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Move over, tofu: Here are 3 ways to use tempeh in your kitchen

Move over, tofu: Here are 3 ways to use tempeh in your kitchen


With a family divided into vegetarians and, well, non-vegetarians, I have had to get creative when “hosting” during the pandemic (i.e. inviting my parents – the vegetarians – over for a picnic). Finding a proper meat substitute was important to me in order to have a focus of my dishes, and this month, I hit the jackpot. Developing recipes using Confluence Kombucha tempeh, I was able to support a St. Louis establishment and make everyone happy at mealtime. For me, tempeh, rather than tofu, is where it’s at. I love the earthy, nutty flavor and the chewy texture.

Tempeh sausage patties

Maple Tempeh Breakfast Sausage

Yields | 6 “sausages” |

  • 6 oz tempeh
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes

| Preparation | Add tempeh to the bowl of a food processor; pulse until small crumbles form. Transfer crumbled tempeh to a medium mixing bowl; add shallot, garlic, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and red pepper flakes; add mixture to tempeh mixture. Using your hands, mix and pack both mixtures together. Divide sausage into 6 balls and then smash each between your palms to form patties. In a skillet over medium high heat, add remaining oil. Once oil is hot, carefully slide patties, two at a time (depending on the size of your skillet), into skillet; fry until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes per side. Repeat process with remaining patties. Serve hot alongside eggs – any way you like them.

Tempeh quinoa stirfry

Lemony Roasted Broccoli and Tempeh Quinoa Bowl

Serves | 4 |

  • 4 cups broccoli florets (approximately 1 head broccoli)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, divided
  • 6 oz tempeh, cut into small squares
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, add broccoli, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon garlic powder; toss to combine. Spread out broccoli and tempeh in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining oil; sprinkle with remaining garlic powder and salt. Transfer to oven and roast, approximately 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

In a large mixing bowl, add quinoa. Remove broccoli and tempeh from oven and add to bowl; toss to incorporate. Spoon mixture into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tempeh soba noodle skillet

Brussels Sprout, Tempeh and Soba Noodle Skillet

Serves | 4 |

Sauce (Yields approximately ½ cup)

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Brussels Sprout, Tempeh and Soba Noodle Skillet

  • 6 oz tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, ends removed and quartered
  • 1½ cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups diced carrot
  • 1 lb soba noodles, cooked
  • sauce (recipe follows)
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onion (lighter green parts)

| Preparation – Sauce | In a small bowl, add all ingredients; whisk together. Set aside.

| Preparation – Brussels Sprout, Tempeh and Soba Noodle Skillet| Add tempeh to the bowl of a food processor; pulse until small crumbles form. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil, ginger and garlic; cook until ginger becomes fragrant, approximately 1 minute. (Do not let garlic burn here.) Add crumbled tempeh; cook, 6 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrot; cook, 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add soba noodles and ¾ of the prepared sauce; toss to combine and cook, 2 more minutes. Add more sauce as desired. Garnish with green onion and serve.

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Julia Calleo is a freelance photographer for editorial magazines including Feast. She is also a food and prop stylist at a commercial production studio and blogger in St. Louis.

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