Tempeh Sloppy Joes

This was the first time I’ve ever cooked with tempeh and to be honest, I was super nervous that it was going to gross. But I was totally wrong! I made a variation of an amazing vegan sloppy joe recipe I found on Vegan Dad!


For those of you that may not be familiar, tempeh, like tofu, is made from soybeans. However, unlike tofu, the soybeans remain whole and undergo a fermentation process, giving tempeh its’ unique flavor and characteristic texture (similar to ground beef). Because the soybeans in tempeh remain whole after processing, tempeh has a slightly higher protein and fiber content than tofu. Tempeh is typically sold as a block, which can later be cooked and crumbled. You can find tempeh in the refrigerated section of your local health food store

I was actually worried that my boyfriend would shy away from my sloppy joes if they were completely vegan, so I used half tempeh and half ground turkey in my recipe. However this recipe was absolutely incredible and dinner was such a hit that I think using all tempeh next time around would be perfectly acceptable!

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, seed-free, shellfish-oil, fish-free, bean & legume-free


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 8.5 oz block of tempeh
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup ketcup
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • dash of hot sauce

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Cut tempeh into four pieces and add to water along with soy sauce. Allow tempeh to simmer in water for 10 minutes. Remove from water, cool, and crumble. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat and saute onion, green pepper, and oregano until soft. Add tempeh and cook for another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 more minutes. Add more water if needed. Serve on hamburger buns and indulge!

I seriously cannot believe it took me this long to be brave enough to try tempeh! Now I am completely hooked and cannot wait to use it in pasta sauces, dips, and tacos! I was even inspired to buy some seitan at Whole Foods today, but we will save that experience for another time. Thanks Vegan Dad for a great recipe!

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