Tempeh Sliders with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Tempeh Slider with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Do you ever have food nostalgia from what you ate on vacation?  I do.

I sigh over all those US raspberries… blueberries… cherries… Haas avocados… Ezekiel brand English muffins…  tempeh…

WHOA… hold the phone… what the heck is TEMPEH??  I know, right??  I ate it for the first time about 2 years ago, and was put off of it for about a year.  Tempeh is made from cooked & slightly fermented soybeans, and pressed into a cake or patty.  It’s firmer in texture than tofu and has a nutty (and slightly fermented) flavour.  (Maybe this is what put me off the first time… that flavour… I didn’t marinate it at all and you really should.)  But once it’s properly marinated, it’s delicious, and I’d say kind of addictive.

Tempeh Slider with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Tempeh is high in fiber and protein (even more per serving than tofu), easily digested, and has 10% of your calcium and iron needs for the day in just one serving. It’s a great meat substitute!  Try it!  But if you don’t like it, this recipe also works with extra-firm tofu and (gasp) chicken.

Tempeh Slider with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

What brings this whole sandwich together is the dressing.  Oh yes, the dressing!!  Please do not change a thing about this… you’ll regret it if you do.  Nobody would ever guess this chipotle ranch is vegan… it’s perfectly creamy, smoky, & slightly sweet… ain’t nothin’ wrong with it, and everything right.  It just melds all these sandwich flavours together and makes a symphony in your mouth.  The smokiness complements the tempeh perfectly, and if you don’t try it, you’ll never know.

Tempeh Slider with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

The toppings are up to you, but I highly recommend avocado, red onions, & spinach or dark lettuce.  And once you bite into it, you’ll understand why they call it a slider…

Tempeh Sliders with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Tempeh Sliders with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

If you can't find chipotle powder, you can substitute 1 canned chipotle pepper.


    For the tempeh:
  • 1 block plain tempeh, sliced into 9 or 10 slices (can also sub extra-firm tofu, drained & pressed, sliced into ¼” slices)
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce
  • 2 T. light soy sauce
  • 2 T. lime juice (can sub calamansi juice)
  • 1 t. hot chili oil
    For the chipotle ranch dressing:
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours & drained
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1- 1½ teaspoons chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
    To serve:
  • 4 whole wheat buns (or Ezekiel English muffins), toasted if desired
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • sliced red onions
  • spinach or lettuce leaves


    To make the tempeh:
  • Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, & chili oil in a shallow dish, then add tempeh (or tofu) slices. Turn to coat.
  • Marinate for 15 minutes up to 4 hours (if more than 30 minutes, marinate in the refrigerator.)
  • Cook in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. Remove from pan.
    To make the chipotle ranch dressing:
  • Place the drained cashews in a blender or food processor along with other ingredients.
  • Pulse at low speed, then blend at high speed, until mixture is completely smooth.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. Makes about ¾ cup dressing.
  • To assemble the sandwiches:
  • Layer a few tempeh (or tofu) slices on the bottom of your bun or muffin, followed by slices of avocado & some dressing.
  • Add some onions and more dressing, then top with spinach leaves, a bit more dressing, then the top of the bun or muffin.
  • Press down & enjoy!
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  1. Sara says

    I love your post! I like how you started the post! It made me want to keep reading. I’m glad that I can see your posts now!

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