Tempeh & Tofu Marinades

I have found all of these marinades to be tasty on either tempeh or tofu. Take your pick!

All of these marinades are oil-free and do not contribute anything besides flavor towards the protein servings. Each recipe makes enough to marinate one typical sized package of tofu or tempeh.

To marinate, add all ingredients to a small container with a lid. Cut the tempeh or tofu into desired pieces or strips and submerge them into the marinade. Shake gently and turn upside down (with the lid on, obviously) to coat. Store in the fridge to marinate. The longer you marinate it the stronger the flavor. Experiment with the amount of time you like. I usually marinate overnight, but I can get away with just a few hours too. Often I will let something sit in marinade for a few days without the flavor getting too strong or distorted.

For tempeh, I bake at 350 degrees on some parchment paper or on a lightly oiled cast iron pan for 20 minutes or so, flipping halfway through. To learn how to bake tofu, check out this page.

Tempeh & Tofu Marinades

  • Servings: Marinates 1 package of tofu or tempeh
  • Print

Simple Smoky Marinade

This is delicious whenever you need a flavorful, smoky, meaty hunk of protein.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or braggs liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • generous dash of paprika

Basic Balsamic Marinade

This marinade doesn’t dominate but adds flavor to otherwise bland tempeh or tofu. It’s great when there is a flavorful sauce or dressing being added and the protein doesn’t really need to stand out.

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced

Garlic Ginger Marinade

This marinade is more flavorful and works well when you want to eat the tempeh or tofu by itself. Also great for asian-style stir fries and veggie dishes.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or braggs liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic paste

Italian Marinade

Adapted from this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, tamari, or braggs liquid aminos
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed between fingers

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  2. Tried the BBQ sauce tonight and loved it! I was out of liquid smoke and only had one jalapeño but it was still delicious. The flavor is complex and has a lovely tomato tang. Plan on a good half hour to make it, as it was a bit time-consuming (lots of ingredients and quite a bit of mincing), but it’s well worth the time.

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  8. What brand of liquid smoke do you use? Thanks!

  9. Mabruka Yazidi

    Where had this tempeh marinade post been all my life? I’ve been googling for tempeh marinade the last two months and found very little. Thank you so much!!

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