Savory Tempeh Crumbles

August 10, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: You’ll be surprised at how versatile this recipe is. I’ve used these crumbles in tacos, burritos, pasta sauces, lasagnas, bowls, stir-fries, casseroles, vegan mac n’ cheese, nachos, and in countless other ways. Once you get the hang of making the crumbles, it’s easy to modify them to fit any flavor profile (Italian herbs and extra garlic for a pasta dish, a pinch of chili and cayenne or a teaspoon of adobo sauce for something Mexican).Gena Hamshaw

Serves: 3 to 4 as an appetizer


  • 1 8-ounce block of tempeh
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (such as safflower or grapeseed), plus extra as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
In This Recipe


  1. Bring a medium pot of shallow water to a simmer. Add the block of tempeh and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the tempeh and pat it dry. Allow the block to cool, and when it's cool enough to handle, crumble it into pieces (whatever size you like—they can be big crumbles or smaller crumbles).
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh, thyme, sage, oregano, paprika, and black pepper. Cook the tempeh for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, or until it's lightly browned, adding a little extra oil as needed.
  3. Add the tamari or soy sauce and the garlic to the tempeh crumbles and cook for another 2 minutes. Season the crumbles to taste with additional herbs or tamari before removing the crumbles from heat and using them in your favorite recipe.

More Great Recipes:
Oregano|Paprika|Sage|Soy Sauce|Thyme|Vegetarian|Vegan|Entree

Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Reviews

Dana March 24, 2018
Love this! I made these crumbles last week and changed up the spices a bit to use in a taco salad, adding some chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. My new favorite way to enjoy tempeh.
Chiara Z. December 3, 2016
The boiling is to remove some of the bitter flavours from the tempeh which some people don't like.
Susan H. September 27, 2016
I wonder about the boiling, too. Maybe that's a step I've never known about in cooking tempeh which might improve the texture in some way.
MyLime August 15, 2016
Why boil the tempeh?