Tempeh, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

This supremely nourishing trio of ingredients are the basis of a quick, colorful, and comforting meal. It’s an adaptable dish, too—don’t like tempeh? Use tofu, seitan, or a can of chickpeas or white beans instead. It’s great with chard in place of kale, as well. Great served with any of the slaw recipes on this site. Adapted from Vegan Express.

Serves: 6

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • One 8-ounce package tempeh, any variety,
    cut into 1/4-inch slices crosswise
  • 1 good-sized bunch kale (about 8 to 12 ounces)
  • 3  to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 15- to 16-ounce salt-free diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste, dissolved in
    a little warm water, or a sprinkling of
    dried hot red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until done but still nice and firm, allowing 2 to 3 minutes per potato. If you’d like to keep the skins on, scrub them well. Otherwise just rinse. Once cool enough to handle, cut them into large dice, leaving skins on if you had scrubbed them.

Heat half of the oil together with the soy sauce in a stir-fry pan. Add the tempeh and stir quickly to coat. Sauté over medium heat until golden and beginning to turn crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate then set aside until needed.

Meanwhile, cut the leafy part of the kale away from the stem, then coarsely chop into bite-sized pieces. Rinse well.

Heat the remaining oil in the stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden.

Add the kale along with about 1/2 cup water, the tomatoes, curry powder, and optional curry paste. Cover and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the kale is tender but still bright green.

Stir in the diced sweet potatoes, tempeh, and scallions and cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the cashews, season with salt and pepper and serve at once.


13 comments on “Tempeh, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

  1. missusweezy

    This recipe is simple and delicious! Great way to make use of all those healthy odds and ends you have in the fridge. I wasn’t sure how this would be with the use of the diced toms and the curry but it is fantastic. Very flavorful without being too distinct (either asian or indian flare). This one definitely goes into the recipe rotation!

  2. ClareBear

    This is a wonderful dish- delicious and impressive to serve. Add to that it’s health benefits and it’s a triumvirate of goodness. I didn’t change a thing except to heat it up with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. I have made it twice now and have given the recipe out both times.

  3. ClareBear

    I would have added 5 stars but I didn’t see where to do that! In fact, I’m preparing it again tonight at the request of my family!!!

  4. Ana

    Loved this recipe. I kind of improvised because I couldn’t find any sweet potatoes at the store, so I used Yams, and whatever ingredients I had laying around the house too (which was most besides the cashews). It turned out great.

  5. Ashley

    I was a little skeptical, but this was DELICIOUS! Loved the tempeh – my boyfriend told me “buy more of that!”.

  6. Farrah

    First time making it. Not only did I love the flavors, but my 8 year old son did as well. I substituted scallions for a small amount of yellow onion since I didn’t have any on hand, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 50% mild curry and 50 % regular curry. The cashews were an excellent addition.


  7. Nava Post author

    It’s awesome to find a dish that you like, that’s appealing to the kids as well. So glad this worked for you, and I love hearing about readers’ tweaks and substitutions!

  8. Julia

    I loved this recipe! But I do have a couple of questions: after microwaving the sweet potatoes, do you remove the skin? And cut into chunks? That’s what I did – but I’m really such a novice cook, I need the most basic instructions :).

  9. Nava Post author

    Julia, the fault is mine. That instruction wasn’t made clear, and I’ve clarified in the recipe. Sounds like you figured it out, but thanks for the eagle eye!

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