These Vegan Tempeh Tacos are marinated in a smoky, sweet tomato sauce, pan-fried, and stuffed into tacos with your favorite fillings. Drizzle with Chipotle Crema before serving for a delicious, go-to vegan dinner!
| vegan + gluten free + dairy free |
MORE TACOS, PLEASE!
Especially plant-based, vegan tacos!
You guys know I’ve been talking a LOT about eating a more plant-based diet, and the less I eat meat, the more I’m obsessed with plant-based. In the last couple weeks, I’ve only made meat for dinner three times, I think. Otherwise, we’ve been eating a TON of plants, tempeh, tofu, edamame, and soaked beans and grains. And it feels so incredibly good.
Tastes pretty amazing, too.
Obvy, we have an unhealthy obsession with Mexican food. So if you’re excited about this recipe, you’re definitely going to love
- Chipotle Kale Taco Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing (Vegan + GF)
- Sweet Potato Citrus Burrito Bowls (Vegan, GF, Whole30 Opt.)
- Zucchini & Poblano Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Crema
- Adobo Chicken Tacos with Yogurt Slaw
- Chicken & Sweet Potato Mole Enchiladas (Whole30 option)
And there are certainly many more.
What is tempeh?
Otherwise known as my latest obsession, tempeh is basically fermented soybeans pressed into a brick. Since it’s fermented, it’s a great source of probiotics! It has a nutty, savory flavor, and the texture is firm – much firmer than tofu. My favorite is Lightlife because it literally ONLY contains soybeans. You can find other tempeh products that contain a mixture of soy, millet, barley, and other grains. Trader Joe’s sells one, actually. But I prefer just the straight soybean itself.
Tempeh can be a little bitter at first. So you have two options: 1) marinate it really well, or 2) steam it to remove some of the bitterness. I honestly can’t tell the difference between steamed and non-steamed, but then again, I seriously just love tempeh. The steaming method is one I learned from Laura Wright, and she definitely knows best!
Tempeh and marinades were made for each other. My favorite marinades are the one you’ll find in these Vegan Tempeh Tacos, and plain ol’ BBQ sauce. BBQ tempeh is life.
We love adding tempeh to Buddha bowls or just serving alongside brown rice or quinoa and some veggies. BBQ tempeh is great piled in a bowl with homemade coleslaw mix and sweet potatoes!
How to make Vegan Tempeh Tacos
This weeknight dinner is incredibly easy to whip up!
First, marinate the tempeh for a half hour or so. The marinade is a simple blend of tomato sauce, tamari, maple syrup, and some spices like smoked paprika. I love the sweet & smoky combination from the maple and paprika here! While that’s in the refrigerator, blend up the cashew chipotle crema!
You’ll want to have soaked your cashews beforehand, so make sure to allow yourself enough time for that. You can either boil water, pour it over raw cashews, and soak for 1 hour, or you can soak cashews in cold water overnight.
The rest of the crema ingredients are a cinch. Chipotle peppers (use more if you like spice), water, spices, lime juice, and salt. Always salt.
Pan-fry the tempeh until crisp, stuff it in some tacos, and drizzle with crema! So yum.
Toppings are endless and can include…
- Sliced avocado
- Red or green cabbage
- Minced cilantro
- Greek yogurt (if you aren’t vegan) or other yogurt substitute
- Scallions or diced red onion
- Sliced jalapeno for some serious heat
- A little extra lime juice
- OR if you’re feeling the sweet & spicy vibe, toss on some diced pineapple or mango!
Tempeh is one of those foods that you just don’t quite know what it’s going to be like until you try it. This is me telling you that you NEED to try it! And these Vegan Tempeh Tacos are the perfect starter recipe to do just that!
Pin these Vegan Tempeh Tacos!
Weeknight gluten free & vegan tacos made with smoky marinated tempeh and drizzled with a spicy cashew chipotle crema.
- 8 oz. organic tempeh
- 1/4 c. tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 c. cashews, soaked overnight in cold water (or soaked in boiled water 1 hour)
- 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp. adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. water, as needed to thin
- 8 gluten free corn tortillas
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/2 c. cilantro, minced
- Shredded red or green cabbage
- Yogurt or sour cream (or vegan alternative)
To cut the tempeh, first slice the block in half (or thirds) to make a square. Then, slice in half width-wise to make the tempeh thinner. Cut the squares of tempeh diagonally into triangles. You should have about 16-24 triangles depending on the block of tempeh you use.
In a bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, maple syrup, tamari, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Add the tempeh; marinate 30 minutes.
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat. When hot, add the tempeh; cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden and a bit crispy. Remove from heat and keep warm.
To make the chipotle crema, add the soaked, soft cashews to a high-powered blender along with the chipotle chile pepper, adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and 1/4 c. water. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. If it seems too thick, add another 2-4 Tbsp. water until it reaches your desired consistency.
Serve the tempeh in warm corn tortillas with toppings of choice; drizzle with chipotle crema and serve hot!
Nutrition information per serving (2 tacos with tortillas, without additional toppings):
Calories: 275 Protein: 16g Carbs: 40g Fat: 8g Fiber: 9g