The Best 10-Minute Vegan Tempeh Sandwich Recipe
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It’s savoury, it’s easy, it’s tasty, it’s creamy and it’s our vegan tempeh sandwich. Crispy tempeh and a buttery dressing are stuffed between two slices of bread to make the ultimate 10-minute lunch. Get ready to experience the sandwich of a lifetime!
If you’ve followed us for even a short amount of time, it might have become apparent that I’m bonkers for sandwiches. And now I love sandwiches EVEN MORE as I’ve realised I can put tempeh in them.
Tempeh is a relatively new discovery for us, but it’s quickly becoming a very firm vegan favourite.
Not only is it loaded with protein and a staple in many recipes in our free high-protein meal plan but it’s also quick to cook, can be made to taste absolutely delicious and is less processed than most other soy products.
Tempeh’s super versatile and makes for the perfect meat substitute for vegan high-protein recipes and an animal product-free patty, so when the idea came to make a new sandwich, I knew this was the route I had to take.
The tempeh may be the head of this table, but the other simple ingredients play a pretty big role in making this sandwich what it is so have a look at them below.
Filling Ingredients and Spices
Many people like a good crunch to their bread but why have it plain when you can add a delicious filling to turn things up a notch?
For this sandwich, some peppery arugula were the greens we used, but some watercress will do and for the savoury soy sauce, some tamari or coconut aminos will serve just right.
You could also sub the olive oil for another flavourful oil like peanut oil or keep it simple with a milder one like coconut oil and if you’re all out, skip the vinegar and up your quantity of the lemon juice, use some lime juice instead or even add some apple cider vinegar if you’d like some extra hints of tanginess to your sandwich.
For more taste, I’d recommend you sprinkle a pinch of salt and some pepper and if you’d like, you could throw in some other spices like garlic powder of your choice.
Combine those with some tangy sundried tomatoes, caramel-like maple syrup as well as a creamy avocado (or try it out with some vegan mayo) to tie everything all together and you’ve got yourself a filling for the ages!
Tempeh and Bread
For the wholegrain bread, you can have it straight from the pack or toast it just a little to make it golden brown before the assembly but the tempeh’s the true star of the show here, so we’ve gotta make sure it’s at it’s best.
You can slice the block lengthwise or widthwise and make the tempeh strips as thick or thin as you’d like but I prefer them thinner so they’ve got crispy edges and chewy but firm insides.
If you’ve got some time to spare, you could also consider marinating the slices before the fry so the tempeh’s all the more tasty!
How many calories are in our tempeh sandwich?
This vegan tempeh sandwich packs in about 547 calories and 21g of protein per portion.
In each serving, there are roughly about:
- kcal 547kcal
- Carbs 51g
- Fat 32g
- Protein 21g
This vegan protein-packed and fibre-filled sandwich is not just filling and incredibly tasty, but is filled with loads of nutritional value as well!
All the ingredients that make up this tempeh sandwich aren’t just delicious, they’re incredibly healthy too.
Take the fruits for instance.
Not only do those tangy tomatoes add some sweetness and tartness to the sandwich, but there are numerous health benefits associated with consuming sundried tomatoes.
The cholesterol-free avocados, on the other hand, don’t just give this sandwich’s filling a unique velvety texture but there are so many reasons why avocados are good for you.
As for our plant-based patty, the nutritional profile of tempeh show’s us this fermented block of soybeans is loaded with all sorts of nutrients and is a great source of protein as well as dairy-free calcium.
All those combined with so many more are what makes this the nutritious and easy meal it is and your new favourite sandwich!
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How to make the best tempeh sandwich?
- Prep work: Slice up the tempeh and fry in some oil in a large skillet. After some time, toss in the soy sauce, maple syrup and vinegar. Stir the mixture as you let it cook on medium-high heat for another 3-4 minutes.
- As you let it cook, slice up the dried tomatoes, rinse the rocket and set them both aside.
- Scoop the avocado into a small bowl and mash it with some salt, the lemon juice and pepper.
- Assembly work: grab a slice of bread and spread the avocado paste over it. You could also fry the bread in a bit of oil on medium-low heat right before the assembly to make it crispy.
- Lay the chopped tomatoes and rocket over the other slice in a single layer and when that’s been done, place the sliced tempeh it on the slice as well.
Lay the slice slathered with the avocado paste over the other, give them a good smoosh and that’s about it!
Tempeh sandwich FAQs
How can I make tempeh taste better?
Boiling, marinating and sauteing are just a few ways you can make tempeh taste better.
When you boil, let it simmer in the water for a few minutes and if you’re thinking of marinating, you could try out any of these marinades for tempeh depending on what flavours you’re in the mood for.
Do you need to boil tempeh before frying?
Since tempeh comes in a hard block and has mild hints of bitterness when it hasn’t been properly cooked, you’ll need to boil tempeh before frying.
This is optional though and if you’re in a hurry, you can skip it but it’s best to taste the tempeh straight out the package to test the intensity of its bitterness and how hard it is so you’ll know if boiling is necessary.
Otherwise, let the tempeh boil in some water or vegetable broth for about 10-15 minutes, take it out then prep and cook it anyhow you’d like!
What to serve with a tempeh sandwich?
Packing in about 547kcal per serving, this tempeh sandwich is a whole-ass meal on its own. You don’t need any toppings or sides to accompany this beast, but if you’d like, you can have it with a chill refreshment to go with.
Can I make this tempeh sandwich ahead?
You can easily make this tempeh sandwich ahead by drenching it in a savoury marinade and letting it sit in the fridge overnight. This won’t just make your tempeh slices taste much better, but it’ll help hasten up the cook time when you’re ready to have your sandwich.
How can I store and reheat this tempeh sandwich?
The individual ingredients of the sandwich can be stored separately and assembled when you’re in the mood for your sandwich again.
Fried tempeh slices will do well for 2-3 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container but for the fresh ingredients, you’d have to take a quick trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market to get them again.
This tempeh sandwich is best served fresh so I’d advise you not to make more than you can consume.
What does tempeh go with?
Tempeh, especially when marinated and stir-fried to perfection, goes well with other grains like rice and quinoa as a topping and into tacos, wraps and all sorts of sandwiches as an alternative to meat for the filling.
Tempeh sandwich variations and alternatives
This great recipe is already vegan, egg, dairy free and perfect as it is but you can consider adding some more simple and basic ingredients to make your sandwich even more hearty.
Throw in some slices of tomatoes, grated carrots and even cabbage mixed with some creamy avocado and sprinkled with a dash of salt and pepper to bulk up your sandwich.
Take the tempeh to a whole new level by baking it instead. Prep it ahead by slicing the tempeh into thin rectangular pieces, bringing them to a boil, placing them into a dish or ziplock bag with some spicy marinade and allowing the tempeh to sit overnight.
Pop it in the oven on medium heat the next day and you’ve got yourself extra crispy and extra spicy marinated tempeh for your sandwich!
More tempeh recipes
Quick lunches are always a win in my book and this amazing tempeh sandwich is a big one. This great vegan sandwich idea is perfect for people on a plant-based diet and non-vegetarians alike! Our veggie coronation chicken is another great option – just switch out cheese and mayo for vegan alternatives and you’re off! Give it a whirl and tell me how it went in the comments below!
- 4 slices wholegrain bread
- 3 oz tempeh (in 8 slices)
- 2 handfuls rocket (arugula)
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vinegar (balsamic, malt or wine vinegar)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 avocado
- ½ lemon (juiced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice the tempeh and fry in oil. After a couple of minutes add the soy sauce, vinegar and maple syrup. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes.1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp maple syrup, 3 oz tempeh
- In the meantime, chop the dried tomatoes.½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- Spoon the flesh out of the avocado and add to a bowl along with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Give it a mash together.½ lemon, Salt and pepper to taste
- Spread the avocado over half the slices of bread.1 avocado, 4 slices wholegrain bread
- Rinse the rocket and lay it on the slices of bread. Add the chopped dried tomatoes.2 handfuls rocket
- When the tempeh is ready, lay it on the rocket slices of bread.
- Place the avocado breads on top. Done!
- You could also fry the sandwich in a little oil after it has been assembled, flipping halfway through, for an extra bit of crispiness.
Delicious, I used honey instead of Maple syrup and it worked. Thanks for sharing.
Awesome, Jon! Yes honey definitely works, I’ve tried it too :). Glad you enjoyed!!
Honey is not vegan!!!
Have to google rocket, and there is lots of fat here. I may try tempeh with something else.
Hi Maggie, good point – rocket is also known as arugula! I’ll add that in. Yes, there is fat in this recipe but the vast majority of it comes from the avocado! And those are the so-called ‘healthy fats’ 🙂
Amazing! I added some extras like paprika, carrots and onion and it was really the most delicious burgers I’ve ever eaten.
I just made this for an impromptu breakfast. Had no rocket or spinach so used romaine lettuce instead. I used the soy sauce,etc as a quick marinade halfway through cooking, rather than pour it all straight in the pan – just my preference
Great sandwiches! Since my tempeh came in an 8 oz. package, I doubled the sauce and cooked it all up – the extra tempeh was perfect for snacking.
Coooool Nancy, glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for the feedback. Yes, gotta love a bit of tempeh-snacking! 🙂
Do you toast the bread in a toaster or do you compile the sandwich and toast in a pan like a cheese toaster?
Hi Liz, good question! For the photos we fried it in the pan, you could also eat it as bread or yep, toast it in the toaster. I think my favourite was is in the pan :). Hope that helps! I will update the recipe now.
Even if you don’t think you’ll like this, try it anyway. It’s a giant flavor bomb. It’s hard to imagine how good it is until you try it. Equally good on bread or as a wrap.
Thanks Nancy!! A tasty sandwich, isn’t it?!
Love this recipe! So quick and flavourful!! I didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes but had a sweet and spicy tomato sauce sitting in my fridge so I used that. It worked wonderfully. I also added some “everything but the bagel” seasoning to the avocado. This will definitely become a staple for me.
Thanks Kerstin! Really glad you enjoyed it. Oh, I’ve never heard of that seasoning! Will have a look. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.
Can’t wait to try this. How long does the cooked tempeh keep for in the fridge?
Hi Sandy, I’ve never had cooked tempeh for more than a couple of days in the fridge. I just did some googling and while most sources say up to 10 days, they’re a bit vague on whether that’s fresh or cooked. I’d aim for no more than 2-3 days just to be on the safe side. Apparently you can also freeze cooked tempeh, so then it would last much longer, if that’s more helpful 🙂
I found this recipe to be okay. It is very flavourful, as other reviewers have mentioned, but not to my taste. I didn’t have any arugula but I could see how arugula/bitter greens would complement the overall flavour, and I think maybe my version of the sandwich may have suffered a bit because of the lack of arugula. I used soy sauce, sherry vinegar and maple syrup. I wasn’t a fan of the vinegar/maple syrup combo. Maybe a different kind of vinegar would have worked better. Anyway, thanks for the flavour experience! I was looking for a different type of tempeh sandwich filling and I got one! It can’t always work out. I did like the avocado and sundried tomato combo. That was nice.
Thanks for the thorough review! Even though we didnt get 5 stars, I was happy to read your opinion!
Added marinated roasted sweet peppers. This was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. Thx for the recipe.
uhh!! I turned into a roasted sweet peppers fan as well recently! Glad you liked the sandwich!!