This vegan tempeh buddha bowl features marinated tempeh, brown rice, edamame, veggies and a delicious, creamy tamari tahini dressing. This recipe is oil-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.

Brown rice, edamame, tempeh, carrot, corn, kale and red cabbage in a bowl topped with sauce and sesame seeds.

Ingredient Notes

This beautiful bowl has a lot going on. We’re talking fresh veggies, protein-rich edamame and tempeh, chewy brown rice and to bring it all together, a delicious, umami tahini sauce you’re going to love.

Let’s review a few notes about the ingredients you’ll need:

  1. Tempeh. You’ll need about 1.5-2 cups cubed plain tempeh, either store-bought or homemade. I used one package of Lightlife Tempeh. If you’re unsure of what tempeh is read my Guide to Tofu and Tempeh.
  2. Brown rice. The brown rice can be subbed with quinoa, farro or another cooked whole grain. For a low-carb option, you can use cauliflower rice or omit the brown rice entirely for a lighter meal.
  3. Veggies. I used corn, carrots, kale, and red cabbage but the dish is versatile so you can mix and match with other veggies such as beets, spinach, broccoli or bell peppers. Make it fun and colorful!
  4. Edamame. For even more protein and texture, I added edamame. For a fun swap, try green peas!
  5. Tamari tahini dressing. The dressing is made from tahini, gluten-free tamari or soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. I used seasoned rice wine vinegar but unseasoned if totally fine. Use gluten-free tamari to keep the recipe gluten-free, otherwise, low-sodium soy can be used in its place.
Brown rice, edamame, tempeh, carrot, corn, kale and red cabbage in a bowl topped with sauce and sesame seeds.

Recipe Method

These bowls require some effort but they’re well worth it. To make things easier, I suggest prepping some of the components in advance so all you have to do is assemble the bowls.

Let’s go over the steps to making them.

Prepare the tempeh.

There are two parts to making the tempeh, marinating and baking. The tempeh can be marinated as little as 30 minutes but I recommend 1-2 hours if possible. It can also be left overnight, just keep in mind it will be a bit drier since the tempeh will absorb most of the marinade.

After it’s done marinating, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the tempeh on a parchment paper-lined baking tray.

Cubed tempeh on a cutting board with a knife.
Cubed tempeh in a glass bowl with a marinade.
Marinated baked tempeh on baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Cook the brown rice and prepare the veggies.

When the tempeh is about done marinating, start preparing the rest of the ingredients.

  • Make brown rice. If you don’t have cooked brown rice prepared, make it now. Keep in mind it may need up to 45 minutes to cook depending on the type of rice you use.
  • Red cabbage. I used a mandolin slicer to get the red cabbage nice and thin. If you don’t have one, just slice it as thinly as you can with a sharp knife.
  • Carrot. I used a julienne peeler to make thin carrot strips, almost like noodles. If you don’t have one, finely grate the carrot with a box or handheld grater.
  • Kale. I lightly cooked the kale stovetop by heating it in a skillet with a few tablespoons of water. You can use a steamer if your prefer or leave it raw and massage it will a little olive oil to soften.
  • Corn. I used frozen corn that I thawed in the fridge. You can thaw frozen corn stovetop or in the microwave or use fresh or canned corn.
  • Prepare the edamame. I use frozen shelled edamame and cook it stovetop. It can also be made in the microwave.
Finely sliced red cabbage in a mandolin slicer container.

Make the tahini sauce.

The tahini dressing is easy to make in a bowl or container, no blending required. I like to make it in a sealable jar so it’s easy to shake it up.

Tamari tahini dressing in a glass jar with the lid off.

Assemble the Bowls

Once everything is prepared, start assembling the buddha bowls. Divide the ingredients between 4 containers or bowls, top each with tahini sauce and sesame seeds and dig in!

If you’re making this for meal prep, put the rice, tempeh, edamame and kale on the bottom and the fresh veggies on top. Store the dressing in a separate container until you’re ready to enjoy your bowl.

Brown rice, edamame, tempeh, carrot, corn, kale and red cabbage in a bowl topped with sauce and sesame seeds.
Close up of marinated baked tempeh in a bowl with rice and carrots.
Brown rice, edamame, tempeh, carrot, corn, kale and red cabbage in a bowl topped with sauce and sesame seeds.

Recipe Details

This buddha bowl is so delicious and colorful, it’s well worth the effort to prepare. To speed things up, the various ingredients can be made in advance for quick assembly, which works great for meal prep.

The chewy brown rice and marinated tempeh are delicious paired with fresh veggies and edamame but the best part is the creamy, addictive, umami tahini sauce. You’ll be licking the bowl!

This recipe is vegan, oil-free, can be gluten-free if you use tamari, refined sugar-free (just a bit of maple syrup is used in the marinade) and high in protein and fiber.

More Tempeh Recipes

Here are some more delicious tempeh recipes to try:

Print
Brown rice, edamame, tempeh, carrot, corn, kale and red cabbage in a bowl topped with sauce and sesame seeds.

Tempeh Buddha Bowl

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Vegan

This beautiful tempeh buddha bowl features colourful veggies and the most addictive tamari tahini sauce. Enjoy this gorgeous, nutritious bowl for a healthy and satisfying plant-based meal.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Marinated Tempeh

  • 1 approx. 227 gram package of tempeh (about 1.52 cups cubed, I used Lightlife)
  • 2 tbsp almond, peanut or cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (seasoned or un
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

For the Tamari Tahini Dressing

  • 5 tbsp (75 g) tahini
  • 1.5 tbsp gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 24 tbsp water (start with 2 tbsp and slowly add 1 tsp at a time to reach desired consistency)

For the Bowls

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (1/2 cup per bowl)
  • 2 cups cooked edamame (1/2 cup per bowl)
  • 1 cup corn (1/4 cup per bowl)
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage (1/4 cup per bowl)
  • 4 medium carrots, grated or julienned
  • 4 cups de-stemmed and chopped kale (1 handful per bowl)

Instructions

  1. Add the tempeh marinade ingredients (everything but the tempeh) to a sealable container and whisk until smooth. Add the tempeh, shake, place in the fridge. Flip and shake every 15 minutes for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
  2. If you don’t have brown rice prepared, start that when the tempeh has about 20 minutes of marinating left as it will need 40-45 minutes to cook.
  3. When the tempeh is nearly done marinating. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the marinated tempeh on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. While the tempeh is baking, prepare the tamari tahini dressing by adding all the ingredients to a container and whisking or shaking until smooth and creamy. Adjust the amount of water used to reach a thick and creamy but pourable sauce.
  5. Prepare the corn and edamame according to package instructions.
  6. Thinly slice the red cabbage, grate or julliene the carrot and wash and de-stem the kale.
  7. Chop the de-stemmed kale and place in a large skillet with a few tablespoons of water. Cook for 4-5 minutes until all the kale has darkened in colour and wilted slightly.
  8. Once everything is ready, start assembling the bowls. Divide the ingredients between 4 bowls or containers and top with the tahini sauce.

Keywords: plant-based, marinated, healthy, high-protein