Tempeh in Hearty Mushroom-Lager Sauce Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Tempeh in Hearty Mushroom-Lager Sauce

This filling entrée tastes like it’s been simmered for hours instead of just 20 minutes. To sweeten the slightly bitter sauce, stir in 1 Tbs. agave nectar with the mustard and use 11/2 cups beer and 1 cup water. Serve over rice or Mashed Potatoes with Chives.



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1 7-oz. pkg. tempeh, cut into ½-inch cubes
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4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
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10 oz. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
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8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
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2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
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2 ½ cups lager, such as Samuel Adams
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2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
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2 green onions, white and green parts finely sliced


1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook tempeh cubes 7 to 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Add soy sauce, and cook 2 minutes, or until pan is almost dry. Transfer tempeh to paper-towel-lined plate.

2. Add remaining 2 Tbs. oil and all mushrooms to pan, and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Sauté mushrooms 10 minutes, or until browned and slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in flour. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until flour begins to brown, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium-high, add beer and mustard, and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Stir in tempeh cubes, and simmer 5 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with green onions. 

Nutrition Information: 

13 g
Total Fat: 
19 g
Saturated Fat: 
3 g
26 g
0 mg
475 mg
2 g
8 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

Just curious as to what kind of beer people are using. THere has to be a reason some people rated this a complete fail and others loved it. Perhaps it is the beer? Just a thought. I am going to give it a shot and see what happens.

I made this using the 1/2 water 1/2 beer and it came out great for me. Perhaps people aren't cooking the sauce long enough... the beer needs to cook down and it will definitely thicken. I used a nut brown ale. Great hearty weeknight dinner on mashed potatoes, and leftovers are good on toast. Will definitely make again.

Awesome, delicious, dark, bold, and tasty

If using the full amount of beer the sauce is very bitter. None of my kids liked it. However, the next time I may try to replace the beer with 1/2 cup of dry white wine and 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth and also add some lemon juice and chopped parsley at the very end.

half beer half water was perfect. i added some brown sugar and cayenne pepper and it was delicious!

I used less beer as others have said and also used honey dijon for added sweetness, but the recipe was still terribly bitter. I couldn't finish my meal and ended up tossing the rest of the batch. I would not make it again.

One thing I've noticed with the VT tempeh recipes is they never instruct you to steam the tempeh for 10 minutes before using it. The texture and flavor is much better if you do. I don't cook with alcohol, I'm going to try this with a combo of mushroom and vegetable broth - the vegetable broth adds a natural sweetness.

I made this and did all the suggestions - boiled the tempeh, and used half beer half water. My sauce never thickened (I even tried to help it by adding cornstarch after it wouldn't thicken at all) and now I have a bitter mushroom soup. Bummer - my first VT recipe that fell short.

I've made this dish several times and have enjoyed it. I use an amber non-alcoholic beer and have served it over rice and barley. I was a little short on mushrooms last time so I added some sliced yellow squash, worked just fine. Thanks to the reviewer for suggesting steaming the tempeh first.

My partner and I make this dish to "wow" our guests. Our veg friends (we're veg, too) can't get enough! In fact, we're making this dish RIGHT NOW. NOM NOM NOM. We use less beer and up the mustard. So tasty, especially over mashed potatoes.

I make this all the time and even the kids love it!

I didn't read the suggestion for replacing some beer with one cup water until it was too late. I used some beer out of my husband's beer fridge that was probably too much for this recipe and yUUUUUck. The bitter taste makes it unedible. I tried to save it with some brown sugar and more soy and more broth to cook down. But I love the idea. I'll try again with a tiny bit of more mellow beer and mostly veg broth instead.

I made a similar recipe last night and decided that after many failed mushroom stew / strudle recipes mushrooms MUST have garlic added (and preferably sauteed onions, too - but that would double this 20 min prep time) for them to really pop. A fave trick of mine for mushrooms is to deglaze with a splash of white vermouth, which adds a sweetness. Also, a couple dashes of worcestershire sauce completely saved my bland dish last night!

This is delicious, but hardly needs any more salt. In fact, I use low-sodium soy and the mushroom flavors come through more emphatically. I find that many of the VT recipes (pizzas, for example) have far too much salt in them. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients makes additional salt unnecessary. In this recipe, don't use cheap beer – go for the good stuff! Be patient while cooking down the liquid and even the carnivores will like it!

added 1tbs agave, used 1/2 water, and used bellas... came out delicious. not bitter at all. did need to simmer twice as long as directed to thicken.

Yuck. Sounded delicious, wish I had read the reviews first. We made the recipe as written with Sam Adams Lager. All we could taste is bitterness. The agave did not help at all. We ended up draining half the liquid through a colander, then adding 1 cup of vegetable broth and a little more flour and simmering again. At this point, it was edible. Though, I wouldn't consider making it again and can't say I am looking forward to the leftovers. This recipe needs some serious rewriting. If I were to attempt again, I'd saute onions and add garlic. In addition, I'd probably use 1/2 cup or less of beer and then vegetable broth for the rest of the liquid. Very disappointed.

I love it! The sweetness of the agave worked off the bitterness of the lager (I used Stella Artois) and was super delicious. I've used this sauce over rice and mash potatoes. Turned out wonderful both times.

Did not use any agave. Used 1 cup of stock (beef, but I'm sure you can use any kind) and 1 cup of dry white wine instead of the beer. Excellent!

This turned out well. I followed the suggestions in the comments to steam the tempeh first. I didn't add any agave. I used Session beer, which is brewed by Full Sail Brewing. It's a pretty mild beer, so the dish wasn't too bitter. Served it with the Truffled Mashed Potatoes from VT.

I think I will try this with mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes...sounds wonderful.