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one green planet

Sweet and smoky with a slight chili heat, the vegan tempeh bacon really adds a satisfying and delicious punch to this nutritious and wholesome bowl. Fresh thyme runs through the recipe, adding a lovely floral aroma. The beauty of the bowl is in the variety: choose a base of grains or rice, add some beans and lots of cooked or raw veggies, something special like tempeh bacon, and some dressing. Use this recipe as an outline – you can make it gluten-free by using quinoa instead of freekeh, and less preparation-intensive by swapping the roasted chickpeas for black beans.

Tempeh Bacon Bowl [Vegan]

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For the Tempeh Bacon:
  • 7 ounces tempeh
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
For the Squash:
  • 1 squash (I used butternut, but acorn squash would also be great)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (solid)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
For the Freekeh:
  • 3 1/2 ounces freekeh
  • 2 cups water
  • 1tsp coconut oil (solid)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
For the Chickpeas:
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (solid)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • Other:
  • 1/3 ounce wakame
  • 10 ounces spring greens (or other leafy greens)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • (Avocado and pickles are also great additions!)
For the Dressing:
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 red chilli
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy
  • ½ lime (juice)
  • 2 tbsp water


  1. At least 2 hours in advance: prepare the bacon by slicing the tempeh as thinly as you can and coat it with the marinade ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
  3. To prepare the squash, use a sharp knife to top and tail it and then cut lengthways down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits using a spoon. Slice a criss-cross pattern across the flesh and drizzle the maple syrup and oil onto each half, followed by the seasoning.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. It should turn a lovely caramelised brown, and be soft, but not mushy. Once cooked, slice into chunks.
  5. Combine the chickpeas, oil and seasoning in an oven proof dish and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  6. Arrange the tempeh bacon slices on a flat tray, lined with parchment paper, and pour over any remaining marinade. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning once.
  7. While the squash, chickpeas and tempeh are cooking, prepare the freekeh by simmering in water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan and sautée the garlic, mushrooms and thyme until lightly browned. Add the freekeh, stir and take off the heat.
  8. Once the oven-cooked ingredients are almost done, slice the greens into ribbons and steam until soft. Rehydrate the wakame according to the packet and slice thinly. Slice the tomatoes.
  9. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  10. You’re now ready to assemble the bowl! I like to start with the freekeh and greens, then layer in sections, finishing with the dressing.


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