This garlic herb marinted tempeh is perfect for a meatless main or for adding to sandwhiches, wraps and salads.

3 pieces of garlic herb marinated baked tempeh on a plate with a green salad and fork.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Flavourful and satisfying.
  • Excellent option for a meatless entree.
  • Enjoy as a main or slice and add to sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls.
  • Baked tempeh is high in protein and fiber.
  • Easy to make with just a few simple pantry ingredients.

Ingredients & Substitutions

All of the ingredients for a vegan garlic herb seasoned marinated tempeh recipe.
  • Tempeh: Look for plain tempeh. I like Lightlife tempeh. We’re going to be adding our own garlic herb marinade so need to purchase marinated or flavoured tempeh. Plain tempeh is beige in colour though you may notice a few black spots on it, this is normal.
  • Garlic: I like using fresh garlic here for the most garlic punch but you can use garlic powder if that’s all you have.
  • Oil: You’ll need 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Another oil such as avocado oil would also work.
  • Vegan Butter: If this isn’t something you normally have on hand, you can substitute an additional tablespoon of oil.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic is delicious here but you could also use apple cider vinegar or red or white wine vinegar.
  • Seasonings: You’ll need Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Step-by-Step Instructions (with Photos)

Step 1: Marinate the tempeh.

In a large shallow container, mix together everything except for the tempeh. Add the tempeh slices and mix to coat the tempeh in the marinade.

Cover the container and place in the fridge for at least one hour up to overnight.

Quick Tip: I like to use a sealable food storage container so it’s easy to flip over back and forth to coat the tempeh in the marinade.

Step 2: Bake the tempeh.

When you’re ready to bake the tempeh, preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the tempeh on a baking tray in a single layer then bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the tempeh is golden-brown and crispy around the edges.

Quick Tip: You can bake the tempeh directly on the pan but I prefer to use parchment paper for easy clean up and to prevent sticking.

A triangle of golden brown garlic herbed marinated baked tempeh on a baking tray.

Expert Tips

  • If serving as a main, large triangles or rectangles work well. For a side dish or for salads, you may want to cut into smaller cubes.
  • Marinade the tempeh overnight so it’s ready to go when you’re ready to bake.


What does tempeh taste like?

Tempeh has a distinct but tasty, nutty, Earthy flavour. It may be a bit of an acquired taste but I think once you get used to it, it’s delicious!

What’s the difference between tofu and tempeh?

Tempeh is similar to tofu in that they’re both made from soy beans. The difference is that tempeh is made from whole, fermented soy beans that are pressed into a firm, compacted block and tofu is made from soy milk that is processed into blocks.

In addition, tofu has a mild, neutral taste and smooth texture, whereas tempeh has a nutty, earthy taste and chewy texture.

Both tofu and tempeh are nutritious, high in protein and have similar nutrient profiles, though tempeh is high in fiber and contains gut-friendly prebiotics.

For more information: Guide to Tofu and Tempeh.

Can you make tempeh in an air fryer?

Yes, you can make this tempeh recipe in an air fryer. When you’re ready to bake the tempeh, preheat your air fryer to 400 F the bake for tempeh for 10-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Can you make this recipe with tofu instead of tempeh?

Yes, this recipe also works with tofu. Use pressed firm or extra-firm tofu and otherwise, follow the recipe.

3 pieces of garlic herb marinated baked tempeh on a plate with a green salad and fork.

Storing Baked Tempeh

  • Cool completely before storing.
  • Fridge: Store the baked tempeh for up to 1 week in a sealed container.
  • Freeze: Cool completely before storing. Store the baked tempeh for up to 3 months in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
  • Reheating: Reheat cold tempeh in a pan, the microwave or the oven. You can reheat frozen tempeh from frozen but I’d recommend thawing it first, then reheating in the oven or a pan.

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A triangle of golden brown garlic herbed marinated baked tempeh on a baking tray.

Garlic Herb Marinated Tempeh

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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This perfectly seasoned garlic herb baked tempeh is perfect for a meatless main or addition to sandwiches and salads.


  • 1 lb tempeh block, cut into triangles or cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted (15 g)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Marinate the Tempeh: In a large container with a lid, whisk together the pressed garlic, olive oil, butter, balsamic vinegar, and spices. Add in the tempeh pieces and toss to coat. Place the lid on the container and refrigerate for at least one hour but up to overnight. 
  2. Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Bake the Tempeh: Place the tempeh on a baking sheet in a single layer and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the tempeh is golden and slightly crispy around the edges. Serve immediately.


Leftover tempeh can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. It can be eaten cold or reheated in a pan, the microwave or the oven until heated through.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 210
  • Sodium: 43 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 22 g