I can’t remember when I tried tempeh for the first time. But, I do remember thinking…this looks kind of disgusting. In all fairness, so does raw meat! Good reminder to not judge a book by its cover! With the rise in plant-based eating and interest in fermented foods, maybe you’ve already tried it or you’re here because you’re ready to get acquainted.

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a fermented, high-protein, plant-based food typically made with soybeans, but just about any bean or grain can be made into tempeh. The only way to eat it is cooked. And while the raw version contains healthy probiotics or bacteria, cooking it deactivates those. But, your gut health will still benefit from its plentiful prebiotic fibers. Tempeh packs in a hefty amount of plant-based protein and fibers. For 4 ounces, you’ll get around 19 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.

How to cook it?

Tempeh is best steamed or cooked in broth prior to using in any recipe. I tend to slice it thinly, add it to a sauce pan, and boil it in vegetable broth. About 1 cup of broth should be enough to bath the it in broth. After you simmer for a few minutes, flip the it, simmer a bit longer, and it’s ready to rock.

How I use it: 

  • As a substitute for ground beef in marinara sauce
  • Marinated to be like “bacon” in a Reuben sandwich or “TLT”
  • In this amazing recipe below!

Let us know what you think! DM on IG @mcdanielnutrition or @jencdanielrdn

We’re always looking to learn and improve our recipes. Enjoy!

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tempeh with sweet potatoes on a white plate

Orange Glazed Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes

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  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Method: saute


A sweet, garlicky tempeh recipe that can be made in one pan!


  • 1, 8 oz. block tempeh
  • 46 oz. vegetable broth
  • 1 small or ½ medium sweet potato, small dice
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 56 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
  • 23 c. of kale, chopped (optional)


  • 46 oz. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. gochujang-sauce (or 1 t. red chili paste)


  1. Slice the block of tempeh lengthwise. You will have two rectangle-shaped blocks. Then, cut the tempeh into triangles.
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the broth and tempeh. Boil the tempeh on both sides until the tempeh has tenderized (5-7 minutes). If your vegetable broth during the process, add more.
  3. Once the tempeh has softened. Add the diced sweet potato, onion, and garlic. Add the sauce ingredients (orange juice through – gochugjang sauce).
  4. Gently stir and simmer the until sweet potato has cooked through. Toss in the cilantro and kale and continue to cook until wilted.
  5. Serve with rice or soba noodles!


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 360
  • Sugar: 20 g
  • Sodium: 334.8 mg
  • Fat: 6.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.5 g
  • Fiber: 13.5 g
  • Protein: 25.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg