Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Sweet Potato Sandwiches

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Sweet Potato Sandwiches

This sweet and spicy tempeh sweet potato sandwich recipe is a healthy vegan lunch idea that even meat-eaters will love! Find out how to make it now.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

This sweet and spicy tempeh sandwich recipe is one of the most popular recipes on TheHealthyToast.

After four years of recipes, this tempeh sandwich recipe continues to be among the top 5 most popular recipes. 

And I don’t blame you for loving it! 

Seriously, I could drink the sweet and spicy marinade. Okay, well maybe not drink it, but I want to put it on everything. 

These vegan tempeh and sweet potato sandwiches have big flavors and come together quickly. Plus, they can easily be made ahead of time and assembled for easy lunches throughout the week! 

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Sweet Potato Sandwiches

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Vegan, yet a hit with meat-eaters as well!
  • Just the right balance of sweet and spicy. 
  • Easy, plant-based meal for adults and kids. 
  • Perfect for meal-prep.
  • Filled with a variety of textures.
Open-faced tempeh sandwich

Ingredients Used to Make Vegan Tempeh and Sweet Potato Sandwiches

  • Tempeh: You’ll need an 8-ounce package of tempeh. While tofu will technically work, it won’t give you the same chewy, nutty texture and flavor as tempeh. 
  • Sweet potato: Any color sweet potato will work. I also think sliced kabocha squash would be good, but I haven’t tried it. 
  • Maple syrup: Make sure to use pure maple syrup. To make these sandwiches a little less sweet you can cut the amount of maple syrup in half. 
  • Balsamic vinegar: Trust me on this one, the balsamic vinegar gives the marinade a great depth of flavor. I haven’t tried this recipe with other vinegars. 
  • Soy sauce: To keep the sodium lower, I recommend using a low sodium soy sauce.
  • Olive oil: I’ve started to use avocado oil more often now for anything that goes in the oven, but regular olive oil (not extra-virgin) will work too. 
  • Smoked paprika: For a smoky (almost bacon-like) flavor, I recommend using smoked paprika. However, regular sweet paprika will still work. 
  • Cayenne pepper: Just a touch goes a long way! If you don’t have cayenne pepper, you can also use red pepper flakes. 
  • Avocado: Optional, but it’s my favorite topping for these vegan sandwiches. You can also add more veggies like sprouts or tomato slices. 
  • Bread: I used a homemade sourdough, but sprouted grain bread would be a good way to add an extra boost of protein. 

What is tempeh?

Now, you may be asking: what is tempeh? Tempeh is a plant-based protein option made from fermented soybeans. 

After being fermented, the soybeans are shaped into cakes and packaged.

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Sweet Potato Sandwiches

Oftentimes tempeh contains other ingredients, like grains or seeds. So, if you’re gluten-free, make sure to check ingredient labels for any gluten-containing ingredients. 

Nutritionally, tempeh is a wonderful source of protein, with 15 grams per 3-ounce serving. 

3-ounces of tempeh also provides: 

  • Magnesium: 18% of your daily needs.
  • Phosphorus: 21% of your daily needs.
  • Manganese: 54% of your daily needs.
  • Calcium: 9% of your daily needs.
  • Iron: 12% of your daily needs.

How to Make Tempeh Sweet Potato Sandwiches

  1. Start by slicing your tempeh and sweet potatoes. The thinner your sweet potato slices, the faster they’ll cook. I try to make mine about ½ -inch thick. Place the tempeh in a bowl or other sealable container.
  2. Whisk together the marinade ingredients then pour over the tempeh. From here you can either place everything in the fridge so it can marinate overnight. Or, simply let the tempeh sit at room temperature while your oven preheats.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Add marinated tempeh slices to the baking sheet with sweet potatoes and bake for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft and lightly browned.
  5. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy!
Marinating tempeh in sweet and spicy sauce for tempeh sandwich

Tips for making this recipe

  • Wait to start preheating the oven until your tempeh is marinating. This will give it some time to soak up that delicious sweet and spicy sauce. 
  • Don’t throw out the marinade! Either drizzle it over your sandwiches or save it for other dishes. I like using it on baked sweet potatoes and in grain bowls. 
  • Not sure where to find tempeh? I’ve been able to find it at every major grocery store in my area, including King Soopers, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. At the store, you can find it in a refrigerated section along with tofu and other vegan meat alternatives. 

More healthy tempeh recipes to try 

If you tried this tempeh and sweet potato sandwich recipe or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

Sweet and Spicy Tempeh Sweet Potato Sandwiches

This sweet and spicy tempeh sweet potato sandwich recipe is a healthy vegan lunch idea that even meat-eaters will love! Find out how to make it now.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Tempeh Sandwich, Tempeh Sandwich, Vegan Lunch Recipe
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 536kcal
Author: Kelli


  • 1 block tempeh cut into 8 equal slices
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil separated
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado peel and sliced or mashed
  • 8 slices sprouted grain bread or bread of choice
  • Optional sprouts


  • Place tempeh slices in a single layer in a small baking pan.
  • Combine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, soy sauce, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture over tempeh to evenly coat. Let marinate while oven preheats.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Meanwhile, slice sweet potatoes into thin slices and toss with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Once oven has preheated, bake sweet potato slices and tempeh for 20 minutes, turning tempeh half way through. Remove from oven once tempeh and sweet potato slices have browned.
  • Toast bread if desired (not recommended if making sandwiches in advance), then assemble sandwich by evenly distributing sweet potato slices, tempeh slices, and avocado. Add sprouts if desired for extra texture. Enjoy!


Nutrition for 1 sandwich (assuming all marinade is consumed): 535 calories, 22 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 62 g carb, 8 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 23 g protein

Recipe adapted from The Green Life

Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

Add a comment


  • Kara Jay AvatarKara Jay2 years ago

    This was delicious!
    We also added a swipe of vegan mayo.
    Highly recommend and definitely follow the recipe and have the tempeh marinating while heating the oven and prepping the potatoes. It makes all the difference.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast2 years ago

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Kara! Love the addition of vegan mayo – I’ll have to try that next time!

  • Billy AvatarBilly5 years ago

    This looks great! I’ve been trying to find a good tempeh recipe to give a shot, but haven’t quite found the right one yet. I think this just might be it! Thank you for sharing, it looks delicious!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast5 years ago

      Hope it ends up being the one for you! Thanks Billy 🙂

  • Lil AvatarLil5 years ago

    This look so delicious – I’m planning to make a big batch of tempeh for my week’s lunches. Quick question – do you bake the tempeh in the tray with the marinade in it? Or after marinating, place it on another tray to bake?

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast5 years ago

      This will work perfectly for meal prep! Yes, I bake the tempeh in the tray with the marinade in it – I found that it kept the tempeh from drying out in the oven. Hope you like it 🙂

  • Kathryn Pfeffer AvatarKathryn Pfeffer6 years ago

    I absolutely love this! Was planning to make a terriyaki tempeh stir fry for the first time this week actually. This looks so good that even my meat loving friends need to try this!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Thanks Kathryn! This sauce would be delicious to use in a stir-fry! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen AvatarTara | Treble in the Kitchen6 years ago

    This sounds so good! I can see why you are addicted to the marinade. I have been meaning to purchase tempeh lately but keep forgetting!! Thanks for the reminder : )

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Thanks Tara 🙂 I’ve been on a tempeh kick for some reason the past couple weeks, I had forgotten how easy it is to prepare!

  • Jenny Shea Rawn AvatarJenny Shea Rawn6 years ago

    I’ve never had (or thought to have!) a tempeh sandwich – this looks so yummy! And the marinade sounds just delish. Will give it a shot!

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast6 years ago

      Definitely try out tempeh next time you’re in the mood for a sandwich! I love the extra texture it has compared to tofu.

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

    Nutrition Tips

    11 Healthy Postpartum Freezer Meals
    What is the MIND diet?
    MIND Diet Cookbook for Beginners
    Tips for an Organized and Functional Kitchen
    The Healthy Toast
    Data and Cookie Consent
    In order to provide a more personal user experience, we and our partners use technology such as cookies to store and/or access device information.
    By clicking “Accept” you consent to these technologies which will allow us and
    our partners
    to process non-sensitive data such as IP address, unique ID, and browsing data for the purposes of serving personalized ads and content, ad and content measurement, audience insights, and to develop and improve products.
    Your choices on this site will be applied only for this site. You can change your settings at any time, including withdrawing your consent, by going to the
    Privacy Policy
    page of this site.
    Manage Settings