Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that is a good source of protein, fiber, and probiotics. The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, in tempeh provide many health benefits such as improved digestion and immunity. When cooking tempeh, it’s important to not kill off these live cultures by overcooking. In this article, I will instruct you how to cook tempeh in 3 different ways.

1. How To Cook Tempeh on Stove


  • 1 package of tempeh, roughly 8 oz
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 1 tsp chili paste


Cut the tempeh into thin slices or cubes. This allows it to cook faster and more evenly. Thick slabs of tempeh take longer to cook through which can damage more probiotics.

Use a nonstick pan and keep the heat on medium. High heat can kill off probiotics.

Cook the tempeh pieces for 3-5 minutes per side. You want them lightly browned but not overdone.

Next, add soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chili paste, all them will complement the nutty flavor of tempeh.

You aslo can add any vegetables you want and sauté with the tempeh. This prevents overcooking the tempeh.

If simmering in a sauce, only do so briefly at the end to warm through but not overcook.

2. How To Cook Tempeh in Oven


  • 1 package of tempeh, roughly 8 oz
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • optional sauce: Teriyaki, barbecue, hoisin, and peanut sauce


Preheat oven to 350°F. Higher temperatures can damage probiotics.

Cut tempeh into thin slices, cubes, or strips. Thinner pieces bake faster.

Toss tempeh in a small amount of olive or avocado oil. This prevents sticking.

Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Too crowded inhibits browning.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Tempeh should be lightly browned.

Brush with sauce last 2-3 minutes only if using. Teriyaki, barbecue, hoisin, and peanut sauce all taste great.

Watch closely to avoid overbaking as this diminishes probiotic viability.

3. How To Cook Tempeh in Air Fryer


  • 1 package of tempeh, roughly 8 oz
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • optional sauce: Teriyaki, barbecue, hoisin, and peanut sauce


Cut tempeh into bite-sized cubes or fingers for even cooking.

Toss tempeh with just a spray of oil or a teaspoon of avocado oil to prevent sticking.

Arrange in air fryer basket in a single layer without overcrowding.

Air fry at 370°F for 7-10 minutes, shaking basket occasionally for even browning.

Flip tempeh and air fry another 3-5 minutes if needed to reach desired crispness.

Brush or toss with sauce in the last 1-2 minutes if using.

Check frequently to avoid overcooking, which diminishes probiotic viability. The outside should be lightly browned and crispy.

For all cooking methods, the interior of the tempeh should reach an internal temperature of at least 160°F to ensure food safety. Use a food thermometer to check if needed.

4. What To Eat With Tempeh?

Grains – Tempeh goes great with rice, quinoa, farro, etc. The nutty flavor of tempeh pairs well with hearty grains. You can make a grain bowl with tempeh as the protein.

Vegetables – Roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, etc. are delicious with tempeh. The tempeh can be baked or pan-fried and served over a medley of roasted veggies.

Salad – Try tempeh on a salad with mixed greens, chopped veggies, avocado, nuts, and a tangy dressing like tahini or Greek yogurt based. The tempeh can be baked or crumbled to top the salad.

Sandwiches – Baked or fried tempeh with avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion makes a hearty sandwich. Use whole grain bread or rolls.

Tacos – Crumble baked tempeh and add to tacos along with typical fixings like salsa, guacamole, cabbage, beans, etc. The tempeh stands in for ground meat.

Pasta – Cubed baked tempeh tossed with pasta, pesto or red sauce, and shredded parmesan is simple and satisfying.

Soup – Add baked tempeh slices or crumbles to vegetable, minestrone, curry, or miso based soups.

With the right cooking methods, you can enjoy all the nutritional benefits of tempeh while retaining the healthy probiotics. Cook tempeh lightly at lower temperatures and minimize excess oil. Pair with nutrient-dense vegetables and grains for delicious probiotic-rich meals. You just follow these guidelines in this article to cook tempeh safely and maintain the digestive and immune-boosting properties of this fermented superfood.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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