Tempeh is a dense cake made of fermented cooked soybeans. Nutty and satisfying, it’s perfect chopped, crumbled, or sliced. For this BBQ Tempeh Bowl, just toss in a few ingredients and crisp it all up in a hot pan.

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at healthycook@cspinet.org.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2


  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika or chipotle powder
  • 8 oz. tempeh, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 Tbs. neutral-tasting oil (like grapeseed or safflower)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 green bell or poblano pepper, dice
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 cup finely shredded romaine
  • ¼ cup Creamy Cilantro Sauce (see recipe)
  • A few lime wedges (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire, maple syrup, and paprika. Add the tempeh and gently toss to coat.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, heat 1 Tbs. oil on medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the tempeh until browned in spots, 3-5 minutes. Divide into 2 bowls.
  3. Wipe the pan with a paper towel. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and increase the heat to high. Sauté the corn, pepper, and onion until hot but still crisp, 1-2 minutes. Add half to each of the two bowls.
  4. Top each bowl with the lettuce and Creamy Cilantro Sauce. Serve with the lime wedges.

Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Makes: ½ cup


  • ¼ cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a small food processor, blend the ingredients until smooth.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (2½ cups):

  • Calories: 500
  • Total fat: 27 g
  • Sat fat: 4 g
  • Carbs: 45 g
  • Fiber: 14 g
  • Total sugar: 12 g
  • Added sugar: 5 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Sodium: 750 mg

Photo: Kate Sherwood and Jennifer Urban/CSPI.