This air fried tempeh recipe is bound to become a staple in your kitchen! The air fryer gives tempeh an irresistible crispy texture that is cooks up in under 15 minutes. You can add this air fryer tempeh to salads, grain bowls, stir fries, and more.

Colorful grain bowl with air fried tempeh strips with grey towel on a white backdrop

If you are trying to eat more plant-based, it’s time to try tempeh! As a Registered Dietitian, it’s one of my favorite plant-based proteins to include in my diet. If you’re stuck wondering “what to do with tempeh?”, start with this crispy air fryer tempeh!

This tempeh recipe is vegan, dairy free, and can easily be made gluten free.

Ingredients in air fryer tempeh

You need just a few pantry staple ingredients to make this recipe:

Step by step instructions

  1. Slice the block of tempeh into 1/8th inch thick slices. Place the tempeh strips into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt. Use your hands to gently toss the tempeh in the mixture.
  3. Let the tempeh marinate for at least 15 minutes to soak up some of the flavor.
  4. Place the tempeh strips in your air fryer basket or tray, making sure they do not overlap with each other.
  5. Air fry for 8-10 minutes until deep golden brown and crispy.

Serving suggestions

Air fryer tempeh is versatile and easy to add to all types of meals. Here are some suggestions for what to make with tempeh:

Colorful grain bowl with air fried tempeh strips on a white backdrop

All about tempeh

What is tempeh?

Originating in Indonesia, tempeh is a plant-based protein source made from soybeans. The soybeans are fermented and formed into a block, which can then be sliced or cut into different shapes.

In addition to soybeans, tempeh can also be made using other bean varieties and different whole grains. Soybean tempeh is naturally vegan and gluten free. Some store bought tempeh may not be gluten free if it contains wheat, barley, or rye, so be sure to check the label.

What does tempeh taste like?

Tempeh has a nutty, slightly earthy flavor. It is quite mild on its own, but it takes on the flavors of marinades, sauces, and dressings very well. Tempeh is somewhat similar to tofu in flavor, however it has a drier, chewier, and firmer texture.

Tempeh is a versatile ingredient and can be prepared in many ways, including steamed, baked, and pan fried.

How to store tempeh

Tempeh is packaged in plastic and refrigerated. Unopened, tempeh will last in the fridge for a month or two. Be sure to check the expiration date of your tempeh when you purchase it.

Once you open the tempeh package, you can keep it in the fridge for up to seven days. Wrap any unused tempeh in wax paper, parchment paper, or store in a silicone baggie.

Store cooked tempeh in the fridge for up to 3-5 days in an airtight container. You can reheat tempeh in the microwave or toaster oven, or just eat it cold.

Plate of cooked tempeh strips on a grey backdrop

Tempeh nutrition benefits

Tempeh is an excellent source of plant-based protein. A three ounce serving of tempeh provides 17 grams! Soy products like tempeh contain all nine essential amino acids, which is important because we need to obtain these ones from our diet. Because of it’s high protein content and ability to take on flavors really well, tempeh is a good alternative to meat.

In addition to protein, tempeh provides many other nutrients, including:

  • 7 grams of dietary fiber (25 percent of your daily needS)
  • 0.304 mg riboflavin (23 percent of your daily needs)
  • 1.816 mg niacin (11 percent of your daily needs)
  • 0.169 mg Vitamin B6 (13 percent of your daily needs)
  • 65.49 mg magnesium (16 percent of your daily needs)
  • 1.81 mg iron (10 percent of your daily needs)
  • 1.34 mg zinc (12 percent of your daily needs)

It’s also a source of copper, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, folate, Vitamin B12, and more. Tempeh also contains plant compounds called soy isoflavones. Moderate intake of these compounds may help protect against certain types of cancer, including breast cancer (1).

More air fryer recipes to try

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Colorful grain bowl with air fried tempeh strips with grey towel on a white backdrop

Crispy Air Fryer Tempeh

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This air fried tempeh recipe is bound to become a staple in your kitchen! The air fryer gives tempeh an irresistible crispy texture that is cooks up in under 15 minutes. You can add this air fryer tempeh to salads, grain bowls, stir fries, and more. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 oz block of tempeh, sliced into 1/8th inch thick strips
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Put tempeh strips in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and garlic powder. Use your hands to gently toss the tempeh in the liquid.
  3. Let tempeh marinate for 15 minutes or more.
  4. Place tempeh strips in air fryer basket or tray, spreading them out so they do not overlap.
  5. Air fry at 325 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until deep golden brown and crispy on the outside. 

Notes

How to store tempeh

Tempeh is packaged in plastic and refrigerated. Unopened, tempeh will last in the fridge for a month or two. Be sure to check the expiration date of your tempeh when you purchase it.

Once you open the tempeh package, you can keep it in the fridge for up to seven days. Wrap any unused tempeh in wax paper, parchment paper, or store in a silicone baggie.

Store cooked tempeh in the fridge for up to 3-5 days in an airtight container. You can reheat tempeh in the microwave or toaster oven, or just eat it cold.

Serving suggestions

Air fryer tempeh is versatile and easy to add to all types of meals. Here are some suggestions for what to make with tempeh:

Keywords: air fryer tempeh, air fried tempeh, how to cook tempeh