Yellow Tempeh Curry

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Looking for a delicious and healthy vegan curry recipe? Look no further than this yellow tempeh curry! Packed with protein and flavor, this dish features hearty chunks of tempeh simmered in a fragrant blend of spices and coconut milk. Serve over rice or quinoa for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Close shot of a golden spoon with a cube of tempeh.
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❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This tempeh curry is a rich and satisfying curry that doesn’t take very much time to make, making it one of the best weeknight meals.
  • Tempeh is packed with protein (even more so than tofu), low in carbs, and rich in iron, vitamin B 12, magnesium, and manganese, to name a few.
  • Due to tempeh’s nutritional content, this curry is nice and hearty, and filling as well.
  • This tempeh coconut curry has a mild spice level making it suitable for most palates.
  • This dish makes excellent leftovers and high protein meal prep food.
  • This vegetarian yellow curry is naturally vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free.
A large bowl of yellow curry over white rice with a gold spoon.

🌿 Ingredients and Substitutes

Oil: Use a neutral flavored oil like avocado oil for the best results. Olive oil works well, too. If you are on an oil-free diet, simply omit it and use a splash of water instead.

Tempeh: You will chop the tempeh into cubes before cooking. If you are on a gluten-free diet, be certain to use straight, plain tempeh that is gluten-free, rather than the kind enriched with gluten-containing grains. Cubed tempeh seems to soak up the curry sauce best, but feel free to slice it any way you prefer. I like to use organic tempeh to avoid GMO soy. The tempeh in this curry has a nice firm texture. Alternatively, you can air fry tempeh instead of pan fry it if you are an air fryer fan.

Onion, ginger, garlic: Common in most curries, this trio forms a great flavor base to build from. You can use white, yellow, or red onion. If you do not have fresh ginger root or garlic, use 1 teaspoon of the dried variety for either.

Curry powder: Use a nice yellow curry powder for the best results. Alternatively, a spoonful of yellow curry paste will get the job done, too.

Coriander: Ground coriander adds brightness to this dish.

Cumin: Cumin seeds pack a better flavor punch than the ground variety, but if you only have ground, use 1/2 teaspoon instead.

Garam masala: Garam masala is a wonderful Indian spice blend that adds warmth and depth. I do not recommend any substitutions.

Red chili flakes: A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a subtle, mild heat.

Black pepper: Black pepper adds depth to this yellow curry recipe.

Coconut milk: A can of full-fat coconut milk works bests and results in a nice creamy curry. If you use light coconut milk, the results will be much thinner. Coconut cream works great as well. If you are not vegan or dairy free, you can use heavy cream for something a little different.

Mixed vegetables: This is a great recipe for using up those frozen veggies. I like to use a mix of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, but bell pepper, green beans, and spinach also make great additions. Fresh or frozen works. Use what you like best!

Sugar: A touch of sweetness balances the sharper flavors in the recipe and lends some complexity. I like to use coconut sugar, but any granulated sugar will work. If you are on a sugar-free diet, feel free to omit it instead.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro (aka fresh coriander) adds a nice fresh, bright flavor to this tempeh curry, but if you are not a fan of cilantro, you can omit it or use a different fresh herb like parsley or basil instead.

Lemon juice: A touch of acid adds balance. I like to use lemon juice, but lime juice or apple cider vinegar work wonderfully as well.

Salt: Salt to taste and at the end of the cooking time for best results.

Top Pick
Organic Yellow Curry Powder Indian Organic Yellow Curry Powder Indian

A wonderful yellow curry powder.

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Close shot of tempeh curry on a small gold spoon.

🔪 How to Make Tempeh Curry

A skillet with oil and uncooked tempeh.
An oiled skillet with chopped red onions.
A skillet with spices and onions.
A blue spatula in a skillet with vegetables in a white liquid.
Close shot of cubed tempeh in a yellow curry broth.
A skillet filled with a vibrant yellow vegetarian curry.
  1. Pan fry the tempeh until golden, then set aside.
  2. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Add the spices, then saute a few minutes longer.
  4. Add coconut milk, water, and veggies.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the golden tempeh, cilantro, and lemon juice. Simmer for a few minutes longer.
  7. Salt to taste. Serve and enjoy this wholesome meal!
Close shot of a golden spoon holding a cube of cooked tempeh.

🥣 Serving Ideas

A large ceramic bowl of yellow curry and rice.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is tempeh gluten free?

Yes. Most tempeh is gluten-free, however, keep in mind that some tempeh products are enriched with grains, including gluten-containing grains, so always be certain to read labels.

Is tempeh more healthy than tofu?

While both are great sources of plant-based nutrients, tempeh does have a leg up when it comes to protein and mineral content.

Close shot of tempeh on a gold spoon in a ceramic bowl.

🍛 More Delicious Curry Recipes

Aubergine Curry

Adzuki Bean Curry

Zucchini Curry

Coconut Chickpea Curry

Tempeh Curry

This vegan yellow tempeh curry recipe is packed with protein and flavor for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
4.97 from 55 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrées, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian Fusion, Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 1 tablespoon oil of choice I like to use avocado oil
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh cubed
  • 1 onion (red, yellow or white) chopped
  • 1 1-inch knob fresh ginger root grated or minced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar I like to use coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk PLUS 1 can of water
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables I like to use a bag of frozen California-style veggies
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
  • salt to taste


  • In a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and tempeh cubes. Saute for 5 minutes, flipping the tempeh frequently, until golden on most sides. Set the tempeh aside.
  • Turn the heat down to medium, then add the ginger, onion and garlic to the pan. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened and the garlic is beginning to turn golden.
  • Add the curry powder, cumin, garam masala, sugar, coriander, red chili flakes and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until the spices smell fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, then fill the coconut milk can with water and pour the water into the pan as well, followed by the vegetables.
  • Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced some.
  • Add the browned tempeh to the pan, followed by the cilantro and lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  • Salt to taste before serving. Enjoy!


Please see the full post above this recipe card for valuable information.
Keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To reheat, warm in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until warm throughout.
Alternatively, you can air fry tempeh instead of pan fry it if you prefer.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2396IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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