Sesame Garlic Noodles with Broccoli, Basil & Crispy Tempeh

Sesame garlic noodles are an easy, delicious vegan main. Ready in 25 minutes! Saucy noodles, fresh vegetables, and crispy tempeh for protein.

An overhead shot of garlic sesame noodles on a white platter. The dish also features broccoli florets and chopped herbs.
An overhead shot of a bowl of noodles with slices of tempeh and cooked broccoli pieces.
A 3/4 angle shot of some Thai basil plants in an herb garden.
An overhead shot of a head of broccoli being trimmed.
An up close shot of dry whole grain noodles.
A 3/4 angle shot of a garlic sesame sauce being whisked up on a black bowl.

I love how simple these sesame garlic noodles are to make! The crispy slices of tempeh that we add for protein are simply seared ahead of time in a skillet. The noodles and broccoli cook together. And the sauce is simply whisked in a bowl and added at the end. Easy!

The six ingredient sauce is tamari-based and super flavourful. We add a bit of lime juice, garlic, sesame oil, and a hint of maple syrup to balance everything out. I whisk it together, pour it over the noodles, cooked broccoli, and plenty of chopped herbs, and it’s done!

More Delicious Tempeh Recipes

What I love most about this recipe is that you could easily make it year-round. It’s also super dependable as a weeknight dinner that lots of folks will love. I know that not everyone is the hugest fan of tempeh, and I get that! You could definitely substitute some seared tofu cubes or other protein of your choice.

If you love cilantro, it would also be delicious in this recipe! Honestly the whole dish is quite flexible if you keep the noodles, veg, and sauce intact. Everything else can be freestyled to your liking!

A 3/4 angle shot of some leaves of basil in a stoneware bowl.
An overhead shot of pieces of tempeh being browned in a skillet.
An overhead shot of broccoli and noodles being cooked in the same saucepan.
An overhead shot of garlic sesame noodles on a white platter. The dish also features broccoli florets and chopped herbs.
garlic sesame noodles with broccoli, basil & crispy tempeh (#vegan, quick and healthy) - The First Mess
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Sesame Garlic Noodles with Broccoli, Basil & Crispy Tempeh

Sesame garlic noodles are an easy, delicious vegan main. Ready in 25 minutes! Saucy noodles, fresh vegetables, and crispy tempeh for protein.
PREP TIME15 mins
COOK TIME25 mins
TOTAL TIME40 mins
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Laura Wright

Ingredients

Sesame Garlic Sauce Ingredients

  • ¼ cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus extra
  • 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil (I used a hot-toasted one with chilies)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated with a Microplane grater
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish

Noodles, Tempeh Etc.

  • ¾ lb noodles of choice
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets (from roughly 1 bunch of broccoli)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 8 oz (227) grams tempeh, sliced ½ inch thick
  • handful of Thai basil leaves, sliced (or regular basil if you have it!)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Tamari, maple syrup, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the noodles. Cook the noodles according to package directions, dropping the broccoli florets into the pot when there’s 3 minutes left. Drain the noodles and broccoli.
  • While the noodles and broccoli are cooking, heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the tempeh slices in the pan in a single layer. Let the first side brown thoroughly. Flip the slices over and let the other side brown. Season the tempeh with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  • In a large bowl, toss the noodles, broccoli, tempeh, Thai basil, green onions, and sesame garlic sauce together until everything is evenly mixed. Garnish the sesame garlic noodles with some extra sesame seeds and serve!

Notes

  • Use any noodles you like for this. I went with a simple spelt-base noodle that I had on hand, but you could also do buckwheat soba, edamame/mung bean fettuccine, brown rice noodles… spiralized raw zucchini even! If you go for traditional cooked/grain-based noodles, just be mindful of the cook time on the package, and drop the broccoli in when there’s about 3 minutes left with the cooking time.
  • A note on the tempeh too: generally I think tempeh is best when it’s first steamed and then seared/roasted. If you’re open to frying the tempeh in a decent amount of oil (as I describe in this recipe), you can skip the steaming and go straight to browning.
A head on shot of a platter of noodles and broccoli garnished with herbs

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