Tempeh Beanballs

I have always been intrigued by tempeh.  Tofu, I easily figured out what to do with, but tempeh somehow eludes me.  I don’t typically follow recipes, but with this foreign ingredient, I definitely needed some direction.

Naturally, I open up my vegan cookbook.  I found a recipe for ‘beanballs’ that used tempeh.  Sounded good enough.  I got started…


Mash up some black eyed peas, then mix in garlic, herbs & spices, soy sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar (yuuum).  The original recipe did not call for many herbs & spices, which made me nervous.  I like flavor.  I decided to add in some of my own, including fennel, which I think helped give the beanballs a more meaty flavor.



All I had to do to cook the tempeh was crumble it up and steam for 10 minutes.  Easy enough.  Once it was ready, it gets combined with the bean mixture.  Adding the tempeh while it’s warm helps the flavors meld, according to the cookbook’s author.

Add in some bread crumbs and salt, then roll into balls.



Place on a baking sheet.  Cover with foil so they get a nice steam bath, and bake for 15 minutes.  Take them out…



Remove from oven.  Flip.  Admire the golden brown goodness.  Bake for 10 more minutes.


Admire the golden brown goodness some more.

Toss with your favorite marinara sauce & pasta of choice.  


Eat.  Enjoy.  Try your best not to inhale.


Black-Eyed Pea & Tempeh Beanballs

Adapted from “Appetite For Reduction” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

12oz tempeh

15oz can black-eyed peas

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried oregano

3 tsp fennel

1 tsp paprika

black pepper

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 C bread crumbs

1/4 tsp salt

Break tempeh into bite-size pieces.  Steam for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray well.

Mash the beans, making sure no whole beans are left, but not completely smooth like a puree.  Mince garlic, and add it to the beans along with herbs and spices, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar.

Add warm tempeh to bean mixture.  Let cool for a few minutes, then add bread crumbs and salt.

Roll into balls, using approximately 2 tbsp per ball. Place on baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, cover with foil.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for 10 more minutes, uncovered.



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