Grilled Tempeh Sliders with Vegan Pesto Spread

Grilled Vegan Tempeh Sliders topped with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms with a Basil Pesto Spread -

Grilled Vegan Tempeh Sliders. The first time I tried tempeh, I was like, “Whaaaaaaat!? This is delicious! I love tempeh!” Which is generally not what you hear from everyone. I mean, it’s not everyday that you fall in love with eating fermented soy beans the first time you try them.


Vegan Tempeh Sliders packed with protein -

Tofu, on the other hand, took me a while to even begin liking it. Everyone knows about tofu – that white block of soy that you can’t stand the texture of blah blah blah… but tempeh? It’s not like that, I promise. Tempeh has a nuttier flavor and texture which I LOVE – it’s like a little crunch but also a little chewy too.

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Also, tempeh is SO nutritionally dense. It’s even more nutritious than whole soybeans (edamame) because of the fermentation process, and it’s PACKED with protein.

Vegan Sliders made with Tempeh and topped basil pesto -

To put it into perspective, one 4 ounce serving of tempeh contains ~21 grams of protein while one 4 ounce serving of tofu contains ~9 grams of protein and *BONUS* one 4 ounce serving of ground beef contains ~16 grams of protein – tempeh for the win!

Vegan Sliders made with Tempeh and topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms -

For this recipe, we mashed up the tempeh in a food processor with sautéed vegetables to form a slider patty. We used a similar method for our Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs and Italian Meatloaf too. However, both of those recipes use lentils so we switched it up this time by using delicious TEMPEH mmmmm….

Vegan Tempeh Sliders topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms with a basil pesto spread -

After cooking the patty, we toasted slider buns and spread on some basil pesto and homemade tomato sauce. With a topping of caramelized onions and mushrooms, these grilled tempeh sliders make a delicious and nutritious meal. We used our stovetop grill pan for some and baked the rest but, with grilling season coming up and Memorial Day just around the corner, we can only imagine how PERFECT these would taste using an outdoor grill.

Vegan Tempeh Sliders topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms with a basil pesto spread -

5 from 4 votes
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Tempeh Sliders

Nutritious, protein-dense, vegan tempeh sliders. Topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and a vegan basil pesto spread.

Servings: 6 sliders
  • 1 block tempeh (8 oz.)
  • ~2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup cremini (baby bella) mushrooms (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (vegan)
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt + pepper (each)
  1. *If baking the sliders, preheat oven to 400F (not necessary for grilling).

  2. Slice tempeh into strips and place into a medium pot on medium-high heat. Cover with vegetable broth and let come to a boil. Once broth is boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Drain vegetable broth and set tempeh aside.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add chopped red onion, mushrooms, and minced garlic. Cook until soft, stirring frequently.

  4. Meanwhile, make a flax egg by combining 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 2.5 tablespoons water. Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.

  5. Then, add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until combined. At this point, the mixture will be very thick and you may need to transfer to a bowl and combine with a spoon. 

  6. Using both hands, take a small handful of the mixture and roll into a ball. Then, press the ball between your palms to make a small slider patty, depending on the size of the buns you're using. Ours were about 4 inches.

  7. *If baking, place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

  8. To grill, heat your grill or stovetop grill pan on medium heat. Grill sliders for 4-5 minutes on each side. 

  9. Serving Suggestion: Toast slider buns and spread basil pesto on bottom bun followed by a large basil leaf. Spread homemade tomato sauce on the tempeh slider patty. Then, top with caramelized onions and mushrooms. We also topped with jalapeños because we like it spicy.

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  • Michelle Blackwood

    Wow, these tempeh sliders look absolutely gorgeous! They will be perfect for the holidays

    May 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm Reply
  • Strength and Sunshine

    That combo of flavors sounds fantastic! I love the pesto 🙂

    May 24, 2017 at 4:26 am Reply
    • pasta-based

      The pesto really does make this one great! Thanks for checking us out 🙂

      May 25, 2017 at 1:34 pm Reply
  • Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy

    ummm yes please!!! These sound awesome! I’m sharing this week!!

    May 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm Reply
    • pasta-based

      Thank you, Anjali!! That’s so nice of you 🙂

      May 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm Reply
  • Uma

    Loved your pictures and this sounds very interesting! Love to try this soon 🙂

    May 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm Reply
    • pasta-based

      Thank you, Uma!

      May 26, 2017 at 8:57 am Reply
  • Sarah McMinn

    Tempeh is the best, isn’t it? These sliders look so great too. Thanks for the great recipe.

    May 26, 2017 at 9:02 am Reply
    • pasta-based

      It really is. So healthy too – so we are trying to incorporate it into more meals. Thanks for checking us out! 🙂

      May 26, 2017 at 10:10 am Reply
  • Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes

    Thank you! There aren’t nearly enough good tempeh recipes out there. These sliders look fantastic though. Pinning them!

    May 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm Reply
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      There can never be enough! Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa!

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