February 3, 2011

Seitan & Broccoli With Pantry BBQ Sauce

by IsaChandra

Serves 4
Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes

I find most storebought barbeque to be cloyingly sweet, so when I want BBQ I head for my pantry. The great thing about this sauce is that you can customize to your heart’s content. Want more spice, add extra Sriracha. More sweetness, add more mapley goodness. More tang, well, there’s the mustard, have at it! It’s really as easy as can be.

I used to call it 2×2 BBQ Sauce because it took two minutes and everything was two tablespoons (‘cept for the liquid smoke) so it was easy to memorize, but I kind of refined it down to these measurements. Still, I never have to actually measure anything, I just eyeball it. The peanut butter is my secret ingredient – it doesn’t make the sauce very peanutty, but gives an excellent texture and a flavor that will keep people guessing. In a good way. Unless they are allergic.

Since there’s no onion or garlic in the sauce recipe, I always throw some in with whatever I’m cooking. In this case, seitan and broccoli. I also love to use it with baked beans, baked tofu, or veggie burgers – all the usual BBQ suspects. Use cast iron for the smokiest flavor possible. I served it with rice this time, but of course cornbread or mashed sweet potatoes would be a great accompaniment, too.

For the BBQ Sauce:
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (I use Dijon)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

For the rest:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
Big pinch salt
1 lb seitan, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
3 to 4 cups broccoli florettes and peeled and sliced stems

Mix all of the BBQ Sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

Preheat a large pan over medium high heat. Saute the onions in oil with a big pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the seitan and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until seitan is browned. Add garlic and black pepper and saute for about a minute, until fragrant. Add a tiny bit more oil if needed.

Mix in the broccoli and cover the pan to cook, lifting intermittently to stir, until softened (about 5 minutes.)

Add the sauce, toss to coat, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Sauce should become thick and bubbly. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve!

  • February 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm: Basht

    I’m gonna make this tonight to take to my dad as a gift! thanks :)

  • February 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm: Kip

    ohmyfaceyum. That looks delicious and dead easy, a bad combination for my late night cooked food cravings. At least there’s always breakfast tomorrow, right?! Thanks for the recipe.

  • February 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm: Jenny

    Wow, I really do have all those things in my pantry. Except for liquid smoke. Maybe smoked paprika would give the requisite smokiness? Looks awesome.

    • February 4, 2011 at 6:54 am: IsaChandra

      Yep, smoked paprika or chipotle powder would be great! Just be careful with the heat.

  • February 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm: Elise

    Droooool! I’m absolutely making this tonight. BBQ seitan sammiches with broccoli on the side…also smothered in this. Might have to add some chipotles. As a Texan, I’m so down with this recipe. Thank you, Isa, and happy early birthday! xo

  • February 4, 2011 at 12:44 am: Daisy

    This would also be good with tempeh! Now I am dead set on making some BBQ sauce. Thanks!

  • February 4, 2011 at 12:44 am: Jess

    i just made the sauce to use as BBq tempeh, and it is really good. next time, I’ll decrease the PB. to 1 T. thanks for the recipe!

    • February 4, 2011 at 6:53 am: IsaChandra

      Oh totally, I always make it with tempeh. I’m surprised I didn’t say so in the recipe.

  • February 4, 2011 at 12:52 am: Carolyn

    sounds so yummy, pizza tonight – BBQ tomorrow – thanks!

  • February 4, 2011 at 3:04 am: Ange

    This looks amazing – can’t wait to try it this weekend with some superbowl apps!

  • February 4, 2011 at 5:45 am: Eunah

    I’ve just recently decided to go vegan and found your website – and may i say, you are truly a master! :) This recipe was SO Yummy!!!! (I have to admit that I was apprehensive about eating Seitan…but I’ve been convinced that it is good! Thank you for this recipe!

    • February 4, 2011 at 6:50 am: IsaChandra

      Wow, a daring recipe to start out your vegan adventure. Thank you!

  • February 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm: Les

    Oh heck yeah! Every Saturday the hubs & I hang out with our friend. I’m the only veg among us and I make them eat vegan food every Saturday. Realized the other day that I always end up making pasta/pizza… so I’m totally making this. There’s nothing like getting two hardcore carnivores to go back for thirds of tofu or tempeh :D

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • February 5, 2011 at 3:00 am: LaRee

    This was soooo yummy! And, simple to boot! I have a 3 year old so I just left off the sauce since it was a little spicy and she was super stoked with ketchup instead.

  • February 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm: amanda

    the sauce was yummy on some fried scallions and seitan then baked right in the cast iron skillet. i do think i eye-balled more than 2 tablespoons of pb though.

  • February 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm: Sarah

    This was great. I made it super spicy and it was excellent. Thanks, Isa!

  • February 6, 2011 at 2:50 am: Rachel

    This was AMAZING. THANK YOU! I wish I’d doubled it.

  • February 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm: Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    Your sauce sounds so good! I love the addition of peanut butter….. !

  • February 8, 2011 at 9:30 am: NoviceVegan

    Oh my goodness. This was sooooooooo good! Definitely going on the list of things to make when meat-loving friends come over for dinner.

    Thank you for yet another lovely recipe Isa!

  • February 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm: Carol

    Thank you for this recipe, I loved it. I also added some tofu. My non vegan Husband ate a big bowl with me. Will be making this often.

  • February 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm: Susan

    Thanks, this rocked! Omnivore boyfriend asked if I can make a bigger batch next time, he loved…

  • February 14, 2011 at 6:00 am: Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul

    This looks delicious! Im going to try it with tempeh. I absolutely love bbq sauce, but have never made my own. I’ll try your recipe, and use almond butter instead of peanut butter (I’m allergic). It’s cool that you use the nut butter for texture, I’m interested to discover the texture it gives the sauce.

  • February 14, 2011 at 6:22 am: Wendy

    This looks great. How long do you think the BBQ sauce would keep in the fridge? Thinking about making a double batch…

  • February 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm: Bree

    This was soooo good. Bummed there were no leftovers.

  • February 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm: Trish

    Tried this with tempeh. Thought the peanut butter was too pronounced with 2 Tbsp. but I understand it is custom-izable.

  • February 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm: Love

    I loved this! I had it with spagetti and it was so good! I will make it again and again, the BBQ sauce is the best I’ve ever had.

  • February 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm: Jen

    What can I sub for peanut butter? Tahini maybe?

    • February 21, 2011 at 1:03 am: IsaChandra

      Tahini may be a tad too bitter. I’ve had good results with cashew or almond butter.

  • February 23, 2011 at 4:53 am: Jen

    I made this tonight and it f-ing ruled. I made extra sauce to use here and there for the rest of the week, but I kinda want to take it out of my fridge and drink it right now. I will never buy crappy, store-bought, HFCS BBQ garbage ever again.

  • February 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm: Kristine


    Smokey, and with attitude. Is there anything better?!?!?! :)



  • March 2, 2011 at 3:33 am: Andrea

    Thanks, Isa! This was extremely delicious and so easy!

  • March 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm: scriptside

    I’m gonna make this tonight to take to my dad as a gift! thanks

  • March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm: ian

    This is among the greatest things I have ever cooked/consumed. How often do you think I can serve this before my wife gets utterly sick of it??

  • March 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm: C.Walace

    Ima make this later :) well the sauce, the UK seems to be afraid of gluten flour…………
    and you make me LOL a lot :D

  • March 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm: meansoybean

    I paired the BBQ seitan with a Cold sesame noodles recipe from Martha Stewart. It was yummy, but next time I’ll double the BBQ sauce so I have leftovers.

  • March 8, 2011 at 5:39 am: jordanpattern

    Another hit!

    Mine came out soupier than yours, but paired with some baked sweet potato, it made a perfect dinner… and with stuff I actually did really have on hand! I normally hate “pantry” recipes, because I never have the stuff. Thanks for making me feel like a winner!

  • March 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm: baker_d

    Love it! Served this up with a baked sweet potato on the side. I went the easy route and used my favorite BBQ sauce (about a cup, plus 2-3 T. water) but either way, easy, filling, tasty. Thanks!!

  • March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm: baker_d

    And I should also mention that I used some of the seitan from your recipe I had leftover and frozen about a month or so ago. It was PPK all the way.

  • March 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm: Jakethy

    This is our new favorite BBQ sauce. My tiny plastic co-writers and I made it for the first time the other night and served it over mashed sweet potatoes. It turned out great!

    • March 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm: IsaChandra

      That is too awesome!

  • March 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm: mk

    I made this for my (carnivorous) boyfriend and myself. Two words: crazy delicious. Thank you!

  • March 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm: Carol

    I made this recipe and loved it, the best BBQ sauce ever.

  • March 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm: Clea

    This bbq sauce is awesomesauce. Instead of the broccoli dish, I used the sauce for bbq seitan sandwiches! Thinly sliced seitan, pan-fried for a few minutes in the sauce, served on buns. I’m never buying BBQ sauce again.

  • April 1, 2011 at 12:57 am: LauraE

    I’ve only been attempting veganism for about a month so this is all just so new and amazing to me. I was just floored by the Seitan when I made it this morning, and I couldn’t wait to come home and try this recipe. Wow, just WOW!

  • April 13, 2011 at 5:28 pm: Rachelle

    This bbq sauce was beyond amazing. I had made seitan and was wondering what type of a dish to make with it. This is exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t have liquid smoke so I added some sauce from a can of chipotles and an extra hit of sriracha. Extra spicey and soooooooooooo good. This is a keeper.

  • April 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm: David

    What a great recipe. I’m making it again tonight. Thanks, Isa.

  • April 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm: trish

    Yum! Made seitan for the first time yesterday, and had this for lunch today (with some mushrooms too!). It was awesome. I shall be making that bbq sauce again, except tripling it!

  • July 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm: la_florecita

    I pretty much spend my life trying to fill in the space before it’s acceptable to make this for dinner again.

  • August 17, 2011 at 1:58 am: Elizabeth

    This sauce looks fantastic! I’m making it tomorrow with seitan and asparagus. I’d love to use it to make vegan bbq sammiches on some nice crusty buns too. I’ve had shredded vegan bbq at a vegan restaurant but don’t know what type of veggie protein is used. Anyone have any guesses? It’s truly a shredded texture, so I don’t think it’s seitan, tempeh or tofu. Could it be TVP?

    • August 17, 2011 at 3:04 am: IsaChandra

      Maybe soy curls? Look them up, they’re a form of tvp.

  • September 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm: Scarlette

    This is so absolutely yum! A total winner.

  • September 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm: Liz H

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t believe how easy it is, and how insanely good. You are so seriously gifted. Thank you so much for all of these recipes! It really helped becoming a vegan so much easier for me (and for my omnivore husband, he likes the food I have been cooking as well!!).

  • October 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm: Monica

    Yummy! The PB was a nice touch!! You really are the BEST!

  • November 2, 2011 at 3:29 am: Amy

    SOOOO DELICIOUS!!! Well done! I’ve been vegan for 7 years and have never come across a better BBQ dish!!

  • November 9, 2011 at 12:34 am: Meg

    this was soooo gooooood. i didn’t have liquid smoke so i substituted amino acids. just as good. devoured by me and the dude.

  • January 24, 2012 at 2:36 am: amanda

    nomnomnomnomnom. chowing on this right now with a glass of vegan red table wine. didn’t have broccoli, so subbed mushrooms and yellow bell pepper. served with wild rice AND sweet potatoes. again…nomnomnomnomnomnomnom. you’ve finally convinced me to buy some of your damn cookbooks :)

  • January 26, 2012 at 1:41 am: amanda

    ok i just made this AGAIN but with tofu cutlets, and fried zucchini and mushrooms. srsly…and i used regular old yellow mustard this time and like it better than last time when i used dijon. thanxs again for the amazing recipe!

  • January 26, 2012 at 4:08 am: Sky

    Just wanted to share that In addition to the seitan broccoli combo, I’ve used this BBQ sauce on pizza–IT’S AMAZINNNNNGGG

  • February 1, 2012 at 12:42 am: Josh

    The sauce seems really thin and soupy, so I added more tomato paste and also added more peanut butter which did give it a more peanutty taste. Still turned out great!

  • February 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm: Julia

    This is darn good. I love the sauce (my husband wants to make a big batch and put it on everything). This is a great canvas for whatever kind of vegetables you have on hand or would like to add. I actually would even prefer it with more vegetables instead of the seitan. Great weeknight dish since it’s so easy. Another winner, Isa. Keep ‘em coming! Side note: I am continually convinced of your genius and intend to buy every cookbook you’ve ever had a hand in writing. You rock.

  • March 4, 2012 at 4:10 am: Rebecca

    I made this with the white setian from Viva Vegan, and some sort of root-vegetable-greens (they’re either turnip or beet greens, I don’t remember), and THEN put it all on a pizza crust (from Vegan with a Vengeance) with slivers of red onion and cilantro. This is amazing. At first, when I just tasted the barbeque sauce, I didn’t love it. But, on the food (which is how barbecue sauce is supposed to be served) it is delicious. Just the right amount of spicy and sweet. (I decreased the liquid smoke to about 1/4 tsp because I don’t like the smokey flavor that much.)

    I haven’t eaten the Barbeque Chicken Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen for 12 or so years, but this seitan/pizza combo tasted exactly like I remember that tasting.

  • April 18, 2012 at 2:27 am: Robyn Mary

    this is delicious! and it involves the three things my partner loves most (after me and our two dogs)–seitan, bbq sauce, and broccoli. thanks, isa. this shit is the bomb.

  • May 15, 2012 at 11:50 am: Sam (the Quantum Vegan)

    Making this tonight! I’m thinking of serving it over or with some steamed potatoes, because I LOVE potatoes with barbecue sauce (I’m weird like that).

  • August 12, 2012 at 11:09 am: Bethany

    This turned out SO delicious oh my goodness. Did not have hot sauce but had harissa paste so used that instead. This is one of those yummy satisfying re-make-able recipes that i will do a repeat of when my parents come to stay. Love the sauce, its a go-to.

  • October 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm: Sam

    Recently found your website and I’m in love with the BBQ sauce. I modified it a little (added some onion flakes, brown sugar, smoked paprika and veg Worcestershire sauce). It was a little soupy for me so I made a double batch and simmered it for a half an hour. I used it with the infamous seitan log o’ greatness and made sammiches. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. Thank you!

  • December 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm: toni


  • January 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm: Linda



  • March 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm: Craig Allen

    That looks delicious.

    I shared this recipe on The Home Depot’s Grills and Outdoor Cooking board on Pinterest.


    -Craig, from The Home Depot

  • March 30, 2013 at 12:40 am: Jenny

    I was looking for a tempeh recipe and came across this one so I swapped the tempeh for the seitan. I took a short cut and used BBQ sauce I already had (but am looking forward to making this version). Also, I was out of rice so I used quinoa! So even with the substitutions this was beyond yummy! We all loved it and I am going to make it again and take it to Easter brunch with omni eaters. Thanks for a quick and easy yet delicious meal!

  • April 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm: Josh

    If I’m making seitan from scratch, do I need to cook it as normal, marinate it, then fry in the pan? Or just marinate the seitan then cook in the pan? Wasn’t sure…thanks!

    • April 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm: IsaChandra

      Yes, cook as normal then marinade.

  • April 20, 2013 at 10:55 am: Lilian

    I’d also recommend a little less peanut butter, but this was positively scrumptious!

  • June 11, 2013 at 1:38 am: Rita

    I want to try this, but I only have blackstrap molasses. Is that the right kind?

  • June 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm: Ashley

    The BBQ sauce was delicious!! I made a few tweaks based on personal taste and what we had one hand. I subbed the tomato paste for ketchup because that’s what we had, as well as the liquid smoke for chipotle powder. I also left out the siriacha since my family doesn’t care for spicy food/hot sauce a lot. I could taste the peanut butter, but that may be simply because leaving out the hot sauce and liquid smoke creates a milder flavor and allows the peanut butter to come through. But I liked the peanut butter taste anyway. Overall, an excellent recipe.

  • December 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm: Lindsay

    This is the BEST recipe EVER! My husband begs me to make this once a week and has begun asking me to make sure there are leftovers for additional nights. Thank you, Isa, for another home run!