Sunflower Seed Tempeh

Sunflower seed tempeh is vegan, keto and soy free

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5 from 4 reviews

Sunflower seed tempeh is a delicious and nutritious soy-free tempeh. It is a great keto-friendly, vegetarian and vegan protein substitute. It is firm enough for a stir-fry, barbecue, or eat it fresh.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups of hulled sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp tempeh starter


  1. Bring the sunflower seeds to a boil and simmer until the seeds are soft (about 1 hour).
  2. Drain the sunflower seeds and allow them to cool until they are just above room temperature.
  3. Mix the sunflower seeds with the vinegar to lower the pH of the ferment. This prevents unwanted bacteria from contaminating the tempeh.
  4. Sprinkle on the tempeh starter and mix well.
  5. Spread the sunflower seeds out in the fermentation container. (See the section above for more details).
  6. Incubate at approximately 88 F (31 C).
  7. Check the seeds after 12 hours. At this point, the mold will have started to grow and the tempeh will start to generate heat. Depending on what you are using for incubation, you may need to lower the temperature.
  8. The tempeh will be done sometime between 24 and 48 hours. It’s ready when the mold has thickened the sunflower seeds into a single dense mass. There might be some grey or black mold spores, but you want to stop incubation before there are too many mold spores.
  9. See the section above for details on steaming and storing tempeh.


  • Black and gray spots may appear on the tempeh. These are mold spores, and they are completely edible.  The tempeh should smell nutty and mushroomy, and it might have a hint of ammonia.  I have never had a tempeh failure, however, if your tempeh smells bad, is mushy, or slimy then throw it out.
  • See the sections above for more information on the type of container you should use for tempeh, and how to maintain the right temperature.
  • Feel free to make tempeh out of pumpkin seeds using the same instructions. If you want to try sesame seeds, then only add a small amount to your batch of sunflower seed tempeh.