This easy veggie stir fry is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen. This recipe is vegan and can be gluten-free and oil-free.

Overhead shot of a bowl of veggie stir fry with brown rice and tempeh.

Best Stir Fry Veggies

You can pretty much use any veggie for stir fry but the best veggies for stir fries are:

  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • carrot
  • onion
  • green peans
  • snap or snow peas
  • cabbage
  • mushrooms
  • bok choy

They do all have slightly different cooking times so if you want them to be evenly cooked you’ll want to start with the harder veggies like carrots and broccoli and slowly add in the softer ones as you go.

Chopped carrots, sliced onion and garlic in a skillet.
Mixed stir fried veggies in a skillet.

Stir Fry Sauce

For this recipe we’re not making our own stir fry sauce. Instead we’re using store-bought hoisin sauce. It’s an easy veggie stir fry, after all. We’re talking a ready in 10 minutes kind of meal.

Hoisin sauce does contain added sugar though, so if you’d prefer to keep this recipe sugar-free, reduce the sugar or you don’t have hoisin sauce on hand, make your own sauce or look for a sugar-free store-bought option.

To make your own stir fry sauce for this recipe, whisk 1/4 cup each soy sauce and water then add some minced ginger and/or garlic and 1 tbsp each sweetener, such as coconut sugar or molasses, and cornstarch. Mix until smooth and thick, then add it to the pan with veggies when they’re just about done.

Alternative Sauce Ideas

For an alternative to store-bought sauce, here are a few sauce recipes you can try instead:

What is Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce is like a Chinese BBQ sauce. It’s sweet and tangy and works great as a quick sauce for stir fries. Hoisin sauce is made from fermented soy bean paste combined with ingredients like a starch such as wheat or rice, water, sugar, sesame seeds, vinegar, salt, garlic and chili peppers. It’s quite thick and often used as a glaze or dipping sauce.

Is hoisin vegan?

Yes, most hoisin sauces should be suitable for vegans but if you’re concerned just read the label. Regular hoisin sauce is not gluten-free though, so if you need a gluten-free option, I would suggest San-J Gluten-free Hoisin Sauce. San-J has the best list of ingredients as it does not contain modified corn starch or caramel colour like Kikkoman and Wok Mei do.

Brown rice, tempeh and veggie stir fry in a bowl with hoisin sauce.

How to Prepare Tempeh

I used tempeh as the protein in this recipe. I love tempeh for it’s nutty, earthy flavour and chewy texture. It’s satisfying and delicious and since it’s fermented, it provides some gut-friendly probiotics. It’s also fairly low in fat with some carbohydrates and a good amount of plant-based protein.

To prepare the tempeh for this recipe, cube a block of tempeh and toss with some soy sauce, black pepper and garlic powder. Let it sit for 10 minutes up to overnight then broil in a pan in the oven until browned and crispy.

You can read a bit more about tempeh in my guide to tofu.

Cubed tempeh with soy sauce in a glass bowl.

Tempeh Alternatives

If you prefer, you can use tofu, black beans or chickpeas in this recipe as an alternative to tofu.

To use tofu, either prepare baked tofu or mix uncooked, cubed tofu right into the pan with the veggies. To use black beans or chickpeas, mix them into the pan with the veggies, just long enough so they have time to heat through.

Mixed stir fry veggies with brown rice and tempeh in a bowl.

Easy Veggie Stir Fry Recipe

This veggie stir fry comes together in under 15 minutes if you have some brown rice ready to go. It can also be served on its own with the tempeh or some tofu, or with noodles or quinoa instead of rice.

Easy Meal Inspiration

This is a very basic “recipe” and is meant to serve as inspiration for a quick and easy dinners. There’s no need to follow it exactly. Much like my Quick Veggie Curry, it’s more of a meal idea than a real recipe. If you’re a plant-based beginner this is the perfect dish to try as you learn the ins and outs of simple vegan vegan cooking.

To make it, simply chop the veggies, cook them up then serve with the crispy tempeh, a scoop of brown rice and a generous drizzle of hoisin sauce.

For more easy vegan dinner ideas, you might like my BBQ Tofu Bowls or Brown Rice and Baked Tempeh Bowl.

Print
Overhead shot of a bowl of veggie stir fry with brown rice and tempeh.

Easy Veggie Stir Fry with Tempeh and Rice

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Vegan

This easy veggie stir fry is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Serve it up in a bowl with brown rice or crispy tempeh and dig in!


Ingredients

  • 2 tsp sesame oil (sub avocado or coconut oil, or water or broth for oil-free) 
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, sliced
  • 1 heaping cup sliced white or crimini mushrooms
  • 2 bell peppers (any colour), sliced
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hoisin sauce, for serving (or another homemade or store-bought sauce of choice, use 1-2 tbsp per bowl)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

For the Tempeh

  • 1 package tempeh, cubed (about 350 g or approx. 1/2 cup per bowl, use more or less depending on nutritional needs)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • generous pinch of pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the tempeh ingredients to a container, mix and set aside. 
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. 
  3. Add the oil, broth or water, carrot, broccoli, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the onions are softened. 
  4. Add the rest of the veggies and cook for 4-5 minutes until everything is cooked al dente (slightly soft while still retaining some crunch). 
  5. While the veggies are cooking, place the cubed tempeh on a baking tray and broil in the oven for 5-10 minutes until browned and crispy.
  6. Serve the stir fried veggies in a bowl with a scoop of brown rice, 1/4 of the crispy tempeh and a generous drizzle of hoisin sauce or another sauce of choice.

Keywords: easy stir fry, healthy, quick, weeknight, basic

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