15 Tempeh Recipes That Prove This Ingredient Isn't Just For Vegetarians

Like tofu, tempeh is often resigned as a food that’s just for vegetarians. However, there are so many unique tempeh recipes that prove this soy-based protein is a whole lot more versatile than you may have been led to believe. Sure, it’s one of the best non-meat alternatives, but that doesn’t mean everyone — even self-proclaimed carnivores — can’t enjoy some tempeh.

Because of a hearty texture, tempeh is a lot more approachable to people who might be scared off by tofu’s more silky structure. That’s why it’s a staple food in vegetarian recipes that meat-eaters enjoy. Tempeh can be used to add some extra protein to a meal, but it’s also a probiotic that helps with digestion. Made out of fermented soy beans, this ingredient is tasty, while also being good for your gut — and that’s something everyone can use an extra serving of.

Whether you decide to swap out ground beef for tempeh to make a veggie-friendly taco night, or you use it in a Jamaican-inspired meal, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser. These 15 recipes show that, no matter how you slice it, tempeh can be cooked, sautéed, and even processed to be one deliciously versatile ingredient.

1. Spicy Tempeh Taco Salad

Forget the ground beef and even the black beans. A Beautiful Mess shows that taco night may be even better with tempeh.

2. Tempeh And Cucumber Skewers With Balsamic Reduction

Need an appetizer in minimum time? Averie Cooks has got you covered with this easy-to-assemble snack.

3. Simple Vegetarian Meatballs

If you're tired of bean-based faux meatballs, then try out Minimalist Baker's alternative for the perfect crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside texture.

4. Tempeh Deli Salad

The Kitchn's creamy, nutty tempeh salad tastes great either on a bed of greens or scooped into a pita. Lunchtime just got easier.

5. Tempeh Wild Mushroom Sauté

Chives, parsley, and thyme ensure that this mushroom-tempeh medley by Marla Meridith is super aromatic and bursting with flavor.

6. Jamaican Jerk Tempeh

Sweet, savory, and spicy, Cara's Cravings makes tempeh a bold ingredient with the right seasonings. This is the choice for those who aren't afraid of flavor.

7. Smoky Spiced Tempeh and Quinoa Salad

A food processor gives tempeh a completely different texture with the same smoky taste. The Kitchn's salad is made especially aromatic with the help of cinnamon and cloves.

8. Lentil And Tempeh Lettuce Wraps

Looking for a healthy, easy, protein-packed appetizer? A Beautiful Mess has got the tempeh dish for you.

9. Orange Ginger Brown Rice Tempeh Salad

A burst of citrus thanks to an orange balsamic reduction gives Averie Cooks' warm salad a fruity feel, while ginger takes things to the next level.

10. Baked Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Tofu isn't the way to go when you want the perfectly textured vegetarian sloppy joe. A Beautiful Mess combines tempeh with peppers, tomato paste, and plenty of spices to get it just right.

11. Fig Butter And Cumin Tempeh Stir Fry

A little sweet, a little salty, and all-around easy to make, Averie Cooks' tempeh stir-fry is a go-to weeknight dinner.

12. Brown Rice Bowl With Maple-Glazed Tempeh

A tahini-miso dressing makes The Kitchn's protein-packed dinner bowl one perfectly hearty and satisfying dish.

13. Mango Peanut Tempeh Tacos

Taco night gets a tropical twist in this recipe by Love and Lemons. A coconut peanut sauce adds the right amount of creaminess to the nutty filling.

14. Jerk Tempeh With Coriander Sauce

You can't go wrong with cilantro sauce. My Darling Lemon Thyme pairs the spicy mixture with tempeh that's flavored with red chili and ginger.

15. Sweet Potato and Tempeh Stew

Yogurt adds a richness to this perfect winter stew by The Kitchn, while tempeh gives it plenty of substance.

For more ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Bustle on YouTube

Images: A Beautiful Mess (3); Averie Cooks (3); Minimalist Baker; The Kitchn (4); Marla Meridith; Cara's Cravings; Love and Lemons; My Darling Lemon Thyme