Tempeh Etouffee

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The word étouffée means “smothered”—an ideal task for the slow cooker. In this version, tempeh gets smothered by the usual vegetable trinity of South Louisiana cooking—onions, bell pepper, and celery—along with a flavorful sauce laced with thyme and marjoram. Serve over freshly cooked rice.


Cooking Time6 min

Cooking Methodsauteeing, slow cooking



Total Timea day or more

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentcrock pot


Taste and Textureherby, meaty, savory


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces tempeh, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh marjoram leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  2. Reheat the same skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a 4-quart slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, Tabasco, salt, and water. Add the dried thyme and marjoram, if using. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

  4. During the final half-hour of cooking, add the browned tempeh and the fresh thyme and marjoram, if using. Stir gently to combine. Serve hot sprinkled with the parsley.


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