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These festive tempeh cutlets, with their rich pecan coating, make a gorgeous main dish for your holiday table. We’ve updated the classic breading process by using flaxseed instead of eggs, and a gluten-free flour blend instead of traditional all-purpose flour (though you can certainly use all-purpose flour). Taking the extra steps to do a three-step breading—seasoned flour, a flax egg, then pecans—ensures that the pecans won’t fall off the cutlets after they’re baked. Serve these pecan tempeh cutlets with mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce for a simple, delicious holiday feast—no turkey required. You can also try this recipe using our seitan cutlets!

Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients You Need for Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (8-oz) package tempeh
  • 1 1/2 cups water, enough to cover the tempeh
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups whole pecans, finely chopped

How to Prepare Pecan-Crusted Tempeh Cutlets [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and water, and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking tray with parchment.
  3. 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 small pot with water and tamari. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the three-part breading station. 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, you’ll have the thickened flaxseed mixture. Finally, place the finely chopped pecans in the third bowl.
  5. 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. Next, dip it into the flaxseed mixture. Finally, dip it in the chopped pecans and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cutlets until everything is coated.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the cutlets and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve.
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