Week 25: Tempeh Tops It

Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.

Bill Murray

I loved last week’s pizza so much that I wanted to try another version using tempeh and mozzarella, which surprisingly taste great together. Whenever I can, without sacrificing taste, I add veggies, protein, herbs and spices to my food.

I added a heaping teaspoon of dried oregano to the dough before its first rise. Oregano adds a depth of flavor. It’s also reported to have numerous health benefits. Oregano is rich in antioxidants. It’s thought to have antibacterial properties, reduce viral infection, and ease sore muscles. Sounds good to me.

As if that wasn’t healthy enough, I decided to add tempeh. If you aren’t familiar with this wonder food, I highly recommend you try it. Personally I prefer to tempeh to tofu in most dishes. Silken tofu makes great desserts and firm tofu makes a good base for vegan sour cream. For savory dishes, I typically prefer the firm texture and nutty taste of tempeh.

Cubes of Tempeh


  • Tempeh – I prefer this one, but you can use any tempeh you like
  • Vegan mozzarella – I prefer this one, again, use any vegan cheese you like that melts well (not all do)
  • tomato sauce, jarred or crush your own, starting with a can of whole, organic tomatoes
  • jalapeño slices
  • broccoli
  • frozen corn
  • garlic
  • onion
  • pizza dough – this is my go-to recipe when I’m short on time
  • Olive or avocado oil
  • Sriracha, coconut aminos, maple syrup or agave (all optional, for the tempeh marinade below)

You can use any veggies you like. I highly recommend the flavor combo of tempeh, mozzarella, and jalapeño slices. Garlic and onions find their way into all of my pizza recipes. See the dark things on the pizza? Those are sun dried tomatoes. Awesome on Mediterranean flavored pizzas. I wouldn’t recommend them on this one.


If you have the time and ingredients, I highly recommend you marinate your tempeh for a few minutes before frying it. It’s super simple. Just squirt some Sriracha, coconut aminos, and maple syrup into a wide bowl and mix. Add slices of tempeh, coat on both sides, and leave in the bowl for a few minutes while you prepare your veggies.

  1. About an hour before you want to put your pizza into the oven, turn it on and turn it up to 450°.
  2. Cut your tempeh into cubes or whatever shape you prefer. Longer, thinner strips work too. Marinate them if you plan to do so.
  3. Drain jalapeño slices on a paper towel. Use as many as you like. My partner and I each want to eat about 5, so I drain 10 then cut them into small bits to sprinkle around the pizza.
  4. Dice 1/3 of an onion.
  5. Crush 3 garlic cloves. (I use a Zyliss and crush them over the frying pan or sometimes directly onto the dough before I add the toppings. Sometimes I do both and am grateful that my partner and I eat the same things because we both smell like garlic!)
  6. Boil some water and pour it over the frozen corn until it completely covers the corn. I use about 1/3 cup of corn for a medium size pizza. Corn is one of the few frozen veggies I regularly use. It’s so much easier than fresh and it adds a delicate sweetness to dishes. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain before using.
  7. Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.
  8. Heat your frying pan. If you are using the marinade, it’s best to spray a bit of oil into the pan so the tempeh does not stick. Fry for 3 minutes on each side.
  9. Once the tempeh is cooked on both sides, plop it out of the frying pan and onto a paper towel. If you have a drying rack for baked goods, place the paper towel over it. This will keep your tempeh from getting soggy while you make the rest of the dish.
  10. In the same hot frying pan, add a glug of olive or avocado oil. Add your onions and heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add the garlic, stir for 30 seconds.
  12. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Add the drained corn and jalapeño slices. Stir. Turn the heat off but keep the frying pan on the stovetop.
  14. Roll out your dough. Or be fancy and flip it in the air until it forms the size you want.
  15. Spoon on a modest amount of tomato sauce. More = soggy and you don’t want that.
  16. Cover with a handful of vegan cheese. I love mozzarella and cheddar on pizzas, but it’s up to you.
  17. Spread the pan fried veggie mix over your pizza. Add the tempeh.
  18. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 450° oven.
  19. Enjoy!

We loved this pizza and plan to make it again. The combo of tempeh, cheese, and jalapeños on warm pizza makes for an outstanding meal. If you make this or any other vegan pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas.

Published by 52veganpizzas

We're a couple living in the Bay Area who are committed to a pie a week in 2020. Join us!

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