Vegan Tempeh Marsala

tempeh marsala topped with fresh parsley in large white skillet

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5 from 6 reviews

This Vegan Tempeh Marsala is creamy, satisfying, and filled with mouthwatering flavor! A plant-based take on the Italian-American classic. Gluten-Free.


  • 1/3 cup cashews (45 g), soaked in water overnight, then drained
  • 1 cup (240 ml) imitation “chicken” broth
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free butter, divided*
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces (225 g) tempeh, cut thinly (see notes)
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces (225 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) dry Marsala wine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving (optional)


  1. Make the Cream Sauce: add the soaked cashews, vegan “chicken” broth, and water to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 45-60 seconds, until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Sear the Tempeh: warm 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Set aside on a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Make the Sauce: melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan and add the mushrooms; cook for 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to shrink and brown. Add the shallot, garlic, and thyme to the pan with a pinch of salt; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Then, add the marsala wine and blended broth to the pan, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and black pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should thicken slightly and darken in color.
  4. Simmer the Tempeh: return the tempeh to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Turn the heat off and season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
  5. Serve: sprinkle with parsley (if using) and divide onto serving plates. Serve warm, and as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Tempeh: I recommend slicing the tempeh in “half” lengthwise first, to make it thinner. From there you can slice as desired; I chose to slice mine into triangles.
  • Cashews: if you forget to soak your cashews overnight, you can either cover them in boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes before draining, or add them to a microwave-safe container, cover with water, and microwave for 3 minutes, then let sit for 30.
  • Substitutions: This recipe will also work with imitation “chicken” cutlets, or even super firm tofu in place of tempeh. If you have a nut allergy, replace the cashews and 1/2 cup of water with 3/4 cup (180 ml) full-fat coconut milk from a can. You can all use all oil in place of dairy-free butter.