Skip to main content

Braised Temeph with Butternut Squash and Kale

By December 10, 2015March 2nd, 2019Main Dish, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Braised Tempeh with Butternut Squash and KaleAt this point in my life I eat animal protein most days.  I switch it up between, chicken, fish, lamb and occasionally beef.  I only eat grass fed organic animals and wild or organic fish.   Even though I was a vegetarian for more than 15 years I have found my body needs this type of protein for me to feel at my best.  I keep my portions around  2-4 ounces which is enough.  The rest of my meal consist of vegetable dishes.

Once I week I eat vegan.  It is good for my body and good for the planet.  Since animal protein requires  a lot of water and energy to produce, I like to go vegan one day a week.  Vegan protein is also less acidic than animal protein.  My favorite form of vegan protein is tempeh. Tempeh is extremely rich in protein, fiber and vitamins making it perfect to use in place of meat. Tempeh has as much protein as chicken and is high in B vitamins.

Tempeh is the only type of soy I eat because it is a whole food and fermented.  It is easier to digest than most beans.  The enzymes produced in the fermentation process breaks down the nutrients increasing the absorption of the protein and minerals like iron and calcium.  Read my full article on Tempeh here.

I love greens in combination with tempeh.  In this recipe I added butternut squash which provides a sweet flavor to balance the bitterness of the kale.  You could also use sweet potatoes.   It is a great dish to make when you have left over baked sweet potatoes.

I like to marinate the tempeh in gluten free tamari for a little while to give it more flavor.  Also when the tempeh absorbs the tamari it prevents it from absorbing too much oil when you saute it.   I start by cutting the 8 oz block of temeph into 24 pieces and put them on a plate to marinate while I prepare the rest of the ingredients.

tempeh tamari

Next I peel and cut the butternut squash, chop the onions and kale and mix the stock with the mustard. I get my spices ready.   I love using turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.  Smoked paprika gives it a rich meaty flavor.  Once my ingredients are assembled I am ready to cook.

tempeh but ingredients

I heat the coconut oil on medium high and saute the tempeh and onions together until the onions are soft and the tempeh is golden brown. The tempeh will have absorbed the tamari.  Stir frequently with a spatula and be careful you don’t burn the onions.


Next add in the spices and cooked squash. Stir to coat everything with the spices.

tempeh but in pan

Pour the broth-mustard mixture over the tempeh and vegetables.  You probably have to add the kale in batches since it won’t all fit in the pan at once.  Once the first batch is wilted add the rest.  Saute until the kale is tender, about 3 minutes.  If the pan is dry add a little more stock.   Taste to adjust spices and serve.


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Braised Tempeh with Butternut Squash and Kale

Braised Temeph with Butternut Squash and Kale

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


An easy to make, incredibly delicious, complete vegan meal made in only one pan.


  • One 8-ounce package of tempeh, cut into 24 pieces (1” cubes )
  • 2 Tb wheat free tamari
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes(about 3 cups)*
  • ½ cup vegetable or bone broth, more if needed
  • 1 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cups kale or Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 Tb coconut oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Pour the tamari onto a plate. Add tempeh and turn to coat each piece. Let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Peel and cut the butternut squash into cubes. In a saucepan fitted with a steamer, steam for 5-7 minutes until almost tender. If you don’t have a steamer simmer in 1” of water in a covered sauté pan. Remove from steamer and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the broth and mustard
  4. Cut up the onions and kale.
  5. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and tempeh. Sauté until the onions are soft and the tempeh cubes are golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Stir frequently and be careful to not burn the onions.
  6. Add squash, turmeric, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to coat tempeh and vegetables with the spices.
  7. Pour the broth-mustard mixture over the tempeh and vegetables.
  8. Add half the kale and stir until it wilts. Add the rest of the kale.
  9. Sauté 2-3 minutes until the kale is tender. Add more broth if necessary to keep the vegetables moist.
  10. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Vegan




  • Kirsten says:

    Thank you for this, Ingrid. I happen to have tempeh in the fridge and the kale is growing outside in big planters. All I need now is the squash. Can’t wait for this evening to come around so I can make this!

    • ingrid-admin says:

      Wonderful Kirsten, it seems like the timing is right to make this dish. You are lucky to have kale growing in your planters, that is great. Please post a comment to let us know how it comes out.

Rate & Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star