Tempeh Tenders + Sweet Potato Fries (baked, vegan, gluten free, oil free)



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F R I E N D S… this recipe was the perfect example of just wingin’ it in the kitchen. I’m a pretty organized person when it comes to planning my content but the recipe I was originally going to share today has been thrown out the window because these Tempeh Tenders have truly rocked my world. This recipe is chicken-free (AKA completely vegan), gluten-free, oil free and most importantly, crispy, crunchy delicious.

I came up with this recipe for Tempeh Tenders while I was cleaning out my fridge and pantry and discovered a bag of chickpea breadcrumbs that had been hiding in the back of the cabinet. I wanted something high protein, and I also had about 2/3 of a pack of tempeh left over so I thought, why not bread the tempeh and make tenders? And bread the tempeh I did.

As mentioned, I used chickpea breadcrumbs because I unfortunately have a gluten-allergy, but you can absolutely use regular breadcrumbs instead! I like the chickpea breadcrumbs because they’re a nice touch of extra protein, and they crisp up really nicely too. In place of eggs, which are typically used to bread as it helps the breadcrumbs stick, I used one of my favourite ingredients… you guessed it–tahini! It also helps to add some moisture to the tenders and also replaces the need for refined/processed oils.

It’s quite a simple recipe, and will make enough for about 2-3 servings (depending on how hungry you are I guess) and this recipe really packs in some serious plant protein! Also, the sweet potato fries just felt necessary because the Tempeh Tenders gave me major fast food vibes. Except, you know, it’s healthy. Still fast to make though, actually!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe, I REALLY loved this recipe and it’s a great way to spice up tempeh in flavour and texture. Enjoy!

Tempeh Tenders (baked, vegan, gluten free, oil free)

5 from 7 votes
Servings: 2 -3 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
A delicious, crispy and crunchy tempeh tender. A high protein, gluten free and oil free vegan take on chicken tenders. Perfect for lunch, dinner and kids!


  • 2/3 package tempeh roughly 150g, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup veggie stock + 1 tsp old bay seasoning*
  • 1 heaping tbsp tahini
  • 2-4 tsp water
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • breading
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs I used this gluten-free chickpea variety
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375F degrees while you prep your tenders.
  • Slice tempeh into strips about 1 centimeter thick. *As an optional step, let tempeh strips marinade in veggie stock and old bay for a few hours or overnight in the fridge, and sauté with liquid until it disappears and tempeh absorbs it. This helps to add moisture and flavour.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, water, coconut aminos and spices until smooth. The texture should be smooth and thick but still run very slowly off your spoon. Add additional water as needed.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine all breading ingredients and quickly mix with a fork.
  • Take each tempeh strip and cover in tahini sauce, followed by breading mixture. Place each breaded tender onto a parchment or silicon baking mat lined tray.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. If using different breadcrumbs, cook time may vary but mine were crisp and golden brown around the 15 minute mark. Keep in mind the tempeh doesn't need to be "cooked" so we're really just looking for crisp on the breading.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @veggiekins on Instagram and hashtag it with #veggiekins

Love & tenders,

About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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Recipe Rating


    1. I haven't tried it so I don't know. You're certainly welcome to try it :)! Tofu is more moist than tempeh so you would just need to make sure the surface holds the crumb topping well.
  1. Tried it last weekend, didn't expect it to be so delicious ! Even my boyfriends who loves eating meat loved it ! Thanks a lot ♡

    5 stars

  2. This is the best vegan "chicken tender" recipe out there! I love it! :) I subbed the breadcrumbs for smashed cornflakes (the 365 Whole Foods brand), and it worked perfectly

    5 stars

  3. Hi there, I usually steam tempeh before cooking with it to get rid of any bitterness. Would you say doing that, then letting it cool completely would work to then follow on with this recipe? Thank you
  4. Hi Remy! I prepared it yesterday for dinner and both my husband and I loved it! This recipe was delicious, thank you for sharing.

    5 stars

  5. Hi Remy! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. My husband and I love it, I have done it twice and this time I made sure to soak the tempeh overnight to absorb more flavor which turned out amazing. I usually skip the added salt because the Old Bay Seasoning is quite salty on its own but that is just my opinion. Once again, thank you. This has become a favorite of ours ☺️☺️

    5 stars

  6. Hi Remy! I love this recipe, I have made it several times and it’s always delicious 😋 Thank you for sharing!

    5 stars