Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa

Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa is another delicious, gluten-free, and vegan friendly dish for this holiday season. It’s filled with plant-based proteins, fiber, with heart healthy and digestive benefits. As promised in my previous post, this month is all about celebrating recipes related to the holiday season- with some green smoothies on the side of course. This Maple Tempeh is baked with maple syrup until caramelized, paired with a delicious and fluffy herbed quinoa, and topped with chewy tart cranberries and crunchy walnuts. It’s a holiday flavor explosion… in your mouth.

Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa |

More tempeh! If you remember a couple months ago I shared a 6 Layer Tempeh Taco Dip that was a perfect healthy dish to bring to your football parties and other gatherings. Today I’m using tempeh in another way- as an entree. Tempeh is such a great plant-based protein that I love eating especially when I’m in the mood for something a little heartier than most other plant-based proteins. You can use it in stir-fry, baked, sauteed, crumbled, in sauces, etc.

Just a quick reminder of what tempeh is: it’s made from naturally fermented soybeans in the form a firm block, you can find it in most grocery stores especially in the “natural” foods sections. Tempeh contains not only great amounts of protein, but also fiber, beneficial bacteria a.k.a. probiotics from the fermentation process, healthy fats, and is rich in minerals manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and copper. All of these mentioned components that are present in tempeh make it great for digestive health (especially the fiber and probiotics). Tempeh isn’t the only ingredient contributing to the nutrient profile; the fresh herbs are also loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and a burst of fresh flavor.

Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa |

Tempeh also has the great quality of acting like a sponge and soaking up any delicious flavors surrounding it- today it’s all about the maple syrup. I really enjoy baking the tempeh until it’s a bit firm and almost crunchy in some parts where the maple syrup has caramelized; but you can also bake it for a shorter amount of time just until it’s warmed through, leaving the tempeh slightly soft. You can serve this recipe as is with just the Maple Tempeh and Herbed Quinoa, or you can boost the nutrient content and add some raw spinach or Massaged Kale Salad as a base and then top it with the quinoa and tempeh. My favorite is using raw spinach greens or kale as the base with fresh squeezed lemon. The choice is yours!

TIP // If you don’t like walnuts you can simply omit those and use another type of nut or seed you enjoy. Lower sugar options would be cutting the maple syrup serving in half and using half of the cranberries or none.

Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A gluten-free and vegan entree of maple tempeh served on herbed quinoa with cranberries and topped with walnuts
Recipe type: entree
Serves: 4
  • 2 packs of organic tempeh (16 oz.)
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used half black and half white quinoa)
  • 1½ cups organic low sodium vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • fresh ground black pepper
  1. QUINOA//
  2. Optional to soak & sprout quinoa or simply rinse thoroughly until water is clear.
  3. Bring vegetable stock to a boil and add quinoa, cook for 20 minutes at a simmer. The end result should be a light and fluffy quinoa.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, olive oil, salt, pepper, cranberries, garlic, and orange juice. Stir and set aside.
  5. TEMPEH //
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Take the tempeh out of the wrapping and cut into small bite-sized cubes.
  8. In a small bowl combine maple syrup, olive oil, and ½ tablespoon of fresh thyme with the cubed tempeh.
  9. Stir to coat and spread evenly on a lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes or until tempeh is firm and maple syrup has caramelized a little on the tops.
  11. Add cooked Maple Tempeh to the Herb Quinoa, top with walnuts.
  12. If you have leftovers, keep in the fridge.
  13. Enjoy!

Maple Tempeh with Herbed Quinoa |

I hope everyone finds this recipe as enjoyable as I do around this time of year! What do you think of maple tempeh? Let me know what you think!

Have a beautiful weekend,

xo McKel

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  1. says

    Yum this sounds divine!! I love tempeh for all the reasons you mentioned, especially the one about it soaking up flavour like a sponge. I recently posted a version of maple tempeh which I served on top of a pureed winter squash soup, sort of like the way pancetta or bacon crumbles would be used in a non-vegan recipe. It was amazing! I love the combo of herbs and cranberries you’ve used here. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  2. Laura says

    This was delicious. My 4 year old daughter finished first round before me (that’s never happened) and then asked for more (another first).


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