When it comes to adding a hearty dose of protein to a plant-based meal, the go-to is usually some spruced-up tofu or a generous serving of legumes (or pulses, if you’re trendy). But this can get old pretty fast, so we say try some tempeh! Maybe you’ve only heard of it from your die-hard vegan cousin, or you’ve seen it on Asian takeout menus once in a while, but you’ve yet to cook with it… because, um, what is it exactly? Tempeh is made from soy beans, just like tofu, but the main differences are that it’s fermented (instead of curdled), brownish in color and has an earthy taste. It can be a nice change of pace TBH, which is why these 17 tempeh dishes will give you mad cravings every Meatless Monday.


1. Pasta With Tempeh Bolognese: It’s more common to see tempeh being used in a stir-fry or taco, but the use of the protein here is downright brilliant, y’all. This meatless bolognese is yummy proof that you don’t need meat to cook up a hearty sauce. (via Contentedness Cooking)


2. Congee (Rice Porridge): This savory rice porridge is traditionally served at breakfast, and it’s a great way to kickstart your day — though you’ll totally want to indulge at lunch and dinner too. Garnished with fresh veggies and crispy tempeh, breakfast for dinner sounds pretty delectable. (via Vegan Heaven)


3. Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Sandwich With Carrot Aioli: When you imagine a sandwich stuffed with a sweet, spicy and smokey crunch, it’s likely that bacon comes to mind. This delectable sandwich proves that tempeh can up your sandwich game just us much. (via The Green Life)


4. Thai Tempeh Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: When it comes to getting creative with food, vegans get it done. These simple yet impressive stuffed sweet potatoes are bursting with flavors and textures. Crumbled tempeh brings a subtle crisp, while avocado keeps things cool and creamy. (via Avocado a Day)


5. Vegan Cheddar Beer Soup: Nothing beats curling up with a warm and rich soup on a brisk fall day. This silky cheddar beer soup is spun with raw cashews to attain its creamy texture, then topped off with savory croutons and tempeh bacon. (via Connoisseurus Veg)


6. Creamy Sweet Potato Noodles With Garlic Tempeh and Crispy Kale: Digging into a noodle bowl is oh-so satisfying — especially when that noodle bowl is made with sweet potato noodles. The addition of crispy kale and garlicky tempeh make this a total hit. (via Choosing Chia)


7. Scrambled Tempeh and Watercress: In most cases, tempeh is used as filler — like in a Buddha bowl or a sandwich. In this recipe, it shines as the main ingredient. This option is simple, fast and budget-friendly, which makes it an easy contender to become a regular in your meal rotation. (via Posh Journal)


8. Baked Spaghetti Squash With Tempeh Ragout: It’s *all* about the spaghetti squash lately. This versatile veg is being shredded and tossed with so many exciting ingredients and flavors, we’re never sure what to try next. This hearty spin with zucchini, mushroom and tempeh ragout is mighty tempting. (via Green Evi)


9. Smokey Tempeh Tostadas With Mango Cabbage Slaw: Up your tostada game with this deliciously vibrant vegetarian twist. Smokey tempeh tops a tangy slaw, juicy mango and silky avocado. Hot DAY-UM! (via Emilie Eats)


10. Healthy Spring Pasta Salad: This substantial side packs so much flavor, you’ll never look for a new pasta salad recipe again. With artichokes, smokey tempeh, green peas and tangy tzatziki, this crave-worthy salad makes a perfect light lunch or a tasty side. (via Brewing Happiness)


11. Tempeh and Sweet Potato Stuffed Pita With Cashew Chipotle Sauce: Pitas make for a perfect lunch or light dinner, but dang, they can get boring and uninspired pretty quickly. Luckily, this tempeh-stuffed option is all the inspiration you’ll need to create a mouth-watering midday meal you’ll be craving on the regular. (via In Pursuit of More)


12. Loaded Veggie Rye Toast Sandwiches: This stacked sandwich is a perfect way to wipe out your crisper and stuff your face with a whole lot of delicious — win/win. Tempeh plays the crispy bacon role here, hiding its crunch between layers of fresh veggies and creamy hummus. (via Anett Velsberg)


13. Quinoa Buddha Bowl With Miso Gravy: Some days, nothing satisfies the soul and belly more than a heaping pile of crunchy veggies and wholesome grains — especially after a weekend of not-so-healthy eating. This robust bowl gives you a generous dose of protein and fiber with the addition of tempeh. (via Wholehearted Eats)


14. Tempeh Hash With Brussels Sprouts: This colorful and filling hash will definitely impress. Thanks to the potatoes and tempeh, it’s filling but won’t weight you down. The best part is that this tastes even better the next day! Hello, leftovers. (via Oh My Veggies)


15. Korean Barbecue Tempeh Wraps: Missing out on sweet, smokey and tangy barbecue flavors on a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be a thing when you slather tempeh in a spicy sauce. Stuffed into a warm tortilla, this tempeh creates the essence of a Korean wrap without the meat. (via Connoisseurus Veg)


16. Winter Veggie Slaw With Citrus Tahini Dressing: Comfort foods dominate winter, but every once in a while we get a craving for something fresh, crisp and nutritious. The next time you find yourself in exactly that situation, whip up a plate of this incredible slaw. (via In Pursuit of More)


17. Smokey Tempeh BLAT: Is a craving for a crispy BLT trying to mess with your Meatless Monday? Don’t let it. Instead, sink your teeth into a BLAT — it’s much more appetizing than it sounds, we promise. Creamy cashew mayo, lettuce, tomato, avocado and smokey tempeh are a dream team in this sandwich and will stomp out that BLT craving like no other. (via Be Good Organics)

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