Tempeh Tacos with Pumpkin Seed Tomatillo Sauce

The fiber- and protein-rich filling with tempeh and pinto beans is packed with flavor while a bonus tomatillo sauce gives this plant-based dish a zesty kick. Because they’re frozen separately, both the filling and sauce retain maximum flavor and texture when reheated. It’s like a taco kit in your freezer!

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
50 min



  • 1½ lb tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 Anaheim chile pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 green onions, chopped 
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds 
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp sea salt


  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz organic tempeh, crumbled (TRY: Lightlife Organic Tempeh Original)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted taco seasoning
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8 small corn tortillas, for serving
  • Optional toppings: Grated Monterey Jack cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, avocado, radishes and salsa



1. Prepare sauce: Position oven rack 4 inches below broiler; preheat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil; mist with cooking spray. Place tomatillos, chile pepper and garlic on sheet and broil until charred in places, 3 minutes. Flip and broil until charred on other side, 2 minutes more.

2. When cool enough to handle, remove stem, seeds and skin from chile pepper; discard. Peel garlic. To a blender, add green onion, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and salt; blend until smooth. Pour sauce into a freezer-safe container. (NOTE: Leave enough room for expansion, about 1 inch from top.) When cool, secure with an airtight lid and freeze for up to 3 months.

3. Prepare filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp oil on medium-high. Add green onions and bell pepper; sauté until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add tempeh, taco seasoning and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until tempeh is browned in places, 4 minutes. Add ½ cup water and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated, 1 minute. Stir in beans, mashing some with a fork. Stir in cilantro then remove skillet from heat; set aside to cool. Pour tempeh mixture into a freezer-safe container, secure with an airtight lid and freeze for up to 3 months.


4. In a large skillet, place frozen tempeh; heat on medium low. Cover loosely with a lid. As it heats up, use a wooden spoon to break up pieces, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan place frozen tomatillo sauce and cook, covered, over medium-low until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

5. Transfer cooked tempeh to a plate and set aside. Carefully wipe out skillet and heat on medium- high. Brush tortillas on one side with remaining 2 tsp oil. Place 2 or 3 tortillas, oil side down, in skillet; warm just until pliable, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and keep covered. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Evenly divide tempeh mixture among tortillas, topping each with warm tomatillo sauce. Sprinkle with optional toppings.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 489
  • Carbohydrate Content 59 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 20 g
  • Fiber Content 16 g
  • Protein Content 25 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 450 mg
  • Sugar Content 10 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 6 g