Vegan tempeh burrito bowls are a quick, easy, and healthy dinner idea for busy weeknights! This high protein plant-based meal is loaded with smoky tempeh, black beans, brown rice, corn, avocado, and cashew cream. They are nourishing, satisfying, and made with pantry staples. You can easily customize your tempeh bowl with all sorts of add-ins and toppings. Enjoy it for meal prep, work lunch, or to feed the family!
Another week, another plant-based dinner recipe! This week, we are kicking things off with a delicious meatless Monday idea: tempeh burrito bowls. That’s right – you certainly do not have to give up burrito bowls when you adopt a vegan diet. Just make it a meatless taco bowl by swapping the meat with smoky, pan-fried tempeh instead.
This bowl is one of my favorite tempeh recipes. It’s loaded with all sorts of textures, colors, and flavors. Since the meal is so versatile, you can enjoy it over and over again with different toppings and sauces. That way, you’ll never ever grow tired of it!
These tempeh burrito bowls are:
- Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free
- Smoky, saucy, and moderately spicy
- Nourishing, filling, wholesome, and satisfying
- A 30 minute dinner idea that’s quick and easy to make
- Made with pantry staples and simple ingredients
- Versatile with various options for add-ins and toppings
- Great for meal prep and busy weeknight meals!
What is tempeh made of?
What is tempeh? Tempeh is the healthy meat replacement in this vegan burrito bowl recipe. Simply put, it is just fermented soybeans. Like its sister, tofu, tempeh is a soy product that is rich in plant-based protein. When it comes to making tempeh, the soybeans are fermented and formed into a dense cake. For this reason, it is usually sold in an 8 ounce or 16 ounce block.
What does it taste like? Tempeh has a chewy texture and earthy, nutty flavor. It can be steamed, baked, fried, or sautéed. Tempeh is more flavorful and less spongey than tofu. It also contains more fiber, iron, potassium, and provides the benefit of prebiotics (while tofu does not).
What are tempeh burrito bowls made of?
This tempeh bowl is a high protein vegan meal because it’s packed with plant-based protein sources. It’s also rich in fiber and micronutrients. See all of the ingredients below.
- Rice: Any type of rice can be included in this tempeh bowl. I personally enjoy brown rice, but white rice works too. For a low carb option, use cauliflower rice instead.
- Tempeh: Tempeh is rich in nutrients, including iron, manganese, and magnesium. It’s also low carb, high protein, and low sodium.
- Black beans: Black beans are loaded with fiber, minerals, and a good source of plant-based protein. If you don’t have black beans on hand, you can replace them with kidney beans or pinto beans.
- Corn: I love corn because it’s affordable, easily accessible, and brings color to the bowl.
- Lettuce: I always add shredded lettuce for fresh flavor and crunchy texture. It also helps bulk up the bowls, making them more filling with minimal calories added.
- Onion: I suggest yellow onion, but you could also use red onion or shallots.
- Tomato paste: For a rich umami flavor, add a spoonful of concentrated tomato paste.
- Soy sauce: Tamari and coconut nectar are also great choices.
- Maple syrup: Add a touch of sweetness with real maple syrup. You can also use coconut sugar, agave nectar, or honey.
- Lime juice: Lime juice brightens the spicy and smoky flavors.
- Spices: We’ll use a blend of chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. If you want to add extra spices, feel free to adjust them to your own preference.
- Avocado: Diced avocado or guacamole adds a creamy texture and source of healthy fats.
- Salsa: Pico de gallo, liquid salsa, or even hot sauce can be added for extra flavor.
How to make a tempeh bowl
For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Start by cooking the rice according to the package instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. First, rinse and drain the cans of black beans and corn. Second, combine the water, tomato paste, soy sauce, maple syrup, and lime juice in a small bowl. Third, roughly grate the block of tempeh or use clean hands to crumble it over a bowl.
Next, warm a frying pan over medium-low temperature. Add oil and diced onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add crumbled tempeh, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until the tempeh browns. If needed, you can add an extra dash of water or oil to prevent sticking. Then, add the liquid “marinade” and cook for another 5 minutes.
Finally, divide the rice, black beans, corn, tempeh, and lettuce amongst bowls to serve. Add the toppings of your choosing, like avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, and cashew cream. Enjoy!
What to put in vegan burrito bowls
One of my favorite things about burrito bowls is that they are so versatile! Easily customize your tempeh bowl with all sorts of add-ins and substitutions. Choose from the list of options below or try out your own.
- Rice: Use brown, white, or cauliflower rice for the base
- Beans: The recipe calls for black beans, but you can add kidney or pinto
- Sweet potato: Roasted sweet potato pairs well with the rice and beans
- Greens: Choose from romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, or mixed greens
- Guacamole: Make the Best Guacamole Recipe or enjoy your favorite pre-made guac
- Jalapeño: Fresh jalapeño for heat or pickled jalapeño for tanginess
- Tortilla strips: Add a crunch to the bowl with strips or crumbled tortilla chips
- Vegan cheese: Use your favorite dairy-free cheese for cheesy flavor
- Salsa: Add Pico De Gallo Recipe (Salsa Fresca) or liquid salsa
- Hot sauce: Crank up the heat with a drizzle of hot sauce
- Dressing: Try Cashew Cream Sauce or Vegan Chipotle Aioli for extra smokiness
Meal prep: Prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time, then toss them in a bowl and reheat for a healthy 10 minute meal. You can also prep the tempeh bowls in containers, making this a healthy lunch idea for work!
Wrap it: Turn the bowls into tempeh burritos by wrapping the ingredients in a large tortilla.
Save time: Tired after a long day or work? You can enjoy these burrito bowls with minimal time and effort. Use frozen rice and store bought pico de gallo, guacamole, and shredded lettuce for a super quick and easy dinner.
Storage tips: I recommend storing the fresh ingredients separately, including the shredded lettuce and pico de gallo. Those are best added when it’s time to actually sit down and eat the meal. Additionally, the avocado and guacamole browns easily – so add this ingredient for serving.
More easy vegan dinner recipes
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Vegan Black Bean Burgers
- Avocado Pasta (Vegan)
- Vegan Jackfruit Tacos
- Vegan Three Bean Chili
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas
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Vegan tempeh burrito bowls are easy, healthy, and one of the best busy weeknight dinner ideas! This high protein vegan meal is loaded with pantry staples like black beans, brown rice, corn, avocado, and pico de gallo. It’s gluten-free, vegetarian, and perfect for lunch meal prep! #vegandinner #veganrecipe #tempeh #healthyrecipe #meatless #whole30 #plantbased #healthydinnerideas
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 block tempeh (8oz)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook rice according to the package instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients.
- Drain and rinse the cans of black beans and corn. Set aside.
- Roughly grate the block of tempeh or use clean hands to crumble it over a bowl.
- Combine water, tomato paste, soy sauce, maple syrup, and lime juice in a bowl. Set aside.
- Warm a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil and diced onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add crumbled tempeh, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until the tempeh browns. If needed, you can add an extra dash of water or oil to prevent sticking. Then, add the liquid “marinade” and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Divide the rice, black beans, corn, lettuce, and tempeh amongst bowls. Add the toppings of your choosing, including pico de gallo, avocado, guacamole, salsa, and cashew cream, etc. Enjoy!
- Read the blog post for more recommended toppings and dressings.
- The nutrition information below includes brown rice. If you use cauliflower rice, it will be significantly lower in calories.
- Serving Size: 1 serving (¼ recipe)
- Calories: 495
- Sugar: 13g
- Fat: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 82g
- Fiber: 17g
- Protein: 24g
Keywords: vegan tempeh burrito bowls, tempeh recipes, tempeh bowl
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