Recipe: Tempeh Tomato Penne Pasta

I’m not sure about you, but in my eyes there really is nothing like a good old bowl of tomato pasta! In fact, when I was a kid – my go to at just about any restaurant I ever went to, was “penne pasta with tomato sauce on the side.” Luckily my taste buds have matured quite a bit and now I enjoy all sorts of different foods when eating out and when I do get pasta, I actually get the sauce on it! 🙂

When I transitioned to a more whole foods plant based diet, there was a while I didn’t eat pasta so much, because I wasn’t sure how I could make it taste both healthy and exciting – however this recipe completely changed the game for me!

If you’ve never tried tempeh before, or you have but just don’t happen to be a huge fan, this is really the most PERFECT introductory recipe to it. In fact, you crumble it up so small, you likely won’t even be able to tell it’s in there!

I also find the green olives in this recipe truly make it next level – and can add that extra touch of fermented goodness, however if you’re not a huge olive fan, you could certainly omit!

One other note I should make about the pasta before getting to the recipe – is about the NOODLES! The noodles I recommend making this dish with are called Chickapea Pasta – as you might have guessed, they’re made out of chickpeas – as well as lentils! Because of this, they’re loaded with tons of protein and fibre, are naturally gluten free, and just so happen to taste delicious! They are my favourite noodle to date and have made eating pasta become a regular occurrence for me again!


– 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
– 1 Tbsp. olive oil
– 1 medium zucchini, chopped into slices and then quarters
– 1 package tempeh (approx. 200g), cut/ crumbled into very small bite size pieces
– 4-5 stalks kale, de-stemmed and finely chopped
– 1 large can organic tomato sauce such as: Simply Natural (approx. 750mL)
– 225g Chickapea Pasta Noodles (or another one of your favourites!)
– Optional: Approx. 8 green olives
– Garnish: Cashew Parmesan Crumble and Eaton Hemp Hearts (Use MEG20 for 20% off your order!)


– Heat a large cast iron pan, add the olive oil and chopped onion
– Allow to saute until the onion becomes translucent
– Add the crumbled tempeh, and continue to saute
– Allow the tempeh to saute for approx 2-3 minutes and then add the quartered zucchini
– If your pan is dry, add a splash more oil
– Allow everything to saute for approx. 5-6 minutes, the tempeh should look lightly browned and the zucchini should look cooked
– In the meantime, boil a pot of water to cook your pasta (according to package directions)
– Once veggie/ tempeh is cooked to your liking, add the tomato sauce, followed by the chopped kale and continue to saute. NOTE: if you don’t love things super saucy, you can reserve some of the jar!
– Taste test to ensure the sauce is the right flavour for you. Feel free to add a touch of salt, basil, rosemary, or chilli flakes – if needed!
– Once the noodles are finished cooking, rinse and drain
– Add the noodles to the sauce pan (if there’s enough space) and continue to saute for a couple of minutes to ensure everything is well mixed. You can also add the olives at this point, if you’re using
– Serve into bowls and garnish with cashew parmesan crumble (or just nutritional yeast) and hemp hearts
– Enjoy!

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