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High protein meal prep lunchbox with quinoa and tempeh in a tomato sauce

Get the Recipe: Quinoa And Tempeh With Tomato Sauce

Looking for a delicious vegan meal prep idea? This quinoa and tempeh with a rich, spicy tomato sauce may become your new favourite make-ahead lunch. Ready in under 25 minutes, as well as gluten-free and easy to make.


  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons (simply continue peeling the carrot once you have removed the outer edge)
  • 15 oz tempeh, small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • 1 lemon, juice of


  • Saucepan


  • Cover the quinoa with around 4 cups boiling water and simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes, until cooked. 
  • Meanwhile, add the red onion, garlic, and fresh chilli into a large non-stick frying pan with around 1 tbsp water and cook on a medium-high heat for around 3 minutes, until softened. 
  • Add the carrot strips and stir for a further minute. 
  • Add the tempeh pieces, garlic powder, and tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh is lightly browned. 
  • Lower the heat and pour in the canned tomatoes, followed by the paprika, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Simmer on a low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. 
  • Once the quinoa is cooked, stir in the fresh coriander and lemon juice. 
  • Distribute the quinoa and the sauce evenly between 4 airtight containers with cucumber and fresh greens.


  • Crumbled tofu or beans/pulses also work well here.
  • You swap the quinoa for any grain of your choice, rice, pasta, or noodles.
  • Add any other toppings or sauces of your choice. I like to sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top and add fresh avocado. Grated vegan cheese also makes a fantastic addition.
  • This tempeh meal lasts well in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months, reheating in the microwave after leaving in the fridge to thaw fully overnight.
Calories: 489kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 308mg, Potassium: 1437mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 8494IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 226mg, Iron: 7mg