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How to Cook Tempeh

Tempeh is healthier than tofu and makes a great meat substitute for vegans. Its versatile flavor possibilities are endless, depending on the marinade or spices used in preparing it. This baked tempeh recipe is as easy as it is delicious!
Course Main course/starter/side dish
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword baked tempeh, How to Cook Tempeh, meat analogue
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings or 2 cups tempeh
Calories 283kcal
Cost $5


  • saucepan
  • medium bowl
  • chef's knife
  • whisk
  • baking tray




  • 1/3 cup olive oil/sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce/tamari
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice/lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha/hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • To remove bitterness from the tempeh and to open its pores to absorb the flavor of the marinade fill a saucepan with an inch or two of boiling water and place the tempeh in the saucepan. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes over medium low heat. Rinse and dry the tempeh with paper towels.
  • Cut tempeh into triangles. To do it, first cut it in half lengthwise, then make a diagonal cut lengthwise and slice it into thin triangles. Set aside.
  • Mix olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, sriracha, garlic powder, smoked paprika and black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Evenly coat sliced tempeh with the marinade, reserving about 1/3 cup. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven 390 F (200 C) and arrange the tempeh on a baking tray lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Alternatively, fry it in a pan with a lug of olive oil.
  • Coat with reserved marinade and serve immediately. Top salads, bowls, or sandwiches, add it to stir-fries, spring rolls, noodles or to any Asian dishes for a delicious vegan meat substitute. Enjoy!



Cook’s Tips

  • Uncooked tempeh can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days and can be frozen up to 12 months for longer storage. Once thawed in the refrigerator, tempeh is best consumed within 2 days.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat the baked tempeh, microwave or bake it in the oven until warm.
  • This recipe works great with batch cooking. The marinade can be kept in the fridge in a closed jar for up to 10 days.
  • Consider marinating tempeh a day ahead. You can marinate it for up to 24 hours.
  • If the marinade is too thick, add a few teaspoons of water, one at a time.
  • Top salads, bowls, or sandwiches with baked tempeh, add it to stir-fries, spring rolls, noodles or to any Asian dishes for a delicious vegan meat substitute.
  • Check these 20 best tempeh recipes for other creative ideas to cook tempeh!

Recipe Variations

  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for olive oil/sesame oil. To make the marinade oil-free, add 2-3 tablespoons of water instead.
  • Use agave syrup, date syrup, molasses or other sweetener of your choice instead of the maple syrup.


Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 2mg