8 Vegan Tempeh Recipes You Should Try

If you’ve been curious about giving tempeh a try but aren’t sure where to start, start here! Here are 8 easy and delicious Vegan Tempeh Recipes to get you started. From Tempeh Bolognese to Tempeh Bacon, you won’t believe how versatile this plant-based protein is!

photo collage of vegan tempeh recipes

Have you ever tried tempeh before? If yes, then hopefully you’re already on team tempeh with me and know how good this fermented soy bean cake can be.

If no, you’re maybe thinking that tempeh sounds kind of freaky. Well then let me assure you that yes, yes it is kind of freaky… freaky delicious, that is!

So, what is tempeh?

Tempeh is fermented soy food originally from Indonesia.

It is fermented with the mold Rhizopus oligosporus in a process similar to cheese making. The fermentation process makes digestion easier and nutrients like zinc, calcium, and iron are more bio available than in non-fermented soy products like tofu.

Tempeh is a great source of plant-based protein. Also, because the soy beans in tempeh are still in their whole form, all of the dietary fiber is still intact. Think of tofu as the white bread of the soy world and tempeh as it’s healthier whole grain cousin.

If you want to do a deep dive into tempeh including how to make your own tempeh at home, check out Everything You Need to Know About Tempeh from Connoisseurus Veg. I’m pretty sure it’s the most comprehensive post about tempeh on the web!

tempeh, onion, garlic, and spices on a grey background

What does tempeh look like?

Tempeh is usually purchased in a cake-like form and can be sliced or crumbled, and is often steamed, seared, or stir-fried. Look for tempeh that is covered with a thin whitish bloom.

Sometimes it has a few black or grayish spots, which is totally normal, but it should have no evidence of pink, yellow, or blue colouration – a sign that it has become overly fermented.

Where can you buy tempeh?

Look for fresh tempeh in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. It’s usually together with the tofu and meat-replacement products. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry tempeh, try a natural foods store instead.

You may also find tempeh in the freezer section. I like to bulk-buy tempeh when it’s on sale and toss it right into the freezer, where it’ll keep for about six months.

How do you prepare tempeh?

Tempeh can be steamed, fried, marinated, grilled, stir-fried… you name it. The only thing you *can’t* do with tempeh is eat it raw

Since tempeh is a fermented food, it’s been sitting around in warm temperatures growing bacterial culture for a few days, so there’s a chance it could’ve grown some harmful bacteria spores in addition to the Rhizopus oligosporus.

Cooking the tempeh makes it perfectly safe to eat, but don’t be tempted to taste-test an uncooked tempeh mix.

Curious? Hungry? Both? You’re in luck! I’ve rounded up 8 Vegan Tempeh Recipes to get you started!

1. Tempeh Bolognese

Let’s get started this list of vegan tempeh recipes with a classic comfort food: bolognese sauce. No, tempeh isn’t an ingredient in traditional bolognese, but this vegan Tempeh Bolognese sure is delicious!

tempeh bolognese over pasta in a blue bowl with basil and nutritional yeast in the background

Tempeh Bolognese
This easy vegetarian bolognese sauce is made with crumbled tempeh, nutritional yeast, and flavourful spices. Done in under 30 minutes but with all-day flavour and packed with plant-based protein, this vegetarian pasta sauce is the perfect quick and healthy weeknight dinner. 
Check out this recipe
A bowl of tempeh bolognese over pasta with a grey tea towel in the background

2. Vegan Tempeh Buddha Bowls

Buddha bowls are such a great way to start adding tempeh into your diet. They’re endlessly customizable, and you can mix and match the ingredients you like best. This is a Vegan Tempeh Buddha Bowl from Live In Kitchen is a tempeh recipe I can really get behind.

vegah tempeh buddha bowls on a wood surface

Vegan Tempeh Buddha Bowls
These Vegan Tempeh Buddha Bowls are full of wholesome ingredients like fluffy quinoa, marinated tempeh, carrots, radishes, and green onions!
Check out this recipe
vegah tempeh buddha bowls on a wood surface

3. Tempeh Tacos

This is hands down one of my favourite vegan tempeh recipes. It’s so quick and easy to pull together, spicy, delicious, and who could ever be mad about eating tacos? Give these Tempeh Tacos a try when your next taco night rolls around!

tempeh tacos with red cabbage and jalapenos on top

Tempeh Tacos
Tempeh Tacos!!! These vegetarian tacos are made with an easy vegan taco filling made from tempeh. They're super fast to make, healthy, and delicious, and the vegan taco meat is full of plant-based protein. 
Check out this recipe
a platter of tempeh tacos on a grey background

4. Teriyaki Tempeh Burgers

I love homemade veggie burgers, and the bold flavours of this Teriyaki Tempeh Burger from Connoisseurus Veg is no exception! They’re easy to make, delicious to eat, and are freezer friendly to boot!

tempeh burger on a table with red curtains in the background

Teriyaki Tempeh Burgers
These Asian-inspired tempeh burgers are flavor bombs waiting to explode in your mouth! Made with sweet and savory teriyaki sauce and topped with zippy slaw, they’re perfect for both weeknight dinners and summer cookouts.
Check out this recipe
tempeh burger on a table with red curtains in the background

5. Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Sesame Tempeh

If you’re looking for tempeh recipes that pack some heat, you can stop right here! The Spicy Sesame Tempeh in these Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps is going to spice up your life in just the right way.

vegetarian lettuce wraps on a white plate topped with green onions and red peppers

Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Sesame Tempeh! These crunchy vegan wraps are a healthy twist on a classic recipe, with tempeh for protein, a spicy sesame sauce for bold Asian flavours, and lots of crunch from fresh vegetables. 
Check out this recipe
vegetarian lettuce wraps with tempeh on a metal tray with a white tea towel in the background

6. Griddled Miso and Sweet Ginger Glazed Tempeh

I always love the way that Kellie plays with flavour, and this griddled tempeh recipe is no exception. Fire up your grills and try Griddled Miso and Sweet Ginger Glazed Tempeh from Food to Glow!

grilled tempeh on a blue plate with a side of peas

Griddled Miso and Sweet Ginger Glazed Tempeh
This easy recipe makes this healthy, vegan protein much more accessible with a delicious miso and ginger glaze. Griddle or pan-fry and enjoy with the simple, spicy lime-dressed salad.
Check out this recipe
grilled tempeh on a blue plate with a side of peas

7. Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh Bacon is hands down my favourite plant-based bacon. If only I knew how easy it was to make at home, I’d have been positively rolling in tempeh bacon by now. Grab the recipe and make this Tempeh Bacon BLT for lunch today!

tempeh bacon on a wooden cutting board with sandwich fixings to the side

Tempeh Bacon BLT
Vegan tempeh bacon BLT sandwich made with homemade tempeh bacon, avocado, crisp lettuce, and juicy tomatoes.
Check out this recipe
Tempeh Bacon!!! Smoky, delicious vegan tempeh bacon makes the ultimate tempeh bacon BLT sandwiches // www.heynutritionlady.com

8. Tempeh Teriyaki

If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, Tempeh Teriyaki is a safe bet! Made with my Vegan Teriyaki Sauce, this one can be on the table in about 15 minutes if you play your cards right. 

close up photo of a teriyaki tempeh bowl with brown rice and mixed vegetables and a pair of black chopsticks to the side

Tempeh Teriyaki
Teriyaki Tempeh is an easy and delicious vegan meal. Make Teriyaki Tempeh bowls with steamed veggies and brown rice, stuff into wraps, or just snack on it as is.
Check out this recipe
close up photo of a teriyaki tempeh bowl with brown rice and mixed vegetables and a pair of black chopsticks to the side

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