This flavorful Peanut-Lime Tempeh is an easy addition to your weekly menu. Enjoy it with rice or noodles, on top of a big salad, or tucked into wraps and sandwiches. Vegan and free from gluten, oil, and refined sugar.
Don't you just love peanut sauce? Usually it includes fresh ginger and uses rice vinegar as the main acid, but I thought I would tweak the ingredient list just a bit to create a more lime-forward version.
To make this lime-peanut sauce all you need are 6 ingredients plus a knife, cutting board, microplane, bowl, and a fork to stir it all together! Then we're going to slather it onto healthy, nutrient-rich tempeh and bake it. This tempeh recipe is flavorful, versatile, and really simple, three of our favorite things, right?
How to Make Peanut-Lime Tempeh
Here's a brief summary so that you can see exactly how simple the process is. Be sure to scroll all the way down for the full recipe.
In a small bowl combine peanut butter (I went with natural, salted, crunchy), tamari (or soy sauce), lime zest and juice, maple syrup, minced or pureed garlic, and red pepper flakes (omit if not a fan of spicy heat). Then use a fork to stir everything together until a thick sauce forms. Add a small splash of water to thin it out, if needed. Be careful not to add too much water, though. We want this to be a thick, sticky sauce that will cling to the tempeh.
If you've never made a sauce like this before, don't be alarmed when it starts to look curdled like the middle photo below. Just keep stirring, and it will all come together.
Slicing the Tempeh and Coating it in Sauce
Tempeh is usually sold in rectangular 8 ounce blocks. You might come across different shapes, in which case you can go about slicing it in a different way than I did. All that matters is that you have thin pieces, with plenty of surface area for the flavorful sauce to cling to. Strips or squares would also work.
For this recipe I used 2 packages of tempeh, so 16 ounces. To get the thin triangles you see in the photos, cut each slab of tempeh into 4 pieces (at this point you'll have 8 equal-sized rectangles). Then, I like to stand each piece on its side (photo on the left below) and slice through it length-wise (now you have 16 thin rectangles). Stack 2 or 4 of the pieces, cut on the diagonal, and repeat. You'll end up with 32 small triangles.
Next, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Dredge each piece of tempeh in the thick peanut sauce. You want to cover the tempeh fairly well but not use SO much sauce that you run out before finishing. Lay each piece of tempeh on the baking sheet, leaving some room around each piece.
Bake the tempeh in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 22 minutes, and that's it! Pretty simple, right? I love how the peanut sauce gets dry in the oven and creates a deep, meaty color.
On that note, the recipe makes just enough sauce to cover the tempeh. If you want extra sauce for drizzling on individual servings, you may want to increase the sauce ingredients by 50%... or maybe even double the recipe. You can always refrigerate extra sauce, and use it later in the week.
If you decide to make extra sauce, just scoop a portion of it into a separate bowl before you start dipping the uncooked tempeh into the original bowl. Make sense?
A Note About Steaming Tempeh
I wanted to keep this recipe as quick and simple as possible for you, so the recipe doesn't recommend steaming or marinating the tempeh before baking it. Some people like to steam tempeh before using it in a recipe to lessen its natural flavor/bitterness. But in full disclosure, I never steam tempeh before cooking it. For one thing, the flavor doesn't bother me (and I actually think my taste buds are pretty sensitive to bitter), but also, I'm usually too hungry and impatient!
If you know that you prefer steamed tempeh, feel free to add that step. If you're new to cooking with tempeh and aren't really sure whether to steam or not, I recommend trying the recipe as written first (no steaming). Since the tempeh is cut into small and thin triangles, there's plenty of surface area for the flavorful peanut sauce to cover the tempeh flavor.
This Peanut-Lime Tempeh is so versatile. Pack into a wrap, serve it on a bed of fresh greens, enjoy it as a snack alongside fresh veggies, or serve it on top of a bowl of steaming hot rice! It's delicious with a fresh squeeze of lime, peanuts for extra crunch, and a drizzle of sriracha if you like extra heat.
If you try this easy baked tempeh I would love to hear from you! Come back and leave a comment and star rating below to let everyone know how it turned out. You can also tag me in a photo on instagram with @myquietkitchen.
More tempeh recipes:
Easy Peanut-Lime Tempeh
- 16 ounces tempeh Usually sold in 8 oz. packages.
For the Peanut-Lime Sauce:
- ½ cup natural salted peanut butter I used crunchy but smooth works, too!
- 2 Tbsp tamari Or soy sauce if not GF.
- zest from half a lime, about 1 teaspoon
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, zested or minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes Or less, to taste.
- 1 to 2 Tbsp water, for consistency
- fresh cilantro
- additional lime zest and/or juice
- chopped roasted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a medium bowl combine the peanut butter, tamari, lime zest and juice, maple syrup, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
- If your tempeh came in 8 ounce rectangles, you can follow instructions below for cutting into small, thin triangles (this makes 32). Otherwise, cut the tempeh into any shape you like. Just make sure the pieces are somewhat thin. Cut each 8 oz. rectangular piece of tempeh into 4 equal-sized rectangles. Stand one rectangle up on its side and slice down length-wise to create two thin rectangles. Stack them, and slice on the diagonal so that you have 4 triangles. Repeat with the rest of the tempeh.
- Dredge each piece of tempeh in the thick peanut sauce, covering it well but not using SO much sauce that you run out. Lay tempeh on the baking sheet, leaving some room around each piece.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until piping hot. Serve immediately.