Going vegan? These terrific tempeh recipes will help you on your way.
But first, what is tempeh?
It’s a firm, protein-rich product made of fermented soybeans. It has a firm texture and mildly savory, nutty, and earthy flavors.
It makes for a great meat alternative, perfect for plant-based diets.
It originated in Indonesia ages ago, but has eventually made its way into Western countries.
If you’re new to the tempeh cooking game, don’t worry, I’ve got you.
This collection of easy tempeh recipes is complete from salads to stir-fries to burgers. With such a wide array of dishes, you’ll never run out of options.
Try these tempeh recipes to prove to your meat-loving friends that vegan can be fun!
1. Marinated Baked Tempeh
Cubes of nutty tempeh are marinated in a blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and sriracha.
They’re then baked to crisp up and caramelize, resulting in sweet and savory, teriyaki-tasting squares.
Enjoy this dish with quinoa and vegetables for a hearty, plant-based meal.
Pro-tip: tempeh has to be steamed first before grilling to help it absorb the flavors of the marinade. Just 10 minutes in the steamer will suffice.
2. Marinated Peanut Tempeh
Bite-sized tempeh pieces are marinated in an Indonesian-inspired peanut sauce and baked until golden.
It’s hard not to get addicted to this sweet, spicy, and saucy treat!
The best part is, it only requires 7 simple ingredients. How easy is that?
The only catch is that it requires several hours to marinade. As long as you plan ahead, though, this shouldn’t be a problem.
3. General Tso’s Tempeh
Crisp and nutty tempeh cubes are bathed in a glistening glaze.
It’s made with tomatoes and broth flavored with honey, rice wine, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and tons of spices.
If you like General Tso’s chicken, this plant-based version makes a fantastic alternative.
With its sweet, sour, and savory flavors, it’ll definitely remind you of the chain’s iconic offering.
4. Teriyaki Tempeh
This next dish features tempeh cubes bathed in a sweet and sticky teriyaki sauce.
It’s a heavenly vegan dish that even kids won’t be able to say no to.
Plus, if you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe for a last-minute meal, this recipe is perfect.
It calls for just simple ingredients and comes together in as fast as 25 minutes.
5. Maple Herb Roasted Tempeh
This next tempeh dish is so delectable it deserves a spot on the holiday table.
This dish bursts with sweet, savory, and earthy flavors.
It’s roasted in a sauce made of maple syrup, apple cider, and soy sauce and topped with fresh herbs.
Here’s the kicker: this recipe is a cinch to make! All it takes are 7 ingredients and 40 minutes.
6. Stovetop Tempeh Bacon
I know what you’re about to say. No plant-based version can ever beat the goodness of real bacon.
And I agree with you. But hear me out.
This recipe doesn’t promise to make tempeh bacon that tastes like actual bacon.
But what it does is give you a crispy and crunchy treat that’s bursting with salty, savory, sweet, and smoky flavors.
If you’re a fan of said flavor profile, this recipe is a must-try.
7. Lemon Pepper Baked Tempeh Cubes
These baked tempeh cubes get their flavor from a marinade of soy sauce, lemon, mustard, and maple syrup.
It’s crispy on the outside, meaty on the inside, and loaded with salty, savory, and sweet flavors in every bite.
This dish is easy to prepare and incredibly versatile. Add it to salads, quinoa bowls, and vegan wraps, or, just snack on it on its own.
8. Crumbled Tempeh
If your grain bowl or salad is looking a little too sad, use these browned tempeh crumbles to bring them to life.
Tempeh crumbles are fried until crispy and cooked in a sticky glaze of soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, and sesame oil.
Seasoned with ginger, garlic, and chili flakes, the crumbles get a mix of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors.
9. Tempeh Black Bean Burgers
Vegans deserve to enjoy a good burger just as much as meat-eaters do. That’s why recipes such as this were born.
These vegan burgers are made from a mix of tempeh and mashed black beans.
The mixture is seasoned with scallions and vegan cheese and is bound together by flax seed eggs.
You can bake the patties or fry them up. They’ll be delicious either way.
10. Tempeh Buddha Bowls
These Buddha bowls are as flavorful as they are colorful. One look at these will definitely cheer up a gloomy day.
Brown rice makes up the bowl’s base.
Marinated and baked tempeh serves as the “meat,” while a medley of vegetables gives it more color and nutrition.
Garnish the bowl with a dollop of tahini sauce for the perfect finish.
11. Marinated Tempeh Salad
This salad features sauteed tempeh, red peppers, and carrots marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup, and lime juice.
It’s then tossed with chopped kale and spinach, green onions, and more lemon juice, resulting in a light, refreshing, and colorful salad.
Pro-tip: refrigerate the salad for at least 4 hours for a beautiful marriage of flavors.
12. 30-Minute Tempeh Stir-Fry
There’s no need to marinate tempeh for hours in this recipe!
All you need is 30 minutes from start to finish to produce this outrageously tasty stir-fry.
The marinade consists of chili garlic sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, and maple syrup.
It forms a thick sauce that lends sweet, salty, spicy, and umami-rich flavors to the tempeh.
Complete with grains, vegetables, and tempeh, this stir-fry is a hearty one-pot meal.
13. Tempeh Bolognese
Yes, it’s possible to make a luscious bolognese sauce using tempeh! Simply swap out ground beef for tempeh crumbles and voila.
It’s cooked in a perfectly seasoned tomato sauce along with carrots and diced mushrooms.
This bolognese is so toothsome that even the pickiest eaters would enjoy it.
Toss it with al dente spaghetti and enjoy.
14. Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta With Tempeh
Farfalle noodles are tossed in a creamy sauce made of vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast, and vegan butter.
Garlic, white wine, and sun-dried tomatoes are also added to the sauce to give it more flavor.
Topped with crispy strips of fried tempeh, this dish tastes so good it doesn’t even taste vegan.
Trust me, this will soon become your newest favorite dish.
15. Vegan Tempeh Thai Peanut Noodles
This vegan stir-fry features organic vegan noodles mixed with carrots, snap peas, and a delectable peanut sauce.
Served with tempeh strips and garnished with scallions and peanuts, this dish will remind you of the sweet and savory pad thai.
16. Vegan Tempeh BLT Sandwiches
Baked tempeh bacon is used in place of actual bacon in this surprisingly addictive vegan BLT!
Believe me, this is one sandwich you’ll return to making time and again.
This sandwich gives you the tried-and-true flavors of a classic BLT.
It features thin slices of sweet, salty, smoky, and meaty tempeh strips, tomato, and lettuce.
Pro-tip: add avocado slices to the sandwich for an extra dose of richness and nutrition.
17. Marinated Tempeh Wraps
These tempeh wraps are just as scrumptious as any meat-filled burritos.
They’re stuffed with marinated tempeh, carrots, bell peppers, lettuce, and a creamy vegan yogurt sauce.
These tortilla wraps explode with jaw-dropping colors, flavors, and textures.
While the vegetables are also remarkable, what takes these wraps over the top is the tempeh.
A marinade of soy sauce, apple cider, agave, tahini, and garlic and onion powders will tantalize your tastebuds.
18. Savory Herb Vegan Tempeh Stew
Nothing warms up your body and soothes your heart and soul better than a thick stew.
So, if you’re feeling a little blue, this tempeh stew is here for you.
It’s loaded with chunks of tempeh, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms.
This stew isn’t just bursting with deliciousness, but it’s very filling, too.
As a bonus, this stew is not just vegan, but also nut-free and gluten-free. So you see, it’s definitely for everybody.
19. Vegan Pizza With Tempeh Sausage
Trust only tempeh to give vegan pizza a meaty flavor and texture.
Let me introduce you to the greatness that is tempeh sausage.
Tempeh crumbles transform into smoky and savory sausage bits.
They’re marinated and cooked in olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds, basil, oregano, red chili pepper, and soy sauce.
Top tempeh on homemade vegan pizza dough along with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
20. Tempeh Tacos
Time to enjoy Taco Tuesday the vegan way! These tacos are a sure hit, even with non-vegans.
Tempeh crumbles and shredded sweet potatoes are seasoned with and cooked in southwest spices.
This creates a phenomenal meat-like filling perfect for any Tex-Mex dish.
I highly suggest you double the recipe, as this filling is also perfect in nachos, burritos, and rice bowls.
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