Air Fryer Tempeh

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Super crispy, filling and flavorful Air Fryer Tempeh will become a meal time staple in no time! This Air Fried Tempeh could not be easier to make! Naturally gluten-free and vegan, with beautiful hints of garlic.

a white bowl filled with crispy tempeh pieces
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After playing around with tofu in the air fryer and growing hooked, I just had to give tempeh a go, too! The result? Super crispy and hearty tempeh—perfect for snacking all on its own or incorporating into your favorite meals. Air Fry Tempeh truly is a satisfying dish!

a hand reaching for a bowl of air fryer tempeh

What is Tempeh?

Like tofu, tempeh (pronounced “tempei”) is made from soybeans. But unlike tofu which is made from soy milk, tempeh is made from soybeans that have been fermented into compact cakes. Tempeh makes a great meat substitute in vegan and plant-based dishes and has a nice hearty and firm texture. It is naturally gluten-free, but make sure to check labels, as some brands make specialty tempeh products by incorporating other ingredients such as wheat. It has a slightly nutty taste.

a hand holding a white bowl filled with air fried tempeh


  • Smoky and savory with a hint of garlic.
  • A satisfyingly firm, chewy and crispy texture, with a special heartiness that makes it a great meat replacement in vegan and vegetarian dishes.
  • Rich in protein, iron and calcium.
  • Super easy to make.
  • Can be enjoyed a variety of ways.
  • Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free.
a bowl filled with crispy tempeh

Ingredient Notes

Tempeh: Choose a nice fresh, firm block of tempeh for best results.

Coconut aminos: This adds a nice umami flavor to the tempeh. Soy sauce makes a suitable replacement, if need be.

Toasted sesame oil: This add a wonderful subtle smokiness to this tempeh. Make sure to use the toasted variety for best results.

Garlic powder: I tried a few different seasoning blends when testing, but good ol’ garlic powder really does the trick here and greatly complements the other ingredients.

Salt and oil: Salt for bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients used and oil for additional crispiness. If you are on a low-sodium or oil-free diet, either one can be omitted.

For full ingredients list and instructions, refer to the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.

a hand reaching for a piece of tempeh in a white bowl

Step by Step

Step 1: Preheat air fryer to 390F. Slice the tempeh into 1/2″-1″ cubes. Place into a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add remaining ingredients. Toss to coat. Let sit and marinate for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Place the marinated tempeh in one single layer in your air fryer basket or tray.

Step 4: Air fry and enjoy!

For full ingredients list and instructions, refer to the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.

How to Serve

This Air Fryer Tempeh tastes great on its own, as a healthy snack, or incorporated into dishes such as soup, curry, noodle bowls or wraps.

a white bowl of tempeh on a marbled background

FAQ and Top Tips

How do I store and reheat air fried tempeh?

This tempeh tastes best straight out of the air fryer but will keep crisp for about 24 hours at room temperature. Any longer and I recommend storing in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheating in an air fryer or oven at 400F or until crisp and warmed throughout.

Can I change the seasonings in this recipe?

Yes! The seasonings used in this recipe are just what tasted best out of a few different combos that I tested, but you can omit or change any of the spices listed and use what you most prefer instead! The tempeh will still get crispy with or without them thanks to an air fryer!

a white bowl of crispy air fryer tempeh with pieces spilled to the side

More Air Fryer Recipes You Might Enjoy

35 Plant-Based Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Air Fryer Tofu

two arms stretched to hold a bowl of air fried tempeh there is a black spiral tattoo on the inside of the right wrist of the right arm

Crispy Air Fryer Tempeh

Super crispy, filling and flavorful Air Fryer Tempeh will become a meal time staple in no time! This Air Fried Tempeh could not be easier to make! Naturally gluten-free and vegan, with beautiful hints of garlic.
4.53 from 352 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrées, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Indonesian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Kristen Wood



  • Preheat air fryer to 390°F.
  • Prepare tempeh by slicing into ½-1" cubes. Place tempeh cubes into a large mixing bowl.
  • To the same bowl add avocado oil, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic powder and salt. Toss to coat. Let sit and marinate for 10 minutes.
  • When marination has finished, place the tempeh in a single layer in your air fryer basket or tray. Air fry for 15 minutes or until tempeh is firm, crispy and golden.
  • Enjoy!


This tempeh will continue to crisp as it cools.
Please refer to the full post above on this page for more valuable information!
If you like this Crispy Air Fryer Tempeh, you will also love our Air Fryer Tofu Recipe!
Also see: The Best Oils for an Air Fryer.
Also see: Air Fryer Popcorn.


Serving: 2ounces | Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 376mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    First time cooking with tempeh. I made the accident of trying it fresh out of the packaging, do not recommend. It has a funky fermented taste. This recipe was delicious. I mixed the air fried tempeh with veggie and siracha.

  2. 5 stars
    I loved the recipe, but it came out dry tasting, and I felt it needed some kind of dipping sauce. Can you suggest anything?

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe converted me to a tempeh person! The air fryer makes it extra crispy and so delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    I have a hard time getting my family to eat tempeh, but everyone LOVED this dish. And I really love how easy it is!!

  5. 5 stars
    This was spectacular! I was so pleased at how well it crisped up. I added a little ginger to the marinade, as well. The crispy tempeh was scrumptious added into a Mandarin Orange Salad. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    That was the first time I made tempeh in the air fryer, which was very delicious. I am new to air fryer but love everything I have used it for so far.

  7. This looks amazing!! Looking forward to cooking and eating. The block of tempeh I have is 3 serves, can I keep it marinating till the next meal? Or is it better to cook all at once?

  8. Would like to make this, but don’t have an air fryer. Will it turn out just as good in the oven on a baking rack? Do I need to dial up the oven temp?

    1. You can make this in a 400F oven. Just spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, or until crispy. It works nearly as well. 🙂

    2. You can deep fry them to get the same result. Actually better as everyone knows deep frying is great! Air frying is meant to replicate deep frying with less oil, and it comes close, but actual deep frying is tastier, but perhaps less healthy. If the oil is hot enough, the food won’t absorb too much oil. that’s the key. 375 degrees is good as the hot oil quickly sears the outside of the food sealing it from absorbing oil.

  9. 5 stars
    What a unique and unexpected dish! Adding this to my dinner line up for the week; looks too good to pass up, indeed!

  10. 5 stars
    This is perfect for my gluten free vegetarian kids! We can’t wait to make this together.

  11. 5 stars
    A great tasting meal. Crispy and savory tempehs are just great with rice or salads when having a meatless dinner!

  12. 5 stars
    This was a very good recipe and very tasty. it came out a little to crisp when I had it in the air fryer for 15 minutes. I will need to adjust the time next time and there will be a next time 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    Super delicious and easy! Thanks for the recipe. I made strips so we could dip them in a pot sticker dipping sauce I had leftover.

  14. 5 stars
    I’ve not tried tempeh before but thi looks so crispy and delicious that I need to get some!

  15. 5 stars
    Tempeh has been my new favourite vegan thing for a while now but this was the first time I cooked it in an air-fryer. Definitely recommend! Great seasoning too!

  16. 5 stars
    The air fryer really enhances this recipe and makes everything come together easily! The recipe is so flavorful, too.

  17. 5 stars
    I like to make easy and fast recipes to share with my family when they come to visit. I did this awesome Crispy Air Fryer Tempeh and they love it I’m going to make it again for sure.

  18. 5 stars
    This was my first time air frying tempeh and let’s just say, I think I found my go to recipe! Yum! 😋 Even the hubby loved it! Used 3/4 tbsp avocado oil, coconut aminos and just a dash of garlic salt instead of the 1/2tsp salt.

  19. Very nice! Followed someone else’s lead and added cauliflower while doubling the seasonings. Thanks!

  20. 5 stars
    Oh wow! I love how you made the tempeh using the air fryer. That crispy texture looks fantastic and such wonderful flavors too.

  21. 5 stars
    I have been meaning to try Tempeh since quite some time. This is just the recipe I need! Thanks a lot. The step-wise pics are quite helpful.

  22. I am going to make tempeh recipetonight. I always heard you should quickly boil the tempeh to get out the bitterness. Is this step necessary?

  23. I have Crohn’s disease, and as a vegetarian finding delicious foods that don’t trigger a flare can be tricky. Tofu, though I love it, was causing some reactions but my nutritionist suggested tempeh as it is a lot easier on the digestive system. I tried this recipe, omitting the salt and used a low sodium soy sauce and WOW! It was amazing! Thank you so much, I will be using tempeh as a staple now!

  24. 5 stars
    Definitely 5 stars! Tempeh can be a tricky food to get right, but this recipe does the trick every time. Thank you!

  25. 4 stars
    Easy & savory; awfully salty, though. We used 1/4-inch slices instead of cubes, and served with soy yogurt to cut the saltiness. I’ll omit the salt next time.

    1. Hi, Lia! I appreciate the feedback and I’m sorry you found it too salty! I actually usually write for others to salt to taste for this reason, as I know personal preferences here can vary greatly, haha! I will update the recipe card and I’m glad you were still able to enjoy the recipe. 🙂

  26. 5 stars
    Made this but was missing garlic powder:( used every other ingredient exactly as recipe says. Mixed in with mexican rice for a quick energy boost and was delicious, thanks!

  27. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I doubled the marinade and mixed in Brussels sprouts..made me finally like tempeh! Thank you!!

  28. Should I shake the air fryer while the tempeh is in there or let it cook through all the way?

  29. Can this be cooked in the oven? I don’t have an air fryer. I’ve also never eaten tempeh so I’m not familiar with the taste or texture. Thanks!

    1. Hi Robbie – yes, after marinating, you can bake it in a 400F oven for about 25 minutes. Tempeh has a dense chewy texture that becomes delightfully lighter and crispier when baked or air-fried. I hope this helps!