Tempeh Taco Meat

Most people have heard of tofu, although many have not heard of its cousin, Tempeh. Similar to tofu, tempeh is made of soy, although it’s actually much less processed. Tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans and then pressing them into thin bricks. It has a chewy texture and can be prepared in many different ways. It can be crumbled and sauteed (like in this recipe), sliced, marinaded and then baked, grilled, steamed, etc.. You can put it over salads, in sandwiches, burgers, curries, stir fries,.. the options are limitless.

There are a few nutritional perks that are worth mentioning. The most obvious being tempeh is minimally processed, unlike many faux meat replacement products. Since tempeh is fermented it contains probiotics, which help the good bacteria in your gut stay happy and healthy. The isoflavones in tempeh have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. There is also a generous amount of calcium and protein in tempeh.


Tempeh Taco Meat in Skillet


We love this tempeh taco meat because it’s so versatile. I’ve put it in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, on taco salads, nachos.. really whatever Mexican-style dish you like. If you don’t want to mess with pulling all the spices out and measuring them, I’ve found that taco or fajita seasoning does the trick almost as well.


Tempeh Taco Meat in Skillet

Tempeh Taco Meat

This tempeh taco meat is a quick and easy, vegan recipe that can be added to tacos, taco salad, burritos, nachos... really any Mexican-style dish!
4.70 from 20 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Taco Meat, Tempeh
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Using your hands, break the tempeh up into small pieces and add it to the pan. Cook until it begin to brown, which should take about 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Add all the tempeh taco meat spices and stir to coat the tempeh evenly. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to prevent sticking to pan. Continue to cook until tempeh is crispy on the edges. This should take approximately 10 - 12 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally.


Strapped for time? Wanting to simplify things? Use taco or fajita seasoning in place of the seasonings in the tempeh taco meat. 
I use this tempeh taco meat for tacos, burritos, taco salad, quesadillas and nachos.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @whollyplantsblog on Instagram and hashtag it #whollyplants

2 thoughts on “Tempeh Taco Meat”

  • Does the tempeh need to be steamed first?
    I haven’t made this yet so I can’t rate it, but will after it’s made.

    • We typically do not steam the tempeh first and these turn out great. You’re welcome to do so if you prefer.

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