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Sesame Carrot Tempeh Bowl (Recipe)

Sesame Carrot Tempeh Bowl (Recipe)

This Sesame Carrot Slaw and Tempeh Bowl is a delight to add to your collection of easy, quick meals. The most minimal ingredients, paired with a simple but flavorful marinade, combine together to create a delicious, light-yet-satisfying, meatless lunch or dinner with an asian flare.
Easily made gluten free and/or vegan.


This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to share with you for a verrrrrry long time. 

It’s not even that “special,” if I were to be completely honest with you (well done selling your recipes there Cora, well done). It is simply one of those ridiculously easy, kitchen “hacks” – if you will – that I return to time and time again and has remained a favorite of mine for years. It was actually one of the first recipes I put in the cookbook I made eons ago. Hence, I wanted to share it here. 

sesame carrot tempeh bowl

I so love tempeh. Hands down I love it more than tofu, no matter how the tofu is prepared. Tempeh has just such a meatier quality to it. It is chewier, more dense, and has a robust flavor even without a marinade. Sorry tofu, I like you too, but you is blannnndddd. And spongey. And I gotta put like ten plates on you to wring you out and then the plates fall and I have to clean up a kitchen full of mess which I’d probably already done twice that day. Sigh

Anyways. This is why I much prefer eating and cooking with tempeh. 

sesame carrot tempeh bowl

Tempeh steaks, tempeh bacon, tempeh chunks are all nice… but I’m here today to introduce a different way of preparing that tempeh so you can bring a new take to your next meatless meal.

So few ingredients. Three, actually, not counting the marinades. Tempeh, carrots and sesame seeds. 

sesame carrot tempeh bowl

A delectably seasoned carrot slaw is topped with a sticky, sweet and savory tempeh crumble. Sesame seeds work alongside a rice vinegar sesame marinade to add an asian nutty flare. It’s really unique – probably unlike anything else you would have eaten in your week – and yet I tell you it is ridiculously simple and quick to prepare. 

The honey marinade (or maple syrup if needing to be vegan) works to caramelize the tempeh crumble so that it becomes even meatier, chewier and filled with flavor. And sticky! Oooooooo I love the sticky. 

sesame carrot tempeh bowl

I like to serve my sesame carrot slaw and tempeh over brown basmati rice and some steamed veggies, but go with what you will. Quinoa is also a very nice base. 

sesame carrot tempeh bowl

Not sure what to do with that package of tempeh you have sitting in your fridge? Or maybe you’ve been holding onto it so long that it is now collecting condensation in your freezer? Well here you go. A super simple, easy and delicious method of preparation, matched with a flavor profile that will get you out of any food slump you find yourself in.

sesame carrot tempeh bowl

Sticky, meaty crumbled tempeh pairs with a sesame carrot slaw to make your next super simple meatless meal! #vegetarian #vegan #glutenfree #meatless #easyrecipes Click To Tweet

Sesame Carrot Slaw and Tempeh Bowl (Recipe)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

A quick and flavorful carrot slaw combines with sticky crumbled tempeh to create a simple meatless lunch or dinner with an asian, nutty flare. Can easily be made gluten free or vegan.


  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted (divided)
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup (for vegan alternative)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for GF)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • Cooked brown basmati rice, quinoa and steamed veggies as base


  1. Cook rice or quinoa according to directions
  2. Grate carrots in food processor until finely crumbled
  3. With your hands, crumble your package of tempeh into small ish chunks
  4. In dry saucepan, toast sesame seeds over low heat until just beginning to brown (about 5 minutes)
  5. In a small bowl, combine all carrot slaw ingredients and mix well, reserving some sesame seeds for topping.
  6. In same sauce pan, heat sesame oil and add in crumbled tempeh. Cook until beginning to brown (5-10 minutes). Whisk water and cornstarch together until smooth. Separately, whisk together honey and soy sauce. Add in dissolved cornstarch and mix until all clumps are gone. Pour marinade over tempeh and cook on low until sauce has thickened and tempeh has become cooked, sticky and slightly crisp around the edges.
  7. Divide quinoa or rice into bowls, top with carrot slaw, then cooked tempeh, and then finish off with a sprinkling of remaining sesame seeds.
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Linking up with the ladies of Foodie Friday!



  1. Annmarie | 2nd Feb 18

    Oooh this looks delicious! Love the flavors!

    • Cora | 10th Feb 18

      It is! Always a surprise what simplicity can do

  2. Becca | Rabbit Food Runner | 2nd Feb 18

    I am always looking for different ways to prep tempeh!
    Becca | Rabbit Food Runner recently posted…Creamy Vegan Spinach Artichoke DipMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      It can be so versatile can’t it!

  3. danielle | 2nd Feb 18

    oh my brother would seriously LOVE this! i would love this as well but being that he is vegan i know he would want to make this pronto. i have a huge love for raw carrots, i try to eat a few each day and feel it just helps my innards work much better 😀 thank you!!! miss lovely

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Then this sounds like it is the perfect match when you two are together!! I like making more than one mouth happy 🙂

  4. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 2nd Feb 18

    Hey! This is low-FODMAP!
    Do they have Trader Joe’s in Canada? Trader Joe’s superfirm tofu changes the tofu game. No tofu press needed. It’s awesome.
    But man this looks good. Thinking I might put this on my menu for this week!
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…Caterpillar Crawl: January 2018My Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Wooooot! I didn’t even know…. bonus!

      And no, we do not have Trader Joe’s :(. One of the main things I want to go to the states for, aha. I’ve been once and was in love. Super firm tofu DOES make a huge difference. Yum.

  5. Miss Polkadot | 3rd Feb 18

    Oooooh, intriguing. Sesame, soy sauce-y and sweet ‘n salty?! It’s been forever since I had tempeh – sometime during my studies? You won’t find it in the countryside here – but I remember liking it more than tofu, too. The texture is just so much better. Though I don’t really like tofu to begin with; unless we’re talking about tofu ricotta in lasagna. Anyway, if I can find tempeh again, I want to try this.
    Also, I actually think you did a good job selling your recipe in the first paragraph. Ridiculously easy and one you find yourself repeating all the time? That’s what I find convincing because if somebody’s trying to lure me into cooking a dish that’s fancy but also calling for a million ingredients and steps, I’m so not going for it.

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Booo yet another thing you can’t find in your area. Hmmph. Going to have to find you some tempeh.

      You aren’t a fan of tofu eh!? I bet you can find some ways to mask it… its so versatile. And good protein for a vegan!!

  6. Farrah | 3rd Feb 18

    Ahh, this bowl looks so good! I love the colors in it! :] I’ve never tried making anything with tempeh, but my favorite food truck in the world made awesome wraps with it so I need to try this out! 😛

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Yummm. With your creativity I’m sure you could come up with something amazing!

  7. Kaylee | 4th Feb 18

    Though I do like my tofu, when I tried tempeh for the first time = life changing. Totally overshadowed by seitan and tofu I think.

    I actually do have some tempeh sitting in the fridge… Unfortunately, as delicious as this looks, my allergies will prevent me from making this as sesame-y as it can be. 🙁
    Kaylee recently posted…Week in Review: RecentlyMy Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      You’ve made your own seitan haven’t you? Its still on my list of things to try.

      Hmmm boo allergies! Darn. I’m sure you could adjust the flavor profile and put your own twist on it!

  8. Rahul Yadav | 4th Feb 18

    This was delicious!! I will definitely be making it again.
    Rahul Yadav recently posted…The 10 Top Best Healthy Eating Food Blogs of 2018My Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Yay!!! So glad!

  9. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 5th Feb 18

    Oh man, I don’t know how I missed this one. I LOVE tempeh too, so much more than tofu. Way better texture and taste in my opinion. I can’t wait to try this. That carrot slaw is genius.

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      I hope you like it if you do!! I loved plopping the leftovers on anything I had on hand.

  10. Kristy from Southern In Law | 6th Feb 18

    Ooh, how good does this look! I’ve never had tempeh before!

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Ooo exciting!! Can you find it in your area? Knowing you, you would be able to come up with some AWESOME recipes using it.

  11. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 6th Feb 18

    I’d try tempeh for you. Actually I think I’ve had it before in a vegan pulled pork sandwich for Nature’s Bin. It was surprisingly tasty.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: (#118)My Profile

    • Cora | 11th Feb 18

      Ah yes I’m sure you have. It can be masked it quite the meatiest of ways.

  12. DM Ghaziabad | 9th Feb 18

    I made this recipe for the second time tonight and I doubled it this time!!!! A few delicious meals are waiting for me! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!!!😄

    • Cora | 9th Feb 18

      YAY!! I’m so happy to hear that!! Let me know if you try any new combinations or have any new ideas for it!

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