Inspiration from Meghan

Balsamic Maple Glazed


How it makes my heart sing when I can go to a regular restaurant and order one of my favourite fermented foods, tempeh. Now, when I say regular restaurant, I’m not talking about nonsense places with names like “Wings and Things”, or “Deep Fry It So You’ll Try It”. I mean restaurants where their overall values- eat organic, local, seasonal line up with my own.

I was over the rainbow excited to see a veg menu with tempeh on it. And this wasn’t the kind of tempeh you might find at most veg/vegan restaurants where it’s kind of just cooked to a crisp and served over a bowl of rice. This tempeh was prepared as if it were the leanest cut of gold labeled cow (do cows come with with gold labels?).

It was clear the chef had taken great care to create a tempeh recipe that could stand up to any of his other creations. It was served skewered with caramelized onions and mushrooms and every bite was so amazingly flavourful, we just couldn’t get enough.

And since we couldn’t get enough, I had to try and recreate this wondrous delight. That photo up there above is my own recipe creation, and yes, I know it looks a bit like dog food. Get over it, because it is amazing!

As was the rest of our farm fresh dinner that featured a watermelon salad, heirloom tomatoes, organic farm fresh edamame and organic sweet corn.


Now, don’t go thinking that’s how the man and I eat every night. How I wish it was. We are simply enjoying the last days of summer, out on our balcony, with farm fresh goodness before we both start working like crazies soon.

Have you yet to try tempeh?

Aside from it being delicious…

5 Reasons To Love Tempeh

  1. Tempeh is a probiotic food, which means it helps the body to produce the healthful bacteria.
  2. Has antibiotic properties which help fight down the nasty guys.
  3. Tempeh is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.
  4. It has soy isoflavones that strengthen bones, help to ease menopause symptoms, reduce risk of coronary heart disease and some cancers.
  5. Tempeh maintains all the fiber of the beans and gains some digestive benefits from the enzymes created during the fermentation process.
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Balsamic Maple Glazed

  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 2


A delicious way to enjoy this fermented dish of tempeh with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.


  • 1 package tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes (about 225g, or 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs tamari
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch


  1. Getting the Marinade Ready
  2. In a bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, garlic, olive oil, and thyme.
  3. Add the tempeh to the bowl, stir and cover.
  4. Let sit in the fridge for 2-24 hours, mixing occasionally.
  5. Cooking
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Place tempeh and sauce in a glass dish and cook covered for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, stir around and bake for another 20 minutes.
  9. Remove tempeh cubes from sauce and set aside.
  10. Place remaining sauce in a pan over medium heat.
  11. Add arrowroot starch and stir constantly to thicken.
  12. Plate tempeh and scoop marinade over top as a sauce, or serve on greens or whole grain of choice.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Entree


More Ways To Fall In Love With Tempeh

Question Of The Day: What’s your favourite way to enjoy tempeh? Share the love!

93 responses to “Balsamic Maple Glazed”

  1. Marilene says:

    I have tried tempeh so many times and I just cannot get sold on it. Maybe this will be the recipe that turns me over :)
    Looks amazing!

  2. Belinda says:

    This looks so good, it makes me want to try tempeh. I have never succeeded in making it taste right…. now I will! Thanks Meghan!

  3. T says:

    What restaurant was this? Curious :)

  4. Kim says:

    Totally just seen this, have some in my freezer right now. All over this!! Looks Yummy in my tummy!!

  5. Anne Marshall says:

    I tried this last night. A-maz-ing! Best tempeh recipe yet. I have to hand it to you , Meghan. I’ve never found a recipe on your site that I didn’t absolutely love. This is one of my favs! As a side note, I’d recommend going slowly with the arrowroot starch. I followed the recipe exactly and 2 tsp. was too thick for us. Perhaps more of my sauce burned off in the oven. Next time I’ll start with 1/2 – 1 tsp and work up from there. Thanks!!!

  6. Cheftometrist says:

    Made it last night, and it was a hit!

  7. Andie says:

    Made this the other night. WOW! Even my meat-eating, wary-of-tempeh boyfriend loved it. I served it with some roasted green beans and steamed spinach.

  8. Maija Haavisto says:

    Slight correction: “Tempeh is a probiotic food, which means it helps the body to produce the healthful bacteria.” The body doesn’t “produce” any healthful bacteria as such. Probiotic means a food which _contains_ healthy bacteria. Prebiotic means a food which contains certain types of fiber etc which help nourish healthy bacteria. Tempeh contains probiotic bacteria, but sadly they’re destroyed in cooking.

    Nonetheless, this sounds (and looks!) very very good. :-> I don’t think it looks like dog food at all (or else I want to be a dog. Woof!). I’ll be sure to try it out. The whole meal looks scrumptious!

  9. Sarah says:

    Hi Meghan,

    I was wondering what type of olive oil you recommend for cooking? Thanks :)

  10. perla says:

    I was just seeking this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Usually the top websites are full of garbage.

  11. meredith says:

    i’ve been in a tempeh rut (by which i mean i’ve pretty much only ever roasted, steamed, or sauteed it with other veggies) and this was a delicious way to branch out! thanks for sharing. i enjoyed it and will be loving the leftovers :)

  12. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    Gonna munch on this for lunch (rhyming points!) #recipe

  13. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    And, on that note…5 reasons to love tempeh (scroll down!) #recipe

  14. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    Perfect addition to Sunday dinner

  15. Ian says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for my vegetarian girlfriend, and we both loved it!
    Served it on quinoa, and it was excellent!

    Substituted a few things so I didn’t have to buy new stuff, and it worked well (soya sauce instead of tamari, corn starch instead of arrowroot).


  16. Amy says:

    This was great! I keeping trying to make a tempeh that is tender (usually always turns out sorta bitter) and this was spot on. I did marinate it about 24 hours and I think that helped. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!

  17. Be Knowledge-a-bull: 19 Vegetarian Protein Sources | Be Well USF says:

    […] Balsamic-Maple Glazed Tempeh […]

  18. Mark says:

    I made this tonight. It really is the best tempeh there ever was. I served it over steamed spinach, kale, and cabbage.

  19. Emma says:

    Made this tonight and it was truly delicious! Thanks!!

  20. Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed Tempeh - Emma's Little Kitchen says:

    […] Adapted from Meghan Telpner. […]

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  22. Paula says:

    Very yummy! I made it last night, and my hubby and I loved it. Side dishes were roasted veggies and steamed grains mixture. Definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing this.

  23. ash says:

    Help! Absent mindedly I just prepped the marinade, but added the arrowroot :( Can I salvage it and still use this or am I doomed to dumping out all of those delicious ingredients and starting again?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I’m probably too late but I’d say cook it with the starch in, you likely won’t need to take on the thickening step at the end.

  24. Brittany says:

    I made this tonight and it was really delicious! The last time I attempted tempeh I wasn’t thrilled about it but this completely changed my mind! My mom and her boyfriend even liked it and they don’t like any of my vegetarian/vegan ‘meats’! I did steam the tempeh for ten minutes before I cubed and marinaded it and it really absorbed the flavors well! I am no longer hesitant about tempeh, thanks to this recipe!

  25. Kim says:

    Question: For the second 20 minutes in the oven, did you leave the lid on or take it off? Marinating right now…

  26. Dixie says:

    Best tempeh recipe I’ve tried I did use coconut amino instead of tamari , less sodium but don’t think it changes the taste much. This will be my go to recipe for tempeh .

  27. Lily says:

    My oven element just went literally as I was heating the oven. Ha.
    I marinated since last night.

  28. Jake says:

    What size tempeh package are you using?

  29. Brenda says:

    Made this last night and our 2 vegan kids devoured it even though I mistakenly put in tahini vs tempeh! I used the same recipe to marinate pork chops for me and my husband. I would use 1/2 the vinegar next time around. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Ravi says:

    Tempeh has soy isoflavones? I thought it didnt have it since tempeh is fermented. Isoflavones have a bad rep among with the anti-soy crusaders and people are asked to eat fermented soy products to avoid exposure to isoflavones and its negative impact

  31. Shevah says:

    Followed directions to the letter.

    It was bitter and honestly a bit soggy compared to what the picture left me to anticipate. Disappointed. My fiancé didn’t like it either. All you taste is the vinegar.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I wonder if it was the type of tempeh you used? Bitterness and firmness of tempeh will vary between brand. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your meal.

  32. Kristin says:

    This was an excellent way to prepare tempeh….I actually forgot about Tempeh…..and the whole family gave it a thumbs up!

  33. Navee says:

    Can I use cornstarch to thicken gravy? Is it the same thing?

  34. Brittany Folino says:

    Hey there!!

    So I attempted this awesome recipe. But I love a very busy life in between two jobs and left it marinating about 43 hours (oops…) when I took it out of the fridge it had a hardened yellow substance on top . I was thinking that was just because it hadn’t been stirred. Unless it went bad?

    Should I still bake it or toss it out???

    Thank you in advance!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      You’ll have to use your best judgment. It’s possible it was the oil that hardened but it would be impossible for me to know.

    • J says:

      Hey! This is probably my favorite tempeh recipe and I’ve made it so many times – that’s normal. After I cook it and store it in the fridge, the same thing happens with my marinade if I got back to eat leftovers. I usually don’t thicken it, so I’m assuming it’s the oil used. I know you’re tempeh wasn’t cooked yet but *I* would still use it. Again, use your judgement. After I microwave it, it’s perfectly normal again!

  35. Dada says:

    I tried this recipe. Simply awesome

  36. Ken says:

    I love this recipe. I make this in the commercial kitchen where I live for an average of 15 or more people. The only thing I change is the amount of balsamic. I found even 3/4 the amount of balsamic is too much. Today, I made it with half amount of balsamic and found to be perfect. Thank you!

  37. Paula says:

    This is our favorite tempeh recipe ever. It’s in the oven right now. Thank you!

  38. Isabelle says:

    Really yum! A new favorite. Amazing over sauteed garlicky arugula. I found it too acidic however, so wondering if sauce should be watered down or balsamic proportion cut somehow. Also wonder if there is an oven free technique, like bbq or saucepan for hot days?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Isabelle, thanks for your message!
      You can definitely cut down the balsamic a touch if it’s too acidic for you. You can try cooking the recipe on the BBQ, perhaps if you have a cast iron you can follow the same recipe on the cast iron inside the bbq. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

  39. Judy says:

    I love this recipe! I don’t have a problem with the balsamic vinegar but I don’t like to use cornstarch, will try kudzu next time!

  40. Tolkien Widmoyer says:

    Delicious! I recently went pescatarian and this is one of my favorite lunch dishes. I pan fry it and it tastes amazing!

  41. Maria Fionda says:

    Hi Meghan,
    May I ask what quantity you mean by “one package”? My package is 8oz/227g. Is that your quantity? Thank you!

  42. Rose says:

    This will be my first time trying this recipe. I’m very sure I will love it.

  43. Farrell says:

    Common ingredients and simple to make. Really delicious, perfect blend of sweet salt and tang. Love it, thank you!!

  44. Rebecca says:

    This did not work for me, I’m sorry. The balsamic was all I tasted, so it was very overpowering.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Balsamic can be a strong flavour for some people – you can definitely reduce it if you ever decide to try this recipe again.

  45. TJ says:

    How can tempeh be both probiotic and antibiotic at the same time? That’s an oxymoron.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Foods that have natural antibiotic properties aren’t the same as drug antibiotics, the latter of which kills everything indiscriminately. Tempeh has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that targets certain bad bacteria from growing, while simultaneously encouraging the growth of the beneficial bacteria.

    • Manny says:

      Adding sesame oil and a bit more soy sauce helped with balancing put the acidity for me

  46. Tricia says:

    Please edit your recipe to show, in ounces, the quantity of tempeh required.

  47. Lea says:

    Is it just me or are the comments you’re getting here quite rude? I’m trying this tonight, it’s my first time doing trying tempeh. I’m excited!

  48. Martha says:

    It’s not just you. I love this recipe and am happy that strangers on the Internet want me to have a good dinner. Thanks, Meghan!

  49. Carson says:

    Thank you SOOOO much for this!!! This is a game changer!

    After tons of failed attempts I finally learned to make my own tempeh. It’s so fresh and delicious just on its own but my boyfriend does not like the unusual flavor. I was starting to worry I would have to pan fry it every time to get him to eat any! This was super easy and delicious—I can’t thank you enough for sharing!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      It’s awesome that you can make your own! This is one of my favourite ways to eat tempeh and it usually goes over well, even with the tempeh resistors.

  50. Jenn says:

    Can I use this just as a marinade to cook the tempeh in if I steam it first? Or should I not steam and does th sitting in the marinade for hours essentially have the same type of effect?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Marinating helps to infuse the tempeh with the marinade’s flavours, but if you’re short on time you could definitely steam the tempeh and then cook in the marinade.

  51. JM says:

    I went to a vegan restaurant on vacation and I am trying to copy something I ate there. I had a tempeh caprese panini, it was so delicious. I’ve never marinated tempeh or really cooked much with it. Do you think this recipe would be good for a vegan caprese panini?

  52. Sandy Grewal says:

    I wanted to leave a comment and say that I’ve made this recipe about 5 times (one of them in the process right now =) and it’s a WINNER! My husband says he can “eat this every-day” every time he has it! Its super easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ll be making it for a loooonnnggg time!

  53. Aliza says:

    Why do you recommend baking it in a glass bowl? If I use a disposable aluminum tin instead is that ok?

  54. Kelly Brown says:

    I was so excited to make your balsamic maple glazed temeph. Sorry to say was really let down. Flavors did not blend well! I let it marinade for 6 hrs. Was really disappointed!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Oh, that’s too bad. This recipe is typically a huge hit! Hopefully you’ll find other recipes on this site that you love. :)

  55. TC says:

    I was really impressed with this. I marinated it overnight, and it was delicious! I have never liked the flavor of tempeh without marinade, but that flavor I don’t care for was absent after preparing this recipe.

    I forgot to use thyme, but I don’t like thyme all that much, anyway. I will use it next time though to see if there is much of a difference.

    I turned back for a minute on the sauce after adding the cornstarch (betraying the instructions), and when I came back, it was a pretty unusable, glutinous-like mess. So I just drizzled some balsamic vinegar and sesame oil on top instead, and it was great!

    Thanks for detailing this recipe and making it available! As a result of tying it, I can return tempeh to my list of healthy foods that I want to eat.

  56. Sophy Reid says:

    I’m really sorry but this was awful! Way too much balsamic, and the thyme was just weird with it. We had to abandon it and order in pizza! Hoping to wash off the tempeh and use it again with a different sauce.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I’m sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you! This is usually a huge favourite with my readers and students. Balsamic is a very strong flavour so perhaps that is what ruined it for you.

  57. Donna B says:

    We loved this recipe! Made a couple slight changes- decreased the oil to a tablespoon and added a few drops of liquid smoke. I cooked it on the stovetop in a skillet with the marinade. We ate it as a sandwich on rye bread with sauerkraut and vegan thousand island dressing. It was delicious!

  58. danielle says:

    I adapted this recipe to the point where it’s not quite the same, but I’ll add some tips. 1. Parboil the tempeh in a veggie broth for a few minutes, then place warm in the marinade 2. In lieu of covering the cooked tempeh with the same sauce, these flavors pair magnificently with dijon mustard. 3. Quality of ingredients are very important for this recipe. Make sure the garlic is fresh, the oil and tamari are good quality and have been properly stored, and the balsamic is so good you’d drink it plain.

  59. Erica says:

    Is it possible to freeze the marinated tempeh and then defrost and cook?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      You could – the consistency may change a little after defrosting, but otherwise it should be fine.

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