Pumpkin Noodle Bowl with Tempeh is full of fall flavors, and it will keep you warm and cozy on chilly evenings. In this dish, pumpkin, rice noodles, and tempeh come together deliciously for the ultimate autumn dinner. This easy recipe is vegan with a gluten-free option.
Pumpkin Noodle Bowl
Waaaaaay back in 2012, Dennis and I bought a new house back in March, I immediately became an interior design junkie. I camped out on the sofa in front of endless HGTV shows while scouring eBay for great finds. If you happened to be shopping with me and you lost me in the store, chances are I'd be standing in front of the magazine rack, searching the periodicals for design ideas.
In order to get a quick fix, I subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens magazine. My first issue came with a thin magazine titled "All-Time Favorites 2012 Cookbook". I immediately dropped it into the recycling bin knowing that none of the recipes would be vegan, but after a few minutes I pulled it back out again thinking there might be some good recipes I could veganize. And luckily there were! There was a meaty pumpkin noodle bowl that sparked my interest, so I went to the kitchen to see how I could veganize it. I made a few swaps and used tempeh, as it's a hearty form of protein that pairs nicely with pumpkin.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that originated in Indonesia. Because it’s fermented, it can have discolored spots that almost look moldy. It’s perfectly safe to eat, though. It can usually be found in the same area of the grocery store as tofu, which is usually the produce are or the refrigerated section.
If you're not a fan of the fermented taste of tempeh, steam it lightly for 5 or 10 minutes before marinading it. You can also let it simmer in a bath of water or stock for about half an hour before marinading it, as well. This will reduce the fermented flavor, and it also will allow the tempeh to absorb more of the marinade.
How to Make Your Pumpkin Noodle Bowl
This recipe is really easy to make!
- First you mix together the marinade ingredients and allow your tempeh to marinate for 2 hours. You can leave it overnight, if you wish.
- Next you cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Right before they're ready, you add the kale to the pot. The greens will cook with the noodles. Drain your noodles and set them aside until the rest of the dish is ready.
- Then you mix together the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook it for another 10minutes, or until it thickens.
- While the sauce is simmering, you cook the onion in the oil over medium-high heat.
- Then you add the tempeh to the pan and cook it, flipping it every once in a while, until it's nice and brown on each side. It'll take about 10 minutes or so.
- To assemble your bowls, mix the noodles with the sauce and then divide them among 4 bowls. Add the tempeh to each bowl and garish with a few sage leaves.
How to Customize Your Pumpkin Noodle Bowl
- If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure your noodles and tempeh are both gluten-free.
- Instead of pumpkin puree, you can use butternut squash puree.
- Any type of leafy greens, such as baby spinach or arugula, can be used in the place of the kale.
- You can use pretty much any noodle instead of rice noodles. Try udon, soba, or even spaghetti.
Pumpkin Noodle Bowl with Tempeh
For the Tempeh
- 1 8-ounce package tempeh cut into 8 triangles
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
For the Noodles
- 1 8-ounce package rice noodles
- 1 bunch kale or swiss chard de-stemmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
For the Sauce
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 14-ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves about 10-12 leaves
For the Bowls
- 2 teaspoons neutral flavored vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- fresh sage leaves for garnish, optional
Marinate the Tempeh
- Place the tempeh in a shallow dish. Mix together the stock, tamari, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and oregano and pour it over the tempeh. Marinate the tempeh for 2 hours or overnight.
Make the Noodles
- In a large pot, cook the noodles according to the package. About three minutes before the noodles are done, add the greens to the pot. Drain the noodles and set aside until ready to use.
Make the Sauce
- Place the vegetable stock, pumpkin, tamari, minced garlic cloves, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and sage in a sauce pan over meidum-high heat . Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Toss the cooked noodles and greens in with the sauce and keep warm.
Cook the Tempeh and Onions
- While the sauce is simmering, bring the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tempeh to the pan, reserving the marinade. Flip the tempeh occasionally so that it browns on both sides. If it sticks, deglaze the pan with the reserved marinade. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions have caramelized nicely and the tempeh has browned on both sides.
Assemble the Bowls
- Divide the noodles amoung 4 bowls and top with the tempeh and onions, and garnish with fresh sage leaves, if using.
Originally posted September 28, 2012. Updated October 3, 2021.
More Pumpkin Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
More Tempeh Recipes You Might like Include:
- Mango Curry with Tempeh
- Broccoli with Tempeh and Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Cashew and Tempeh Stir-Fry from Fast and Easy Vegan Cookbook by JL Fields
- Thai Coconut Tempeh with Pineapple Salsa