Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Here’s a secret: I don’t really like tempeh. But I really like this recipe, and it’s probably one of the only reasons I’d buy the stuff. Served on garlic toast, it’s one of my favourite go-to comfort food recipes.


Tempeh Sloppy Joes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (250g/8oz) package tempeh
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (or this one)
Himalayan or fine sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high head. Add the onions and peppers, cooking until tender, a few minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for 1 moment to bloom the flavor. Add tempeh, gently stirring to coat.

Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan, whisking until paste is smooth. It will not be very thick yet. Cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, removing the lid every few minutes to give it a quick stir. Add a splash or two of water if the mixture starts to stick to the pan. Remove the lid, and let continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 more minutes.

Serve warm.


Orange Maple Tempeh

Sweet, salty, and sour, this tempeh is quick to prepare and does well with a dose of cayenne at the end. If you can get it, look for dark maple syrup — it gives the best flavor.

Orange Maple Tempeh

Makes 4 servings

Juice and zest of one large orange
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably dark
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (250g) package of tempeh (pre-steamed), cut into triangles about 3/4 cm thick
2 tablespoons coconut oil or good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Put the orange juice, orange zest, tamari, maple syrup, and garlic in a shallow bowl. Mix to combine, then add the tempeh, making sure it is completely covered with the mixture. Marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.

After marinating, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh to the skillet, reserving the marinade. Fry until brown on each side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the marinade, and let simmer until it has absorbed.