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Updated: Jan 3, 2021

This is the perfect protein dish to serve on your holiday table: MAPLE PECAN-CRUSTED TEMPEH.

This tempeh is marinated in a rosemary and maple syrup sauce, then breaded with crushed pecans and baked or fried for a crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside mouthwatering treat!

You've never had tempeh like this before... so savory and so tender, even non-vegans rave about it!

If you don’t have pecans around or can’t get your hands on some, you can use any other nut you like. I’ve used hazelnuts and almonds, and it comes out amazing!

The trick to this recipe is to steam the tempeh first. It softens the tempeh and it becomes more tender, which contrasts nicely with the crunchy exterior.

This is the perfect tempeh recipe to serve during a holiday meal. But, it’s so good, you’re going to want to have it several times a year!

So, let’s get cooking!



  • Two 8-ounce packages of tempeh

  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 cup pecans

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 1 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder

  • Olive oil for frying or oil spray for baking


  1. Chop each tempeh block in half horizontally and then chop each half diagonally so you have 8 triangles.

  2. Fill a large shallow sauce pan with a couple inches of water and fit with a steamer basket. Place the tempeh triangles in the steamer basket and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let the tempeh steam for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the triangles once halfway through. Once steamed, remove the steamer basket from the pan (keeping the tempeh in the basket) and set aside while you prepare the next ingredients.

  3. Dump the remaining water from the large shallow saucepan. Combine the vegetable broth, liquid aminos, maple syrup, sage, and thyme in the pan and stir to combine. Place the tempeh triangles in the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Let the tempeh simmer in the sauce for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping them once halfway through. Remove the pan from the heat and let the tempeh cool while in the remains of the sauce.

  4. Place the pecans in a food processor and process until you have a coarse flour. Add the nutritional yeast and cornmeal and pulse a couple times to incorporate. Transfer to a shallow bowl.

  5. Pour the almond milk in one shallow bowl and the cornstarch in another. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. One by one, lightly dip the tempeh in the milk, then dredge in the cornstarch until completely covered. Tap off any excess powder and quickly dip the tempeh back in the milk before placing in the bowl of pecans. Pat the nut mixture onto the tempeh until all sides are coated. Place the tempeh on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all cutlets are coated.

  7. Pour some oil into a frying pan, just enough to coat the bottom, and heat the pan over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, place 4 cutlets in the pan. Let the cutlets cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until the coating is crisp and golden/just beginning to brown. Add more oil if necessary and repeat with the remaining cutlets. Serve immediately and enjoy!

ALTERNATIVE BAKING INSTRUCTIONS: Before you start coating the cutlets, preheat the oven to 400 F. Once the cutlets are coated, bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

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