicy, but if you like your barbecue ribs with a hint of sweetness, this is the best recipe. These ribs are sticky and substantial and are sure to hit the spot.
The ribs are made of mushroom caps, nut butter, beets, and wheat gluten for a texture that’s incredibly similar to real ribs. But the star of this recipe is undoubtedly the honey barbecue sauce, which does not use real honey, so you can feel good about helping the bees!
12. Chinese Style Ribs by Rabbit and Wolves
If you’re a vegan that misses the deliciousness of Chinese-style ribs, along with your takeout, Rabbit and Wolves has you covered. These Chinese-style ribs are phenomenal and packed with rich Asian flavors and ingredients.
They come out a vivid red color that will have your mouth watering and fingers sticky. The key to achieving the perfect flavor is the Chinese five-spice, an excellent ingredient to keep in your kitchen for Asian recipes.
With this recipe, you can stop mourning pu pu platters and enjoy the meaty and vibrant taste of Chinese-style ribs.
13. Tofu Short Ribs by Post Punk Kitchen
This vegan ribs recipe by Post Punk Kitchen only takes an hour from start to finish and will have you wondering why you ever thought you missed beef. It uses extra firm tofu fried in vegetable oil for a tender but crispy texture that ribs should have.
While you won’t get the stringy texture jackfruit offers, the sauce is the star of this dish. It features elements of sweet and spicy, like maple syrup and Sriracha, for a pop of flavor you won’t forget.
Plus, this recipe includes a root mash that brings an earthy flavor and soothing texture to the plate. It’s a wonderful pairing for the meaty and flavorful ribs.
14. Vegan Char Siu by Delightful-Delicious-Delovely
Char siu is an amazingly flavorful Asian dish made with pork ribs and a rich barbecue sauce. If you don’t care about missing out on the bones that many ribs feature, you’ll love how easy and delicious char siu can be.
While the recipe is a breeze to make, it does require a pantry full of Asian sauces and ingredients like oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, Chinese five-spice, chili sauce, and hoisin sauce.
While you can find decent substitutes for these ingredients, if you want to achieve the perfect Asian char siu flavor, it’s best to visit the grocery store or Asian market and add these to your kitchen.
15. Wicked Asian Ribs by Bosh
For the ultimate Asian vegan rib recipe, look no further than Bosh’s wicked Asian ribs. They are sticky, juicy, and packed with flavor. If you want some soft ribs drenched in a decadent barbecue sauce, it doesn’t get better than this recipe.
You only need about seven ingredients for the entire recipe, and the rich umami flavor of the ribs comes from a whole bunch of oyster mushrooms. This recipe is super easy to make, so you can throw it together when you get a hankering for Asian ribs on a busy weeknight.
And they’re a great dish to bring to a barbecue so all the vegans and vegetarians can join in on the “meat-eating”.
16. Alkaline Electric Vegan “Ribs” by Ty’s Conscious Kitchen
Another super simple recipe, these electric vegan ribs by Ty’s Conscious Kitchen only use seven ingredients and take about 30 minutes.
The ribs are firm and chewy, so you feel like you’re tearing real meat apart when you bite into it. The recipe calls for Alkaline barbecue sauce, but you can swap that out for whatever sauce is your favorite or a homemade barbecue sauce.
These are best likened to beef teriyaki, as they’re a bit smaller and more tender than typical ribs, but they deliver the perfect flavor anyway.
17. Spicy Corn Ribs with Aleppo Chili Butter and Lime Zest Cream Cheese by Best of Vegan
If you want ribs that break out of the norm, you have to try these corn ribs with a delightful Aleppo chili butter and lime cream cheese that brings notes of Mexican flavors that will make your mouth water.
While this may seem similar to elote corn, it has a completely different flavor profile. The chili butter is hot and spicy, giving the simple corn ribs a strong kick.
But that heat is mellowed by the zesty and refreshing lime cream cheese that you can heap on top or dip the ribs in. And best of all, this recipe is a lot healthier than many other vegan ribs recipes.
18. Tofu “Ribs” with Spicy BBQ Sauce by a Veg Taste from A to Z
This is one of the best tofu ribs recipes because they look super similar to real ribs, but they have a sharp and distinct flavor. The key to nailing this recipe is to take your time marinating and cooking the tofu ribs.
They should marinate for at least 30 minutes to soak in the smoky barbecue flavor, and then you should cook them for at least 30 minutes, if not more, at a low temperature, so they get perfectly crunchy and crispy on the outside.
You also have to freeze and defrost the tofu beforehand to get the right texture. Skipping or rushing through this recipe will result in subpar tody ribs.
19. Baked Vegan Ribs by Afro-Vegan Society
No need for a grill for this recipe, all you need is your oven to achieve these scrumptious vegan ribs. This recipe uses a unique combination of ingredients, including chickpeas, miso paste, mushrooms, and chia seeds!
There is a slight crunch from the chia seeds, but the chickpeas and mushrooms offer the perfect texture everyone wants from a rib. The recipe takes a little over an hour to make, but it’s well worth the effort because these will knock your socks off with the flavor and meaty texture.
You can cut the ribs into clean lines or give them a rougher, jagged look to capture the natural look or cut meat!
20. Vegan Sticky Ribs by PlantYou
For super sticky ribs that will have you licking your fingers for a while after, give this recipe from PlantYou a try. It’s a super simple recipe, and the star of the show is the chickpeas that form the perfect paste to make the tender but meaty texture you want from ribs.
You only need eight ingredients to make this recipe, but one of the most important additions is thyme. If you can use fresh thyme, the flavor will be bolder and more distinct, but dried thyme is fine too.
While other vegan ribs recipes may be sweet and sour or have a rich barbecue flavor, these have an earthy and comforting taste thanks to the addition of this fabulous herb.
21. Smoky BBQ Jackfruit Ribs by PlantBased Magazine
If jackfruit is your favorite vegan meat substitute, this is another stellar jackfruit ribs recipe that will wow your meat-eating buddies. These ribs have a deep smoky flavor, but they don’t have the crunch and char on the outside that some people don’t like.
They are wrapped in tin foil before being baked or grilled, so they get a super tender and fall apart texture, and they hold in all of the bold flavors of the barbecue sauce. The combination of peanut butter and liquid smoke is essential for nailing the texture and flavor.
22. Vegan Char Siu Ribs by Full of Plants
For a char siu dish out of this world, use this recipe by Full of Plants. It uses big pieces of imitation chicken to achieve the meaty texture you expect from this classic Asian pork recipe.
The recipe uses less than ten ingredients, many of which are already prepared. If you don’t want to make your vegan ribs from scratch, this is an excellent recipe to save because it only takes about 40 minutes to come together and wow your guests.
The key to nailing this recipe is using a bright and rich char siu sauce that brings the perfect balance of traditional barbecue flavors with Asian tastes.
23. Quick and Easy Corn Ribs by Yuzu Bakes
These easy corn ribs might be the easiest vegan rib recipe on this list. It only takes six ingredients for these ribs to come together, and they have a bold and memorable flavor. If you want that rich rib flavor but don’t mind having a unique texture, these are a great recipe.
They won’t be fooling any meat-eaters, but your friends and family will be floored by the barbecue flavor. And they may even start choosing these over real ribs. These can be done in a pan or oven, but for that extra char, you can grill them and get that delicious blackened taste.
Easy Vegan Ribs Recipes, Final Thoughts
From now on, you won’t have to watch the carnivores enjoy the meaty and smoky flavor of barbecue ribs while you reminisce about the taste.
With these easy vegan ribs recipes, you can enjoy the same flavor and texture without any of the actual meat.