lentil pasta with tempeh and spinach in bowl with bread.

Lentil Pasta with Tempeh and Spinach

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This lentil pasta with tempeh and spinach recipe is an Italian-style quick high protein meal. Try it for a tasty, healthy entree – plus it’s quick and easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. This recipe is vegan and is a great option for a satisfying entree.

If you’re not familiar with tempeh, it comes in a rectangular cake that you can slice, cube, or crumble. Flavor it with a marinade, aromatics, and spices. Its’ chewy texture makes it an easy substitute for chicken or meat. Learn more about tempeh from this article by Amy Gorin RD on foodnetwork.com ( I am quoted in it too).

lentil pasta with tempeh and spinach in bowl with bread.

Key Ingredients

lentil pasta, tempeh, spinach, garlic, and grape tomatoes.

Red lentil pasta – this pasta is gluten-free (but always check your labels). It has a normal pasta taste and is a little chewier than semolina pasta but similar to whole wheat pasta. The brand I used took only 8 minutes to cook. It’s important to cook it in a large amount of water.

Light olive oil – this is a good source of monounsaturated fats. This is light in flavor, not calories or fat (that is all the same in oils). Read more about olive oil and a lower heart disease risk from the American Heart Association.

Tempeh – This comes in a block or cake in the refrigerated section of your store. It is made from fermented soybeans and/or other grains and is a good source of protein. it has a very mild flavor but takes on the flavor of other things, like tofu. Note that tempeh is often not gluten-free.

Baby spinach – this cooks quickly and provides potassium and beta-carotene. Regular spinach or kale with the stems removed would also be good in this recipe.

Grape tomatoes – feel free to use grape or cherry tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes like plum tomatoes. These add vitamin C and potassium, along with their juicy goodness.

How to Make Lentil Pasta with Tempeh and Spinach

  • Slice the tempeh into 1 – 2″ rectangles. Place in a bowl with the vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix to combine well.
  • Cook the lentil pasta in a large pot with 4 quarts of boiling water, for 7 – 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain in a colander when the cooking time is done. Save some pasta cooking water. This will help make the sauce.
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for a minute. Add the tempeh to the pan. Cook for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on each side.
tempeh rectangles in frying pan
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, and spinach to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add the pasta to the pan, 1/3 of a cup of the pasta cooking water, and top with dried basil. Stir ingredients together and serve.

Nutrition

Lentil pasta is higher in protein, fiber, and potassium than regular wheat semolina pasta. This recipe makes two large servings. Each contains 23 grams of protein in 350 calories: from mainly the tempeh and the lentil pasta. It also has 5 mg. of iron, which is 26% of the Daily Value. Did you know that the vitamin C in tomatoes helps absorb the non-heme form of iron from plants? Learn more about iron in the vegan diet from the Vegetarian Resource Group.

What to Serve with this Recipe?

You can serve this lentil pasta with tempeh and spinach with:

  • Salad
  • Fruit
  • Bread or rolls
  • Whole grain crackers

You may also want to top it with:

  • Vegan parmesan cheese
  • Vegan mozzarella cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Chopped pistachios

More Recipes You May Enjoy

lentil pasta with tempeh and spinach in bowl with bread.

Lentil Pasta with Tempeh and Spinach

Melissa Altman-Traub
Easy and healthy pasta meal with tasty tempeh and garlic. Quick for a weeknight and high in protein and fiber. Vegan and gluten-free.
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 2
Calories 325 kcal

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Nonstick skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces (112 grams) red lentil pasta
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • cups baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

Instructions
 

  • Slice the tempeh into 1 – 2" rectangles. Place in a bowl with the vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix to combine well.
  • Cook the lentil pasta in a large pot with 4 quarts of boiling water, for 7 – 8 minutes or according to package directions. Scoop out ⅓ of a cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside. Drain in a colander when the cooking time is done.
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for a minute. Add the tempeh to the pan. Cook for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on each side.
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, and spinach to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add the pasta and ⅓ of a cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan and top with dried basil. Stir ingredients together and serve.

Environmental Information

Notes

The nutrition estimate is from VeryWellFit
Keyword Lentil pasta, Pasta, Spinach, Tempeh, Vegan
Nutrition facts estimate from VeryWellFit

I have linked this recipe to #CookBlogShare which was hosted by Janice at Farmers’ Girl Kitchen.

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Have you tried this lentil pasta with tempeh with spinach? Please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @melissatraubrd.

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