These easy vegan lemon pepper tempeh vegetable pasta bowls are hearty, healthy, and packed with protein! They’re easy to meal prep for school, work, or work-from-home lunches.
No matter how busy I am, no matter how my schedule changes, sandwiches and bowls never let me down. I especially love bowls because they allow me to pack in lots of vegetables, and they’re a great vehicle for leftovers. If I have a random half cup of beans, some baked tofu that I haven’t eaten yet, or roasted vegetables from yesterday night’s dinner, I can give them new life in a bowl.
These easy lemon pepper tempeh vegetable pasta bowls are one of my all-time favorites. I’m a big fan of pasta salads, and I especially like when they incorporate a healthy dose of plant protein.
The protein here is a batch of my lemon pepper tempeh cubes. They’re one of the most popular recipes on this blog, and they’re my most searched tempeh recipe to date!
For these tempeh vegetable pasta bowls, I cut the tempeh into slightly smaller pieces than usual. This makes it easier to mix in with the pasta. I also seasoned the cooked pasta and roasted summery vegetables with lemon and pepper. It resulted in an easy, colorful, nutritious dish.
Pasta dishes of every kind are served in bowls. But in the context of this recipe, a “pasta bowl” is just like a grain bowl. Except that it’s made with cooked pasta instead of a cooked whole grain.
Pasta bowls can be served warm or cold (similar to pasta salad). They can incorporate pretty much any set of ingredients you like. True to my Power Plates principle of macronutrient balance, I recommend incorporating:
I can’t say enough good things about my favorite lemon pepper tempeh cubes!
These tangy, salty, nutritious cubes are the star of these tempeh vegetable pasta bowls. They’re one of the most versatile vegan proteins that I meal prep regularly.
The cubes work perfectly in this recipe. However, they are amazingly versatile and can be used in many other ways. I sometimes use them instead of croutons (more nutrition!) in soup. I toss them into salads, add them to quick breakfast tacos, and even snack on them sometimes, when I’m in the mood for something savory.
If you like, you can make a double batch of the lemon pepper tempeh cubes when you prep the pasta bowls. Use the extra in other meals, or freeze them for future lunches!
In full transparency, I’m not always consistent about my meal prep. I go through periods of forgetting it or avoiding it, as I think many people do.
With this said, I can tell you that I eat more nutritiously—and am basically a happier, more grounded person—when I do my weekend batch cooking. Grains, proteins, vegetables, and dressings are usually on the menu, along with one or two main dishes.
As long as I’m preparing grains, proteins, and veggies, I may as well be making the components of these pasta bowls! They’re an ideal meal to cook ahead of time and assemble at lunch or dinnertime as the week goes by.
All of the main components of the pasta bowls can be made ahead. The roasted vegetables and tempeh cubes will each keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. So will the pasta.
Speaking of ingredient storage, I have to share that my mind was blown when I realized that yes, you can make pasta ahead of time.
In fact, pasta is one of the ingredients that I most like to batch cook! Boiling a big pot of pasta over the weekend has become a habit of mine. Once the pasta is cooked, you can drain it, cool it, and store it for up to four days.
Tossing the cooked pasta with a little olive oil will help to prevent sticking. But to be honest, I rarely do this. I usually just trust that stuck-together pasta will separate when I mix it with sauce.
I use the cooked and cooled pasta in pasta salads, I serve it with marinara, I toss it with pesto, use it to make mac n’ cheese, and more. Pasta is one of my favorite and most utilized pantry ingredients, and it is so nice to have a bunch of it in the fridge that can be eaten or used in recipes right away, without an additional cooking step.
I’ve suggested some of my favorite veggies for the pasta bowls. These include eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. However, you can make the tempeh vegetable pasta bowls through the seasons with whatever produce is available.
This might include winter squash, broccoli or cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, wilted leafy greens, tomatoes, and more. Use what you have!
In place of the lemon pepper tempeh cubes, you could also use baked tofu, roasted chickpeas, white beans, or a vegan chick’n or other meat.
The bowls are so very simple, colorful, and appetizing! I hope you’ll enjoy them and find endless ways to vary them.