Tempeh is made from fermented, compressed soybeans and is a complete source of protein, meaning that it provides all essential amino acids which are required for the function and regulation of the brain’s networks. Tempeh also lowers inflammation and has vitamin B12, which is protective against age related cognitive decline.

Smoky Maple Tempeh Burgers with Chipotle Aioli

Recipe by Taavi Moore

Serves 6

These smoky burgers are topped with pickled red onions and a slightly spicy and creamy chipotle aioli. They are grillable, too: Simply transfer them to a hot grill after they are baked. “I recommend preparing all the components ahead of time,” says Taavi, “then you can put everything out and let everyone build their own burger.”



  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon beet sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns


  • 8 ounces (225 g) tempeh, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1⁄2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Salt
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce / 430-g) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Flour, for dusting hands


  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt


  • 6 burger rolls, such as ciabatta
  • Lettuce leaves, tomato slices, or other veggies of choice
  • Fresh sprouts (optional)


  1. Make the pickled red onions: In a large mason jar, combine the onion, vinegar, sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and the peppercorns. Add enough water to cover the onions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or (preferably) overnight.
  2. Make the burgers: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Pour 1 inch (2.5 cm) water into a pot fitted with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and place the tempeh in the basket. Cover and steam for 6 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent. Sea- son with salt. Add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a food processor. Add the tempeh, black beans, maple syrup, tamari, miso, coriander, paprika, cumin, liquid smoke, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Process until smooth, leaving a few chunks for texture. Add 1 tablespoon water if needed to help blend.
  6. Lightly flour your hands and form the tempeh mixture into patties, using about 1⁄4 cup (40 g) of the mixture for each patty. Place the pat- ties on the baking sheet, then lightly spray them with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.
  7. Make the chipotle aioli: While the burgers are baking, combine the mayo, chipotle chiles, lemon juice, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and process until creamy.
  8. To serve, slather a generous amount of aioli over a bun, then add lettuce, tomato, or other veggies of choice, a burger patty, pickled red onions, more aioli, and sprouts, if using. Repeat with the remaining burgers.

For best storage, wrap the burgers individually in foil and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Recipe from EAT FOR THE PLANET COOKBOOK by Gene Stone and Nil Zacharias.