Terrific Tempeh

I am absolutely obsessed with tempeh right now!  If you’ve never tried tempeh, you are missing out my friend!  You need to try it ASAP!  I thought I’d take a minute to tell you all about this wonderful food!

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia(it’s been a staple food there for over 2,000 years!!!). It is made by fermenting soybeans and forming them into a cake.  Tempeh is a whole soybean product.  Because of the fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean, it has a higher content of protein, fiber, and vitamins. It also has a very firm texture.

Tempeh Nutrition

Tempeh is a great source of protein, fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. 

What does it taste like?

Tempeh has a wonderfully nutty taste!  It’s also got a nice “meaty” chewiness to it.  Like tofu, it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with.  It soaks up marinades really really well!

What do I do with tempeh?

The opportunities are almost endless!  You can simply slice it and put it on a sandwich.  You can cube it up and throw it into your favorite stir fry.  You can marinate it any which way and sear it in a pan or bake it in the oven.  You can crumble it up into just about anything you can think of- sloppy joes, spaghetti sauce, BBQ sauce, etc… 

One thing I always do with it before I cook it is STEAM it!  Tempeh can have a bit of a strong(some people say a little bitter) taste.  Steaming it before you use it completely gets rid of that strong flavor leaving it with a nice, nutty, mellow flavor!  I also think it absorbs the marinade better when you steam it first.  Just throw it in a steamer basket in a pot on the stove and steam it for 10 minutes.

My favorite brands of tempeh

There are two brands of tempeh that I usually get- one is Lightlife, which you can get in soy, three grain, and wild rice.  The other is Turtle Island Foods, which comes in soy, 5 grain, and several different flavors. 


Whatever brand you choose, make sure it’s organic.  When it’s organic the soybeans used are not genetically modified!


One of my favorite things to do with tempeh is to make tempeh bacon!  It hits all the same notes as bacon, but no little piggies have to die!  It’s salty, smokey, and sweet.  What more could you ask for!  There are many different recipes out there, but here’s what works best for me…

Tempeh Bacon  (click here to print this recipe!)

1 package of tempeh
1/4 cup of tamari soy sauce
2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
a little canola oil (to brush on the tempeh while you bake it)


Slice tempeh as thin as you can without it falling apart.


Throw it in the steamer basket and steam it for 10 minutes.


While the tempeh is steaming whisk together your marinade- the tamari, maple syrup, water, and liquid smoke.


When tempeh is done steaming, place into a bowl and pour the marinade on top.


Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 mins, I usually do an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Place tempeh strips on parchment paper. 


Brush strips with a little canola oil and bake them for 15 minutes (if you like yours a little saltier sprinkle with a little salt before baking). 


Flip them and bake for another 5 or so minutes until they are crispy.and dark brown.

The finished product:



My favorite way to eat my tempeh bacon:  Tempeh BLT!!!  Whole wheat bread, a little mustard, avocado, spinach, and tomato!



Wow!  This was a long post!  Hope you stuck with me and that you decide to give tempeh a try- I know you’ll love it!

Happy snacking!




  1. Holy cow! This looks great! I have been afraid to try tempeh, but I may have to make a BLT with tempeh bacon! And your slow-cooker bbq recipe looks great too. Ah, so glad I found your blog.

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