June 14, 2021

Cashew Tempeh Stir-Fry

This scrumptious tempeh stir-fry is made with juicy bell peppers, cashews, and a sweet and savory maple hoisin sauce. It’s loaded with flavor and cooks up lightning fast!

Wooden Table Set with Skillet, Water Glass, and Plate of Tempeh Stir-Fry with Rice

Stir-fries are where it’s at when it comes to quick and easy vegan dinners. While I’m a big fan of the classic tofu stir-fry, I have another favorite that’s actually simpler to make: tempeh stir-fry!

Why Tempeh?

Tempeh Stir-Fry in a Skillet with Wooden Spoon and Bunch of Scallions in the Background

Tempeh is not only a great way to switch things up if you’re in the habit of cooking with tofu all the time, but it’s actually easier to work with than tofu!

Whereas tofu generally requires pressing and can be a little tricky to cook up, tempeh can go right from the package and into your skillet. There’s very little prep work required!

If tempeh is a new ingredient to you, you can learn about it in this guide to tempeh that I put together. Once you’re ready to start cooking, come back here and make some stir-fry!

What You’ll Need

  • Hoisin sauce. Look for this in the international foods section of your supermarket.
  • Rice vinegar.
  • Maple syrup. Feel free to substitute another liquid sweetener, such as agave.
  • Soy sauce. Tamari or liquid aminos can be subbed for this.
  • Water. Make sure it’s cold!
  • Cornstarch.
  • Garlic.
  • Fresh ginger.
  • White pepper. This is optional, but adds a nice flavor.
  • Peanut oil. Or use whatever high-heat oil you have on hand.
  • Tempeh.
  • Scallions.
  • Bell pepper. Orange or red can be used.
  • Roasted cashews.
  • Cooked rice. I like this dish with coconut jasmine rice, but pretty much any variety works!
  • Toasted sesame seeds. For topping!

How to Make Tempeh Stir-Fry

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make tempeh stir-fry. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Whisk your sauce ingredients together in a bowl: hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, and white pepper.
Hand Whisking Stir-Fry Sauce Together in a Bowl
  • Heat up some oil in a skillet. Once it’s hot, add diced tempeh.
  • Cook the tempeh for a few minutes, flip it, and cook it for a few more minutes, until it’s lightly browned on each side.
  • Remove the tempeh from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.
Images Showing Two Stages of Tempeh Cooking in a Skillet
  • Add some more oil to the skillet and raise the heat to high — it’s time to stir-fry! Add a diced bell pepper and just the white parts of your scallions (finely chopped). Stir-fry everything until the peppers start to become tender.
  • Return the tempeh to the skillet, then add the sauce mixture and cashews.
  • Flip everything a few times and bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Let the sauce continue simmering until it thickens up a bit and forms a nice coating on your tempeh and peppers.
Collage Showing Steps for Making Tempeh Stir-Fry: Stir-Fry Peppers, Add Tempeh, Cashews and Sauce, Toss, and Simmer
  • Take the skillet off of the burner and top your stir-fry with chopped up scallion greens and toasted sesame seeds.
Skillet of Tempeh Stir-Fry with Wooden Spoon on a Wooden Surface
  • Serve your stir-fry with rice and enjoy!
Plate of Tempeh Stir-Fry and Rice on a Wooden Surface with Chopsticks on the Side

Tempeh Stir-Fry Tips & FAQ

  • Can this dish be made gluten-free? Yup! Just use gluten-free hoisin sauce and gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce.
  • Shelf life & storage: Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Not a fan of tempeh? Try subbing tofu! Check out this guide on how to pan-fry it perfectly for this dish.
  • If you generally find tempeh to be too bitter for you, try steaming it before incorporating it into this recipe. My guide to tempeh includes detailed instructions on how to do this!
  • Looking for more tempeh main dishes? Try my tempeh chili, tempeh ribs, and tempeh tacos!

Like this recipe? If so, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter. And please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you make it!

Wooden Table Set with Skillet, Water Glass, and Plate of Tempeh Stir-Fry with Rice

Cashew Tempeh Stir-Fry

This bell pepper and tempeh stir-fry cooks up super fast and is served up with roasted cashews in a sweet and savory maple hoisin sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 3
Calories 457 kcal
Author Alissa


  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • Generous pinch white pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, or high-heat oil of choice, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce or 227 gram) package tempeh cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews

For Serving

  • Cooked rice
  • Toasted sesame seeds


  1. Whisk the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, garlic, ginger and white pepper together in a small bowl.

  2. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the tempeh cubes in an even layer. Cook the tempeh for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the pieces are lightly browned.

  4. Remove the tempeh from the skillet and transfer it to a plate.

  5. Coat the skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil and raise the heat to high. Add the bell pepper and white parts of scallions. Stir-fry until the peppers are tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.

  6. Return the tempeh to the skillet, then add the hoisin sauce mixture and cashews. Flip everything a few times with a spatula to distribute the ingredients.

  7. Continue cooking the mixture, flipping it frequently, until the sauce thickens a bit and coats the tempeh and peppers.

  8. Remove the skillet from heat.

  9. Serve the stir-fry with rice and top it with sesame seeds and the green parts of your scallions.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.

Nutrition Facts

Cashew Tempeh Stir-Fry

Amount Per Serving

Calories 457 Calories from Fat 257

% Daily Value*

Fat 28.5g44%

Saturated Fat 5.4g27%

Sodium 723mg30%

Potassium 596mg17%

Carbohydrates 35.9g12%

Fiber 2.2g9%

Sugar 13.9g15%

Protein 19.4g39%

Calcium 125mg13%

Iron 4.1mg23%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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