Tempeh with Kale



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A flavorful one skillet meal with tempeh, sautéed kale and coconut aminos.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always pretty hungry when I come home from work. This means that dinner can’t take longer than 45 minutes or I’ll have raided the pantry and stuffed myself with way too much “snacks” before dinner is even done. I try my best not to fall into this habit and I’ve found that as long as I stick with meals that don’t take a lot of prep work, it’s not too difficult.

A flavorful one skillet meal with tempeh, sautéed kale and coconut aminos.

The meal I’m sharing today is one of those easy peasy weeknight meals that comes together quickly. It doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, everything is simply tossed into one skillet and it comes out tasting great.

It’s got protein, dark leafy greens (my fav!) and whole grains = aka the winning combo. You’ll love the warm, hearty flavors, especially during the cooler fall and winter months. It’s healthy comfort food!

Meals like this make me smile.

A flavorful one skillet meal with tempeh, sautéed kale and coconut aminos.

And don’t be scared away by the tempeh. It doesn’t need to be marinated or steamed beforehand, yet it still tastes quite lovely. <– This is coming from a lady who used to shun away from cooking tempeh at home because it never turned out right and always had a bitter aftertaste.

A flavorful one skillet meal with tempeh, sautéed kale and coconut aminos.

One of the star ingredients in this dish (besides the tempeh and kale) is Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos. It’s a new condiment I found at Whole Foods that I’ve started using in place of soy sauce and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. It’s made out of coconut sap and sea salt and has less sodium than soy sauce, tamari and Bragg’s. 1 teaspoon of Coconut Aminos has 113 mg of sodium, whereas regular soy sauce and Bragg’s Aminos have about 320 mg in 1 teaspoon.

Coconut Aminos

It’s also soy free, raw, gluten free (soy sauce isn’t), vegan, organic and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein. I wouldn’t mind because I like the flavor of coconut, but it doesn’t taste like coconut to me – I can’t tell the difference between it and Bragg’s or tamari in recipes.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

5 from 1 vote

Tempeh with Kale

A flavorful one skillet meal with tempeh, sautéed kale and coconut aminos.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 -4


  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut aminos or reduced sodium soy sauce/tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup water, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into small pieces
  • 8 ounces three grain tempeh, sliced super thin
  • 1 small bunch of lacinato kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed


  • In large skillet over low heat, combine the coconut oil, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. Cook slowly, taking care not to brown the garlic and stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes.
  • While the garlic is cooking, whisk together the coconut aminos, maple syrup and water in a small bowl.
  • Increase the temperature under the skillet to medium-high and add the mushrooms and tempeh. Gently stir to get them coated. Add the coconut amino mixture and stir again to coat. Cook for a minute or two, then add the kale. Stir and cover.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes. Uncover, turn the heat up even more, and cook until the tempeh starts to brown. If you need to add more water to prevent sticking, add 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the black pepper. Taste, add more pepper if you like, and serve immediately over quinoa or brown rice.


Adapted from Black Pepper Tempeh from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.


Serving: 1/4 recipe | Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 659mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tempeh with kale
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was SO good! I used curly kale and put in bell peppers instead of mushrooms (what I had on hand). Even my toddler liked the tempeh!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! My husband and I ate the whole dish! The only change I made was adding 2 cups of shitake and gourmet mushrooms. Thank you for explaining the coconut aminos. I may try the product.

    1. Yay, I’m so glad this recipe was a hit with you and your husband! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers, so I appreciate it. <3

  3. Made this tonight (with curly kale instead of lacinto, and thinly sliced rutabaga instead of mushrooms, as it’s what I had on hand) and it was delicious! I couldn’t stop sneaking tastes from the pan :).

  4. I just made this tonight, and it was so unbelievably awesome. At Whole Foods, they didn’t know what laminate kale was, so I used instead “lacinato kale” — which the produce guy thought is what I wanted, and maybe had it misspelled. Anyhow, it worked out just fine. Awesome dish!

    1. Hi Dave. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the recipe. The spelling error is totally my fault. It should be lacinato kale. I just updated it. 🙂

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