Enjoy delicious tempeh fajitas, perfectly marinated in a spice and citrus mixture for an authentic taste even without the meat. Plant-based goodness at its best.
This quick and delicious recipe uses tempeh (cultured tofu) instead of meat for a healthy, tasty alternative.
This may seem like a lot of ingredients but most of them are spices for the marinade so don’t worry about that.
Garlic and Onion Powders. These are staple ingredients in almost all my recipes.
Dark Red Chili Powder. This is a mild red chile powder. Be careful if you’re in the UK because I’ve heard that it’s spicy and I’m warning you, just in case.
Ancho Chile Powder. Another fairly mild chile. Use your favorite chiles. You don’t need to use exactly the same. Use the same amount as you would in the list of ingredients.
Mexican Oregano. If you don’t have Mexican Oregano, try using your standard Oregano, or omit it.
Citrus juices. I prefer using fresh squeezed, but you can use bottled, if you prefer.
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What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is a sort of chewy, but slightly crunchy bar made of fermented soybeans. Because of its firm texture, it’s a hearty, low fat substitute for meat.
Plain tempeh doesn’t have a prominent taste until you spice it up with a tasty marinade. It seems to absorb whatever flavors you add to it.
For my fajita marinade mixture, I opted for a peppery-citrus combination. If you like spicy, replace one of the chile powders with your favorite.
Chipotle would give a smoky flavor while habanero would be fiery but still a perfect match for the citrus.
Check out how your favorite peppers rate on our Scoville Heat Scale.
It’s very easy to slice this tempeh. Move slowly and carefully to make ¼″ – ½″. It will crumble fairly easily so cut it with precision.
What is the difference between tempeh and tofu?
Tofu is made from curdled soy milk. The curds are pressed into a bar form. It can vary in density depending on how well it’s drained. I like to think of it like Mozzarella cheese.
Tempeh, on the other hand, has a strong, slightly nuttier flavor. It’s got a bit of an earthy taste. It’s kind of like pie crust made of peanuts instead of flour or maybe a granola bar.
Since it crumbles easily, like queso fresco, you could crumble it and make a ground beef substitute.
I wonder whether my chorizo spices could be used with crumbled tempeh for my Make Your Own Chorizo Recipe instead of pork?
If you are having a problem with your tortillas breaking, first check to make sure they’re not out of date. Next, learn my tips on Softening Corn Tortillas.
Is It Vegetarian?
Tempeh is a plant-based product and is both vegetarian and vegan. One of our 24Bite visitors asked for a vegetarian taco.
I chose tempeh because, after research, it looked like it was the best at holding the flavor, texture and look of meat fajitas.
One of my cousins is vegetarian (Hi, Lysie!) and I can hardly wait for her to try this. While tempeh may be an acquired taste when eaten by itself, once you pile on all your fajita fixings, you won’t even notice that there’s no real meat.
If you want to use meat, though, feel free to marinate beef, shrimp or chicken in a separate bag with the same ingredients. They taste just as wonderful on any of these proteins.
To keep it vegetarian, be sure to choose the appropriate versions of things like the cheese. All cheeses aren’t vegetarian since some use rennet. Here’s a list of Vegetarian Cheeses compiled by Vegetatio.
To keep your menu plant-based, serve Pico de Gallo Salsa on the side or even in the taco itself.
I have a great Spanish Rice recipe too. I’ve used chicken broth, but you could easily substitute vegetable broth or water.
Tempeh Fajitas No Meat TacosTap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- Ziploc Bag, gallon
- Skillet (regular or with grill lines)
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Mexican Oregon
- 1 teaspoon Dark Red Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt, fine, optional
- 1 Orange, Juice only, about ¼ cup
- 2 Limes, Juice only, about 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
- ¼ Onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces Tempeh, used Lightlife Tempeh Original
- 8 Corn Tortillas
- Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
- Cut tempeh into ¼" – ½" pieces.
- Place tempeh slices in a ziploc bag. Pour in the marinade and rotate carefully to ensure all pieces have marinade. Place flat in the refrigerator. Allow to marinate 2 hours or overnight, up to a total of 24 hours, if desired.
- Place two tablespoons oil in skillet and heat on medium. Add thinly sliced bell pepper and onions. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. With tongs, remove to a plate and set aside.
- If you plan on heating the tortillas in the skillet, use the same skillet and tongs to heat one at a time then set aside. Add more oil, as necessary, to keep things from sticking.
- Place marinated tempeh in skillet and heat on medium until it's crispy on the edges and a little blackened in bits or lines are visible if using a grill pan. Turn after about 3-5 minutes to cook the reverse side. Once ready, remove with tongs. Discard remaining marinade.
- Serve immediately.
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