Easy Baked Tempeh (3 Ingredients + SO Crispy!)

GFGluten Free

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This crispy baked tempeh comes together in only 30 minutes!
A perfect vegan & gluten-free plant protein to serve on salads, grain bowls, and more.

You guys know how much I love tofu, but (believe it or not) I actually like tempeh even more. Today I’m going to show you how to take this naturally nutty and subtly-flavored plant protein and turn it into the crispiest, yummiest, golden bites you ever did see.

And the best part? You’ll only need 3 ingredients and 30 minutes to do it.

cooked crispy tempeh on baking sheet

But first — what is tempeh, exactly?

block of uncut tempeh on white serving board

Tempeh, like tofu, is a soy-based product originally hailing from Indonesia. That’s pretty much the only thing they have in common though, because tempeh is made from whole soybeans that are naturally fermented to form “blocks.” Tempeh has more texture, bite, and flavor than tofu. That being said, it’s still pretty mild – which makes it easy to infuse with whatever flavors your heart desires.

Nowadays you can find tempeh in most grocery stores, usually next to the tofu. You can also try to make your own, but I like to leave it to the experts!

Now that we’re all on the same page with this yummy plant-protein, let’s get on to the recipe! 

1. Cut the tempeh into 1/2″ cubes, then season

cubed tempeh with tamari and nutritional yeast on white serving trayseasoned tempeh in white speckled bowl with spoon

Remove the tempeh from its package, then use a sharp knife to cut it into 1/2″ cubes.

Add the tempeh to a medium bowl, then toss it with low-sodium tamari and nutritional yeast, respectively. This coating method is similar to my crispy tofu recipe and gives the tempeh AMAZING flavor + golden, crispy edges. If you’d like to season the tempeh with any other dry spices, toss them in here as well.

2. Bake in the oven until crispy, then serve and enjoy!

crispy tempeh pieces on white serving tray on grey background

Spread the tempeh across a lined baking tray, then pop it in the top rack of a preheated 400F oven for 25-27 minutes. If you have an air fryer, you can also cook it in there as well! Add the tempeh to the air fryer basket and bake at 380F for 12-15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.

And that’s pretty much it, friends! Remove the tempeh from the oven (or air fryer), and serve as desired. Speaking of which…

Ways to enjoy Crispy Baked Tempeh:

  • Tossed with rice, roasted veggies, and Tahini Sauce
  • Served on top of asian-flavored stir frys or fried rice
  • As a crispy crouton alternative in salads (like this one or this one)
  • Anywhere where you would normally use baked tofu!

crispy tempeh, kale salad, and rice in bowl

More recipes using tempeh:

Finally, if you make this (or any!) recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

This crispy baked tempeh comes together in only 30 minutes! A perfect vegan & gluten-free plant protein to serve on salads, grain bowls, and more. #tempeh #vegan #plantbased #mealprep #oilfree | frommybowl.com

 

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Easy Baked Tempeh

crispy tempeh on white serving tray

This crispy baked tempeh comes together in only 30 minutes! A perfect vegan & gluten-free plant protein to serve on salads, grain bowls, and more.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat. Cut the tempeh into ½” cubes, then place the cubes into a small bowl.
  2. Drizzle the tamari over the tempeh, then stir well. Once the tempeh has absorbed most of the liquid, sprinkle the nutritional yeast over top and mix again. Season with any additional seasonings, if desired. Spread the tempeh out across the baking sheet, then bake on the top rack of the oven for 25-27 minutes, until golden and crispy.
    1. Air Fryer Option: add the tempeh to the basket of your air fryer and bake at 380F for 12-15 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes
  3. Remove from the oven and serve warm; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Tempeh: I recommend using a soy-based tempeh for this recipe. You can use another bean-based variety, but these are often softer than traditional tempeh and end up being a little spongy.
  • Tamari can be replaced with liquid aminos or soy sauce. If you do not have low-sodium tamari, use ½ tablespoon of regular tamari and ½ tablespoon of filtered water.

Keywords: tempeh recipes, vegan tempeh recipes, crispy tempeh, oil free tempeh, tempeh croutons

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. I have never tried tempeh, but every time I watch your videos with tempeh it looks so yummy! I’m going to meal prep this tomorrow morning for the week. Hopefully it will do well reheated!

  2. Just want to hype this recipe since there are few reviews but I’ve been making it for years now. It’s so easy, so healthy, and so good—also very versatile. I use them like croutons on just about anything but a kale salad or stir fry is a go-to. I also use them like a substitute for falafel and put themin pitas or wraps with veggies. Thanks, Caitlin!

  3. We love this recipe in our house! I usually make it at least once a week to use for lunch and stick it in a wrap.

  4. This turned out great! I used foil with a little grapeseed oil since I didn’t have any paper.

    1. Tempeh is fermented and actually covered in lots of black or gray mold that is safe to eat! The bad sort of mold on tempeh would be the white fuzzy kind, usually on opened tempeh.

    1. Unfortunately flavor wise there isn’t a direct substitution for nutritional yeast. For something like this where we’re trying to crisp it up you could potentially use just a little bit of cornstarch.

  5. Hi Caitlin! Do you find tempeh to be bitter after cooking it? I tried to make this recipe, but I found tempeh to be a bit bitter. Is that odd, or is that how it is supposed to taste? Do people usually boil their tempeh before cooking it, and if so, does it help?

    1. So some people find tempeh bitter, which is highly debatable! But for those who find the taste of tempeh to be bitter we recommend steaming it a bit first. We’ve heard that helps!

      1. From what we’ve heard by those who go the steaming route they say about 10 minutes.

  6. Love this recipe. So simple and easy. Have made several times in the last two weeks – adding to the rotation! Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. I’ve had tempeh a handful of times at a vegan restaurant near me but this was my first time cooking it at home. I steamed itfor 10 minutes then cubed and baked it. Turned out so well! I think I like this more than tofu too!

  8. Very good and very easy. I did steam it before I put the tamari on it. It absorbed immediately.. I needed it as a fill in some left over vegan Caldo Verde soup. Did the trick, husband and son loved it!

  9. Looking forward to whipping this up later! Where do you stand on steaming tempeh first? I find it to be so bitter a lot of the time and I do find that steaming helps. But such a tedious step (more dishes)! Do you find this to be unnecessary?

    1. It’s really a preference thing! We typically don’t steam it, but it could definitely be a good idea if you find it to be bitter. Often times we just jump straight into cooking with it!