Tempeh Reuben Recipe

What is tempeh?  Tempeh (pronounced “tem-pay”) is cultured soybeans, water, and brown rice.  It is an ancient food from Indonesia that is “savory and versatile.”  It is high in protein (22g in 4 ounces) and fiber (12 g in 4 ounces) and a good source of calcium and iron.

Where can I buy tempeh? If you live near a Whole Foods, that is a great place to buy tempeh.  It is also starting to show up in grocery stores!  I shop at Kroger, and I can get it there in the Nature’s Market section.  You can also check your local health food store.

Tempeh Reuben Recipe


Reuben Sandwiches:

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf (or thyme)
  • 8 oz tempeh, sliced
  • 6 slices rye bread, toasted
  • 3 slices vegan cheese (e.g., Teese or Daiya) optional
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut

Thousand Island Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp sweet relish


  • Combine first 4 ingredients in frying pan over medium heat, then add tempeh and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Toast bread.
  • Remove from heat and drain tempeh.
  • Put tempeh slices on 3 slices of bread.  Top with cheese.  Leave open-faced.
  • Broil or toast 3-5 minutes.
  • Top with 1/4-1/2 cup sauerkraut on each sandwich.
  • Put dressing on top of sauerkraut and place other slice of rye bread on top.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • Makes 3 sandwiches.
eating our delicious, messy sandwiches!

tempeh rueben with maple cayenne brussels sprouts and a pickle. Didn’t get a picture in time to see the plate before it was all messy!

What great recipes have you tried with tempeh?

19 thoughts on “Tempeh Reuben Recipe

  1. Thanks, I’ve been contemplating taking the tempeh plunge ever since I learned the health benefits of this and other unfermented soy products. Question: what is the texture of tempeh? Is it soft and mushy in this ruben sandwich above? Just curious! It sounds great.

  2. Pingback: 7 Day Vegan Meal Plan | heallovebe

  3. Pingback: Plant-Based Sources of Protein and Iron | HealLoveBe

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