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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
4. Teriyaki Tempeh Burgers
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.
6. Griddled Miso and Sweet Ginger Glazed Tempeh
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!
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.