Pasta with Spicy Blackened Tempeh and Cilantro Almond Pesto!

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Another quick pasta.. and another creamy pesto. If you dont like cilantro much, substitute that with basil!
Topped with right off the grill Blackened Tempeh strips for the meat eater's craving!. Add or change anything you like! I'll let the pictures and the recipe do the talking..

Tempeh Marinade:
  • Tempeh strips(used about 4 oz of the flax and soy organic tempeh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cilantro almond Pesto:
  • 2/3 cup almonds soaked for overnight(or soaked half an hour and then nuked for 1 minute 2 times in the microwave)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 cups cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water
  • Other:
  • Elbows or any pasta, 2 cups cooked, cooked as per instructions on the package. (I found a big elbows package which needs to be finished up, hence elbows in most dishes;)
  • 1 medium tomato sliced
  1. Cut up the tempeh in 1/2 inch strips.
  2. Mix in all the ingredients of the marinade and rub over the tempeh. Use more or less marinade, according to preference. Keep for atleast half an hour. Also use the spices according to taste. We like our tempeh a bit spicy.
  3. In a small deep non stick pan(can use grill pan too), add some canola oil and heat at medium heat, and arrange the tempeh.
  4. Add in 2/3 cup water or just about to reach the tops of the strips and cook covered on Low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Flip the strips and cook for another 10 minutes. The water should have been absorbed by the tempeh. Keep cooking on the same pan to blacken the strips a little or grill them in any which way, for a few minutes till preferred blackened effect! Cook the tempeh right before serving so it is hot and sizzling!
  6. Cook the pasta according to instruction and keep aside.
  7. For the pesto, blend the almonds, cilantro, chili, garlic cloves, salt and olive oil into a smooth paste. Use some water if necessary.
  8. Toss the pasta in the pesto and top it off with the hot blackened Tempeh and some tomato slices!.
  9. Drop some extra pesto, some chopped cilantro, chili flakes or anything you fancy on top! Quick sizzling Meal!
  10. Other sauces like a garlicky tomato basil, or a creamy chipotle (cashew cream+chipotle peppers) would work with the blackened Tempeh too! Have a fun Monday!
Sending this to My Legume Love Affair, created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Susan herself.


  1. The pasta's are very inviting...

  2. That looks so good! It actually reminds me a bit of Candle 79's seitan chimichurri, which is positively dreamy. I'll have to try this now and see how it compares. :)

  3. Thanks Savitharaj and Hannah!

  4. I was just remarking to another blogger that I didn't have great luck w/ my one attempt at tempeh. With recipes like these, I think my opinion is going to change very soon.
    This really, really looks good.

    Thanks for another fine contribution, Richa, to MLLA.

  5. Thanks Susan. Please do let me know how it turns out!

  6. oooh i'm intrigued! cilantro pesto...i always seem to have leftover cilantro after i make salsa, this might be a great way to use it up! love it!


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Hi! I am Richa. I love to whip up plant-based meals which make me and hubbs swoon and not miss any animal or animal products in them. Find out more About Me here.

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