Walnut encrusted tempeh

Walnut encrusted tempeh

I never used to like tempeh. In fact, I found it to be odd with it’s shiny, bumpy exterior, and always opted for it’s unfermented counterpart, tofu, instead. It wasn’t until I started growing tired of the texture of tofu that I decided to give tempeh a try. And can I tell you something? I don’t even eat tofu anymore. Tempeh is so much more flavorful and easier to digest. Not to mention, the texture is superior to that of squishy, water packed tofu.

This has been my go-to tempeh recipe for a few years now. It’s sweet, salty and ridiculously easy to prepare. Which means I no longer have an excuse to stuff my face with plain ass tempeh. Although I do love plain ass tempeh, it’s so much more enjoyable when it’s marinated in something flavorful. And if you get bored with tamari, dijon mustard makes a great substitute. Same goes for barbecue sauce and worcestershire sauce. So many marinating options!


1 block original tempeh
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp minced garlic, optional
1/2 cup walnut meal

Cut each block of tempeh into four triangular segments (or square, whichever you prefer). From those segments, slice them, widthwise, into three even segments. If you can only slice them in half, that’s fine – but the thinner you can get the tempeh, the better. You should now have 12 triangular pieces of tempeh. Place them in a large plastic bag and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the tamari, maple syrup and garlic, if using. Pour into bag, seal and toss to coat tempeh. Store in the refrigerator, overnight, until ready to use. The longer you let the tempeh marinate, the better.

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Spread the walnut meal onto a flat surface and coat one side of the tempeh. Line, walnut coated side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 400˚F for 20 minutes, just until the walnut meal turns golden. Serve immideately.

Yield: 2-4 servings


  • Reply Emmy Kastner 7 June 2012 at 1:41 PM

    This looks amazing! I’m going to give it a whirl this weekend! I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Reply cookingwithlysa 7 June 2012 at 3:22 PM

    What a great idea..! It looks so delicious and really more tempehting (haha sorry I had to write this one)
    I wasn’t a big fan of tempeh before also…but I got used to it slowly and now I LOVE it !!

  • Reply peanutbutterandginger 7 June 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Oh man.. I think I might make this tonight! Yum!

  • Reply Eileen 7 June 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Yay! I love tempeh, and this looks absolutely great. We usually marinate our tempeh and sear it on the stovetop–but I think crispy crusty crushed nuts will give that a run for its money!

  • Reply glutenfreehappytummy.com 7 June 2012 at 6:17 PM

    oh yum! this looks delicious! i bet the crunchy exterior of the walnuts is wonderful! thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Joey 7 June 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I’m at the pre-tempeh stage – I’ve kept on trying and trying it, but it’s just never clicked. That said, if anything could convince me, I think wrapping it in walnuts could be the way to go!

    • Reply Ashlae 8 June 2012 at 2:08 AM

      Joey! I hope this recipe makes a tempeh lover out of you :)

  • Reply Willow 7 June 2012 at 8:29 PM

    I love tempeh! And I agree, so much better than tofu. The texture really is perfect, in my opinion! This marinade sounds incredible, too – will definitely have to give this a try! :)

  • Reply Goldie 7 June 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Hey Ashlae! this looks delicious and simple to make! Just wondering, how much tamari did you use?

    • Reply Ashlae 7 June 2012 at 9:48 PM

      Hi Goldie! 1/4 cup :)

  • Reply Laura 7 June 2012 at 11:25 PM

    I mega love tempeh, even in its plain ass form. It’s hard to go back to high maintenance tofu afterward (the pressing, the necessary high heat applications! buh). Walnut crusting sounds like a pretty splendid idea. I sense this in my (not so plain ass) future :)

  • Reply LeeLee 7 June 2012 at 11:46 PM

    I am going to tweet this recipe, it looks delish. Can’t wait to try this walnut encrusted tempeh.

  • Reply Jenné 8 June 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Oh yum, I’ve got to try this!

  • Reply Cara 8 June 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Loving your new header, my friend. I miss you. Ack. I just got all sentimental right now. I wanna eat tempeh with you. Like, now.

  • Reply Anna 8 June 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I don’t believe I’ve ever tried this…will add it to the list!

  • Reply Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies 9 June 2012 at 4:11 PM

    This looks fantastic! I am going to make this really soon–tempeh is my favorite protein and I could use a new recipe to try. :)

  • Reply Kristy 9 June 2012 at 6:23 PM

    What a great, simple idea! I am totally going to try this! I was never a big tempeh fan either until I started experimenting with marinating it. Good stuff! Thank you, Ashlae!

  • Reply foodfeud 10 June 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Yomp. I love tempeh. Its nuttiness must go great with…nuts.

  • Reply Isobelle 11 June 2012 at 12:48 AM


    I must say – your new layout is seriously stellar. And since we’re on that topic, I must also say that it makes me happy to see how great you are doing with this here blog of yours (yes, I’ve noticed). You’re the best vegan baker/chef/fitness buff around.

    On another note, this post was super convenient. I bought tempeh for the first time yesterday and stood at my kitchen counter in horror once I opened it. For like, 5 minutes I was afraid to touch the thing (okay, I don’t buy packaged foods that often, and I’m not familiar with all the vegan foods out there since there are so many these days). Anyway, I NEED TO TRY THIS NOW. I didn’t eat it because I couldn’d figure out how to cook it. Plus I was scared.

    Thanks woman!
    My apologies for this long arse “comment”. xxx

    • Reply Ashlae 11 June 2012 at 8:57 PM

      Thank you, lady! All I did was change the header and play with colors ;)

      YOU BOUGHT TEMPEH? What? WHAT? WHAT!!!! Tempeh is one of the only packaged foods I eat. All of that other shit scares me. Faux cheese? No thanks. Faux meat? Get fucking real. But tempeh? I love it. You need to get yo’self another package and make this. On the double!

      Heart you.

      PS – I love your long arse novels. Err, I mean comments. ooo

  • Reply Melissa Blake 11 June 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Looks delicious!

  • Reply Lauren (PB&G) 12 June 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Ok so I made this over the weekend and I have to say it is D-I-V-I-N-E! I will definitely be making it again. And maybe adding some grated ginger into the mix.. mmmmm…

  • Reply Lauren (PB&G) 12 June 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Ok so I made this over the weekend and I have to say it is D-I-V-I-N-E! I will definitely be making it again. And maybe adding some grated ginger into the mix.. mmmmm…

  • Reply Mary @ Fit and Fed 18 June 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Thanks for the recipe, I’m always looking for new things to do with tofu and tempeh and this looks great!

  • Reply kasandrabracken 25 June 2012 at 3:59 AM

    Ooh! Yes! I feel the same way about tempeh vs tofu – no “fu” for me, tempeh all the way! Love the idea of the walnuts. i’ve always steamed tempeh before marinating, but perhaps it will do alright with just an overnight soak then? Thanks for posting!

  • Reply elizabeth shipley 21 August 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Loved the tempeh recipe. Thought your readers would like our easy method for making tempeh.
    We produced Betsy’s Tempeh in Mich. for 9 1/2 years and developed a new process for making tempeh without using plastic bags so we call ourselves the tempeh pioneers.
    Right now I am baking tempeh in parchment paper along with some summer squash and tomatoes. Will be interesting to see how it turns out since I adapted it from a recipe using fish.
    Happy tempeh eaters one and all.

    • Reply Ashlae 22 August 2012 at 12:17 AM

      Thanks, Betsy! I’d love to make my own tempeh.

  • Reply joanne 3 September 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I’ve never tried tempeh, but will try this recipe.. sounds delish! Can you substitute Braggs instead of tamari? I’m not sure what the difference is, but bought Braggs thinking it was healthier for some reason I can’t remember now. ;-)

    • Reply Ashlae 20 September 2012 at 4:15 AM

      Yes, absolutely!

  • Reply Kim ROCmomma 16 January 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Found you on Pinterest…thanks for this recipe! I made it tonight with broccoli, carrots, and brown rice. I added some cornstarch and vegetable broth to the leftover marinade and made a little sauce for everything. Outstanding. Thanks again!

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  • Reply Lauren 8 August 2017 at 12:40 PM

    Hi Ashlae! I cant wait to try making these… How do these hold up left over?

    • Reply Ashlae 9 August 2017 at 7:23 AM

      Hi Lauren –

      I haven’t made them in so long so unfortunately I can’t say for certain.

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