If you are new to plant-based eating and unfamiliar with Tempeh, we’ll give you the basics and provide a list of Plant-Based Whole30 Tempeh brands to add to your shopping list.

In early 2022, Whole30 launched their Plant-Based Whole30 Program! This is great news for vegetarians, vegans and people wanting to eat a more plant-based diet.  The Plant-Based Whole30 allows the consumption of plant-based protein sources, such as minimally processed forms of soy, like Tempeh, for sufficient protein intake.

First, let’s get a quick list of Plant-Based Whole30 Tempeh Brands (more details below):

  • Lightlife
  • Tofurky
  • Franklin Farms

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a plant-based protein made from fermented whole soybeans. Nutrient dense, Tempeh is an excellent plant-based replacement for meat.

Whole soybeans are cultured and fermented to form a firm cake-like block that can be cut into cubes or sliced into strips. Tempeh has a mild, nutty flavor and similar to tofu, absorbs the flavors it is cooked in.

Tempeh vs Tofu

Tempeh is made from fermented whole soybeans, while tofu is made from curdling soy milk, similar to how cheese is made. The soy curds are then pressed into blocks of varying firmness; silken through extra firm. If you think you’d prefer tofu over tempeh, be sure to check out our blog post for Plant-Based Whole30 Brands of Tofu here.

Is Tempeh Gluten Free?

Tempeh is traditionally made with just the whole soybeans that are fermented in a vinegar. But, be sure to check your labels, as many brands do add in gluten-containing grains. The list below are all gluten free tempeh brands.

How do I cook Tempeh?

Cut Tempeh into bite size pieces and add to a stir fry, crumble it and add to soups, stews and chilis or cut into strips and saute. You can also marinate and bake Tempeh and add it to salads and veggie bowls. It is also hearty enough to grill!

What to avoid when buying Tempeh?

Many brands of tempeh contain options with added grains and flavors that contain sugar and additives that are not Whole30 compliant. Always read all the ingredients listed on the labels. Also, as with most soy products, we recommend purchasing organic and or Non-GMO brands of soy. Most soybeans are grown in the US and a large portion of them are genetically modified (GMO).

Plant-Based Whole30 Tempeh Brands


Lightlife Original TempehTempeh vs Tofu

Ingredients: Cultured Organic Soybeans, Water, Organic Brown Rice.

Lightlife Flax TempehIs Tempeh Gluten Free?

Ingredients: Cultured Organic Soybeans (Soybeans, Lactic Acid From Plant Sources), Water, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Brown Rice

Lightlife Buffalo Tempeh StripsHow do I cook Tempeh?

Ingredients: Water, Cultured Organic Soybeans (Soybeans, Lactic Acid From Plant Sources), Organic Red Bell Peppers, Organic Distilled Vinegar, Organic Sunflower Oil, Salt, Organic Canola Oil, Fermented Cayenne Peppers, Less Than 2% Of: Organic Dehydrated Garlic, Natural Flavors, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Spice Extract, Xanthan Gum.

*Note – the Three Grain, Smokey Tempeh Strips and all flavors of the tempeh cubes are NOT Whole30 compliant as they contain grains and sugar

Plant-Based Whole30 Tempeh


Tofurky Original Soy Tempeh – Organic

Ingredients: Water, organic soybeans, organic apple cider vinegar, starter culture (rhizopus oligosporous)

*Note – the 5 Grain, Sesame Garlic and Smokey Bacon flavors are NOT Whole30 compliant as they contain grains and sugars 

Franklin Farms

Franklin Farms Organic Original Tempeh

Ingredients: Cultured Organic Soybean, Water

*Note – the 5 Grain is NOT Whole30 compliant as it contains grains

Interested in more Plant-Based Whole30 Resources? Click here!

Want to save this Plant-Based Whole30 Resources post for later? Pin it Here!