Grilled Tempeh Tacos with Peanut Sauce & Mango Cilantro Salsa

Healthy Recipes

30 April 2015

 Ah Cinco de Mayo, a holiday I can totally get behind. Every year, around this same time like clockwork the weather gets warmer (duh) and all I can think about is sipping spicy cucumber margs and enjoying a VAT of guac (not a normal person serving size, an 8-person serving size) outside in the sunshine- I mean AmIright?! And then like magic it’s Cinco de Mayo and my newsfeed is blowing up with inspiring and tasty looking Mexican recipes to try out- it’s like the universe is trying to tell me something…. and that something is it’s time for a taco.

I’ve posted several Cinco de Mayo recipes in the past, but this year I wanted to try something a bit different. As in tacos-but with an asian twist. Think creamy coconut peanut sauce. And crispy bbq tempeh. And fresh mango cilantro salsa. And avo (always).

Grilled Tempeh Tacos with Peanut Sauce and Mango Cilantro Salsa

I love these bad boys because they’re not traditional but are super light, bright, totally seasonal, insanely delicious and also manage to satisfy my taco cravings (totes Cinco de Mayo-worthy) .

They’re also packed with nutrient dense ingredients that add a ton of protein, substance, fiber and flora (aka the GOOD gut bacteria that promotes digestion ). This is especially due to the key ingredient tempeh, which is a fermented soy-product and something we eat a lot of in this household and the MLF ain’t mad about it (he once told me in confidence that he preferred it to steak….oops secret’s out honey)!

For those of you skeptical of tempeh, you are not alone. It wasn’t until I tried it at a Plum Bistro that I discovered what an amazing texture and flavor it has (it’s an awesome vehicle for marinade/sauce and if pre-cooked will soak up the flavors really well). It’s my all-time fave meat substitute and great on the grill, so it’s perfect for summertime. Not to mention it is one of the world’s healthiest foods and so inexpensive- $3.00 will get you 12 oz of organic soy tempeh at Wholefoods.

Unlike the vast majority of soy consumed in the US (which is typically genetically engineered and further processed to a protein isolate) tempeh is made from fermenting whole soybeans, meaning (if you buy certified organic) it’s a whole food (not processed and NOT GMO). The fermentation process also makes the soybeans softer and reduces an ingredient called oligosaccharides, which is the active component that makes beans hard to digest for some people. So the fermenting process in turn increases the digestibility and nutrient absorption (iron, zinc, calcium) of tempeh.

It’s also an amazing source of protein (31 grams per 1 cup serving) and fiber (7 grams per 1 cup serving) minus the artery clogging cholesterol and additional calories associated with animal products like meat.

Now if I STILL can’t convince you to try it, you can totally substitute the tempeh in this recipe for another protein (like chicken or shrimp) however I think once you try it in this dish you’ll become a tempeh fanatic just like the Meat Lovin’ Fiance and I (and he’s not called the Meat Lovin’ Fiance for nothin). Just don’t forget to pair with margaritas for serving as those are non-negotiable ;).

Two Grilled Tempeh Tacos with Peanut Sauce and Mango Cilantro Salsa

Grilled Tempeh Tacos with Peanut Sauce & Mango Cilantro Salsa

Two grilled tempeh tacos on a plate
Author: Lauren Chambers


Tempeh Marinade Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Peanut Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp gf soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime

Mango Cilantro Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • ½ green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp gf soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce

Additional Ingredients

  • Corn tortillas (gluten-free)
  • sliced avocado
  • limes


  1. Prep your tempeh the day before by boiling it for 12 minutes in a pot of water on the stove to soften it (this allows the marinade to soak in much better). Pat dry and place in a container. Blend together the marinade ingredients and pour over, coating both sides. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to make the next day. DISCLAIMER- If you forget to do this step, don’t panic, it’s OK. Just toss in the marinade about 30 minutes before grilling. It won’t have as much flavor but will still taste good.
  2. Depending on how long it takes you to preheat your grill, you may want to start now. While grill is heating up blend together your peanut sauce ingredients in a blender. Set aside.
  3. Place your marinated tempeh in foil and put on the grill over the flame. Grill for 10 minutes on each side.
    Sliced grilled tempeh
  4. While tempeh is grilling toss together your mango cilantro salsa ingredients.
    Mango cilantro salsa in a glass bowl
  5. Once tempeh is done grilling slice it into bite size pieces. Warm your tortillas and top with peanut sauce, grilled tempeh, mango cilantro salsa and avocado.
    Two tacos grilled tempeh and mango cilantro salsa
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De nada, mis amigos!