RECIPE: Tempeh Tacos


Tacos made with crumbled tempeh, sautéed in a bit of oil with a few spices like cumin and chipotle chile, and topped with salsa, make a quick and delicious weeknight dinner. I use whatever vegetables are in the fridge; one week it was purple cabbage as in this recipe; another night it was garlic with the tempeh, topped with some arugula and cherry tomatoes. This recipe is very adaptable! The key in all these tacos has been the fresh tasting, buttery Tootie’s Tempeh, which was founded by Sarah Speare and Barbara Fiore in Maine in 2019 and is the best tempeh I have tried!

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Tempeh tacos

Tempeh Tacos

  • Author: Catherine Walthers
  • Yield: Serves 2 or 3 (Makes about 8 tacos) 1x


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Tootie’s Tempeh or other tempeh, crumbled
  • ½  teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked chipotle chile powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 just-ripe avocado
  • 1 package Maria and Ricardo’s mini flour tortillas or Hermosa Organic soft corn tortillas


  1. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, red onion, and cabbage to a skillet and saute over medium heat, stirring often until cabbage is wilted and nearly cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crumbled tempeh, and continue sautéing another 5 minutes until the tempeh is hot and slightly browned. Add the cumin and chile powder, and salt to taste, and cook a few minutes more, stirring often. 
  2. For the salsa, place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl and stir in the garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste. Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the flesh and slice lengthwise. Set aside.
  3. Heat 6 to 8 tortillas according to the package instructions. Top each with about ¼ cup of the tempeh mixture, a dollop of salsa, and a few slices of avocado. Enjoy!

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.
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