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radiant rainbow tempeh rolls!
Taste the rainbow (but the savoury edition) with these Rainbow Tempeh Rolls! These are delicious, easy to make, colourful veggie rolls that are a treat for the eyes and tummy. You can customize them to include your favourite veg of choice but my favourite thing about it is that it requires no wraps or rice paper, which I personally find a hassle to work with sometimes! It’s light and refreshing but nourishing at the same time, and makes for a great snack, meal or even a dish to bring to parties. I’m telling you, the colours and the appearance make for a beautiful plate.
I was heavily inspired by my most recent trip to Bali, which as you may know, is truly a vegan paradise when it comes to food. Well, actually that depends on where you go in Bali, I found out. Indonesia is the land of tempeh, and where it really originated. I’m a big lover of tempeh, so perhaps that’s why Bali was such a food heaven for me. On my most recent trip, I stayed in Nusa Dua which unfortunately is not vegan friendly. There is one vegan restaurant that, turns out is not even a vegan restaurant, but offers vegan options. My dish of choice on the daily? Tempeh rolls.
I’ve done my best to recreate them and bring you this version of Rainbow Tempeh Rolls, but it really is such a simple dish that I can’t believe I hadn’t tried it before! We’re using tempeh, purple cabbage, carrots and either zucchini or cucumber to make these rolls. Seriously, so simple right?
- These Rainbow Tempeh Rolls are vegan, gluten free, oil free, high protein and gut healthy. They are best enjoyed fresh, but ingredients can be meal-prepped and turned into a fun cooking activity.
- Tempeh → high protein, fermented soy bean protein! It’s truly one of my all time favourite vegan sources of protein, and it adds both texture and flavour to this dish. If you don’t like tempeh, or can’t eat soy, try a chickpea or black bean based tempeh, or swap for a firm tofu strip.
- Purple Cabbage → is a beautiful, vibrant veggie. Typically, the deeper, more vibrant the colour of a fruit or veggie, the more nutritious. Purple (or red) cabbage is a wonderful source of antioxidants and carotenoids, plus it really makes this dish pop!
- Zucchini → will be used in place of a traditional rice wrap. Not only is it easier to wrap, and less processed, it’s light in flavour and an additional green we’re getting in. Woo! If you’re not able to eat grains, this is also a wonderful substitute.
- Peanut Sauce → is not only the condiment that pairs best with these rolls, but also a source of healthy fats. This is important because it balances out the dish in terms of nutrition profile, but also, healthy fats help to digest and absorb the nutrients and protein in the food we eat.
secrets to success
If you’re allergic to soy or cannot eat Tempeh, try a chickpea or black bean based tempeh. Alternatively you can use firm tofu, cut into tempeh sized strips, or protein of choice.
For best results, I highly recommend enjoying this on the spot to ensure veggies stay fresh and crisp! You can prepare ingredients and lay them out in a nice platter to serve, or serve ready made.
To make your veggie prep easy, I would suggest using a veggie peeler. I used one to shave not only the zucchini strips, but also the cabbage, which can usually be a pain to chop thinly. Aim to get all the veg cut equally thin, and rule of thumb is the thinner the better! Less bitterness, and easier to chew.
Finally, if you find your zucchini strips to be very slippery, give them a quick pat down with a kitchen linen or paper towel.
if you like this recipe, try…
- Spicy Almond Butter Noodles
- Oil-Free Peanut Sauce
- Tempeh Mushroom Bolognese
- Tempeh Tenders
- Zucchini Asparagus Soup
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
Rainbow Tempeh Rolls (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
- 1 package tempeh usually about 8 ounces
- 1/4 cup veggie broth
- 3 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- 1-2 cloves crushed garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1/4 medium purple cabbage shredded (roughly 2 cups once shredded)
- 2 large carrots julienned or matchstick-ed (about 1-2 cups)
- 1 large zucchini peeled
- peanut sauce or sauce of choice
- chili flakes
- mint or thai basil to top
- Slice tempeh into strips about 1/4 inch thick, and lay down in a pan on medium heat. Add oil or veggie stock if desired. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, garlic, onion and coconut sugar until smooth then pour over tempeh. Make sure all your tempeh is coated in sauce, and let "fry" until lightly golden on each side, adding splashes of veggie broth if the pan gets too dry.
- Peel your zucchini and make long thin strips, they should resemble lasagna noodles. Shred cabbage and prepare carrots and set aside.
- When ready to assemble, take one piece of tempeh, laying it perpendicular to your zucchini strip, then add a handful of purple cabbage, and carrots. Finish with one more strip of tempeh, then roll the zucchini around the ingredients. Lay on a serving plate with the end of the zucchini strip on the bottom, so as to hold it together. Otherwise, you can add a little toothpick to keep it secure.
- Serve with peanut sauce, or sauce of choice. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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