Tempeh BLTs and Tips for Trying Tempeh!

By Kelsie White

Tempeh BLTs and Tips for Trying Tempeh!

Nutrition Bites | Week 13

Welcome to Week 13 of Nutrition Bites! This week we are going to learn all about tempeh and why you should consider adding it to your weekly routine. I am also going to share a recipe for a Tempeh BLT, discuss some sandwich-building guidelines, and talk about the differences between an air-fryer and a conventional oven.

Tempeh BLTs


  • 1 package tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • Whole grain bread, toasted
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce
  • Condiments of choice such as hummus, vegan mayo, mustard, etc.
  • Any additional sandwich toppings such as cucumbers, pickles, bell peppers, sprouts, onions, etc.


  1. Cut tempeh into slices. Make them as thick or thin as you like.
  2. Marinate in soy sauce for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer.
  3. Place in fryer and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Add to sandwich and enjoy!
Reasons to Try Tempeh 

There are many reasons to include tempeh in your diet. The first reason is that it is a protein powerhouse! One 3-ounce serving of tempeh can have more than double the amount of protein in a 3-ounce serving of tofu (depending on the type of tofu you choose). It is also packed with vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Tempeh is also a fermented product, which can be beneficial to the gut microbiome. Because it is made of soybeans, tempeh is also a great source of isoflavones, a powerful phytochemical. Lastly, it is simple to prepare and can be a great addition to many meals.

Tips for Preparing Tempeh

I was hesitant to try tempeh at first. It seemed so foreign to me, and I didn’t know how to prepare it. My first attempt was a bust, so I didn’t make it again for a long time after that. To help you avoid this, I want to share a couple tips. Tempeh can be prepared similar to tofu, in that it should be marinated in a sauce or dressing to make it more flavorful. Unlike tofu, however, it does not need to be pressed because there isn’t excess water. After marinating, tempeh can be baked in an air-fryer or toaster oven for quick and easy prep, or you can bake it, sauté it, crumble it into stir-fry or salads, or make delicious tempeh lettuce wraps.

Sandwich Building Guidelines

Because this recipe is a sandwich, I thought it would be a good time to share a tips and tricks for building healthier sandwiches. Sandwiches are a great meal that have a lot of potential to be hearty and healthy, so here are my top tips to make that happen:

  • Start with a good loaf of bread (See Week 3 for tips on choosing a loaf of bread).
  • Choose condiments low in added oils, salt and sugar, or opt for hummus or guacamole instead.
  • Pile on the veggies: include at least 3 different vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, bell peppers, onions, etc. Think of all the options at Subway!
  • Mix things up and try using roasted veggies.
  • Use a base other than bread to mix things up such as whole grain tortillas or lettuce wraps.
Air-Fryer vs. Conventional Oven 

I like to prepare my tempeh for these sandwiches in an air-fryer. There are a couple of reasons for this, first that it is much faster, and also because it is easy to make oil free! The air-fryer is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. It uses convection heating to circulate air around the food. This allows you to use little to no oil to get a similar effect to deep-frying. Additionally, it cooks food much faster, saving you both time and energy. It is also super easy to clean up, and is often more versatile.

This doesn’t mean that using a conventional oven is bad. There are certainly pros to using this cooking method. Ovens are usually more readily available, so there isn’t an extra cost to have your own. Additionally, you can prepare much larger amounts of food in an oven than in an air-fryer. Each tool has its pros and cons, so it is up to you, your living situation, and your health goals to decide what equipment is best for you.

Weekly Challenge 

This week, I encourage you to branch out and try swapping your usual protein source for tempeh. You might be surprised to find how much you enjoy it!


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