Tempeh is probably my favorite plant-based source of protein. This fermented soy product is packed with protein, fiber, and minerals. A comprehensive overview of what tempeh is and ways that you can prepare it can be found here. 

I like to make vegetarian taco filling using tempeh. When I want to include a vegetarian meal in my weekly meal prep, tempeh taco bowls are quick and easy to make.

You can crumble or grate tempeh to use it as an alternative to ground meat. When you cook the tempeh crumbles they maintain a firm texture and brown pretty well.

I use homemade taco seasoning rather than using the store-bought packets that tend to be high in sodium and contain additives to keep it fresh.

Seasoning blends are quick and easy to make at home. The key is to keep your pantry stocked with basic spices. The herbs and spices commonly used in Mexican type dishes include chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and garlic powder. If you always have these in your kitchen, you can quickly make homemade taco seasoning.  

When I make this meal I add frozen roasted corn to the taco bowls. Frozen produce is one of those freezer staples that help to make quick healthy meals because there’s no washing or chopping. You simply dump some in a bowl and thaw it in the microwave. For most vegetables I prefer fresh, but frozen corn generally works well in dishes because it doesn’t get really mushy.    

I also use pre-made pico de gallo to save some time and decrease the number of individual ingredients that I need to buy.


tempeh taco bowl


Tempeh Taco Bowls

Tempeh taco bowls - using tempeh to make a vegetarian taco filling for this healthy meal prep lunch recipe. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
Keyword: tempeh, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Gabriella @ Nutritious Minimalist


  • 1 cup dried brown rice
  • 8 oz tempeh block, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cups pico de gallo, pre-made
  • 1 1/3 cups frozen roasted corn, thawed
  • 1 lime, quartered

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt


  • Cook the brown rice according to the package directions.
  • While the rice cooks, make the tempeh taco filling. First, make the taco seasoning. In a small bowl, mix everything from the chili powder through the salt and set aside. 
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crumbled tempeh and cook 5-7 minutes until it browns.
    browned tempeh
  • Add the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and water to the tempeh and mix it all until well combined. Cook for 5 minutes.
    tempwh with taco seasoning
  • Assemble the taco bowls in four food storage containers by adding the following to each container:
    ½ cup tempeh taco mixture
    ⅓ cup pico de gallo
    ⅓ cup roasted corn
    ½ cup brown rice
    Lime wedge to squeeze when ready to eat 


  • Use regular frozen corn or cooked fresh corn in place of the frozen roasted corn.
  • Use jarred salsa in place of the pico de gallo.
  • Instead of brown rice, use any whole grain such as quinoa, farro, or millet.

Additional topping ideas

  • Cheese: grated (Monterey Jack or Cheddar) or crumbled (cotija cheese)
  • Shredded cabbage for crunch
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Guacamole
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Pickled onions
  • Hot sauce