These vegetarian tempeh tacos with slaw and avocado are smoky, spicy, and incredibly satisfying. The tempeh is marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and then gets baked to perfection and piled into tortillas. This is healthy eating at its finest.
Tempeh is the perfect base for a helluva tasty taco. Unlike tofu, tempeh has a firm, very meat-like texture and doesn’t require nearly as much prep work to make it a great stand in for real meat. Even the non-vegans will enjoy these vegan tacos.
How to make marinated tempeh for tacos
Step 1: steam the tempeh. Why? Steaming cuts down on the inherent bitterness of tempeh. It’s a very simple process that can be happening while you prep the marinade ingredients.
Step: 2 whip up the marinade in a medium bowl then add tempeh and toss to coat. Let tempeh marinate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
Step 3: preheat oven to 375-degrees and arrange tempeh in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake tempeh until it’s brown and starting to caramelize—so easy!
Chipotle marinade for tempeh tacos
This chipotle marinade is incredibly easy to whip up and can be used on a variety of proteins. Here’s what you’ll need:
Tempeh tacos with slaw & avocado
This recipe features a super simple and refreshing slaw that is not only GREAT with these tacos, but it also great as a side dish for just about any meal (grilled meat and fish, sandwiches, crab cakes).
Because the tempeh is marinated in a smoky chipotle mixture, these tacos really benefit from something fresh and crisp (slaw) as well as something cool and creamy (avocado). If you’re looking for something that resembles sour cream, and want to keep this vegan, drizzle some cashew cream over top!
Additional Chipotle Taco Variations:
Love the sound of these tempeh tacos with apple slaw and avocado but want to try them with meat?
Chipotle Chicken Tacos:
Use ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast in place of the tempeh. Just skip the steaming, cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes, and marinate as directed. Either bake as directed or cook on stovetop in a skillet with some oil.
Chipotle Beef Tacos:
Use ½ lb. ground beef in place of the tempeh. Skip the steaming and marinating. Cook beef in a skillet with some olive oil, one cup diced white onion, one minced chipotle pepper, two tablespoons adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic, and some kosher salt.
If you like these vegan tacos, you might also like these vegetarian Crispy Tofu Tacos with Asian Pear Slaw.
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These vegetarian Chipotle Tempeh Tacos are smoky, spicy, and incredibly satisfying. The tempeh is marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce, gets baked to perfection, then is piled into tortillas with a fresh, crisp green apple slaw. This is healthy eating at its finest.
- 8 ounces tempeh
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 3 teaspoons honey or pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon grated fresh garlic
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
- 1 cup julienned Granny Smith apple
- ¾ cup halved, and thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced jalapeño
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- Tortillas (corn if gluten-free)
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- Greek yogurt or cashew cream
- Lime wedges
Fill a skillet with 1-inch of water and add tempeh. Bring water to a simmer over medium heat and cook tempeh 12 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove tempeh, pat dry, then transfer to a cutting board. Slice tempeh in half lengthwise (into two thin halves) then cut each rectangle into 16 bite-sized pieces.
Whisk oil, chipotle, adobo, lime juice, honey, garlic, and salt together; add tempeh pieces and toss to coat. Cover tempeh and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 24, stirring occasionally.
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tempeh on sheet in an even layer, and bake until tempeh is caramelized and deep golden brown, about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons lime juice, vinegar, oil, honey, 1 teaspoon lime zest, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Add cabbage, apple, onion, jalapeño, parsley, and cilantro; toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.
Lightly toast tortillas over an open flame on stove top or under broiler just until warm and charred on both sides. Scoop slaw into tortilla, arrange 4–5 tempeh pieces over slaw, top with avocado slices, greek yogurt or cashew cream, and additional herbs. Serve with lime wedges.
Prep and cook time does not include marinating time. Allow for at least 2 hours marinating time, but the longer the better.
- Calories: 259
- Sugar: 18g
- Sodium: 575mg
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: Tempeh Tacos, Tempeh Tacos with Slaw, Vegan Tempeh Tacos, Tempeh Tacos with Avocado, Chipotle Tempeh Tacos
This recipe post was originally posted on September 22, 2017. It was updated with additional information and more concise instructions on October 21, 2019.