Can You Freeze Tempeh?

Tempeh is an Indonesian food product made from fermented soybeans. As it makes a fantastic meat substitute, many plant-based eaters or vegans use tempeh in their meals but knowing how to store and keep it for as long as possible is often something people need to consider.

Can You Freeze Tempeh?

Yes, you can freeze tempeh for up to 4 months, provided that you store the tempeh in an airtight bag or container whilst it is in the freezer. Freezing tempeh is not only a great way to save money, as you can buy the tempeh in bulk and then store it.

Can You Refreeze Tempeh? Yes

Does Tempeh Freeze Well? Yes

How to Freeze Tempeh

Luckily, tempeh is a very freezer-friendly food and it is, in fact, one of the best ways to keep tempeh fresh for long periods of time. You can either freeze your tempeh from fresh or after it has been cooked:

  1. Portion your tempeh
    Portion out the tempeh into individual sized portions. This way, you’ll only have to defrost the right amount of tempeh per meal rather than defrosting the whole block. 
  2. Wrap the tempeh
    Either keep the tempeh in its original packaging (if freezing from fresh) or, if it has been cooked/opened, wrap it tightly in cling film or place in an airtight bag. 
  3. Freeze 
    Place into the freezer and date/label the bag. Stored correctly, frozen tempeh should last around 4 months in the freezer. 

4 Tips for Freezing Tempeh

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing tempeh to have the best results:

Consider Portions Carefully
You can freeze tempeh in an entire block or in individual portions. If freezing in a large block, you will need to use this within a week so if you’re not confident it will all get eaten within that time, freeze in individual portions 

Steam Beforehand
Whilst this is not a necessary step, steaming the tempeh will cook the soybeans and allow the tempeh to retain its flavour. Let it cool to room temperature before wrapping and freezing. 

Include Seasoning
If you are freezing cooked tempeh, make sure you have seasoned it before cooking so that the frozen tempeh will be just as delicious when it is then defrosted and used. 

Wrap Tightly
This is really key to ensuring the tempeh doesn’t spoil in the freezer. If using cling film, wrap the tempeh in a few layers and make sure it is tightly sealed. 

How Long Can You Freeze Tempeh?

You can freeze both uncooked or cooked tempeh for up to 4 months. However, be aware of the signs if it has spoiled.

Whilst you can store tempeh for up to 3-4 months in the freezer, there is the chance that it can spoil or go bad.

Some of the signs that your tempeh has gone bad include a weird or sour smell, any changes in colour, or if the tempeh is now slimy or has a slimy liquid.

Keeping tempeh frozen for longer than 4 months can also start to affect the flavour, even if it hasn’t gone bad, so be mindful of this and try to freeze in individual portions. 

You Can Freeze Tempeh for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Tempeh?

Ultimately, defrosting tempeh comes down to whether you have frozen it cooked or uncooked. We’ve explained how to defrost each of these below:

If you have frozen uncooked tempeh then you’ll need to do the following:

  • Remove the tempeh from the freezer and place on a plate in the fridge. 
  • Allow to thaw overnight 
  • Unwrap and use in your favourite dish

If you have frozen cooked tempeh:

  • Defrost in the fridge for 24-48 hours 
  • You can microwave the tempeh for quick defrosting but this is not 100% recommended.

Can You Refreeze Tempeh?

Tempeh can be refrozen but the product will degrade a little bit so it’s not recommended to do this frequently.

If you have thawed your tempeh and don’t think you will use it within a few days, it’s a good idea to steam it as this will lengthen the shelf life and you won’t need to refreeze it.

However, if the texture of tempeh is not important to you, you can refreeze tempeh but be prepared for the texture to degrade.

Does Tempeh Freeze Well?

When stored correctly, tempeh can freeze very well and is a great way of preserving this nutritious protein.  

If you’ve still got questions about freezing tempeh or tempeh in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Packaged Tempeh?

Yes, you can freeze tempeh in the packaging that it has come in. This is a great way to freeze it as it’s highly likely to be airtight. It’s worth remembering that you’ll have to use the whole packet when defrosted.

Can You Freeze Marinated Tempeh?

If you have marinated your tempeh in herbs and spice then, yes, this can also be frozen. As always, you just need to ensure it is in an airtight container before freezing it.

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