Plant-based protein has never been so tasty! Air Fryer Tempeh is ready to eat in less than 10 minutes and coated in a sticky, savory sauce. Eat it on its own or use it for a protein boost in stir fry and grain bowls.
Skip the skillet and grill for Air Fryer Tempeh instead. It’s the quickest way to enjoy crispy tempeh strips without needing any oil or marinade. They’re done cooking in less than 10 minutes and are coated in a 6-ingredient, Asian-inspired sauce for a boost of flavor!
Tempeh is a fermented plant-based protein made from soybeans. It’s easy to cook and takes on flavor like a pro, making tempeh an ideal (and fiber-packed) replacement for tofu when making vegan bacon and other vegan alternatives for meat.
- Air frying tempeh is easy, hands-off, and quick.
- It’s the best way to enjoy crispy tempeh in less than 10 minutes and without any oil.
- Coated in an easy homemade sauce to really take each bite up a notch.
- It’s gluten free, oil free, nut free, and vegan!
- Tempeh - Make sure you buy a block of plain, unseasoned tempeh. The tempeh is coated in a flavorful homemade sauce once it’s done cooking and any extra flavor could be conflicting.
- Coconut aminos - This is similar to soy sauce but slightly sweeter and a wonderful gluten free option. If you use soy sauce instead, increase the maple syrup to 2 tablespoons.
- Maple syrup - Honey can be used as a non-vegan option.
- Cornstarch - Arrowroot starch works too.
Step 1: Slice the tempeh. Slice the block of tempeh into strips. Place them in the air fryer basket, making sure they aren’t touching (work in batches if you need to).
Step 2: Air fry the tempeh. Set the air fryer to 400ºF and cook the tempeh slices for about 8 minutes. Make sure to flip them halfway through.
Step 3: Make the sauce. While you wait for the tempeh, whisk the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. You’ll know the sauce is done when it’s thickened slightly.
Step 4: Coat the tempeh. Toss the air fried tempeh slices into the saucepan with the sauce and stir to coat. Serve the air fryer tempeh and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Don’t slice the tempeh too thin, otherwise, it’ll dry out and be a little too crisp. You want the strips to be at least ¼-inch thick.
- Swap the homemade sauce for Thai peanut sauce, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or stir fry sauce depending on how or where you’re serving the tempeh.
- Want to skip the sauce? Replace it with a flavorful marinade instead. Tempeh can be left to marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes or up to 4 hours.
How long do you air fry tempeh?
Tempeh strips only need to cook in the air fryer for about 8 minutes at 400ºF.
How can you tell tempeh is done air frying?
You’ll know the strips are ready when they’re sizzling and are starting to crisp.
How should this be served?
- Refrigerator: The sauce-coated tempeh can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Reheat: Place the slices in a skillet and reheat over medium heat until the sauce is sticky and the tempeh is warmed through.
More easy vegan recipes
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Air Fryer Tempeh
- 8 oz. tempeh 1 package; cut into ½" slices
for the sauce:
- ¼ cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon ginger optional
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Slice tempeh into ½ inch slices (don't slice them too thin!). Place the tempeh directly into your air fryer, making sure none of them are touching.
- Air fry the tempeh at 400° for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the tempeh is cooking, make the sauce: Add the coconut aminos (or soy sauce), maple syrup, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low and whisk until everything is combined and sauce has thickened a bit.
- As soon as the tempeh is done, transfer it to the saucepan and stir until it's coated in the sauce. Enjoy!