These crispy tempeh strips are crunchy on the outside and “meaty” on the inside. They’re packed with protein and they’re a delicious vegetarian main dish!

What is tempeh?

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, it’s made from partially cooked fermented soybeans. I know that’s not the most appealing description, but think of it like tofu with a more “meaty” texture. Plus, you don’t have to press it and drain it the way you do with tofu. But similar to tofu, it’s loaded with plant-based protein!

how to make tempeh bacon

Does tempeh taste like tofu?

I personally think the texture of tempeh is much better than tofu and it’s easier to work with because there is no draining or pressing required. If you’re looking for a good source of plant-based protein, but you’re not a fan of tofu, give tempeh a chance. In fact, 3oz of tempeh contains 16g of protein and just 140 calories

Where to buy tempeh

You can usually find tempeh in the natural food section of the grocery store, in the refrigerated case. It’s typically sold near the packaged tofu. There are a few different types and some include gluten so if you need a gluten-free variety, keep that in mind!

Crispy Tempeh Strips

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Baked Tempeh Strips

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  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Main dish


These faux “chicken” strips are packed with protein! They’re nice and crispy without all the fat of frying.


  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 1 8oz package tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons flour


  1. Preheat oven to 425 and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Beat the egg in a small dish and set aside.
  3. Combine the panko crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red peppers.
  4. Cut the tempeh into thin strips, about 1/2″ thick.
  5. Lightly coat the tempeh with flour, then dip in the egg mixture until coated.
  6. Roll in the panko crumbs and set on the baking pan.
  7. Continue until all of the strips are coated and then pop them in the oven.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, flipping once until the strips begin to brown.
  9. Serve with ketchup, hot sauce, bbq sauce, or all three.
  10. It should make about 12 strips.

I’m not a fan of “fake meat” in general but tempeh has a better texture, in my opinion. I used gluten-free panko crumbs and they worked just fine, but I’d probably just use regular panko crumbs next time since I think they have a bit more protein. I ate mine with plenty of ketchup! These are also great with barbecue sauce!

crispy tempeh strips

Looking for other ways to use tempeh? Try these recipes!

Have you tried tempeh? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

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