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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Tempeh

Alright, folks, here’s the scoop. Tempeh’s the star in loads of veggie dishes, right?

Super versatile and packed with nutrients. But, hey, sometimes that block of goodness is nowhere to be found.

Or maybe you’re just itching to shake things up a bit. No sweat, we’ve got your back.

We’ve hunted down five rockstar alternatives that’ll keep your meals exciting. Ready to make your kitchen the place to be?

Let’s dig into these game-changing swaps and keep your foodie game strong.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tempeh

If you’re looking for a plant-based protein source that can be used in place of tempeh, this list is for you.

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans; it has been popular among vegetarians and vegans as a meat substitute.

Here are the five best substitutes for tempeh:

1 – Tofu

Tofu is well known for being a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

It is derived from soybeans, which are condensed and then pressed into blocks or packaged as bricks in various textures, from extra-firm to soft laced with liquids.

Due to its mild flavor, tofu absorbs the flavors of accompanying ingredients; this makes it an ideal replacement for meat, eggs, dairy, and even for tempeh.

If you want to substitute tempeh with tofu, break it down into small crumbles before adding your preferred seasoning and stir fry it until it is slightly browned and crisp on the outside.

This gives your dish a lovely chewy texture and a delicious depth of flavor that will make everyone drool.

2 – Seitan

Seitan is quickly becoming a popular pantry staple for vegans and vegetarians alike.

It’s made from wheat gluten, which makes it quite high in protein – in fact, it has more than double the protein of tempeh.

Seitan has an incredibly meat-like texture, making it an ideal substitute for those looking to mimic the taste and feel of meat dishes without eating animal products.

The flavor of seitan can vary depending on what else is added during cooking – when you prepare your own version at home; you can play around with spices or marinades to get the desired flavor.

To ensure that this fabulous gluten-based product doesn’t make you miss out on the nutritional benefits of tempeh, try adding seitan to your favorite tempeh recipes.

3 – Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume that come in lots of shapes and colors, from green to red to brown.

They’re extremely versatile when it comes to cooking, as they can be eaten hot or cold, whole or mashed up for recipes like dhal or the popular Levantine dish mujaddara.

Lentils are high in protein and other essential vitamins and minerals and have a great nutty flavor with a pleasant creamy texture – this makes them perfect for thickening soups, adding to stir-fries or salads, or even using as an alternative to tempeh in various meals.

With minimal preparation involved, such as soaking before cooking, lentils can easily fit into any meal plan.

4 – Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a delicious and nutritious legume that’s gaining more and more attention from health-conscious eaters.

With an earthy flavor, these small, round-sided beans can be enjoyed savory or sweet.

Their texture is firm but tender – perfect for mashing into various dishes.

What’s even better, chickpeas can easily substitute for tempeh in many applications.

For a vegan main course that’s both savory and filling, try sautéing chickpeas with any vegetables of your choice – onions and peppers are always a great option.

Or toast them to make croutons to add a crunchy texture to salads.

Chickpeas truly pack a powerful punch of flavor.

5 – Jackfruit

Jackfruit is one of the lesser-known tropical fruits, but it has been growing in popularity for its health benefits and versatility.

Jackfruit can come in small, sweet, or larger and more astringent varieties.

The texture is similar to that of a juicy fig – soft on the outside, with chewy flesh underneath – and the taste usually isn’t overly sweet, though this varies from fruit to fruit.

Interestingly, jackfruit can be used as a meat substitute – like tempeh, but with a more fibrous texture.

To replicate the crunchy nature of tempeh, try thinly slicing jackfruit after cooking it on a lightly oiled pan over medium heat until lightly golden.

It makes an excellent addition to salads and soups.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tempeh

Need a tempeh alternative for your recipes? Look no further! Discover five excellent substitutes that provide similar textures and nutritional benefits, allowing you to create delicious and satisfying plant-based meals.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Jackfruit


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Tempeh
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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