Tempeh Tacos with Cabbage Slaw 

These satisfying vegan tacos are made with tempeh, a protein-packed fermented soy-based product with roots in Indonesia. Tempeh crumbles nicely, making it a great option when you don't want to use ground meat, like in this taco. Flavored with all the classic taco seasonings, plus some fresh bell pepper and onion for flavor and color, the filling is piled onto charred tortillas and topped with a red cabbage slaw. Keep these vegan by passing on the traditional crema drizzle and using almond butter flavored with garlic and lime juice.

Tempeh Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Almond Butter Crema
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage (from 1 small cabbage)

  • 1 small (6-ounce) red onion, 1/2 thinly sliced, 1/2 finely chopped

  • 5 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice (from 3 limes), divided

  • 1.50 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter

  • cup plus 4 tablespoons water, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon grated garlic (from 1 medium garlic clove)

  • 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small (6-ounce) red bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1.50 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

  • 1.50 teaspoons ketchup

  • For serving: charred corn tortillas, sliced avocados, and lime wedges


  1. Add cabbage, sliced onion, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt to a medium bowl; gently massage together using your hands to soften cabbage slightly. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together almond butter and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk in garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 additional tablespoons water until creamy and smooth; set sauce aside.

  3. Crumble tempeh into pea-sized pieces. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add tempeh; cook, undisturbed, until bottom of tempeh is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and finely chopped onion; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until bell pepper is tender-crisp and onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add cumin, chile powder, and garlic powder; cook, stirring often, until spices bloom and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce, ketchup, and remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup water; cook, stirring constantly, until tempeh absorbs soy sauce mixture, about 2 minutes.

  4. Serve tempeh on charred tortillas, top with some cabbage slaw, and drizzle with almond sauce. Top with avocado slices, and serve with lime wedges.

Related Articles