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
- 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.