One of the main reasons I love tempeh for people who are new to plant-based eating is that you can treat it almost exactly like you would a piece of meat. This sweet and savory baked tempeh dish is a perfect example.
A simple marinade requiring just four pantry staples is all it takes to lend this plant-based protein tons of sweet, savory, and comforting flavor. And all you’ll need for the entire recipe is a block of tempeh, some grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, tamari (regular soy sauce works too), and a blend of your favorite fresh herbs. (My vote? A blend of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage.)
Roasting this tempeh is a process that meat-eaters are sure to be familiar with. Just brush tempeh with the marinade, toss fresh herbs on top, and roast until golden brown and aromatic.
When I say aromatic, I mean aromatic. This is the type of dish you’ll want to toss in the oven right as your guests begin to arrive. I want to lock up the smells and hold onto them forever.
I’m all about the flavor when it comes to holiday cooking but I also can’t help but appreciate the nutritional value of this protein-packed recipe. (Tempeh has about as much of the important macronutrient as turkey.)
And soybeans have a whole lot more to offer than just protein, which I get into in a little more detail on this post about nutrition myths related to soy.
Serve this sweet and savory vegetarian entree alongside quinoa or brown rice and a blend of roasted root vegetables for a delicious holiday spread that will keep both vegans and meat-eaters happy.
- 1 block tempeh sliced into three equal squares
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce use gluten-free tamari if needed
- 12-16 sprigs fresh herbs I used a blend of rosemary, thyme, and sage
- Extra virgin olive oil for serving optional
- Preheat oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread tempeh squares on baking sheet and set aside.
- Whisk together grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari/soy sauce in a small mixing bowl and then brush mixture generously onto each side. Spread sprigs of fresh herbs on top and place baking sheet on center rack of oven. Roast until golden brown and aromatic, about 30 minutes.
- Remove tempeh from oven and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving if desired.
This post was originally published 11/2015 and has been adapted and updated.