October 20, 2008

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

by IsaChandra

Makes about 2 cups

This is delicious over pasta with marinara sace or as a pizza topping. It’s also good as a burrito filling or served for breakfast alongside scrambled tofu.

8 oz package tempeh
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried margoram or oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon

In a saute pan, crumble the tempeh and add enough water to almost cover it. Over high heat, steam the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain the remaining water and add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:40 am: Danielle F

    made this tonight to go on top my pizza. So good. I even fooled meat-eaters into thinking the topping was REAL sausage. Thanks for this recipe!!

  • January 12, 2011 at 2:59 am: Erika

    I don’t think mine would fool an omni, but these “sausage” crumbles were delicious with my pasta tonight!

  • January 31, 2011 at 12:56 am: Cate

    I’m completely obsessed with this crumble recipe! I put them in everything, deep dish pizza, pasta, gravy, everything. Lately I’ve started steaming the tempeh with beer. I personally like darker beers with the crumbles because it gives the tempeh an almost smoky flavor.

  • February 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm: Beks S

    I don’t know if mine ever really browned. My first tempeh experience and I had an impatient appetite, so I raced through the recipe. After making the crubles I mixed the them with some some cooked frozen veggies (zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots coins). I also added a can of non salted diced tomatoes drained. I added some salt and pepper and it was a good power meal for lunch, after my first workout from winter hiatus. When I cookfor myslef I just want veggies and a smart protein….if I would have cooked this for my boyfriend I wouldn’t have raced through the steps and put in on pizza, instead. haha

  • March 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm: lynn

    Besides the Tempeh Rueben Sangwich, these crumbles are better than wild sex… in the working class!!

  • April 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm: Allison

    Dude, this is maybe my favorite recipe ever, EVER, I tell you. It is so good in traditionally “sausagey” things, and it’s a super good base for a veggie hash, just throw in diced veggies or greens after the tempeh is pretty browned, or potatoes, or a cooked grain….I’ve done it all!!

  • June 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm: Millie

    I followed Cate’s beer suggestion and it imparted great flavor. I was also cooking Indian curry, so I switched up the spices to cumin, smashed whole coriander seeds, turmeric, and garam masala to equal two tablespoons. It was FABULOUS! The coriander seeds softened and gave it beautiful texture. We used the tempeh almost as a condiment for raita, fresh salad, curry, rice, and naan. This was quite adaptable to my needs and I’m sure it would work beautifully with many spice combos. Isa, you are my idol! Thank you for another incredible addition to vegan cuisine.

  • June 8, 2011 at 3:06 am: Kelly

    Wow! I’m really happy about how good this is! This is my first time cooking with tempeh. I’ve been slowly switching from an omni diet to a veggie/vegan one and with recipes like this it should be no problem.

  • November 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm: Jackie

    This was so good, thanks for another great recipe! I made this yesterday and mixed it with cooked kale, mushrooms, onions and quinoa, stuffed everything into baked acorn squash halves, and then baked them a little more.

  • December 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm: Craftycat70

    Haven’t tried Tempeh yet, but after reading all the above post……gonna have to get me some and try it out! :-)

  • February 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm: Beth May

    Man o man, these are awesome. Wish i ground the fennel a little though!

  • May 12, 2012 at 2:02 am: Anastasia Hedy

    I just made a double batch of this recipe. It is so delicious. I didn’t have all the spices that the recipe called for, but close enough. I poached the tempeh in veggie broth, then transfer the whole thing into a cast iron and cook and cook until pretty brown. It is so delicious I can’t stop munching on it. The next step is to find a soy-less “tempeh”, since my boyfriend is allergic to it. I grew up in Indonesia where tempeh is a staple, but I had never had it this good. I can see how this recipe will evolve. How about Spanish smoked paprika to make it into “chorizo”?

  • May 29, 2012 at 4:16 am: Anja

    This is the jam! Totally steamed mine in an IPA tonight. Adding it to quinoa and an every-vegetable-in-the-fridge roast. So perfect.

  • July 25, 2012 at 12:53 am: Elizabeth

    I make this every Sunday morning for family brunch. We add Indian coriander chutney, black beans, and chipotle pepper sauce at the end and serve on top of roasted vegetables on a bed of baby spinach. So easy and delicious!

  • December 18, 2012 at 2:21 am: adubbs

    yumm!!! Had it on a pizza with the Veganomicon carmelized onion marinara sauce, some daiya cheese, jalapenos, and roasted garlic. will definitely make again:)

  • April 7, 2013 at 5:30 am: LynnCS

    OMG..I have to try this.

  • April 10, 2013 at 12:37 am: Jorge

    Wow!! I’ve been cooking professionally for 20 years, and this recipe is awesome! I’m not a vegan myself, but i was amazed at how convincingly similar the flavor and texture of this recipe is to real sausage!

  • September 23, 2013 at 6:40 am: Nicole

    The first time I made this, I used tempeh and I didn’t like it at all. The second time I made it, I used tofu, and I loved it. Just turn the heat up really high and sauté the tofu until browned, then add the spices and mix it up. Just a suggestion for those who didn’t like the tempeh.

  • September 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm: Charlotte

    This is delicious. However, next time I would omit the fennel seeds as they were too overpowering and cough-syrupy for my taste. Great on pizza and I also mixed some with a tomato pesto and used ut as a knish filling. Mmm.

  • December 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm: Dana

    Fabulous!!! I did crush the fennel upon reading the comments. I was able to get it brown…the amount that remained at least…I was eating it out of the pan like lunch! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  • December 21, 2013 at 12:19 am: Bibi

    Loved this!
    I put it over roasted potatoes, spinach and peppers
    Can’t wait to put it on pizza.
    (I didn’t have fennel but wanted to make it exactly as written–bought some, did it…so fantastic!)

  • February 28, 2014 at 2:47 am: Dina

    I am so pleased that I tried this recipe! Thank you! It went perfectly with my arugula pesto and quinoa pasta…, yummy! I took the advice from one of the posts and used extra firm tofu instead of the tempeh. I’m not really sure what tempeh sausage is made of or what flavor difference it might have but the price difference is what did it for me. Excellent recipe !!

  • January 10, 2015 at 12:57 am: Crichartz

    This is an AMAZING recipe. We have used it on pizza and in spaghetti and both go over well with our family (including our 16 year old son!). The texture is ground beef and the fennel with the other spices is spot-on for the sausage flavor and aroma. Bravo on a wonderful recipe!

  • February 1, 2015 at 5:01 pm: Amber

    I really love this recipe. I made it last week with the addition of sun dried tomatoes in oil in addition to the olive oil called for in the recipe. I’m about to make it again now! So easy and delicious!

  • February 1, 2015 at 5:03 pm: Amber

    Oh yeah, I added some smoked paprika too!

  • April 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm: Ratatouille

    Wow!! What a great post Isa. I am anxious for test it over the pasta, with marinara sauce. It is a very good choice. Ah!! And why not serve with the snacks. It is another nutritious possibility to bear in mind.

  • August 13, 2015 at 11:47 pm: Lauren

    This was sooooo good! I could eat a whole pan by myself!

  • September 17, 2015 at 9:55 pm: Nathanael

    Thanks! These crumbles made my vegan pizza really savory – I didn’t even need any fake cheese. I didn’t have sage, fennel or red pepper flakes (it’s complicated) so I added more garlic and about a third of a serrano pepper instead. Yum!

  • December 31, 2015 at 10:31 pm: Diane R

    Thank you for this recipe!! This is the tempeh sausage recipe I’ve been dreaming of for a very long time. Perfect!! Love it on pizza and baked potatoes. I’m trying your “Tempeh Orzilla” next. So glad I found you in an Internet search. Happy New Year! May your year be filled with delicious things.

  • February 10, 2016 at 1:24 am: DK

    omg….a definite keeper. Used this in my hash recipe and will ever ever use meat sausage again.

  • February 10, 2016 at 1:25 am: DK

    read that as never ever….lol

  • March 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm: c

    is there a way to make these into patties?

  • March 27, 2016 at 6:17 pm: Christina

    LOVE! I left out the oil and added 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes. Really good in lasagna.

  • July 13, 2016 at 3:33 am: Nancy

    I wasn’t sure exactly what this would turn out like, but since I own almost every Isa published cook book I should have known that this would be amazing. IT IS AMAZING. I was looking for an alternative to a nut stuffed squash (also supposed to taste like sausage), and this one definitely delivers. I have no idea how sage and onions make things taste so savory, but it worked. If you can’t remember the last time you ate meat, this will definitely taste like it to you.