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The Power of Tempeh: 10 High-Protein Plant-Based Meal Prep Ideas as an Alternative to Pork

fried food on black frying pan

As we continue our exploration of plant-based protein sources, our next stop is tempeh. This protein-packed powerhouse hails from Indonesia and is made from fermented soybeans. Its firm texture and earthy flavor make it a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes. With a whopping 19g of protein per 100g serving, tempeh is an excellent replacement for pork in your meals. Let’s see how we can incorporate tempeh into our daily meal preps.

1. Tempeh Stir-Fry

A colorful and nutritious main dish.

  • Serving Size: 300g
  • Estimated Macros: 450 calories, 30g protein, 45g carbs, 15g fat
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Cut the tempeh into cubes and marinate it with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic for 15 minutes. Sauté the tempeh in a pan until browned and crispy. Add in your favorite stir-fry vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and snap peas, and stir-fry until they are tender yet crisp. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
  • Best time to eat: Lunch or dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

2. BBQ Tempeh Sandwich

A hearty sandwich that packs a protein punch.

  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
  • Estimated Macros: 420 calories, 25g protein, 45g carbs, 15g fat
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Slice tempeh and simmer in your favorite BBQ sauce for 10 minutes. Layer the BBQ tempeh on a whole-grain bun with lettuce, tomato, and avocado slices. Serve with a side of sweet potato fries or a simple salad.
  • Best time to eat: Lunch
  • Storage instructions: Best enjoyed immediately after preparation. The BBQ tempeh can be stored separately in the fridge for up to 3 days.

3. Tempeh Taco Salad

A vegan twist on a classic dish.

  • Serving Size: 250g
  • Estimated Macros: 400 calories, 23g protein, 40g carbs, 15g fat
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Crumble tempeh and sauté with taco seasoning until golden. Layer mixed greens, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, and tempeh crumbles in a bowl. Top with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro. This salad is fresh, filling, and loaded with protein.
  • Best time to eat: Lunch or dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store the components separately in the fridge for up to 3 days. Assemble just before eating to prevent sogginess.

4. Tempeh “Bacon” BLT

A plant-based version of the beloved sandwich.

  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
  • Estimated Macros: 430 calories, 25g protein, 40g carbs, 17g fat
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Thinly slice tempeh and marinate in a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke for 15 minutes. Pan-fry the marinated tempeh until crisp. Assemble your BLT with the tempeh “bacon,” lettuce, tomato, and a smear of vegan mayo on whole-grain bread.
  • Best time to eat: Lunch
  • Storage instructions: Best enjoyed immediately after preparation. The tempeh “bacon” can be stored separately in the fridge for up to 3 days.

5. Baked Tempeh with Quinoa and Steamed Veggies

A balanced and wholesome meal.

  • Serving Size: 350g
  • Estimated Macros: 480 calories, 28g protein, 55g carbs, 15g fat
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Cut tempeh into cubes, toss with olive oil, garlic, and your choice of herbs and spices, then bake until golden and crispy. Serve the baked tempeh with a side of fluffy quinoa and steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers for a wholesome meal that’s packed with protein.
  • Best time to eat: Dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

6. Tempeh and Vegetable Skewers

Perfect for grilling season or any time you want a fun, high-protein dish.

  • Serving Size: 200g
  • Estimated Macros: 350 calories, 24g protein, 20g carbs, 16g fat
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Cooking instructions: Cut tempeh into cubes and marinate in a mix of olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs for at least 2 hours. Thread tempeh and your favorite vegetables like bell peppers, red onions, and cherry tomatoes onto skewers. Grill until charred and tender. Serve over a bed of brown rice or a side of grilled veggies for a delicious and filling meal.
  • Best time to eat: Lunch or dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

7. Tempeh Stuffed Bell Peppers

A hearty, protein-packed meal that is as delicious as it is nutritious.

  • Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper
  • Estimated Macros: 310 calories, 20g protein, 35g carbs, 10g fat
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Crumble tempeh and sauté with onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and your favorite spices until well combined. Hollow out bell peppers and fill with the tempeh mixture. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through. Serve with a side of mixed greens.
  • Best time to eat: Dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

8. Tempeh “Sausage” Patties

A savory breakfast option that’s sure to keep you satisfied.

  • Serving Size: 100g
  • Estimated Macros: 270 calories, 20g protein, 15g carbs, 15g fat
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Crumble tempeh and mix with soy sauce, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and sage. Form into small patties and pan-fry until crispy on both sides. Enjoy these tempeh “sausage” patties with a side of toast and fresh fruit for a complete breakfast.
  • Best time to eat: Breakfast
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

9. Creamy Tempeh and Mushroom Pasta

A rich and hearty pasta dish that’s packed with protein.

  • Serving Size: 300g
  • Estimated Macros: 550 calories, 27g protein, 75g carbs, 17g fat
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Sauté crumbled tempeh, sliced mushrooms, and minced garlic until golden. Stir in vegan cream, nutritional yeast, and fresh herbs. Toss with your favorite cooked pasta and serve hot. This dish offers the comfort of a creamy pasta with the added benefit of plant-based protein.
  • Best time to eat: Dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

10. Sweet and Sour Tempeh

A takeout favorite made healthier and plant-based.

  • Serving Size: 300g
  • Estimated Macros: 480 calories, 28g protein, 60g carbs, 14g fat
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking instructions: Cube tempeh and pan-fry until crispy. In a separate pan, simmer pineapple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup to make a sweet and sour sauce. Add the fried tempeh and pineapple chunks to the sauce and stir until well-coated. Serve over a bed of brown rice for a satisfying and protein-packed meal.
  • Best time to eat: Lunch or dinner
  • Storage instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

I hope these meal prep ideas inspire you to explore the wonderful world of tempeh! Share your favorite tempeh dishes in the comments below and let’s keep this plant-based protein revolution going!

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