Almond Butter Tempeh Stir Fry

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 22 votes

This healthy tempeh stir fry with ginger-garlic almond butter sauce is a simple vegan dinner that’s ready in 40 minutes. This main course is loaded with vegetables, protein-packed, and simple to make

An up close, overhead shot of an almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables in a nonstick frying pan. The stir fry is topped with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
An up close, overhead shot of an almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables in a nonstick frying pan. The stir fry is topped with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
An overhead shot of a serving of almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables over a pile of cooked brown rice. The single serving is in an off-white bowl with free-painted blue dots all over it.
An overhead shot shows ingredients used in an almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables. All ingredients are set against a worn wood background.

This simple almond butter tempeh stir fry is one of the best ways to use tempeh if you’re new to it! The recipe uses simple cooking methods (all on the stovetop) and one large sauté pan plus a bowl for whisking up the delicious tempeh stir fry sauce. Easy, tasty, and ready in about 40 minutes! The flavourful ginger and garlic almond butter sauce reminds me of this delicious sticky ginger tempeh recipe–more plant-based protein inspiration for you :)

All about tempeh:

  • Tempeh is a fermented “cake” made from cooked soybeans (and other grains) that have been inoculated with a fermentation starter. It’s been made and enjoyed in Indonesia for thousands of years. The fermentation process helps to break down the phytic acid in the soybeans which correspondingly enables better digestion of the starches.
  • It is thought that tempeh-making became an accidental byproduct of tofu making, which was introduced by Chinese immigrants to the island of Java during the 17th century.
  • I do not recommend eating tempeh straight from the package. It can have a bitter taste! For this sautéed tempeh, I recommend boiling or steaming it for 10 minutes first. I do this with most of my tempeh recipes.
  • Tempeh is usually a very dense, compacted cake–not a ton of textured surface area to work in flavour! To make it taste good in this healthy tempeh stir fry, I recommend slicing it super thin after boiling. This evens the ratio of tempeh to sauce, which boosts flavour!

I used Logan Petit Lot’s roasted almond butter with sea salt in these photos. I would describe the texture as between smooth and crunchy. Roasted and smooth is great here. We add a bit of water to loosen up the sauce. Depending on your almond butter, you may need to add more or less. The resulting sauce should be quite punchy with flavour and fluid. I also recommend roasted sunflower seed butter or even peanut butter in this recipe as substitutes.

I know folks will ask: I think tofu would work great here as well! Just slice the same amount of firm tofu into similarly small pieces and brown it up nice in the pan. If you. feel like an extra step, I’d toss the tofu with cornstarch/arrowroot and lots of salt and pepper first. This will give you some extra crispy potential.

A 3/4 angle shot shows almond butter sauce being poured into a frying pan filled with stir fried vegetables and pieces of tempeh.
An overhead shot of an almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables in a nonstick frying pan. The stir fry is topped with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
An up close, overhead shot of an almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables in a nonstick frying pan. The stir fry is topped with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.

Almond Butter Tempeh Stir Fry

This healthy tempeh stir fry with ginger-garlic almond butter sauce is a simple vegan dinner that’s ready in 40 minutes. Loaded with vegetables, protein-packed, and simple to make.
5 from 22 votes
An up close, overhead shot of an almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables in a nonstick frying pan. The stir fry is topped with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients

Almond Butter Stir Fry Sauce

  • ¼ cup smooth almond butter
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated with a microplane
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated with a microplane
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as sriracha
  • ¼ cup water, plus extra

Tempeh Stir Fry

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) tempeh, cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • chopped cilantro, optional
  • cooked rice, for serving

Notes

  • I like to serve this simply with brown rice. Noodles or any other grain that you like will also work.
  • Use vegetables that you like and have on hand! Broccoli, carrots, and bell pepper are my go-tos for stir fries, but pretty much anything will work—snap peas, green beans, cauliflower, chopped cabbage etc.
  • You can also chuck all of the sauce ingredients in a blender if you like! No need to finely grate the ginger and garlic with this method.
  • I think tofu would work great here as well! Just slice the same amount of firm tofu into similarly small pieces and brown it up nice in the pan. If you. feel like an extra step, I’d toss the tofu with cornstarch/arrowroot and lots of salt and pepper first. This will give you some extra crispy potential.

Instructions

  • Make the almond butter sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, ginger, garlic, Tamari, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lime juice, and hot sauce. Give this a quick whisk. Add the water and begin to slowly whisk it in to combine. Once the sauce starts coming together, whisk more vigorously. Give the sauce a taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (more Tamari, vinegar etc). It should be pretty intense tasting and quite fluid! Set aside.
  • Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and place the tempeh pieces in. Cover the pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh, let it cool, and then slice thinly. Discard the water and wipe out the pan.
  • Set the large sauté pan back over medium high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl it around. Add the sliced tempeh to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let it sear/brown on one side and then stir/flip the pieces around. Let the tempeh sear and brown on the other side, this will take about 5-6 minutes total. Keep stirring throughout the process.
  • Transfer the browned tempeh to a plate and return the sauté pan to the stove. Pour in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl it around. Add the carrot and bell pepper slices to the pan. Sauté until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli to the pan and a splash of water. Place a lid on top and cook until broccoli is slightly tender and bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  • Add the tempeh back to the pan and pour the almond butter sauce in, stirring until everything is heated through. Add the green onions and cilantro (if using).
  • Serve the almond butter tempeh stir fry immediately with cooked rice, noodles, or other carb of your choice.
An overhead shot of a serving of almond butter tempeh stir fry with vegetables over a pile of cooked brown rice. The single serving is in an off-white bowl with free-painted blue dots all over it.
03/05/2023
Posted in: autumn, broccoli, carrots, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, main course, quick, salty, sour, spicy, spring, summer, tempeh, umami, vegan, winter

11 comments

Recipe Rating




  • summer

    5 stars
    I’ve made this many times! It’s a new weeknight regular. I have a couple of notes / modifications that I’ve made. 1. I air fry the tempeh at 400 for 14 minutes (it should be extra crispy), 2. I have added about 1/4 C oj rather than maple syrup for a citrusy kick a couple of times in the sauce, it worked well! 3. I add extra lime juice at the end since I think it really brightens the whole thing, 4. I cook the carrots + scallion stems for a couple of minutes, then add the bell pepper for a couple of minutes, and then follow instructions from there. I find it helps the bell pepper not become slimy, 5. I use red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp ish) rather than hot sauce and extra garlic / ginger. Always serve over short grain brown rice with extra cilantro and scallions. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  • Cait

    5 stars
    This was delicious. I used peanut butter because that’s what I had. I’m not a great cook but following these instructions gave me PERFECTLY cooked vegetables. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Sue

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and I will definitely make it over and over again. Thank you

  • Kerstin

    5 stars
    Loved it and will definitely make it again! I love and always look for good tempeh recipes :) Thank you!

  • Jen

    5 stars
    This sauce is everything. Absolutely amazing. I made this with tofu and rice noodles and have thought about it every day since. Don’t wait! Just make this. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  • Anna

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice, it’s delicious! The only tweak I made the second time was blanching the broccoli for about 3 mins before adding it in with the other veggies, which I found to be helpful in making sure it was thoroughly cooked without having to cook the peppers longer than I wanted. Thanks, Laura, for the great recipe!

  • Valerie

    5 stars
    Another recipe added to the rotation! This is delicious and so satisfying and filling! I used veggies that I already had in the fridge and it was perfect. I was a little skeptical of the almond butter, but it is so good and adds a (very) subtle nutty flavor to the dish! I can’t wait to make this again :)

  • Jane

    5 stars
    Made this today. Tasty, easy and filling. Love easily customizable recipes too! I used carrots, broccoli, pepper and also kale and cabbage. I also used frozen edamame cause it’s what I had and it was easy. Thanks!

  • Katharina

    5 stars
    Made this today and it’s absolutely delicious!!

  • Kim H

    5 stars
    This was delicious and easy!

  • iris

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing flavor! Such a deliciously satisfying meal. I never realized that preparing the tempeh in this (2 step) way would yield a milder taste. Bravo! Once again Laura you set the bar so very high!