Cheesy Breaded Tempeh

When I first went vegan, I wanted to find filling sources of protein that left me satisfied.  One of my favorite protein sources is tempeh.  I find it “meatier” and more substantial than tofu or seitan, and I love its texture.  You can cube it, crumble it, slice it… honestly it’s very versatile.


I also had spent 5 years living in Wisconsin by that point and cheese was a HUGE part of my life.  I’d ask my friends, “Where should we go for dinner?”  The unanimous response?


cheesy breaded tempeh gif



On Saturday’s, we would hit up the Farmer’s Market in Madison for a loaf (yes a LOAF)of

Stella's cheesy bread in Madison
Stella’s cheesy bread in Madison

spicy cheesy bread, and would eat it all while we walked around the square sampling cheese curds from 4 different stalls… in addition to the pestos, honey, crackers, but those were really pit stops until we completed the path around the square.  By that point, we had eaten the entire loaf, so we would buy another one to take home.  #CollegeDiet.





Our makeshift nacho cheese pizza. College life...
Our makeshift, 3am nacho cheese pizza.


Toppers Sticks (basically bread with melted cheese) were the norm for our post-bar food.  Or we’d improvise and make our own cheesy bread/nacho/basically a plate of cheese.







Needless to say, I ate cheese.   A LOT.  But then when I switched to being vegan, I obviously stopped eating cheese but still had crazy cheese cravings.   So how do I get my cheese fix AND a substantial and hearty bit of protein?




Boom.   Vegan Cheesy Breaded Tempeh.




First, whisk together your marinade.  Mine consists of 1/4 cup vegetable broth, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and a few dashes of hot sauce.  Tempeh is pretty bland on it’s own, but luckily it’s very porous and easily soaks up a marinade.  Ideally, you should marinate it for 30 minutes, but if you don’t have time you can just dunk the tempeh into the mixture before breading.


Then cut the block of tempeh into sticks.  I made 12 sticks that were roughly 1/2 an inch thick.


Marinate the tempeh for 30-45 minutes.  If my bowl is more shallow, I will check it once about halfway through and flip the tempeh over so both sides get equally dunked in the mixture.


cheesy breaded tempeh marinade
Soaking up the marinade.  I flipped them halfway through
Cheesy breaded tempeh mixture



Pre-heat the oven to 400 and coat a baking sheet with spray/oil.  Prepare your breading; in a shallow bowl, I combine 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup bread crumbs (or if you don’t have any bread crumbs, I’ve substituted ground flax), 2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp cumin and a dash of garlic powder.

Take a strip of marinated tempeh and roll it in the breading mixture so it is nicely coated with “cheese,” and then place on the baking sheet.


Cheesy breaded tempeh all ready to be popped into the oven!
All ready to be popped into the oven!  The one in the top left got a little extra red pepper flake love, whoops


Bake the for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.


I had some extras, so I made some bite-sized cheesy breaded tempeh bits.
I had some extras, so I made some bite-sized cheesy breaded tempeh bits.



Cheesy breaded tempeh.  Delicious.  Om nom nom.




Cheesy Breaded Tempeh


Makes: 12 sticks Prep time: 10-40 minutes* Cook time: 25 minutes Total Kitchen Time: 35-60 minutes

** Depends if you marinate the tempeh for 30 minutes or skip the step


For the marinade:

  • 1/4 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • few dashes of hot sauce

For the breading:

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Everything Else:

  • 1 8-oz block of tempeh
  • cooking spray


  1. Mix together marinade.
  2. Cut block of tempeh into 21 slices (or desired size).
  3. Marinate the tempeh for 30 minutes.*  If you do not have time, thoroughly dunk the tempeh in the marinade before coating.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 375 ºF. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil
  5. After 30 minutes, mix together breading in a shallow bowl.  Roll the tempeh stick in the breading and place on a coated baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
  7. Devour.



Nutritional info (according to MyFitnessPal):  1 stick has 50 calories, 5 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams of carbs.


Cheesy Breaded Tempeh is easy to made and satisfies my need for cheese.  I’ll dip it in marinara sauce and eat it like mozzarella sticks, add it to salads in lieu of breaded chicken, or use it in some delicious tempeh tacos.


Buen provecho,








Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment! All comments are welcome!

Leave a Comment, I'm Interested in Your Thoughts