Sunday, August 1, 2021

How to Prepare Tempeh to Make It Vegan Friendly, Flavorful, and Healthful

 Tempeh Recipes and Vegan Food Prep Ideas

Tempeh is a gluten free fermented soy food that’s protein and prebiotic rich. It's less processed than most soymilks and soy burgers, and is the only soy product that is a good source of Vitamin B-12. 

Tempeh contains plant-based calcium, iron, manganese, and other important vitamins and minerals too.

This post has been updated 12/28/2022

Research shows tempeh has antioxidants that may help decrease oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and prevent chronic disease. 

Tempeh is traditionally made from cultured soybeans or soybeans and rice. Because tempeh is fermented, your body digests it easier and is able to absorb more of its nutrients than other soy products. 

Tempeh is vegan (a product made exclusively from plant-based ingredients). Purchase it in health food stores, most specialty markets, and food stores around the world. 

Before you purchase tempeh in the store, read the label carefully. This will assure the product you get has the ingredients you want.

If you're adventurous, you can make homemade tempeh. Tempeh may contain plant based ingredients including barley, wheat, or a mixture of bean varieties and wheat. 

Tempeh tastes nutty, earthy, savory, and more substantial when compared to tofu’s soft and silky texture. 

Like tofu, tempeh adapts well in endless dishes, absorbing accompanying flavors of seasonings, sauces, and veggies cooked with it.
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For more about tempeh's health benefits see this from WebMD.

Tempeh Salad

Tempeh Salad Recipe and Vegan Food Prep Ideas

Description: One of the easiest and most delicious ways to prepare tempeh is as a salad. Tempeh salad tastes great in a sandwich or served on a bed of mixed greens, garnished with basil, tomatoes, red pepper, and squash.


8 oz. pack organic tempeh (labeled traditional or original style)
1 Tbsp. mixed salt free spice blend and salt and pepper to taste
1 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup carrot and 1 cup yellow onion chopped fine
1 large bunch Italian Leaf Parsley chopped fine (approx. 1-1/4 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh basil chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning. If this is not available, substitute reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon organic tahini
1 tsp. garlic powder or 3 fresh cloves garlic
1-1 inch knob fresh ginger peeled and chopped
3-4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice or combo apple cider vinegar and lemon juice

Note: I use organic ingredients whenever available. Organic tempeh is made from soybeans that have not been genetically modified.

Note: If you like your food spicy or highly seasoned, you may choose to use one or more of these optional spices and herbs: turmeric, red pepper flakes, chili powder, curry powder, sriracha, or zaatar.


1. Cut tempeh into thirds or quarters, and place in a sauce pan. Although tempeh is fully cooked when you buy it in a shop, open the package, and heat in a saucepan filled with enough water to cover tempeh, cover pot and bring water to a boil. Simmer tempeh for 10 minutes, as this process makes
 tempeh taste mellower.

Tempeh cut into thirds

2. Drain and allow tempeh to cool on a plate, chop veggies, spices, fresh herbs, and other ingredients including tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, Bragg, etc. in a food processor.

3. Add tempeh and combine all ingredients together.

4. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Serve tempeh salad spread on whole grain bread or roll. Tempeh is a powerful vegan source of protein and fiber. It’s satisfyingly in a pita pocket or served as a refreshing wrap with sprouts and tomatoes. Refrigerate leftovers and serve within 4-5 days.

Tempeh Salad on Whole Grain Roll

Here are Additional Ways to Prepare Tempeh

1. Stuff a red pepper or acorn squash with tempeh salad and serve on a bed of mixed greens.

2. Crumble tempeh into pieces and add it to chili beans, sloppy joe mix, bar-b-que flavored beans, or use it to replace meat in recipes including lasagna, moussaka, curry, or veggie loaf. 

You may be surprised to find tempeh has just as much protein and more fiber than animal products. It has 18g of protein  and 6 g of fiber for every 3 oz. serving. 

Tempeh is relatively inexpensive, as a package of original soy tempeh that feeds 2 or 3 people costs approximately $2.50-$4.00. 

Marinating Tempeh in Balsamic Marinade

3. Slice tempeh and refrigerate for at least a few hours or even overnight. A simple to prepare homemade marinade like one of these can add depth to flavor and taste appeal.

4. Cube tempeh and finish by baking on parchment paper, steaming, or sautéing with a medley of colorful veggies until all are golden brown and as crisp or tender as you enjoy.

5. Cut 2 tempeh squares diagonally and get two sets of triangles. Then see this fabulous recipe from Sherri Hall, the Recipe Developer and Photographer at Watch Learn Eat. It's Easy Marinated Tempeh + How to Cook Tempeh 3 Ways 

7. Another fun way to prepare tempeh is to make Tempeh Bacon. The photograph and simple to prepare recipe comes from Losune at Simple Vegan Blog.

Recipe and Photo from Simple vegan Blog

6. Place a cooked block of tempeh on a bed of brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, whole grain pasta, or millet and slice or chunk tempeh as you serve it.

7. Season tempeh with ethnic seasonings and add to your favorite Asian, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, African or Mediterranean inspired dishes.

No matter how you prepare and serve it, tempt your taste buds and satisfy hunger with tempeh. 

Experiment by using this low cost, delicious plant-based protein that's loaded with high nutrition and is fun vegan fare.

Before you go please remember to comment below.

Have you eaten tempeh before and did you enjoy it?

It took me a few tries when I first started to eat tempeh to develop a taste for it. Please give it a chance. Tempeh is very high in nutrients and can add zest to many of your regular recipes. In fact, tempeh has become one of my favorite plant-based ingredients. 👍

What creative ideas do you have for using tempeh in recipes? 

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  1. Looks good. Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 31. Pinned!

    1. Thanks Dee for your comment and hosting the Unlimited Link Party 31. Have a beautiful day.

  2. Nancy,
    As much as I enjoy tofu and other soy products, I could never really develop a taste for tempeh. Your recipes do look delicious especially the stuffed pepper. I might have to give tempeh another try. Thanks

    1. Understand and sure hope you do try tempeh again. It's an acquired taste. The secret to my recipe is to not forget to par boil and use the flavor enhancer-parsley. Wishing you a beautiful day.

  3. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at A Themed Linkup 71 for Healthy Recipes. Pinned again!