Tempeh Stir Fry
This easy tempeh stir fry recipe is perfect for a healthy meatless meal that’s ready in about 20 minutes!
About the Recipe
Have you ever tried tempeh? It’s a delicious source of plant-based protein that’s perfect for vegetarian stir fries!
This recipe features crispy tempeh with broccoli, onion and carrot in a yummy stir sauce served over rice for a healthy, satisfying meal. It’s family-friendly, easy to make and packed with nutrition!
Throw this easy stir fry together for a weeknight dinner and enjoy the leftovers reheated for lunch the next day.
For more tempeh favourites, you have to try this BBQ tempeh bowl, marinated tempeh and tempeh nourish bowl.
- Vegan, gluten-free and can be peanut-free.
- High in protein and fibre!
- Comes together in under 30 minutes.
- Great for using up leftover grains and vegetables.
- Use the stir fry sauce recipe for any stir fry.
- Makes yummy leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Easy to customize.
- Perfect for healthy meal prep.
- High in protein and fibre!
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is similar to tofu but it’s made from fermented whole soybeans that are pressed into a firm cake. It has a nutty, earthy taste and chewy, meaty texture.
It’s also fairly low in fat with some carbohydrates and a good amount of plant-based protein and other nutrients, and since it’s fermented, it provides some gut-friendly probiotics.
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
For the Stir Fry Sauce
The sauce recipe is super easy to make, gluten-free and vegan, and perfect for all your stir fry creations. You’ll need just a few pantry ingredients:
- Tamari: You can use soy sauce or gluten-free tamari.
- Rice Vinegar: Use seasoned or unseasoned rice vinegar.
- Maple Syrup: Can be substituted with honey or agave syrup.
- Peanut Butter: Use natural peanut butter or substitute almond butter.
- Sesame Oil: This is for flavour so not to be substituted with another oil.
- Chili Garlic Sauce: You can use any chili garlic sauce, sambal oelek or sriracha.
- Ginger: Use ground ginger or you can substitute 2 tsp grated fresh ginger.
- Garlic: Use whole garlic or you can substitute 1 tsp garlic powder.
- Cornstarch: For thickeneing.
For the Stir Fry
The stir fry is made with tempeh, of course, along with broccoli, onion, bell pepper and carrot but you can use more or fewer veggies, mix and match with other stir fry-friendly vegetables or even double the tempeh and simplify the veggies!
- Tempeh: You’ll need 1 roughly 8 oz package of plain tempeh (not seasoned or flavoured).
- Bell Pepper: Any colour of bell pepper works but I suggest red bell pepper.
- Other Veggies: The recipe calls for broccoli, carrot and onion but we’ll cover some other options for stir fry veggies below.
- Green Onion: We’ll use some green onions (scallions) in the stir fry as well as for garnish.
- Oil: Use your choice of cooking oil (olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, etc.).
You can enjoy the stir fry on its own but it is suggested to serve the stir fry over rice and topped with sesame seeds and scallions.
This recipe is super easy to put together and consists of 4 simple steps: whisk the sauce, fry the tempeh, stir fry the veggies and mix everything up!
Let’s go over the steps with a quick visual reference so that when you start cooking you’ll know exactly what you’re doing. You’ll find the full written and printable recipe at the end of the post.
Step 1: Make the Sauce
Add all of the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk until fully combined. Set it aside for now.
Step 3: Cook the Tempeh
In a large non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the cubed tempeh and cook for 3-5 minutes per side. Turn the cubes over occasionally until you’ve browned them on all sides.
Remove the tempeh from the pan and set it aside on a plate for now.
Quick Note: If you want to simplify the recipe and do for example, just tempeh and scallions, add the sauce and scallions now and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened. I would as much as double the tempeh in this case.
Step 3: Stir Fry the Veggies
Heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp of oil plus 2 tbsp of water in the same pan. Be careful if the pan is still hot because the oil may spatter!
Add all of the veggies, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes to steam. Remove the lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are bright and tender.
Step 3: Finish Stir Fry
Add the tempeh back to the pan along with the stir fry sauce. Cook it up for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and everything is coated in sauce.
Serve your stir fry over rice and garnished with sesame seeds and green onions. For more heat, drizzle with Sriracha or sambal oelek!
Notes & Tips
- Take your time getting a nice crisp on the tempeh so it holds its texture once you add it back into the stir fry.
- Cut all your veggies roughly the same size for an even cooking time.
- Make sure you have all the veggies, sauce and tempeh ready to go before starting to cook. It goes fairly quickly once you start cooking.
- If you want it saucier, reduce the veggies to 2 cups. You can also do something like double the tempeh and just use green onions, broccoli or bell pepper, or even just tempeh! Sometimes I like to do just tempeh and scallions with the sauce and serve it over rice.
Mix and match from: green beans, carrot, mushrooms, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, snap peas, snow peas, and baby corn.
Yes. The recipe is gluten-free as written just make sure you use gluten-free tamari and not soy sauce.
Yes. To use tofu instead of tempeh, press and cube the tofu then proceed with the recipe.
Yes. Use almond butter instead of peanut butter to make the recipe peanut-free.
If you want to try this recipe with other sauces, here are some great options:
- For a low-carb stir fry, serve over cauliflower rice or alongside this cabbage “rice”.
- As an alternative to rice, it can also be served over quinoa or your choice of noodles such as rice noodles, soba noodles or ramen.
- Let cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the microwave or stovetop in a pan until heated through. I prefer it reheated in a pan with a bit of oil or water.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Tempeh Stir Fry Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This easy tempeh stir fry is ready in 20 minutes for a healthy and tasty vegetarian dinner!
For the Stir Fry Sauce
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce (60 mL)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (15 mL)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (15 mL)
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (30 g)
- 2 tsp sesame oil (10 mL)
- 2 tsp chili-garlic sauce (10 g)
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/4 water (60 mL)
- 2 tsp cornstarch
For the Stir Fry
- 1 8oz pkg tempeh, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 3 cups broccoli florets (150 g)
- 1 cup carrots, cut into thin half-moons (150 g)
- 1 small white onion, chopped (100 g/1 cup)
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil, divided
- 2 tbsp water
- cooked rice
- sesame seeds
- green onion
- Make the Stir Fry Sauce: Add all of the stir fry sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Cook the Tempeh: Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large wok or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tempeh and cook for 7-8 minutes, flipping the cubes occasionally until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan.
- Stir Fry the Veggies: Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil to the same pan along with 2 tbsp of water. Be careful as the oil may spatter if the pan is still hot. Add most of the green onions (reserve some for topping), broccoli, carrot, onion and bell pepper. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes to steam. Uncover and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are tender.
- Finish Stir Fry: Add the sauce to the pan and cook for 1 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Add the tempeh and stir to combine and coat in the sauce.
- Serve: Serve your stir fry over your choice of rice and topped with sesame seeds and the remaining green onion.
Store leftover stir fry in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Nutrition facts do not include rice for serving.
For simple stir-fried tempeh that’s saucier, use as much as double the tempeh and reduce the veggies to 1-2 cups. I’d suggest just using 1-2 cups broccoli, 1 bunch of scallions or a combination of broccoli and scallions.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of stir fry
- Calories: 292
- Sugar: 10 g
- Fat: 15 g
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Fiber: 9 g
- Protein: 17 g
Keywords: tempeh stir fry
Originally published May 5, 2019.
I made this recipe last night and it was really delicious!. I made 1.5 times more of the sauce like another reviewer did and it was great. Excellent recipe that I will be adding to my weekly meal rotation.
Thanks for trying it! Glad you enjoyed.
Very new to eating plant based and love your website. Trying to find recipes for my husband and I plus our three elementary aged kids is not very easy after being so used to a diet heavy in chicken, cheese, and dairy. This dinner was delicious. The tempeh was a first time experience and good. Two of my kids thought the chicken tasted weird but everyone ate it all. Thank you. Excited to try more of your recipes soon!
I loved “two of my kids thought the chicken tasted weird” – LOL! Took me a second, but it totally made me laugh. I’m making this for the first time tonight and was happy to see your positive review!