Tempeh Heartbreaker

Tempeh Heartbreaker

The challenge: make me drool for tempeh.  I have a confession, I’ve never liked tempeh & can’t tell you the last time I’ve tried it! I’m a second generation veghead, so I was raised on tofu and a plant-based diet.  While at the market the other day I saw tempeh and thought to myself “Taste buds evolve, let’s keep an open mind!”.  It took me a couple of days to build up the courage to prepare it.  I finally dove headfirst and started to combine different flavors for a new recipe.  Delicious marinade? Check! Gorgeous plate to nomnomnom? Check!  Let me tell you, I was very hesitant about cutting a piece and tasting it.  I know! That’s awful to say as a chef BUT I’m being honest with all of you (I did not play up my hatred).  After being coaxed to “JUST EAT IT ALREADY!” I finally took a bite…HOLY MOLY! WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING OUT ON?!  

It was love at first bite!  Tempeh: Heartbreaker!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 Packages tempeh (I used LightLife Organic Tempeh)
  • 2 Cups cooked millet or quinoa
  • Tempeh Marinade:
    • 1/2 Cup water
    • 1/4 Cup gluten-free tamari sauce
    • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Sauce:
    • Leftover marinade
    • 1/4 Cup gluten-free tamari sauce
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot if you cannot tolerate corn)
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Frying oil (I use grape seed)


  1. Slice each tempeh package into 5 equal pieces.  Using your knife, create three even scores on each side of your cutlet diagonally about 1/4 inch deep.  scored tempeh marinating tempehIn a large mixing bowl add your marinade ingredients.  Whisk to combine.  Add your tempeh cutlets to your bowl and let marinate for at least 30 minutes (I had mine marinating for about 2 hours).
  2. Once you’re ready to cook your tempeh, move it to a cutting board.  To prepare your sauce, add your garilc powder, the extra 1/4 Cup tamari sauce + lemon juice to your bowl of marinade and whisk to combine.  Add your mix to a medium pot and whisk in the cornstarch.  Heat on medium heat until the sauce has thickened to your preference (I let it cook while I sauteed the tempeh cutlets).
  3. Add enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of your skillet (I used a cast iron skillet and it created a beautiful crust).  Heat your skillet to medium-high heat.  Fry each side of your cutlet until golden (5-7 minutes). tempeh precooked tempeh cookedHow gorgeous are those scores in the cutlets?!
  4. Serve your tempeh cutlets over your cooked millet or quinoa and top with your sauce.Tempeh Heartbreaker
  5. Enjoy eating whole!

Tempeh Heartbreaker

Tempeh Heartbreaker


  1. riqyboy says:

    try smokey tempeh. also known as FAKKIN BAKKIN. Its delicious and its the best when used in a bacon lettuce and tomato . my girlfriend swears by it.

  2. I’ve only had tempeh a couple of times, and it was okay but dry. From your photos, it looks like you’ve mastered how to make tempeh moist. Looks delicious – thanks for sharing!

    • eatingwhole says:

      Thank you!! 🙂 Yes dry and unappealing to me (as a child at least)! Trick is to marinate the tempeh for as long as you can and scoring the top and bottom!! I’ll be experimenting with tempeh a lot now. 🙂

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