The Best Tempeh Veggie Burger

A delicious veggie burger that’s made with tempeh and holds together so well you can cook it on the grill! Added bonus, it’s packed with plant-based protein and it’s vegan + gluten-free! This post is sponsored by Lightlife.

Three tempeh veggie burgers stacked.

“This is my favorite tempeh dish you’ve ever made.” Bold statement courtesy of Mr. Isaac. But that’s how good this tempeh burger is!

I’m so glad I created these burgers just in time for grilling season. We honestly grill all year long, and by we, I mean Isaac. I don’t personally grill until it’s warm enough to stand outside for 15 minutes or longer. Right now is the prime time! The warm weather + longer days = a winning grill combination.

Tempeh burgers on the grill

I’m pretty picky when it comes to veggie burgers. A lot of them have crappy ingredients, are soft and mushy, and don’t have a lot of protein. This tempeh burger isn’t any of those things. First up, this is a veggie burger that is packed with plant-based protein which means it will actually fill you up! I try to eat protein with every meal and this burger makes it easy.

Another win: the flavor. The veggies, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar and spices… they all come together to make the tastiest vegetarian (and vegan!) veggie burger you’ve ever had.

Lastly, the texture! It isn’t mushy in the slightest and it holds up so well on the grill.

Tempeh burger mixture in the food processor

I’ll definitely be making these for barbecues and cookouts this summer with friends. Pair them with a tasty sweet potato saladbroccoli raisin salad, jicama fries or sweet potato fries and you’ve got yourself a full meal.

Tempeh burger spread laid out with toppings and tempeh package.

In terms of what brand and type of tempeh to buy, I always recommend Lightlife. It’s the best of the best! For these veggie burgers I really like the Garden Veggie variety, but any of the Lightlife tempeh will work! Learn more about tempeh and see some of my other favorite tempeh recipes.

Tempeh burger with avocado being picked up.

Pro tip: To make sure these burgers hold together well when grilling, let the mixture sit in the fridge for a couple hours before forming into patties. There’s nothing worse than a crumbling burger, am I right?

Tempeh veggie burger hero shot

Print
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Stack of three tempeh burgers on buns.

Tempeh Veggie Burgers


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3

Description

A delicious veggie burger that’s made with tempeh and holds together so well you can cook it on the grill! Added bonus, it’s packed with plant-based protein.


Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz package Garden Veggie Lightlife tempeh
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

  • 1/4 cup grated carrots

  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 Tablespoons oat flour

  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed

  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon tamari

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • nonstick cooking spray

  • buns and toppings of your choice

Instructions

  1. Cut block of tempeh into 4-6 pieces and place in a pot with water and a steamer basket. Steam for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat with ½ Tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is warm add the onion and carrots into the skillet and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

  3. Put the cooked onion and carrot mixture into a food processor with the steamed tempeh, nutritional yeast, oat flour, flaxseed, balsamic vinegar, tamari, coconut sugar, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika.

  4. Pulse until everything is chopped and combined — just don’t over-process the mixture because you want the burgers to have a little texture.

  5. Transfer the tempeh mixture into a large bowl and let chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

  6. Once chilled, form mixture into 2-3 patties. Heat grill to medium heat. Spray grate with nonstick spray and add the patties. Cook each side until browned, about 6-7 minutes total.

  7. Put the burgers on a bun and serve with condiments of your choice. I used spicy mustard, onions, lettuce and ketchup.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 burger without toppings
  • Calories: 243
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 19g

What’s your favorite dish to bring to barbecues and cookouts? Are you bold enough to bring a batch of these tempeh veggie burgers?

This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

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Recipe rating

    35 comments
    1. Elicia
      March 3, 2021 AT 9:30 pm

      I have had the tempeh In my fridge for some time now. I can across a burger recipe and could not remember where i saw it at. Googling brought me to yours.
      Very simple to make. My flax seed went rancid (my fault) so I subbed ground chia. I figure you use this for a binder and chia is interchangeable. I recently had to go gf and have yet found gf oats. So I subbed 1:1 for the oat flour.
      I was short on time so I popped them in the freezer for about 20 mins. I then formed them and pan grilled them.
      My kids gobbled them up and my oldest requested one for his lunch.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 3, 2021 AT 10:12 pm

        So glad you and your kids enjoyed this recipe, Elicia!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Kimberley
      February 5, 2021 AT 4:18 am

      After making this recipe over 20 times I thought I best write a review. This burger is absolutely delicious. It’s a great way to have tempeh and is just so flavourful with lots of great ingredients. Really thank you for providing this recipe. We love to have with a garden salad and spiced roast potatoes. Mmm I’m hungry again! Thanks from the UK

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 5, 2021 AT 2:14 pm

        Woo!! That makes me so happy to hear. I’m so glad you love this recipe, Kimberley. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    3. Christina
      September 7, 2020 AT 7:09 pm

      Made these for our Labor Day cookout today and they were amazing!!! Love having a veggie burger option that is homemade, clean, and delicious.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 8, 2020 AT 12:52 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Christina! So glad these burgers were a hit. Thanks for making them and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    4. Beth Alltop
      September 3, 2020 AT 6:49 pm

      I followed this recipe to the letter, and got resulting burgers That were gooey and unappetizing. Maybe I should have refrigerated longer. Loved the entire concept but wow. Sad. Will try another veggie burger recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 3, 2020 AT 11:10 pm

        Oh no! So sorry to hear that these burgers didn’t turn out for you, Beth. How long did you refrigerate the burgers before cooking and did you make them on the grill or a pan on the stove?

    5. Yvonne
      February 11, 2020 AT 10:56 pm

      Thanks for the great recipe. This burger has quickly become a family favorite. I serve the leftover burgers over rice with homemade mushroom gravy. Delish! Quick question though: I cannot find the garden veggie tempeh from Lightlife…have they maybe discontinued it? I just use the tempeh from Trader Joe’s, and the recipe turns out well with that, but I’m curious to try with the type you recommend and can’t locate it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 12, 2020 AT 9:23 pm

        Hey Yvonne! I’m so glad you’re loving this recipe!! I’m not sure about the garden veggie tempeh, you’d have to check out Lighlife’s website to see if they’re still carrying it! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!!

    6. Jaimie Fulton
      March 24, 2019 AT 9:05 pm

      This is, without a doubt, the best veggie burger I’ve ever eaten! I continue to use this recipe, and I freeze the extras for a quick and easy dinner option! Love, love, love them!

    7. Ruth
      March 23, 2019 AT 1:31 pm

      Hi, is nutritional yeast needed?

    8. Jenn
      December 30, 2018 AT 8:54 pm

      Oh my goodness, these were fantastic! Made them tonight and even the 8 year old gobbled it up! I made the recipe as written, subbing regular sugar for coconut sugar only because I was out and couldn’t justify running to the store for one ingredient. Great texture and full of flavor. Thank you for a great recipe! I’ll definitely be making this again!

    9. AmberK
      December 25, 2018 AT 2:34 pm

      Can you bake these?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 26, 2018 AT 2:08 pm

        Great question. I haven’t tried baking this specific recipe but I’m sure you can because I’ve baked or pan-cooked other veggie burgers. Tempeh is already cooked so really all you’re doing is warming up the burger and crisping it up a bit! If you want to try baking it, I’d do 375°F for 20 minutes or so, flip the burgers half-way through cooking and maybe finish with a 3-5 minute broil to get the edges to crisp. Let me know if you try it!

    10. Lindsay
      November 25, 2018 AT 10:55 am

      I’m making these tonight! Could I sub almond flour for oat flour? If so, do you think it would be a 1:1 conversion?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 26, 2018 AT 9:31 am

        Hi Lindsay! Sorry I wasn’t able to respond faster. Oat flour is more dense than almond flour so I would assume that you’d need to use more almond flour.

      2. Lindsay
        November 25, 2018 AT 6:19 pm

        Update: I used the almond flour and I wouldn’t recommend it. They held together great and the outsides got nice and grilled, but the overall texture of the patty was mushy for my taste. Will try another time with the oat flour!

        1. Brittany Mullins
          November 26, 2018 AT 9:31 am

          Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that they were mushy with the almond flour. They’re definteily not mushy with the oat flour! 🙂

          1. Lindsay
            December 3, 2018 AT 3:49 pm

            I’m sure that was the problem – almond flour has more moisture and fat, so I probably should have added double the flour. 🙂 The flavor was nice, so will definitely try again with oat!

    11. Asha
      November 20, 2018 AT 12:21 am

      This has quickly become one of my favorite veggie burger recipes of all time (and I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 plus years). I’ve already made this recipe four times! And now I always double the recipe. These burgers hold together unbelievably well when both grilled and baked. They are full of umami, and have the most amazing texture. They are so delicious on their own that I actually prefer them without a bun alongside some roasted potatoes or on top of a salad. Thank you so much for creating what has become a staple in my kitchen!

      1. eleanor gill
        April 23, 2019 AT 9:24 pm

        hi, can you premake these and then freeze them

        1. Brittany Mullins
          April 23, 2019 AT 10:56 pm

          I haven’t frozen them myself but I think they should freeze just fine.

      2. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2018 AT 8:33 am

        Oh my gosh, this makes me so incredibly happy and I’m honor given that I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of veggie burgers over the years. Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment as well. Your feedback is invaluable. Quick favor – would you mind leaving a star rating for the recipe as well. I think you might have to leave another comment to give the recipe a star rating, but the ratings are what people see when they’re searching for recipes on Google so they’re really helpful. 🙂

    12. Lindsay
      June 13, 2018 AT 9:25 pm

      These look so yummy! Could you recommend other spices besides chili powder—even in such small amounts it bothers my stomach. 🙁 Thanks!

    13. Jack Smith
      May 21, 2018 AT 12:08 am

      So perfect for meatless dinner nights! I’ve made veggie burgers with beans as well and it turned out great!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 30, 2018 AT 11:05 am

        Exactly. I love bean burgers too, but I really like how much protein these tempeh burgers have. 🙂

    14. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
      May 19, 2018 AT 1:37 pm

      I love tempeh!! Lightlife is the best 🙂 I’ve got some in my fridge right now so i can’t wait to try these!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 30, 2018 AT 10:31 am

        Yay! Totally agree. Lightlife is the only brand I recommend and use! 🙂

    15. Michelle
      May 15, 2018 AT 10:36 pm

      Can’t wait to try these! Love a good veggie burger that isn’t mushy or falls apart.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 16, 2018 AT 10:02 am

        This tempeh burger totally fits the bill. It isn’t mushy and doesn’t fall apart at all. You will love.

    16. Brittany Audra @ Audra’s Appetite
      May 15, 2018 AT 10:02 am

      Love tempeh and I can’t wait to try it in burgers!! I love grilling season too 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 16, 2018 AT 10:01 am

        Same!! Grilled foods are probably my favorite. I also love roasting but I think grilling is #1.

    17. Courtney
      May 15, 2018 AT 9:29 am

      So exciting when I have all the ingredients in a recipe! Can’t wait to make these as I’ve had a package of tempeh in the fridge for a week, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. These look delicious – thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 16, 2018 AT 10:00 am

        Hooray! Can’t wait to hear what you think of this veggie burger recipe, Courtney.

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