Tempeh Tacos from Betty Goes Vegan

Tempeh Tacos
I get migraines. Crazy migraines. Migraines that make me see strange glowing orbs. Migraines that make me leave hair salons in ambulances. But the worst thing about my migraines is that they cause me to have weird aversions to certain foods.

So, for example, when I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and got a migraine a few hours later, suddenly I could no longer stomach PB&Js. The very thought of them would make me feel sick to my stomach. Usually I get over these aversions after a few months, but then there was the time I got a migraine after eating tacos–oh, it was bad. And I wasn’t able to eat tacos for a full year.

Tempeh Taco Filling
The Year Without Tacos will go down as one of the worst years ever. Because along with veggie burgers and pasta, tacos were part of the trifecta of easy go-to meals in our household. I felt a little bit lost without taco night. Tacos are fast! They’re delicious! And putting them together is kind of fun too, right? It was a happy day when I finally found myself thinking, “Hey, you know what? I feel like tacos for dinner! I FEEL LIKE TACOS AGAIN!”

Now you can make tacos with vegetables and beans and potatoes, but my favorite tacos are made with crumpled tempeh. (If you’re unfamiliar with tempeh, be sure to check out my How to Use Tempeh post!) I’ve made a lot of tempeh tacos in my day, but the ones from Anne & Dan Shannon’s new cookbook Betty Goes Vegan are my new favorite. At first I was a little nervous about the long list of ingredients, but they come together quickly and I suspect that this recipe would be ideal for doubling and freezing, making an easy meal even easier.

Betty Goes Vegan
I received a copy of Betty Goes Vegan a few weeks ago and with 500 recipes, it is HUGE. As the title suggests, the inspiration for this book was Betty Crocker’s cookbook. While it’s fun to see all those classic recipes get meatless remakes, this isn’t necessarily a cookbook I’d buy for myself because most of the recipes call for meat substitutes, which I don’t use. This would be more of a “I’m going to check this out from the library” type of book for me. But if you do use meat substitutes in your cooking, this book is a great source of mealtime inspiration.

Tempeh Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8 tacos

Tempeh Tacos

Spicy tacos made with crumbled tempeh from Betty Goes Vegan by Anne & Dan Shannon.


  • 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. Mexican-spiced diced tomatoes (I used the tomatoes with green chilies)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, diced
  • 2-4 tsp. chili powder (2 was plenty for us!)
  • 3 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. minced chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 c. Bragg's liquid aminos (coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce work too)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • dash of liquid smoke (I omitted this)
  • 6-8 hard taco shells
  • vegan cheese, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, black olives, and lime wedges for serving


  1. Crumble your tempeh into a large mixing bowl. Then, using a large spoon, mix in the garlic, tomatoes, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chipotle pepper, and Bragg's. Once your tempeh is completely mixed into the spices, mix in the onion and pepper. Then drizzle the water 1 tablespoon at a time into your mix while stirring your ingredients continuously. Taste a little bit of your tempeh and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spray your favorite cast-iron skillet or frying pan with a heavy coating of olive oil cooking spray, and then heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, toss in the tempeh mixture and liquid smoke. Flip your tempeh-vegetable mixture a few times so that it browns evenly. You'll know it's ready when your vegetables are tender and your tempeh has crispy edges. It should take about 10 minutes.
  3. While your tempeh is cooking, heat your taco shells slightly in the oven following the directions on the package.
  4. Once your taco shells are warm, fill them with the tempeh and vegetable mixture. Top with vegan cheese and set aside so it can melt slightly.
  5. Serve with guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, black olives, lime wedges and anything else you like on your tacos!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Betty Goes Vegan to review on Oh My Veggies. There’s an affiliate link in this post, so if you were to order the book from Amazon through my link, I would receive a small percentage of the sale price.


About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. says

    I made this the other night and absolutely loved it! I was warned of Tempeh from a friend who and tried another recipe and hated it, but I am a convert. Next maybe I’ll try the sloppy joes. Thanks for the great recipes, new favourite site.

      • Nadezhda says

        So true. I’m Indonesian (where tempe originated) & there are tons of ways to cook tempe. My personal favorite is to marinate it with a paste made of a little water + crushed garlic + ground coriander seeds + salt + pepper, let it sit for a while & fry ‘em. if you want it healthier, bake them with a bit of coconut oil.

  2. Jessica says

    My boyfriend and I made these last night and they were to die for! My boyfriend was a little wary of tempeh at first, but after these tacos he is already brainstorming all the other ways to use it. This recipe was simple, easy, and delicious… thanks!

  3. Anna says

    I wonder if you’ve seen the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? In it is a woman who’d had lifelong migraines. She did a 17 day juice fast and hasn’t had one since. In the film are other astonishingly inspiring stories of diseases cured by juicing.

    Whether some is fat or not, it’s a great little film that has inspired thousands to embrace a plant based life style.

    • Kiersten says

      I haven’t seen that documentary, but I’ve heard a lot about it. I’ve found that I’ve been able to control my migraines pretty well with magnesium supplements. I still get them once in a while, but last year there were a few months where I was getting them every other day. It was terrible! I really believe that nutrition is the key to solving a lot of illnesses…

      • says

        I have had migraines most of my life, sometimes lots… I started taking 600 mg of magnesium everyday, now I only have one migraine every couple of months! Give it a try…

        • Kiersten says

          I actually do take magnesium now! :) I use the Natural Calm powder. Like you, I still get migraines once every month or two, but nowhere near as many as I used to. I tell everyone I know about it!

  4. Carla says

    These were absolutely FABULOUS!!! I loved them…so yummy, filling, and healthy. Thank you for sharing, I get so excited about new recipes :)

  5. says

    This sounds so yummy! Going to make it tonight, got a craving for mexican and I would much rather make taco “meat” out of tempeh than buy the fake processed soy meatless taco meat out there.
    I also suffer from migraines and have for years. I used to get them every single day as well! I also take magnesium, but one thing that changed my life (granted everyone reacts different to everything) is Petadolex (get it cheapest on Amazon or vitaminshoppe online). It is a specific brand of butterbur that I took and my migraines went from daily to a few times a week, and when I did get them, Advil actually worked! I have also tried other versions of butterbur, but I feel like that brand worked better some reason. It is a bit pricey but it’s life changing! I also did biofeedback and now I pretty much only get one bad headache a month, and little ones here and there. Anyway, hope yours aren’t that bad, they are really awful!

    • Kiersten says

      I have never heard of Petadolex–I will have to look for that! Natural Calm has helped me go from migraines a few days a week to only once every month or two, but it would be nice to knock out those remaining ones too. :)

  6. says

    Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe! I’ve been trying to move away from being over reliant on more processed tofu + had never really cooked with tempeh (despite being vego for 12 years!) so this delicious recipe was a revelation!
    With gratitude, Amy :)

    • Kiersten says

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Tempeh is such a great substitute for ground beef–I bet you’ll discover all kinds of different ways to use it now! :)

  7. Melissa says

    I just made these. I didn’t use near as much Braggs and still great. I hate putting down my taco to type this review!

  8. Sarah says

    We found this post a couple of weeks ago and tried it as a substitute for our revisit tempeh taco filling and we loved it! So delicious! Paired it with some black beans sandman cilantro rice and this was one awesome meal. My seven year old devoured it. Thanks!

  9. Margaret says

    These have become part of our regular rotation. EVERYONE loves them, even my committed carnivore husband. Thanks for a great recipe.

  10. Joynani says

    Thank you for putting great recipes out there for everyone to see. Trying to go vegetarian can be hard if your used to using meat with every meal. As for the migraine headaches, I used to get them often when I was on birth control, especially certain ones. I would also look at what you are taking in your body as a factor if so. It helped me completely get rid of mine by getting off them and using other methods.

  11. Howard says

    Looking over the ingredients , I knew the recipe would be very good. In Fact I doubled it. Instead of corn Tacos , I steamed green cabbage leaves and rolled refried beans, saute onions and mushrooms and the tempeh taco recipe above. Then put home made guacamole on top.

  12. Lynsey Kelly says

    Had a vegetarian co-worker staying the night tonight and found this recipe. YUMMY! We had this and beef taco meat and the Tempeh I have to say was so much more flavorful, definite keeper!

  13. Joanne says

    I made these tonight and my daughter loved them and did not realize this was not meat. My husband did not complain even though he doesn’t know what tempeh is. My older daughters friend tried and loved. The marinade was perfect and I let it soak in to the tempeh for a good 2-3 hours covered in the fridge prior to cooking. I was pleasantly surprised as this was my first time trying tempeh, as I am not a fan of tofu except whipped up into things. The texture of tempeh is great to work with and pass off to my meat eating /loving family as I try to eat healthier and more plant based for myself. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Kiersten says

      I’m so happy to hear they were a hit! I agree, tempeh is the perfect substitute for ground beef. I also use minced raw walnuts and lentils, but tempeh is the only one that truly mimics the texture of ground beef in a way that picky eaters won’t immediately panic over. :)

  14. Eric says

    Not sure if someone mentioned it, but the cook time for the tempeh/veggie mix is a little off. There’s way too much moisture to only allow ten minutes for cooking. I make this recipe once or twice a month and absolutely love it. Only difference is, I simmer between a low and medium heat for almost an hour. So damn tasty that way. Also, I use pickled jalapeños and Cheyenne instead of Chipotle pepper.

  15. Jackie says

    i made these last night and hubby and I loved them! It made so much…we each had 2 tacos, a side of Mexican corn, and a Mexican salad and I had plenty left over to freeze. I did not change the recipe at all. Thanks for a great recipe to pin to my Favorite Recipes board.

  16. Rachael Van says

    This is one of my favorite recipes! It’s so easy to make and blows me away every time how delicious it is! I usually try and double the recipe so the husband and I can warm it up when we get home and it taste great for a few nights! Has anyone tried freezing it?

    • Kiersten says

      I haven’t tried freezing it myself, but based on my freezer cooking experience (I cook & freeze almost every weekend!), I’m 99% sure it would freeze just fine. I’d put it in a ziploc bag, press the air out, and freeze it flat, then thaw in the fridge for a day before reheating.

  17. says

    These look so good! I was wondering if the Mexican tomatoes you are mentioning is like Rotel tomatoes? I know this is a brand but wanted to make sure I was getting the right thing:) Pinning this one for sure! Thanks..

    • Kiersten says

      I think so. I didn’t write the cookbook the recipe is from and it’s been a while since I made this, but I think the tomatoes I used had peppers and oregano in them.

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