Go Back
+ servings
Close up of tempeh nashville hot sandwich on a burger bun with pickles

Nashville hot sandwich (vegan)

This Nashville hot tempeh sandwich is gonna blow your mind. Great way to cook tempeh if you're new to it. Seasoned with a spicy, and sweet Nashville hot sauce and marinated in a tangy vegan buttermilk. Breaded and crisped up to perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: nashville hot, southern food
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Maria


  • 8 ounces tempeh (one package - see notes)
  • 3-4 cups oil (avocado or vegetable)

Buttermilk marinade

  • 2 cups unsweetened plain soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning

Nashville hot sauce

  • ¼ cup cayenne powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 cups oil that you fried the tempeh in

To serve


Prepare the buttermilk

  • Cut the tempeh in half - the short way. In a large bowl add the soy milk and lemon juice. Stir and let sit for one minute to let it thicken up. Then add the hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add the tempeh blocks in the marinade. Make sure they're completely immersed.
    8 ounces tempeh, 2 cups unsweetened plain soymilk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, pinch of salt and pepper

Bread the tempeh

  • In another large bowl add the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and old bay seasoning. Stir well.
    1 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • Once the tempeh has marinated for 10 minutes, pick up one of the blocks and let the excess buttermilk run off of it. Set it into the flour mixture and cover it. Gently press the flour into the tempeh.
  • Take the tempeh out of the flour, and put it back in the buttermilk one more time, completely covered. Then add it to the flour mixture again, completely coating it. Set it aside on a plate and do the same thing to the other piece of tempeh

Fry the tempeh

  • Add neutral oil to a skillet, enough that the tempeh will be completely immersed when fried. Turn on the heat to medium. Wait about 5-10 minutes for the oil to heat up. Test out the temperature by adding a small chunk of tempeh to the oil and seeing if it fries. Once it does, add in the tempeh pieces. Fry until golden brown. This took me about 10 minutes
  • Once tempeh is golden brown, set it on a wired rack to allow the oil to drip and not make it soggy.

Brush on Nashville hot sauce

  • In a small bowl, add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder and salt. Then add 2-3 ladle fulls of the oil from the frying pan. It will bubble up. Stir well
    ¼ cup cayenne powder, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1-2 cups oil that you fried the tempeh in
  • Coat the tempeh pieces with this Nashville hot sauce. Add to a bun with vegan mayonnaise and dill pickles.



I used Hippie Farm Food's seasoned Nashville hot tempeh for this recipe. You can order them online and have it delivered right to your door, or if you live in the Nashville area, you can buy them from certain stores and restaurants. 
If you aren't able to order, or buy that type of tempeh, then use a plain tempeh. Simmer it in vegetable broth for 30 minutes, let it cool, then follow the steps in this recipe. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @DamnTastyVegan or tag #DamnTastyVegan!

The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.