30-Minute Tempeh Stir-Fry

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Plate and skillet filled with Vegetable Tempeh Stir Fry for a gluten-free vegan dinner

Everyone needs a good, classic stir fry recipe in their back pocket for quick lunches and dinners, and I think this should be the one.

It comes together in just 30 minutes, uses up leftover grains and vegetables from the week, is rich in protein and fiber, and delivers big flavor. What’s not to love? Let me show you how easy it is to get this dish on the table.

Overhead image of cutting board with ingredients for a tempeh stir fry including tempeh quinoa bell pepper green onion and kale

It all starts with marinating the tempeh.

What is Tempeh?

Did you know tempeh originated in Indonesia in the early 1800s? (source)

Tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s made of cooked, dehulled soybeans that are inoculated with mold, packed, and incubated until the beans are bound together by the mycelium.

Sounds like weird science, but this fermentation process makes nutrients more available to your body. Plus, tempeh is rich in prebiotics which have been known to promote gut health. It also boasts a whole range of other health benefits, including its iron and calcium content (source).

Overhead image of bowl with tempeh marinating in peanut sauce and a spoon for stirring

Cube your tempeh, mix with your peanut-coconut aminos (or tamari) glaze, and set aside. While that’s happening you’ll prep your other ingredients.

Once marinated, sauté your tempeh on both sides until golden brown and delicious. Then you’ll add your veggies and grains and stir-fry until crispy and browned before adding your tempeh back to the pan to warm. That’s it!

Overhead image of tempeh being stir fried in peanut sauce in a cast iron pan

Origin of Stir-Fries

Stir frying is a quintessential Chinese cooking technique of cooking ingredients over high heat, stirring constantly. In Chinese, “chao” means stir fry.

Stir frying is traditionally done in a wok, which is a frying pan that dates back to the Chinese Han dynasty that distributes heat evenly due to its concave shape and sloping sides. Learn more about the history of stir-fry here.

Overhead image of tempeh stir fry being sautéed in a cast iron pan

We hope you LOVE this stir fry! It’s:

Quick & easy to make
Incredibly flavorful
Protein- & fiber-rich
& So delicious

This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you want something hearty and nutritious on the table fast. I also love making it for lunch when I want something fast and filling.

If you’re into stir fries, be sure to check out our Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry, Quinoa “Fried Rice,” Almond Butter Tofu Stir-Fry, Tofu that Tastes Good Stir-Fry, and the fan favorite General Tso’s Tofu Stir-Fry!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Image of tempeh stir fry served on a white plate with chopsticks and a cast iron pan in the background

30-Minute Tempeh Stir-Fry

A hearty tempeh stir fry with BIG flavor! Just 30 minutes to prepare this weeknight dinner to use up leftover vegetables and please a crowd!
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate and skillet of Tempeh Veggie Stir Fry with chili sauce and fresh limes
4.88 from 98 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days



  • 3-4 tsp chili garlic sauce (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 4 Tbsp salted creamy peanut butter (or almond, cashew, or sunflower butter)
  • 4 tsp sesame oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (or sub slightly lesser amount of tamari to taste as it can be more pungent in flavor)
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 3 tsp freshly grated ginger (or sub 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • 3-4 Tbsp water


  • 8 ounces tempeh (chopped into large, bite-size squares // if GF, ensure gluten-free friendly)


  • 4 tsp sesame oil (or sub double this amount in water)
  • 2/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 4 cups mixed chopped vegetables (we used red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots & kale)
  • 4 tsp coconut aminos (or tamari)
  • 3 cups leftover cooked quinoa,* brown rice,* or uncooked cauliflower rice*


  • Prepare glaze by adding chili garlic sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, coconut aminos (or tamari), lime juice, fresh ginger, and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add water until a thin, pourable sauce is formed. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili garlic sauce for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, or coconut aminos for saltiness. Don’t be shy — you want this quite flavorful.
  • Add the chopped tempeh to the glaze and toss to coat. Then cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (or cover and refrigerate up to 24-48 hours). Prep your other vegetables and toppings at this time.
  • Heat a large rimmed cast iron or metal skillet over medium heat. Once hot, spoon in the tempeh, reserving most of the glaze in the bowl (set aside for later). Sauté for 3-4 minutes, turning on each side until browned. Then remove from pan and set aside.
  • To the still-hot skillet add sesame oil, green onion, and mixed vegetables (if adding greens, wait to add until step 6). Season with a bit of coconut aminos (or tamari) and stir to coat. Cover to cook and steam the vegetables, stirring occasionally until slightly golden brown and tender (about 4-5 minutes). If they stick to the pan, add 1-2 tsp of water to loosen.
  • Once the vegetables are nearly done, add your greens and grains and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through and slightly browned. Then add in the cooked tempeh and the rest of the glaze and stir to coat. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until everything is hot and well incorporated.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days. If freezing, store in the freezer up to 1 month. Let thaw before reheating in a hot skillet with a little sesame oil.



Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 526 Carbohydrates: 53.6 g Protein: 22.8 g Fat: 26.3 g Saturated Fat: 4.2 g Sodium: 636 mg Fiber: 9.9 g Sugar: 14 g

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My Rating:

  1. Gemma says

    This recipe surpassed my expectations! Really easy and very tasty, satisfying and high protein content too. Will definitely be keeping this one on a regular rotation

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Gemma! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  2. Trisha says

    “Great way to cook tempeh. Keep that recipe,” said my husband, going for seconds.
    Delicious success on my first attempt to start eating tempeh because it’s even healthier than tofu, being fermented and less processed. Plus it has a meatier texture. Many thanks!

  3. Jennifer says

    Loved this recipe so much! I will be making this often! I love tempeh and veggies and rice and try to eat vegan most nights. Only issue is that the tempeh wrapped in sauce burns the pan while cooking. Not sure on how to fix that issue!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jennifer! One reader has suggested taking extra care that there is no extra sauce left on the tempeh before adding it to the pan. Hope this helps! xo

  4. sadie says

    Howdy, I’ve long since wanted to find a tempeh recipe that looks this yummy to bring into my weekly roster. My hesitation in trying? Everytime I try a tempeh recipe? It’s bitter AF. What can I do to temper/reduce this? I love tempeh when I buy it from delis or such, but making it myself? Always heinous with the bitter. :( It’s such a great foodstuff for fiber & protein. I’m at a loss. Any tips? TQ

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sadie, a flavorful sauce/glaze is key in our experience! A couple other ideas: 1) trying a different brand – flavor can vary a lot by brand or 2) steaming the tempeh before cooking – we haven’t found it makes a huge difference, but others report it’s helpful!

  5. Stephanie says

    I made this, except that I mistakenly bought and used baked teriyaki tofu instead of the tempeh. No other changes. It was really good. I recommend making sure the tempeh/tofu is drained from the sauce before sauteing it so that the tempeh gets toastier and any extra sauce doesn’t burn in the bottom of the pan.

  6. Janet says

    Yum! Yum! Yum! This was sooooo delicious, really easy to put together and wonderful to be able to put on the table for everyone to serve themselves from one pot. Before I found this recipe I have never found one that really highlights how tasty tempeh can be. Thank you for yet another great recipe from your website.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tessa, sorry to hear it turned out a bit dry! We’d recommend a drippy peanut butter for best results. Or thinning with a little bit of water or oil. Hope that helps if you’re up for giving it another try!

  7. Molly says

    So delectable!! Eating it right now and it’s a new favorite for sure. I’m not vegan or anything, but that’s one thing I love about these types of recipes… being able to use the leftover tempeh “marinade” without food safety worries!! Thank you for another delicious meal. :-)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thank you so much for the lovely review, Molly! We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  8. Jen Beddia says

    This recipe is AMAZING, so flavorful. Question though, am making for my in-laws tonight and they will not eat tempeh. If I omit it, should I use the glaze for the vegetables? Or should I just omit that altogether and cook the veggies in the coconut aminos?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jen, using the glaze for the veggies should work! Or other options would be tofu (if they’ll have that) or chicken (if not vegan).

  9. Barbara H Rhudy says

    Have you ever tried this with Tahini? I’m steering clear of peanut butter
    and have had A LOT of almond butter of late and my gut seems to want a break from those two. Thks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried it but we think it would work! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

      • Barbara H Rhudy says

        So I did try this with tahini…used lemon juice instead of orange, although
        I think the orange wld have been fine…and we loved it with tahini….
        Might have been a bit milder than pb or almond butter. I also omitted the chili garlic sauce given a very sensitive stomach/intestinal system.
        Thanks – I’ll definitely be making this again!

        • Joanna says

          Very tasty and pretty easy to make, too. I didn’t have chili garlic sauce so I substituted 1 tsp garlic and 0.5 tsp red chili flakes. I didn’t have coconut aminos either so I just used soy sauce. Still turned out great!!

  10. Emily says

    OMG my new favorite tempeh dish! Came together super easy and SO TASTY. I’m not one to write recipe reviews, but I was so blown away at how simple and delicious this was!

  11. Jen says

    Delicious!! I think next time I might cut the amount of tempeh in half and double the veggies but overall super tasty.

  12. Aislinn says

    Oh my god, this was delicious! I kinda eyeballed the proportions for the glaze and then just adjusted by taste, ended up making quite a large volume of it but the whole dish was so flavoursome as a result. This will for sure become my go-to stir fry sauce!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Aislinn! Thank you so much for the lovely review! xo

  13. Ana says

    This was SUCH a good recipe. Everyone in my house loved dinner last night, even the omnivores! I used soba noodles instead of quinoa/rice and it was awesome, thank you so much!!

  14. Madison says

    DELICIOUS minimalist baker never fails me. We only had frozen veggies so I used frozen carrots, broccoli, and mixed peppers/onions and it was so good. Definitely will be a repeater!!!!!

  15. Kristy says

    Delicious! I didn’t follow the steps exactly because I started to sauté my veggies and cook a fresh pot of rice and then decided to look up a “tempeh stir fry” recipe to found this! I marinated the tempeh in the glaze according to the recipe while my veggies cooked, then cooked the tempeh separately and added it all together and added the remainder of the glaze. Tempeh stir fry is a recurring weekly meal in our house and I think we found our go-to!!

  16. Steve G says

    Followed this recipe but substituted as follows:-
    chili garlic with couple of teaspoons of srirachi and 2 cloves of garlic
    maple syrup with the same amount of honey
    coconut aminos with the recommended amount of tamari
    This made a very tasty glaze which is why it gets 5 stars. I will be using the glaze recipe as a marinade in other stir fries.

  17. Kristina says

    We just made this stir fry, as we had some leftover tempeh and quinoa. Also a great recipe for using up any leftover vegtables. We used carrots, red bell pepper, green onion, broccoli and baby spinach (instead of kale). Very delicious combination of flavors.

  18. Kelly says

    Oh, wow, this glaze is so delicious. I was wanting something to do with the last half of a pack of tempeh and this more than satisfied! Also tossed in broccoli, zucchini, carrot, and a bit of jalapeno.

  19. Ankita says

    First try on tempeh and oh my god, what a delicious recipe! Loved the sauce. Will thin it out a little more next time. Added brocolli, kale, bell peppers and mushrooms with quinoa. Thanks for this recipe! :)

    • Jackie says

      Awesome! FYI for my fellow IBS buddies
      this can easily be made low FODMAPs:

      garlic chili sauce for chili paste (sambal oelek is my fav)

      Add garlic Oil

      Ommit and veggies that are a trigger for you

      Add whatever veggies your tummy likes!