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Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets

Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets

Photo Credit: Alexandra Shytsman for the Compassionate Cuisine Cookbook

Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets

Makes 8 cutlets (4 servings)


These festive tempeh cutlets, with their rich, nubby pecan coating, make a gorgeous and delicious main dish for your holiday table. It's a recipe from Sara Boan from the Compassionate Cuisine Cookbook (which makes a great holiday gift–wink-wink!)

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. You'll find packages in the refrigerated section of the produce department or "healthy eating" aisle. Full of protein and texture, tempeh is a versatile plant-based food that can be transformed into bolognese sauce, taco filling, or... satisfying cutlets, as this recipe undeniably demonstrates.

The classic three-step breading process that traditionally calls for eggs and milk uses ground flaxseed and water instead of eggs, and a gluten-free flour blend instead of traditional all-purpose flour. Tender and full of texture and flavor, these Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets are perfect for everyday or special occasions!


2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

½ cup water

1 package tempeh

¼ cup tamari soy sauce

¼ cup gluten-free flour blend

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried sage

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups pecans, finely chopped in the food processor (1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans)


In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and water, and allow to thicken at room temperature while you prepare the rest of this recipe. Line a baking tray with parchment and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cut the block of tempeh in half horizontally, making two thin planks. Cut each plank into four triangles or rectangles to yield a total of 8 cutlets. Place the tempeh in a medium saucepan, pour the tamari over, and add enough water just to cover, approximately 2 cups. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the three-part breading. Arrange three wide, shallow bowls on your counter. In one bowl, stir together the flour, nutritional yeast, salt, thyme, sage, marjoram, and pepper. In the second bowl, pour in the thickened flaxseed mixture. Finally, place the finely chopped pecans in the third bowl.

Transfer the tempeh from its simmering liquid to a plate and allow to cool briefly. Dip a cutlet into the flour mixture and shake off any excess, then dip into the flaxseed mixture. Dip the cutlet in the chopped pecans, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cutlets until all the tempeh pieces are coated.

Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then flip the cutlets and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

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