The Best Marinated Tempeh

You need a great tempeh marinade in your life and THIS IS IT! Try it and see what you think. I make it at the beginning of the week and use it in sandwiches and salads. Read on for the recipe!

Tempeh is made from cooked and fermented soybeans that are pressed into a square or rectangular cake, although it can also be made out of beans and grains. Because it’s fermented, tempeh is loaded with a complex umami flavor. It’s sort of nutty and earthy, but also slightly bitter with a kind of fermented tang. As for the texture, it’s dense and dry and somewhat chewy. And yes, it’s definitely an acquired taste.

If you happen to have a local tempeh maker in your area, like I do here in New York, definitely buy your tempeh from them, but Lightlife Foods and SoyBoy Tofu make really good tempeh too.

When you open a package of tempeh, you will see that it looks like compressed beans, because that is exactly what it is. Sometimes there are black or dark gray areas on the surface of the tempeh, which is the result of the cultures used to ferment the beans. It’s totally fine, you don’t have to cut it away.

For some recipes I call for steaming tempeh first because it reduces the bitterness and softens it up but baking tempeh bascially does the same thing. So here is my go-to tempeh marinade and I bet it will be yours too!

Note: I call for an 8oz. package of tempeh cut into 8 rectangles. The photo above shows 12 pieces because I used a package and a half that day!

The Best Marinated Tempeh

Servings 8 pieces


  • 1 8oz. package tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut the tempeh into 8 rectangles or triangles.

  3. Whisk together the oil, tamari, balsamic and maple.

  4. Dredge the tempeh in the marinade and place on the tray.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes, turn the tempeh, and bake for another 5.

  6. Eat immediately or let cool and store until ready to eat. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “The Best Marinated Tempeh

  1. Hi! You can steam it first if you want to but if it is fresh local tempeh, you probably don’t need to. Do what you normally do before using it!

Leave a Reply