Sesame Maple Tempeh Jerky

Sesame Maple Tempeh Jerky
Photography by Kate Cauffiel | Food styling by Christina Zerkis |Prop styling by Alicia Blais

This sweet and savory jerky is a portable, plant-based and protein-packed snack.

SERVING SIZE: 2 pieces (30 grams)
PREP TIME: 15 minutes and 12 or more hours to marinate
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes


  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh
  • ¼ cup (60 milliliters) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) water
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 milliliter) liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 cup (about 1 inch) water and bring to a boil.
  2. Place tempeh in the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, flipping it over after 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove tempeh from pan, pat dry and with clean cloth or paper towel and set on a cutting board.
  4. Slice tempeh in half crosswise, then slice each half lengthwise, making 4 thin pieces (about ¼-inch thick). Cut each piece into 4 triangles (16 small pieces).
  5. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, water, garlic powder, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, liquid smoke and sesame oil and set aside.
  6. Arrange tempeh pieces in a single layer in a shallow baking dish.
  7. Pour marinade over tempeh, then turn over tempeh pieces to coat both sides with marinade.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, turning over tempeh pieces once or twice while marinating so they absorb liquid evenly.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and set oven rack to the middle position.
  10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay tempeh pieces on the baking sheet in a single layer, reserving any remaining marinade.
  11. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sesame seeds over tempeh. Flip over tempeh pieces using tongs, then sprinkle remaining sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip tempeh pieces.
  13. Spoon any reserved marinade over the pieces, and bake for an additional 15 minutes until very golden brown.
  14. Watch tempeh carefully for the last 5 minutes and flip again if necessary to prevent burning.
  15. Best enjoyed warm or cooled on the day of making, jerky also can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 93 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 239mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 3g sugar, 7g protein, N/A potassium, N/A phosphorus

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Anne Danahy
Anne Danahy, MS, RDN, is a wellness dietitian and nutrition communications consultant who specializes in women's health and healthy aging. She blogs at Craving Something Healthy. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.