These tempeh tacos are filled with flavor and packed with tons of plant-based protein. Add your favorite toppings and try these for your next taco night!

tempeh tacos
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I’m always looking for ways to add more protein to my plate, and lately I’ve been reaching for tempeh! It has a meaty texture and even though it’s not really a substitute for ground beef, I think you’ll find it really satisfying. This recipe is a great one for Taco Tuesday whether you’re serving vegans or meat eaters. Looking for a lower carb option? Try my tempeh taco salad!

What is tempeh?

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, it’s a soy-based product, sort of like tofu but with a different texture. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own, just a slight nutty flavor, but it does a great job of absorbing seasonings and sauces. Personally, I think the texture of tempeh is much better than tofu. It’s hearty, chewy, and is a great vegetarian substitute for meat. Plus a 3oz serving of tempeh has 15g of protein and only 170 calories. If you’re looking for a basic way to prepare tempeh, my vegan tempeh “bacon” recipe is my favorite!

Where to Buy Tempeh

You can usually find it 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!

How to Prepare Tempeh

Tempeh can have a slightly bitter taste. 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!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Tempeh– This is the main source of protein for these tacos. Some tempeh is gluten-free, but some are made with grains, so keep that in mind.
  • Tomato paste– This adds a savory, umami flavor to the tacos. If you’re opening a can of tomato paste, store the remaining tomato paste in the freezer.
  • Seasonings– Cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika help create a taco seasoning that adds lots of flavor to the tempeh.
  • Nutritional yeast– This adds a subtle cheesy flavor to the tempeh. If you don’t have any, you can skip it.
  • Soy sauce- This adds a salty, savory flavor to the tempeh.
  • Corn or flour tortillas– I prefer flour tortillas, but you can use either kind! Curious about the difference? Check out my post about flour vs. corn tortillas.

How to Make My Tempeh Taco Recipe