Tempeh Tacos

5 from 19 votes

Full of flavor and quick to make, these tempeh tacos are a delicious meat-free alternative. Load them with your favorite toppings for a vegan taco that the whole family will love.

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So delicious and easy to make, these vegan tempeh tacos are a great plant based alternative to fish and meat. Perfectly seasoned, they are ready to serve in about 20 minutes. Ideal for your next taco Tuesday!

Tempeh tacos on a white plate topped with avocado and cashew cream
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Ingredients & substitutions

  • Tempeh: Tempeh is a vegan based protein that is made from fermented soybeans. It has a nutty flavor and absorbs the flavors from the rest of the ingredients to create a really yummy bite.
  • Onions & garlic: For a base level of flavor and to add texture to the dish.
  • Taco seasoning: Use your favorite brand of seasoning or make your own with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes, oregano and black pepper. Use a mild taco seasoning to make it kid friendly or feel free to spice it up!
  • Tomato sauce: The sauce adds a rich flavor to the tempeh, and helps to add moisture to your taco filling.
  • Olive oil: For cooking. I like to use olive oil, but any high heat oil, like avocado, canola or vegetable, will work well.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make tempeh tacos

  1. Cook the onions and garlic til softened, then add the cubed tempeh to the skillet
  2. Cook the tempeh until it starts to brown. Try not to stir too much so that it gets good browning
  3. Add in the tomato sauce and taco seasoning.
  4. Stir to coat until everything is well blended and the tempeh is heated through.
Process shots to show how to cook the tempeh in a skillet with the onions and seasoning

Serve your tempeh filling in tortillas with all of your favorite toppings or in taco bowls!

Tips for making the recipe

  1. Cook the tempeh on the pan without the sauce first for the best crispness. Tempeh is like a sponge and will absorb the sauce or any marinade which will create a softer texture.
  2. Keep the marinade light instead of thick if you’re using. To make it quicker, you can marinade the tempeh the night before with the onions, garlic, spices and tomato sauce. If you’re doing so, make sure the sauce is easily pourable and not thick. This will keep it get more crisp when fried.
  3. Grate the onions and garlic for more distributed flavor. This also helps if you have picky kids so they can’t pick out the onions, but benefit from its flavor all over the tempeh.
  4. Cut your tempeh into similar sized bite size pieces. This will allow it to cook through evenly and it will be easier to eat.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between tofu and tempeh?

Tempeh and tofu are both plant based soy products that are a great source of meat free protein. Tempeh has a more hearty and nutty flavor to it, whereas tofu is more bland and needs more time to marinate. Tempeh has a more chewier texture to it, so if you are someone who hates the texture of tofu, then tempeh is definitely worth a try.

Can you make it ahead of time?

You can marinate the tempeh up to 24 hours ahead of time and then just cook it quickly when you are ready to serve it. If you have leftover taco filling, it will keep well in the fridge for three to four days in an airtight container. You can reheat it in a skillet to serve.

What toppings can I add to these tacos?

When it comes to taco toppings, there’s really no wrong answers! Cashew cream (or sour cream if you prefer), sliced avocado, shredded cabbage and cilantro makes for a great bite full of fresh flavor. Toppings like guacamole, pico de gallo, corn salsa and shredded cheese are all great choices.

Close up shot of tempeh tacos with toppings

These tempeh tacos are such a delicious meat-free alternative to your usual tacos, and I love how quick they are to make, with just a few simple ingredients. The kids love them, and you can feel great about serving them up!

More taco recipes to try:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Tempeh Tacos recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

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Tempeh Tacos

Full of flavor and quick to make, these tempeh tacos are a delicious meat-free alternative. Load them with your favorite toppings for a vegan taco that the whole family will love.
5 from 19 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 248
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion diced, plus more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 8- ounce package tempeh cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • Diced avocados for topping
  • Cashew cream for topping
  • Cilantro for topping


  • Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
  • Add the diced tempeh to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and taco seasoning to the skillet, and continue cooking with the tempeh until everything is well coated, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve warm over tortillas with diced avocados, red onions and cashew cream, or your other desired toppings.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 4 days and can be reheated on the stovetop. 
* Please note the nutrition label does not include the toppings.


Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 290mg, Potassium: 356mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 107IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 109mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Mexican
Course: Main Course

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m not vegan and had never even heard of tempeh before I ran across this recipe, but I’m so glad I decided to make this!! This was SUCH AN EASY RECIPE packed with so much flavor! Even my mom liked it, and usually she’s usually pretty skeptical of vegan food. This dish is a new favorite!!