Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala

This tempeh tikka masala will leave you with all the comfort feels minus all the heavy feels. Make this delicious Indian dinner right in your own home. 

Tempeh tikka masala with cauliflower rice and fork

If you’ve been following EBF for a minute, you know that I’m obsessed with tempeh. It’s made from fermented soybeans (fermented foods for the win!) and it’s high in protein, vitamins and minerals.

The flavor of tempeh is often an acquired taste, but I will say it 100% depends on how you make it! My biggest tip is to marinate or pair tempeh with a flavorful, robust sauce. On its own tempeh has a nutty, earthy flavor, but once marinated or cooked in a sauce it takes on the flavors of the dish it’s a part of. This 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.

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

Indian and Asian foods seem to be our go-to takeout options, so when I created my own vegan tikka masala 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. 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 the dish over 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!

Tempeh tikka masala with package of Lightlife Tempeh on the side

This creamy, comforting dinner will be a regular in our dinner rotation, mark my words.

For this recipe (and all my tempeh recipes, actually) I use Lightlife tempeh. They are the best of the best when it comes to tempeh and I love all their varieties!

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

Now it’s time to say hello to this vegan tempeh tikka masala, your new favorite comfort dinner that just happens to be vegan.

Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala up close with a fork

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

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3


Vegan tempeh tikka masala made with coconut yogurt and milk. You’ll love this healthy spin on traditional Indian food.  



  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low and let mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and everything is heated throughout.
  4. Remove from heat and serve tempeh tikka masala over a bed of rice (regular or cauliflower) with fresh cilantro on top.


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

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1/3 of recipe
  • Calories: 430
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Protein: 21g

Keywords: Tempeh Tikka Masala, vegan Tikka Masala

More Tempeh Recipes You’ll Love:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I am a vegan and my boyfriend is not but likes to try everything I cook. He likes tempeh which we always fry in a pan and serve in a sandwich. I really love Indian food. Wasn’t too sure about the mix of tempeh with Indian spices and yogurt but just made it anyway. It was absolutely amazing. The taste was perfect! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Chantal. I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for giving it a chance and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

  2. I think this might be my favorite of your tempeh recipes. I use light coconut milk and sometimes have to substitute pureed tomatoes plus a tablespoon or so tomato paste when I don’t have tomato sauce on hand…it always turns out absolutely deliciously. I especially like it over cauliflower rice.

  3. Oh my gosh! This was so delicious!! We made a double batch for leftovers and served over cauli rice and Banza rice. Perfect Tikka flavor – definitely a new recipe to add to the regular dinner rotation!

  4. I’ve got some tempeh in the fridge that needs using and have wanted to try something different than my usual tempeh buffalo wings–came upon this recipe and will be trying it this week!

  5. I have been wanting to substitute tofu with tempeh in my meals because tempeh is fermented and a better form of soy to have, but was seriously struggling to get a good recipe. I tried this today and it was just DELISH!My husband loved it too and was digging into my plate after he was done with his :D. I could not have imagined this happening ever for a tempeh dish – lol. Bonus points also because it was so easy to prepare. In fact, I am going to use the same recipe to make Paneer tikka masala too. Thank you – this recipe is indeed a find!

  6. Awesome, delicious recipe. I’ve made it twice now, once with double tempeh because I needed more protein. I add extra spices (nearly double what is listed, plus curry and cayenne). I serve it with brown rice. Such incredible flavor! I’ve never been happy with tempeh until this recipe. Thank you!

  7. This is fantastic! Made it exactly as written and really loved it. My first time cooking with tempeh. I am not vegan but feel and look better with more plant based foods in my diet. I am freezing the rest of it in containers with rice for my lunches. I have gotten in the habit on Sunday of cooking healthy soups and other things that freeze well to grab on my way out the door every morning. It is so nice to have a healthy and delicious meal at work.

Subscribe + get eating!

Grab your Free 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan

Subscribe to our list and get your free printable PDF of the 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan and Shopping List!