Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh

Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh (Vegan) | visionsofveggies.com

Ready for some comfort food? If so, you should definitely try this cornmeal crusted tempeh. Tempeh slices are marinated with a tamari based sauce and battered with a crunchy cornmeal crust.

Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh (Vegan) | Visions of Veggies | www.visionsofveggies.comTo make this recipe, start by cutting up the tempeh blocks. I like to cut the tempeh into thin triangles so that I have more pieces of tempeh. Lots of pieces equals lots of surface area for the crunchy cornmeal coating! First, cut the slab of tempeh in half, then cut each half diagonally so that you end up with 4 triangles. Next, cut each triangle in half depthwise so that you end up with 8 thin triangles.

Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh (Vegan) | Visions of Veggies | www.visionsofveggies.comThe next step is to cook the tempeh triangles in a marinade made with tamari sauce and a little bit of maple syrup. This step adds tons of flavor to the tempeh.

After the tempeh triangles cool for a bit, dip each slice first into the whole wheat flour, then the non-dairy milk, and finally the cornmeal, ensuring that both sides get fully coated. I recommend using a medium grind cornmeal (I typically use Bob’s Red Mill brand). I add a few spices to the cornmeal coating, including smoked paprika and garlic powder.

Finally, cook the triangles in batches in a shallow layer of oil for a few minutes on each side. They should be lightly browned, but watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn.

Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh (Vegan) | Visions of Veggies | www.visionsofveggies.comYou have so many options for sides to go along with this entrée. It goes especially well with my garlic mashed potatoes.

If you try this cornmeal crusted tempeh I would love to hear about it! Please rate the recipe in the comments below and let me know how it went.

Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh

Tempeh pieces are marinated in a tamari based sauce to add a burst of flavor and battered in a crunchy cornmeal coating.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 344 kcal
Author Visions of Veggies


  • 1 (8 ounce) package tempeh
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour or sub all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • Grapeseed oil or other neutral vegetable oil


  1. Cut the slab of tempeh in half, then cut each half diagonally so that you end up with 4 triangles. Next, cut each triangle in half depthwise so that you end up with 8 thin triangles. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add the tamari, water, and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
  3. Place the tempeh slices in the bottom of a large rimmed pot or pan so that they fit in a single layer. Pour the tamari mixture over the tempeh. Give the pan a gentle shake in order to coat all of the tempeh with the tamari mixture.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes, then gently flip the tempeh over and simmer for about 5 more minutes, or until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Remove from heat, uncover, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small, shallow bowl, add the cornmeal, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir to combine.
  7. Place the whole wheat flour and the non-dairy milk each in separate small, shallow bowls.
  8. Arrange the 3 bowls in a line so that the flour is first, the non-dairy milk is second, and the cornmeal is third.
  9. Once the tempeh is cool enough to touch, take a piece and dip both sides first into the flour, then the non-dairy milk, and finally the cornmeal. Ensure that each side of the tempeh gets fully coated before dipping into the next bowl. Place the tempeh on a plate and repeat with the remaining pieces.
  10. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, place the tempeh in the skillet and cook for 1-3 minutes on each side, or until golden. When you flip the tempeh, add a little more oil if it has all been absorbed. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Once done, remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
  11. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can easily be doubled to yield 4 servings. However, all the tempeh pieces probably will not lay in the pan in a single layer in step 3. This is okay, you will just need to do a little rearranging part way through to ensure all the pieces get some time to soak in the marinade. In addition, you will probably need to pan fry in batches in step 10.

This recipe was inspired by the pecan and cornmeal crusted tempeh from the book Real Food for Everyone by Ann Gentry.

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