Jerk Tempeh Bowls with Mango-Tahini sauce are a vegan and gluten-free option for easy weeknight dinners or make-ahead lunches. Jerk-spiced tempeh, rice, black beans, corn, and a heavenly mango-tahini sauce.
The Best Tempeh Bowls:
If you’re looking for a plant-based, yet ultra-hearty and wildly flavorful bowl to usher in summer, this is certainly the recipe for you. To start, we have marinated cubes of tempeh, which get bathed in an umami bath of tamari, agave, and bold jerk spices. Next, a fiber-filled combo of lime-flecked rice, black beans, corn, and green onion to serve as the base for the tempeh. And lastly, a lusciously-smooth mango-tahini sauce with fruity top notes and a savory backbone.
This recipe is 100% weeknight-approved, plus will hold up well for leftovers. Therefore, dinner tonight + lunch tomorrow is conquered.
What is Tempeh?
In short, tempeh is a plant-based protein made with fermented soybeans and a mix of grains. If you haven’t given tempeh a chance yet, this is a great gateway recipe to welcoming it into your plant-lovin’ life. In terms of texture, most would describe it as nutty, chewy, and certainly hearty. And, because tempeh undergoes less processing than its soy-based cousin, tofu, it’s able to retain many of the nutritional properties of soybeans, including high-quality protein and fiber, as well as calcium and iron.
Tempeh is an excellent stand-in for animal protein because of its firm texture and adaptable flavor. In addition, the probiotics make it easier to digest than some other soy products, such as tofu.
How Do I Cook Tempeh?
Tempeh is extremely versatile, so it can take to many cooking techniques, such as steaming, braising, baking, or sautéing. Since the flavor can be rather bland on its own, tempeh takes well to a bold sauce or marinade (for example, BBQ sauce, jerk seasoning, or anything Asian-inspired). For this recipe, we marinate tempeh in a bold jerk spice mixture and then sear it to crisp perfection.
Where to Buy Tempeh:
Look for tempeh in the same section as the tofu and other meat alternatives in your grocery store. This is typically either near the produce section, or near the eggs and yogurt. I suggest purchasing plain tempeh for this recipe, as opposed to one with added grains or seeds. I typically buy Lightlife brand, which is usually one of the easiest to find.
How to Make Tahini Sauce with Mango:
This tahini sauce is at once sweet, savory, a tad spicy, and lusciously creamy. Plus, it’s extremely easy: simply toss all of the ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth, and generously spoon it over dinner tonight. The sweetness of the mango is tempered by the toasty, nuttiness of tahini, which gets an extra dose of earthy spice from turmeric. If you’re spice averse (or serving to kids), you can omit the cayenne or, alternatively, scale back the amount to 1/8 tsp.
For all of my tahini sauces, I use Soom Foods tahini, which is supremely smooth and decadently rich. If you’d like to try any Soom products, you can get 10% off your order on soomfoods.com by using the code ‘dishingouthealth’ at checkout!
What to Eat with this Tahini Sauce:
In short, pretty much anything you can think of will be elevated with this sauce. For example, grilled chicken or shrimp skewers, burgers, grain bowls, or roasted vegetables. Alternatively, you can thin it out and use it as a dressing to anchor a bowl of salad greens.
If you make this recipe, be sure to share on Instagram and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
More Easy Vegan Dinners:
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. tempeh, sliced into triangular cubes
- 3 Tbsp. lower-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1½ Tbsp. jerk seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. lime zest, plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup dry white rice
- 2 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
- ¾ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup frozen and thawed corn
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion, plus more for garnish
- **Mango-Tahini Sauce**
- ¾ cup chopped fresh mango
- 3 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½-inch piece peeled ginger
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Place tempeh in a bowl with tamari, jerk seasoning, maple, 1 tsp. lime zest, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, and 1 Tbsp. oil; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare Mango-Tahini Sauce by combining mango, tahini, lemon juice, ginger, salt, turmeric, and cayenne in a food processor. Blend for 1 minute, adding up to 3 Tbsp. water to thin out, until sauce is smooth. Set aside.
- Cook rice according to package instructions in vegetable broth. Once liquid is absorbed and rice can be fluffed with a fork, stir in remaining 1 tsp. lime zest, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, black beans, corn, and green onion. Keep covered until bowls are ready to be assembled.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and marinade to pan; cook until tempeh is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Divide rice mixture evenly into each of 4 bowls; top with tempeh and spoon Mango-Tahini Sauce overtop. Garnish with additional green onion, if desired.