Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala

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Vegan tempeh tikka masala made with coconut yogurt and coconut milk that will leave you with all the comfort feels minus all the heavy feels. You’ll love this healthy spin on traditional Indian food.  

If you’ve been following EBF for a minute, you know that I’m obsessed with tempeh and that I LOVE Indian food, so it was only a matter of time before I created a vegan version of one of my favorite Indian dishes. 

Tempeh tikka masala with cauliflower rice and fork

Healthy Indian Food at Home

Indian food is one of our go-to takeout options, so when I created my own version of tikka masala with tempeh we had a little celebration. Now we can enjoy this Indian dish any night we please (and don’t have to wait 45 minutes for delivery!). The longest part of the recipe is when the tempeh is marinating; besides that, this is ready in no time. 

Up Close photo of Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala with two forks.

What is Tempeh?

It’s a plant-based protein made of cooked soybeans that have been fermented. It’s a great plant-based protein option that’s a great source of fiber and is high in vitamins and minerals.

Tempeh is similar to tofu, however there are some differences – tempeh is less processed, fermented, has a stronger flavor and a bit more texture. The flavor is usually described as nutty or earthy, but there are different varieties with subtle taste differences.

My biggest tip when it comes to tempeh is to marinate or pair it with a flavorful, robust sauce so it can take on the flavors of the dish it’s a part of. This tempeh tikka masala is a great example of both! Not only are you marinating the tempeh in advance, but you’re also coating it in a well-rounded sauce with tons of flavor.

I’ve tried a ton of different tempeh varieties and Lightlife is definitely my favorite for a few reasons: it’s organic, GMO-free and easy to find at mainstream stores.

Tempeh tikka masala with package of Lightlife Tempeh on the side

Tempeh Tikka Masala Ingredients

  • tempeh
  • unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
  • apple cider vinegar
  • coconut oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • tomato sauce
  • full-fat coconut milk
  • frozen peas
  • cilantro
  • spices and seasonings: ground cumin, ground ginger, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric and sea salt
  • rice or cauliflower rice (for serving)
  • hot sauce of choice or cayenne pepper (optional)

Two bowls of vegan tempeh tikka masala with microplane and forks.

How to Serve Tempeh Tikka Masala

Make this dish your own by pairing it with sides of your choice and adjusting the spice level to your taste. I highly recommend serving it over rice or cauliflower rice with a few pieces of naan to soak up the delicious sauce. And of course we like things spicy over here, so we added a little sriracha on top. There’s no shame in my hot sauce game. I add it to everything… even salads!

Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala up close with a fork

More Indian Cuisine Inspired Recipes to Try:

More Tempeh Recipes to Try:

Be sure to let me know if you try this vegan tempeh tikka masala recipe by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers. 

Tempeh Tikka Masala

5 from 14 votes
Vegan tempeh tikka masala made with coconut yogurt and milk. You'll love this healthy spin on traditional Indian food.  
Tempeh tikka masala with chickpeas on cauliflower rice on a white plate.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

Tempeh:

  • 8 oz package Lightlife Original Tempeh, chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Tikka Masala Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1- inch knob of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • rice or cauliflower rice for serving
  • hot sauce of choice or cayenne pepper, optional

Instructions
 

  • Make tempeh marinade by combining all ingredients (yogurt, apple cider vinegar, cumin, ginger, garam masala and sea salt) in a bowl. Add chopped tempeh and stir until well coated. Place bowl in the fridge to allow the tempeh to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • Once tempeh is done marinating, start preparing the sauce. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat with coconut oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add spices and toss to combine, then add in tomato sauce, coconut milk, frozen peas and marinated tempeh.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low and let mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and everything is heated throughout.
  • Remove from heat and serve tempeh tikka masala over a bed of rice (regular or cauliflower) with fresh cilantro on top.

Notes

For extra heat feel free to add a little ground cayenne to the spice mixture while cooking or top with hot sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/3 of recipe Calories: 430kcal Carbohydrates: 39g Protein: 21g Fat: 23g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 14g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Tempeh Tikka Masala, vegan Tikka Masala

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    39 comments
    1. Sarah
      April 30, 2021 AT 2:05 pm

      5 stars
      This is my family’s go-to tempeh recipe! It’s the best!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 1, 2021 AT 9:04 pm

        Woo!! So glad you and your family love this recipe, Sarah. I so appreciate you coming back to leave a review. It means the world for me!

    2. Lillian Donaldson
      March 4, 2021 AT 1:42 pm

      Can you use tofu in place of tempeh? I’d imagine so, but not sure.I was going to make this today. Not sure if you’ll get this question in time.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 5, 2021 AT 1:28 am

        That should be just fine!

    3. Kristen
      February 1, 2021 AT 9:52 pm

      5 stars
      This was so delicious! My mom does not typically love Indian food OR tempeh, but she loved this! It is so yummy, comforting, and nutritious. We served over brown rice and was great.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 3, 2021 AT 10:30 am

        Woo!! I’m so glad it was a hit!! Thanks for the review, Kristen. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    4. Leola
      January 19, 2021 AT 8:26 pm

      5 stars
      Fantastic! This is so rich, flavorful and delicious you don’t miss that there isn’t meat. Feel better after, both physically and cognitively from eating plant-based. This recipe is great because it’s adaptable too — I only had 1/2 can of lite coconut milk, didn’t have peas so I cut kale steams into pea size and added chopped kale leaves later, served it over brown rice noodles. Great recipe, thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2021 AT 12:01 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Leola. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    5. Anna Maria Hagelios
      January 18, 2021 AT 8:26 pm

      5 stars
      Excellent recipe! Prefer it to non-vegan recipe. The whole family loved it. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2021 AT 12:17 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. Thanks for the review, I so appreciate it!

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