Have you ever made a sandwich with tempeh? No? Then this is your cue to give it a try. With this easy and delicious sandwich you will make everyone happy. The sandwich is basically vegan but of course can be modified where desired.

Tempeh sandwich with avocado

Tempeh sandwich

I’m not a fan of tofu. I just really don’t like it. The texture kind of gives me the chills. Tempeh, on the other hand, is a different story. For those who don’t know; tempeh is made from the whole soybeans. This is unlike tofu which is made from soy milk. The soybeans in tempeh are fermented which gives tempeh its characteristic flavor. It is much firmer than tofu.

The flavor is quite neutral which makes it perfect for absorbing flavors like here in the marinade used for marinating the tempeh. If you are going to marinate it let it stand for about 15 minutes so that the tempeh can soak up the flavors.

Tempeh sandwich

Double sandwich

That I love a good sandwich is evidenced by the amount of sandwich recipes you find on the site. From a classic like the club sandwich (plus the club sandwich with salmon and a vega club sandwich) to a tuna melt. There is something for everyone and this vegan tempeh sandwich is another new one in the long line of sandwich recipes. 

Making the tempeh sandwich is very easy but you have to take into account marinating both the tempeh and pickling the red onion. You can certainly use raw red onion for this recipe, but personally I really don’t like that. So I always quickly pickle the red onion in some red wine vinegar. This changes the flavor and makes it a lot tastier.

I make sure the tempeh slices are then baked on medium heat to golden brown (I use either coconut oil or avocado oil for baking) and with crispy edges before I add them to the slices of bread. I’ve used a crusty bread here but you can use any kind of bread you like. I add some creamy avocado on top to make sure there are some healthy fats in this simple sandwich.

Sandwich with tempeh


​One of the most important parts of the tempeh sandwich is the marinade for the tempeh. In order to make that I make a mix of maple syrup and soy sauce and apple cider vinegar. I place the tempeh slices in a single layer in a flat bowl and pour the marinade over the top. Make sure they are all covered with some of the marinade and let it stand for a bit.

In the meantime I also pickle the red onion by adding some red wine vinegar and a bit of sugar together and adding the onions to it. The color changes to a nice pink and the raw edge of the onion will be removed. So much better!

Now to build up your tempeh sandwich take a slice of bread and spread it with some (vegan) mayonnaise (I love using a vegan garlic aioli). Now cover that with the crispy tempeh and top with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and the pickled red onions. It’s pretty basic ingredients but you can add whatever you want to the sandwich. It’s the perfect sandwich to vary to your hearts content. You can also use mashed avocado instead of slices. I sometimes find that easier to eat.

If you want to use the tempeh slices the next day you can keep the marinated tempeh in an airtight container and store in the fridge.  I rarely use the whole block of tempeh so always need to make sure I add another tempeh recipe to my repertoire for that week. It keeps for a bit but not too long. Since tempeh is a fermented food, it is also good for your gut and the nutty flavor goes well with lots of dishes. You should be able to buy tempeh in most grocery stores although availability has been variable here. Not sure why that is, but just find a good source for this easy meal that will make for a delicious lunch.

Tempeh is a great source of plant-based protein and one of my favorites. 

Tempeh sandwich with avocado

Tempeh sandwich with avocado

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Ganglunch, Sandwich

Delicious sandwich with a full filling of tempeh, avocado, onions and lettuce
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
Total time 35 minutes

2 people


  • 4 slices bread of your choice
  • 100 grams tempeh sliced
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple vinegar
  • ½ red onion in thin rings
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Handful of mixed lettuce
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • Pepper and salt
  • Sunflower oil

  • Marinate the tempeh in a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Put the thinly sliced red onion in a bowl and cover with vinegar and sugar. Leave it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the marinated tempeh slices until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Remove them from the pan and drain them on paper towels.
  • Spread one side of each slice of bread with (vegan) mayonnaise.
  • Top two slices of bread with slices of fried tempeh, pickled onion, mixed lettuce, tomato slices and avocado slices. Season with salt and pepper. Place the 2nd slice of bread on top.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 720kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2456mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 661IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 5mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist