This baked tempeh recipe is simple and delicious! It’s vegan, oil-free, and filled with flavor. Give this a try for a healthy, protein-packed dish!

baked tempeh
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I’ve been a vegetarian for over 17 years and I’m always looking for ways to add more plant-based protein to my meals. Tempeh is one of my favorites because it’s high in protein, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own, but it’s really easy to season it. I like a tempeh recipe you can add it to a salad, serve it in a grain bowl, tuck it into a taco, or enjoy it in a breakfast sandwich.

This easy tempeh marinade has lots of flavor. It’s similar to my tempeh bacon, but it’s made in the oven. Plus, this baked tempeh is made without olive oil, and you only need a few simple seasonings to transform your tempeh into a crave-worthy protein! This is also a great recipe for meal prep because it can be reheated or enjoyed cold. I often add the cold tempeh on top of a salad for an easy protein source. Even if you’re not following a plant-based diet, I think you’ll love this recipe!

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. It has a dense, firm texture and a nutty, slightly earthy flavor. It’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which is why I love it! Plus, the fermentation process introduces probiotics, which are great for gut health. I like that it doesn’t require a lot of fancy prep work — and unlike tofu, you don’t have to press tempeh first. It’s versatile, tasty, and adds a nutritious boost to any dish!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Tempeh– You can find tempeh in the natural food section of most grocery stores. It’s often sold near the tofu in the refrigerated section. You can even find it at Trader Joe’s! I like the Lightlife brand. Some types of tempeh are gluten-free, and some are not, so check the package if you have gluten sensitivity.
  • Soy sauce– If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can use low-sodium soy sauce. You can also substitute the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari, coconut aminos, or liquid aminos to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Maple syrup– A little sweetener helps balance out the bitterness of tempeh. You can substitute with honey, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup.
  • Smoked paprika– Regular paprika or a combination of paprika and a bit of liquid smoke can provide a similar smoky flavor.
  • Garlic powder– Fresh minced garlic can be used instead. Typically, you’d use about one fresh garlic clove for every 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Onion powder– You can skip this if you don’t have any, but I like the subtle savory flavor it adds to the tempeh.

Where to Buy Tempeh

You can usually find tempeh in the natural food section of the grocery store, near the tofu. My personal favorite brand is Lightlife Three Grain Tempeh because I think it has the best texture. You can also find it at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

How to Prepare Tempeh

Plain tempeh can have a slightly bitter flavor. If you’re sensitive to that, steam it for a few minutes before marinating. It will help tame the bitterness and allow the tempeh to absorb seasonings better. I don’t always do this because I’m impatient, but if you’re sensitive to the flavor of tempeh, try steaming it!

How to Use Tempeh

If you’re looking for ideas for how to enjoy tempeh, I’ve got you covered! Try it in a sandwich topped with avocado and tomato slices. Or pair this tempeh with an everything bagel and vegan cream cheese. It’s also delicious on your favorite vegan chopped salad. If you’re looking for easy vegan protein, this is one of my favorite sources.

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Baked Tempeh

Baked Tempeh

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  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Time to Marinate: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This baked tempeh recipe is simple and delicious! It’s vegan, oil-free, and filled with flavor. Give this a try when you need some healthy plant-based protein to add to your plate!


  • 1 (8 ounce) package tempeh, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


  1. Place the tempeh in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water.
  2. Microwave for 3 minutes to steam the tempeh.
  3. Drain any remaining liquid. (Be careful, it will be hot.)
  4. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, and seasoning and stir to combine.
  5. Coat the tempeh with the marinade and allow it to absorb for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Spread the tempeh in a single layer on a baking sheet.

  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until dark brown.