Baked Tempeh Brown Rice Bowls
These healthy bowls feature amazing marinated baked tempeh, brown rice, cabbage slaw and broccoli for a delicious, filling and high-protein vegan meal that’s easy to make.
- dietary needs – vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
- nutrition features – high in protein and fiber, low in sugar
- meal prep-friendly – prep the components in advance for quick assembly or prep the bowls for a healthy grab-and-go meal
- tempeh – look for plain tempeh, it’s pretty easy to find in well-stocked grocery stores and typically located alongside tofu
- rice – I used brown rice but wild rice or white rice work to
- cabbage – I used red cabbage but green cabbage also works
- broccoli – no broccoli? no problem! Try steamed cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers or stir fry mushrooms and snap peas
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Mix the cubed tempeh with the marinade ingredients and let sit for an hour up to overnight. After marinating, pop it on to a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 400 F until hot, gooey and slightly crisped on the outside.
Quick Tip: About 30 minutes before you plan to start baking the tempeh, start cooking the brown rice if you don’t have any prepared (see step 2).
Step 2. Cook the brown rice stovetop according to package instructions or in an Instant Pot. You’ll need about 45 minutes to cook regular brown rice so plan this step accordingly. If your’e in a pinch, you can use a cooking rice such as jasmine or basmati.
Step 3. Thinly slice the red cabbage using a knife or mandolin. I recommend using a mandolin slicer if you have one, it will give you nice thin, uniform slices. If not, do your best to thinly slice with a knife.
Add the cabbage to a large bowl and mix with the vinegar, sweetener and a pinch of salt.
Slaw Sweetening Options: Maple syrup, coconut sugar, sugar, agave or stevia. Start with 1 tsp and adjust to your preference.
Finally, steam the broccoli, assemble the bowls and enjoy a healthy, delicious meal!
- Fridge: Assembled bowls can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Enjoy cold or heat in the microwave until warmed to your preference. Can also toss everything in a skillet and heat it all up as a stir fry.
- Meal Prep Tips: Brown rice, cabbage slaw and tempeh can be made up to 4 days in advance. Broccoli can be chopped and stored in advance but I recommend steaming it just before eating so it’s nice and fresh.
Variations and Substitutions
- add sauce: try my almond satay sauce, coconut peanut sauce or miso tahini dressing
- swap the grain: you can use quinoa, white rice or farro in place of the brown rice (for a low-carb option, use cauliflower rice)
- add veggies: try adding sautéed snap peas, bell peppers, mushrooms or grated carrot
- tempeh alternative: tofu can be used in place of the tempeh, using the same method of preparation
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For the Tempeh Marinade
- 1 package plain tempeh, cubed (approx. 220 g)
- 3 tbsp almond butter, peanut butter or sunflower seed butter (45 g)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (45 mL)
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (30 g)
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (15 mL)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp water
For the Cabbage Slaw
- 4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 tbsp vinegar of choice or fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup
For the Bowls
- 2–3 cups cooked brown rice (approx. 1/2–3/4 per bowl)
- 4 cups chopped and steamed broccoli (approx. 1 cup per bowl)
- To make the tempeh, mix the marinade ingredients together in a container then add the cubed tempeh and mix well. Marinate at least an hour but preferably at least 4 hours, up to overnight. When you’re getting ready to start the recipe, preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the tempeh cubes on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes until hot, gooey and starting to crisp.
- If you don’t already have brown rice cooked, prepare some now according to package instructions. Depending on your nutritional needs, use anywhere form 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cooked brown rice per serving.
- Thinly slice the red cabbage using a mandolin if you have one. If not, use a sharp knife. Add to a mixing bowl and mix with the vinegar, sweetener and a pinch of salt. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the bowls.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil stovetop to prepare for steaming the broccoli. Once boiling, steam the broccoli for 5-6 minutes using a steamer basket until bright green and tender but still crisp (al dente). If you don’t have a steamer basket, bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a large skillet or pot, add the broccoli, cover and steam for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid and drain.
- Divide the cooked brown rice, cabbage slaw, steamed broccoli and baked tempeh between 4 servings and store right away or store in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you can’t find tempeh for this recipe, it can be substituted with firm or extra-firm tofu, following the same preparation methods.
The tempeh is best with time to marinade but if you’re in a pinch, just mix well and bake right away.
Keywords: tempeh buddha bowl, vegan buddha bowl
Update Note: Originally published on February 20, 2019. Updated with new photos and text on September 1, 2020.