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Tempeh Tacos with Pumpkin Seed and Tomatillo Sauce

This recipe is designed so you can make the components in advance and pop them out of your freezer whenever you're in need of a quick taco fix. Future You will thank you for the effort.

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These tempeh tacos also contain pinto beans for an extra fiber- and protein-rich filling. A pepita-tomatillo sauce adds a flavorful touch.

The secret to this recipe? It’s a meal-planning dream. Prep the filling and sauce one day when you have time and stash the components separately in your freezer. Any time in the next three months, you’ve got a ready-to-use taco kit at your fingertips.


More Related Recipes to Try Next:

Jalapeño and Cauliflower Tacos
Pati Jinich’s Vegan Chilorio Tacos with Tofu

Austin-Style Vegan Breakfast Tacos


Tempeh Tacos with Pumpkin Seed and Tomatillo Sauce

Servings
4
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Duration
50 min

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1½ lb tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 Anaheim chile pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 green onions, chopped 
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds 
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Filling

  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz organic tempeh, crumbled (TRY: Lightlife Organic Tempeh Original)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted taco seasoning
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

To serve

  • 8 small corn tortillas, for serving
  • Optional toppings: Grated Monterey Jack cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, avocado, radishes and salsa

Preparation

Note: These instructions are written for you to make the components ahead an store in the freezer so you can reheat for a quick meal (future you will thank you). If you prefer to eat your tacos immediately, simply skip the cooling and freezing steps and serve hot.

 

FOR SAUCE:

  1. Prepare sauce: Position oven rack 4 inches below broiler; preheat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil; mist with cooking spray. Place tomatillos, chile pepper and garlic on sheet and broil until charred in places, 3 minutes. Flip and broil until charred on other side, 2 minutes more.
  2. When cool enough to handle, remove stem, seeds and skin from chile pepper; discard. Peel garlic. To a blender, add green onion, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and salt; blend until smooth. Pour sauce into a freezer-safe container. (NOTE: Leave enough room for expansion, about 1 inch from top.)
  3. When cool, secure with an airtight lid and freeze for up to 3 months.

FOR FILLING:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp oil on medium-high. Add green onions and bell pepper; sauté until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add tempeh, taco seasoning and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until tempeh is browned in places, 4 minutes.
  2. Add ½ cup water and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated, 1 minute.
  3. Stir in beans, mashing some with a fork. Stir in cilantro then remove skillet from heat; set aside to cool.
  4. Pour tempeh mixture into a freezer-safe container, secure with an airtight lid and freeze for up to 3 months.

TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN:

  1. In a large skillet, place frozen tempeh; heat on medium low. Cover loosely with a lid. As it heats up, use a wooden spoon to break up pieces, 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan place frozen tomatillo sauce and cook, covered, over medium-low until bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer cooked tempeh to a plate and set aside.

TO FINISH AND SERVE:

  1. Carefully wipe out skillet and heat on medium-high. Brush tortillas on one side with remaining 2 tsp oil. Place 2 or 3 tortillas, oil side down, in skillet; warm just until pliable, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and keep covered. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  2. Evenly divide tempeh mixture among tortillas, topping each with warm tomatillo sauce. Sprinkle with optional toppings.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 489
  • Carbohydrate Content 59 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 20 g
  • Fiber Content 16 g
  • Protein Content 25 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 450 mg
  • Sugar Content 10 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 6 g