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Harissa Tempeh Recipe

When it comes to tempeh recipes, this Harissa Tempeh is quick, easy, packed with flavor, and can be served as a side, in a salad, or in a bowl!

Easy Harissa tempeh recipe

When I was first introduced to tempeh, over 2 decades ago, I thought it was downright disgusting. It looked lumpy and smelled so odd. I guess I should not be starting this recipe post with that opening line, huh?

Well, in all transparency, tempeh is something I have been trying to like for a long time.

If you are wondering why on earth am I trying so much to like it?

Well, tempeh is said to be a high source of plant-based protein. Higher than even tofu. And, it is supposedly less processed than tofu. So I figured I would try my best to like it. Which would eventually help me to incorporate more of it into my vegetarian diet.

What does tempeh taste like?

To me, plain tempeh tastes a bit like mushrooms that have been drizzled with white vinegar.

Nope, definitely not a selling point, right?

Well, yup, that’s what I thought. Until I made this Harissa Tempeh!

Which brings me to the dish that you see here today.

This harissa tempeh recipe makes tempeh likable to me! It takes tempeh from some odd entity and elevates it into a delicious dish that works as a side or in a salad or bowl.

Ingredients to make harissa tempeh

What are the ingredients to make this harissa tempeh recipe?

You need only 8 ingredients to make this, and they are:

  1. Coriander
    I used ground coriander I picked up from my local grocery for this recipe.
  2. Harissa
    When it comes to harissa, I love the New York Shuk brand. To me, it is such a perfect blend of smoky and spicy. By the way, I am not being paid to say that. You could also pick up harissa at any grocery store that has it. I have seen it at my local Sprouts store as well as Kroger and Publix.
  3. Smoked paprika
    While harissa has smoked paprika in it, I like adding a tad bit more of this smoky spice into this dish to this dish.
  4. Turmeric
    I used ground turmeric. But, I have seen fresh turmeric in a lot of stores. If you choose to use fresh turmeric, a general rule of thumb is that you use 3 times as much fresh turmeric as powdered turmeric. As this recipe calls for 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric, you would use 11/2 teaspoons of ground turmeric. One of the advantages of using fresh turmeric is that the curcumin (an antioxidant) in it is more easily absorbed by the body than the curcumin in ground turmeric.
  5. Onion
    For this recipe, fresh onion works better than powdered onion. In fact, you could use the chopped onion that is sold in the produce section of grocery stores to save time (and tears) if you don’t want to cut one up.
  6. Garlic
    Just like the onion, fresh garlic is the best option. Or, you could use the peeled and chopped garlic sold in the produce section of grocery stores.
  7. Ginger
    Again, fresh ginger is the best for this recipe. Like the garlic and onion, you could use the peeled and chopped ginger sold in the produce section of grocery stores.
  8. And, last but not least is Tempeh
    I used unflavored tempeh in this recipe, so it could be used as a canvas for all the other flavors I was adding.

I also used salt and pepper to season this dish and some parsley to garnish it.

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s just a matter of chopping and sautéing, and in less than 20 minutes, you will have an easy and tasty side dish on your hands.

One of my favorite tempeh recipes

How do you serve this tempeh recipe?

You can serve this harissa tempeh as a side dish along with some yellow rice, an asparagus curry, some pineapple chutney, and some carrot and spinach croquettes.

You could also throw together a salad with butter lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, olives, avocado, and some of this harissa tempeh. If you want a light dressing, you could use this easy vinaigrette.

You could also serve this dish with some sautéed sweet potatoes, peas, sautéed mushrooms, quinoa, broccoli, and shredded carrots in a harissa tempeh bowl like this one.

The possibilities are endless!

Healthy meals to eat for dinner

How do you store this tempeh dish?

I stored this dish for 3 days in an airtight container, in the fridge. To warm it up, I simply microwaved it for about 20-30 seconds.

The best tempeh recipe

If you are reluctant to try tempeh or looking for another way to jazz up tempeh, I hope you give this harissa tempeh dish a try. And, if you do make it, please do leave me a comment or tag @Savoryspin on Instagram or Pinterest to let me know.

Easy Harissa tempeh recipe

Harissa Tempeh Recipe

4.64 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Author: Shashi
When it comes to tempeh recipes, this Harissa Tempeh is quick, easy, packed with flavor, and can be served as a side, in a salad, or in a bowl!


  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp harissa
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 turmeric
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • Tempeh 8oz 2.5 servings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley and chili flakes to garnish


  • Peel and chop the onion, ginger, and garlic.
  • Add the olive oil to a large pan and also add in the onion, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then, so they don't burn.
  • While the onion, ginger, and garlic are cooking, remove the tempeh from the packaging. I like to pat it dry a bit, but this is not necessary. Cut the tempeh into bite-sized cubes.
  • Add the tempeh to the onion, ginger, and garlic mix, and also add the coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, and harissa.
  • Stir the ingredients well and let pan-saute for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Optional – you can garnish it with parsley and chili flakes and enjoy!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 266mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @SavorySpin or tag #savoryspin so we can share your ceation.

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Recipe Rating

  1. John says:

    This was my first time using tempeh. I was not happy with the results. Seemed like too much of the dry spices and the tempeh didn’t get coated well. Followed recipe to the letter. Any suggestions?

  2. Connie says:

    I like using tempeh because it takes on the flavors of the recipe. This was so easy to make! Because I like spicey dishes, I added about 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. And I thought that my finished tempe needed a little liquid to help coat the tempeh pieces evenly with the spices so I added about 1/4 cup veggie broth. It was perfect, wet but not too saucy. Served with couscous and a veggie. Delicious!!!!

  3. […] days, I enjoy it in dishes like this Easy Harissa Tofu Curry, these Harissa Jackfruit Balls, this Harissa Tempeh Recipe, and this Easy Harissa Salmon with Asparagus and Israeli […]

  4. Andrea says:

    Hi looks delicious but can you just confirm what you mean by tap in measurements is that table or teaspoon?

  5. angiesrecipes says:

    I haven’t had any tempeh in ages…this looks absolutely droolworthy with harissa.

  6. Sofia Graf says:

    Harissa Tempeh is quick, easy, and healthy recipe which i love to cook with ghee insted of olive oil. If we compare ghee vs olive oil, ghee is more nutritious and flavorsome than olive oil. Try the recipe with pure ghee, you will love it for sure.

  7. John / Kitchen Riffs says:

    I’ve never cooked with tempeh! This looks like a good intro recipe — love love love harissa, so I’m up for trying any recipe that includes it. Good stuff — thanks.

  8. Beth says:

    I’m really eager to try this. I’ve heard of tempeh, but it’s always been a mystery to me. This looks absolutely delicious!

  9. Toni says:

    This is such an interesting recipe to try!! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Casey says:

    I LOVE the spice of harissa! I used firm tofu and it was delish! I am going to use leftovers for a salad today!

  11. Jovita says:

    This is something new and different for me. I love spicy food very much. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Gina says:

    I’ve never tried tempeh but I’m always wanting to try new dishes. Looks so flavorful.

  13. David @ Spiced says:

    Tempeh is something I haven’t gotten on board with myself yet. However, I do enjoy harissa, so perhaps I need to give this a try! In fact, I was just telling Laura the other night that we need to expand our flavors in the kitchen – we’ve been in somewhat of a rut the past couple of weeks. Thanks for the inspiration!