Easy Peanut Tempeh Stir Fry is made in one skillet and ready in 30 minutes. The pan fried tempeh and veggies are drowned in a savory peanut sauce to give this dish loads of flavor!
Every vegan needs a great go-to stir fry recipe. Whether you need to clean out your fridge or get a nutritious dinner on the table in a hurry, it’s one of the best options to make.
The key difference between this tempeh stir fry and my Everyday Tofu Stir Fry is the homemade peanut sauce and protein-packed tempeh. Tempeh is my preferred vegan meat alternative in stir fry because it’s nutty, a great source of protein, and meatier than tofu. As a bonus, there’s no need to steam or marinate the tempeh to make it taste great either!
All 3 elements in this recipe are easy to put together: whisk the sauce, pan fry the tempeh, and sauté the veggies. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have a filling and flavorful dinner that goes great with rice or noodles!
How to make peanut sauce for stir fry
It’s easy! This recipe is similar to my Vegan Peanut Sauce. Just whisk all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl until the mixture is silky smooth. Set the bowl aside.
How to make tempeh stir fry
Sauté the onion in a hot skillet with some oil. Add the tempeh next, stirring until it’s browned nicely. Transfer the onions and pan fried tempeh to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the broccoli and carrots. Return the onions and tempeh back to the pan when the veggies are tender, then pour the peanut sauce over top. Stir to coat.
Turn off the heat and sprinkle the peanut stir fry with nuts and cilantro. Serve over rice or noodles and enjoy!
Stir fry is usually filling and delicious on its own, but you can always include some spring rolls, steamed vegetables, or teriyaki noodles on the side. This recipe is at its best when served over rice, noodles, or extra vegetables, like:
- Noodles – Rice noodles, soba noodles, ramen, udon noodles, zucchini noodles, or any long pasta (like spaghetti or linguini) will do.
- Rice – The classic choice! Serve the stir fry over jasmine, basmati, white, or brown rice. For extra flavor, use my Vegan Fried Rice or Coconut Rice instead.
- Other grains and veggies – Swap the rice or noodles for a bed of quinoa, farro, leafy greens, or cauliflower rice.
- Gluten free – Swap the soy sauce for tamari in the peanut sauce. Serve the stir fry over rice noodles, soba noodles, rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa.
- Peanut free – Use almond butter instead of peanut butter in the sauce. Replace the toasted peanuts on top with sesame seeds or more cilantro. Or use sunflower seed butter if you can’t have nuts at all.
- More veggies – Feel free to use other veggies depending on what you have (bok choy, mushrooms, and bell peppers would be great). I recommend using a max of 3 1/2 cups of chopped veggies.
- Tofu – Replace the tempeh with cubed tofu if that’s all you have. Use extra firm and press the excess water from the brick beforehand. Save time by air frying the cubes instead of pan frying.
Want more Asian-inspired vegan meals?
Peanut Tempeh Stir Fry
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- (2) 8-ounce packages tempeh, cubed
- 3 cups bite sized broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- cooked brown/white rice or noodles, for serving
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the peanut sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large wok or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly until it starts to soften.
- Now add the tempeh and stir fry for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove the tempeh and onions from the skillet and set on a plate nearby.
- Add the remaining olive oil and the broccoli and carrots. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until crisp tender.
- Return the tempeh and onions to the pan, along with the sauce. Stir to coat and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro, if desired. Serve over noodles or with rice.
- The Thai red curry paste adds a lot of flavor to the sauce, but if you don’t have it feel free to leave it out.
- You can substitute other veggies, such as mushrooms, zucchini and more. Use about 3 1/2 cups chopped veggies.
- Peanut allergy? Use almond butter and chopped almonds instead.
- Gluten intolerance? Make sure to use gluten free tempeh and tamari instead of soy sauce.
Another great Nora recipe! I thinned my sauce out a bit with extra water. Used cashews. Very good! Our first time eating tempeh. Thank you so much!
You are welcome! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for your great feedback and review!
Loved this recipe and flavor, the only change I would make is double the sauce! When we served it over noodles we wanted more sauce to cover the noodles or rice. I usually am not a fan of tempeh but I will buy it again just to make this recipe!
Thanks for your review, KJ!
“OMG, that’s delicious!” – said my husband after the first bite. 🙂 And, “far better than a restaurant.” This was so good, and pretty easy to make. However, it did take me a bit longer than a half hour, but it was well worth it. Will be doubling it next time!
Hi Kendra. I’m glad the recipe was a hit in your home! I appreciate your great feedback and review!
So delicious, easy, and super flexible! I’ve made it as written, substituted soy curls or pressed tofu for the tempeh, or even substituted a gochujang/sambal mix for the curry paste and it has somehow always turned out excellent. Thank you!
Hi Sarah. All your choices sound delicious! I’m happy to know you are loving the recipe! Thanks for your great feedback!
Going to make this recipe this week. Our 2nd attempt with tempeh (first was awful, not your recipe) Do we need to steam the tempeh (LightLife) first?
I don’t steam it first here, and don’t find it needs it. There are occasions I do steam tempeh first, but not for this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!
I made this last night. Excellent dish. Thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, thanks!
This was easy and SO delicious! I regret not doubling it—there is hardly any left after dinner!!!
Thank you for sharing your review! I’m glad you loved it!
I subbed baked cubed-tofu for the tempeh and only had Panang curry but it still turned out DELICIOUS! Thanks for another fabulous recipe that will definitely be worked into our normal rotation. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your review and comments! I’m so glad you loved the stir fry!
Loved this one! Very tasty
Delicious! I followed your instructions and it is soooo yummy! I didn’t have seasoned rice vinegar, just regular, and it is tastes great to me. The red pepper flakes add just the right amount of kick. Thank you for sharing this!
I’m glad that you loved the stir fry! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review!
Is their a substitute for the red curry paste as I’m sure that adds much flavor?
I love your recipes!
Any kind of curry paste would be good, or simply add a teaspoon of dried curry powder. 🙂 Thank you so much!
Another hit! I love that I can trust your recipes rather than having to try them out before serving to others. Really tasty – only change I’ll make next time is doubling the vegetables and halving the tempeh – just a personal preference. It’s perfect as is.