These air fryer tempeh grain bowls with sesame tahini sauce are the tastiest way to add more plant-based meals to your menu. Ready in under 30 minutes, this vegetarian meal is great for meal prep, too!Jump to Recipe
Thank you to Pure Flavor® for sponsoring this blog post. All opinions are my own, and I only work with brands that I love and trust!
Looking to add more plant-based goodness to your plate, but don’t know where to start? These Air Fryer Tempeh Bowls with Sesame Tahini Sauce are the answer. And guess what? They’re ready in under 30 minutes, making them perfect for your weekday dinner or meal prep!
Have you tried tempeh? If not, you need to! Honestly, I like it more than tofu. It has a thicker, firmer texture and a nutty flavor that makes it great for recipes. It’s easy to cook, and an unopened pack will stay good in the fridge for a month. I always keep a package in my fridge for a quick and easy plant-based protein source.
Why do you need more plant-based meals?
There are so many benefits- like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and fighting off inflammation!
I’m all about keeping things healthy, easy, and, most importantly, tasty! These air-fryer tempeh bowls check all of these boxes.
Not only are they packed with plant-based protein from the tempeh and quinoa, but they’re packed with veggie goodness from the greens, cucumbers, avocado, and one of my all-time FAVORITE veggies- Pure Flavor® Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers.
These peppers make every dish pop with color! They’re great for snacking, in grain bowls, or cooked in your favorite meals. They have Vitamin B6 for a mood boost and vitamin C important for immune health and iron absorption!
These bowls are perfect for busy weeknights and, if you’re cooking for 2- lunch the next day. Cook up some quinoa, give the tempeh a quick air fry, and whip up the Sesame Tahini Sauce ahead of time. Store the cooked quinoa and tempeh in a container and the veggies in a separate container. When you’re ready to enjoy them, reheat the tempeh and quinoa and add them to the veggies.
It’s simple, it’s tasty, and it’s the kind of meal that makes eating healthy a no-brainer. Cheers to a delicious and fuss-free year ahead!
What You’ll Need to Make Air Fryer Tempeh Grain Bowls
- Tempeh – use a block of plain, unseasoned tempeh.
- Teriyaki Sauce – Choose your favorite! I like the “soyaki” sauce from Trader Joe’s. Primal Kitchen and Dash also make lower salt/ sugar options.
- Greens– choose your favorite greens. If I can find it at the store, I love using a blend of kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage for a crunch.
- Pure Flavor® Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers – these are delicious on their own or cooked in your favorite dish.
- English Cucumber– I like to use English cucumbers because the peel is not as thick as traditional cucumbers, so there’s no need to peel the cucumbers, and you get more fiber.
- Sesame seeds– these are optional, but add a fun crunch
- Tahini – you can usually find this near the nut butter at the grocery store
- Ginger powder
- Garlic powder
How to Make
- Cook quinoa: Cook quinoa per package instructions.
- Prepare Tempeh: Slice tempeh into ½-inch slices (avoid slicing too thin). Arrange tempeh in a single layer in the air fryer, ensuring they do not touch.
- Air Fry Tempeh: Air fry the tempeh at 400°F for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through for even crispiness.
- Make Sesame Tahini Sauce: While the tempeh cooks, mix together tahini, water, teriyaki sauce, ginger powder, and garlic powder in a mason jar to create a flavorful sesame tahini sauce.
5. Coat with Teriyaki Sauce: Coat the air-fried tempeh with Teriyaki Sauce.
6. Assemble the Grain Bowl: In a bowl, assemble a base of salad greens and top with ¼ cup cooked quinoa, the air-fried teriyaki-glazed tempeh, English cucumber slices, sweet peppers rounds, and sliced avocado.
7. Drizzle with Sesame Tahini Sauce: Drizzle the prepared Sesame Tahini Sauce over the entire bowl for a burst of rich and nutty flavors.
- Optional Garnish: Sprinkle sesame seeds for added crunch!
This air fryer tempeh recipe is so versatile! Simply change out the sauce on the tempeh and the drizzle. I have done this same grain bowl with buffalo sauce on the tempeh and a ranch drizzle- it’s delicious too!
How to Serve
This recipe makes 4 servings. I usually portion out the ingredients for 2 people to enjoy at that moment and then package the other 2 portions in meal prep containers. I will put the salad greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado into a container and then the tempeh and the quinoa in another (microwave-safe) container since this will need to be reheated. You can also portion out the sauce in separate containers if you are packing the leftovers for lunch.
How to Store and Reheat (or Make Ahead)
Store the salad greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado in a container. Store the quinoa and tempeh in a separate microwave-safe container. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat the tempeh and quinoa in the microwave and add to the veggie mix. Top with a drizzle of the sesame tahini sauce, and enjoy!
Is Air Fryer Tempeh Healthy?
As a dietitian, I am always looking for ways to increase my plant-based meals. Tempeh is one of my favorite ways to do this!
- It has a long shelf life, so it’s easy to keep in the fridge for a quick plant-based protein option.
- 3 oz has 11-17 grams of protein
What does tempeh taste like?
Tempeh is firmer than tofu and has a delicious nutty flavor. I have many clients that don’t love tofu, but enjoy tempeh!
Can you make air fryer tempeh with no oil?
Yes! This air fryer tempeh recipe is actually made with no oil. I slice the tempeh and add it to the air fryer. Then I add a sauce (which usually does contain some oil), but it does not have to.
Can you use the Ninja air fryer to make tempeh?
Yes! I used my Ninja Foodie 10 in 1 XL pro to make this recipe.
What is the tempeh air fryer time?
Air fry the tempeh at 400°F for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through for even crispiness.
Air Fryer Tempeh Grain Bowls with Sesame Tahini Sauce
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 8 oz block of tempeh sliced into 1/2-inch strips
- ¼ cup Teriyaki Sauce
- 1, 9 oz bag of salad greens
- ½ English cucumber thinly sliced
- Pure Flavor® Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers sliced in rounds
- 1 Avocado sliced
- Sesame seeds optional
Sesame Tahini Sauce:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Cook quinoa per package instructions.
- Slice tempeh into ½-inch slices (avoid slicing too thin). Arrange tempeh in a single layer in the air fryer, ensuring they do not touch.
- Air fry the tempeh at 400°F for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through for even crispiness.
- While the tempeh cooks, mix together tahini, water, teriyaki sauce, ginger powder, and garlic powder in a mason jar to create a flavorful sesame tahini sauce.
- Coat the air-fried tempeh with Teriyaki Sauce.
- In a bowl, assemble a base of salad greens and top with ¼ cup cooked quinoa, the air-fried teriyaki-glazed tempeh, English cucumber slices, sweet peppers rounds, and sliced avocado.
- Drizzle the prepared Sesame Tahini Sauce over the entire bowl for a burst of rich and nutty flavors.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds for added crunch!
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DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
I’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to leave a comment and give it a star rating below. It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. I would love to hear about your experience making it too! If you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram and tag @chelsealeblancrdn so I can repost them in my stories!