Tempeh Burger with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Tempeh Burger with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Tempeh burger with sundried tomato pesto, on a homemade wholemeal bread roll.

As you are probably aware, zinc is an important mineral that we need in small (yet vital) amounts. Some body functions we need zinc for include:

  • Healthy hair
  • Healthy skin
  • Strong immune system
  • Wound healing and blood clotting
  • Thyroid function

The top food sources of zinc include animal products, so zinc deficiency can become common in vegans.

However, zinc isn’t too hard to find if you’re eating a balanced, healthy vegan diet. Zinc can be found in wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, avocado, legumes, nuts, spirulina, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Tempeh burger <3

This tempeh burger is bursting with zinc. I tried to calculate just how much zinc is in one of these babies but that turned out to be difficult.

I guesstimate there’s about 2mg of zinc in one burger. Adult women need around 8mg, and adult men need around 14mg, although it is recommended that women/men vegetarians/vegans aim for 12mg/21mg respectively (50% higher than the set RDI).

Zinc can be hard to absorb from grains, but leavening with yeast (as I do in this recipe) can help the zinc become more bioavailable.

Tempeh Burger with Sundried Tomato Pesto

These tempeh burgers are a delicious meal, packed with zinc-rich ingredients. Follow this recipe to make your own wholemeal bread rolls too!
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins


Bread rolls

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tbs raw sugar
  • 1 tbs dried yeast
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)


  • 300 g tempeh
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree (passata)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne


  • 280 g jar sundried tomatoes in oil (reserve oil)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic


  • As desired: baby spinach, shredded carrot, red onion, or any other salad vegetables.


Bread rolls

  • Combine the warm water (not higher than 40C), sugar and yeast in a non-metallic bowl, leave to rest for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Add the chia seeds, salt and flour, mix until a smooth dough forms.
  • Knead with your hands for 5 minutes.
  • Place the dough on the counter, covered with the upside down bowl, leave to rest for 2 hours.
  • Knead again, divide into 8 pieces.
  • Place on a baking tray, brush with water and sprinkle with pepitas.
  • Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes or until golden.
  • Let cool while you prepare the rest of the meal.


  • Cut the tempeh into 8 equal pieces.
  • Combine the tomato puree and cayenne.
  • Dip the tempeh pieces into the tomato mix.
  • Preheat a cast iron griddle over a medium heat.
  • Grill the tempeh for 7 minutes on one side, flip, grill for another 7 minutes.


  • Blend the sundried tomatoes, oil from the jar*, parsley and garlic in a high speed blender until smooth.

Burger assembly

  • Cut open a bread roll.
  • On one half, spoon on 1-2 tablespoons of pesto, add salad ingredients and tempeh.
  • Top with the other bread roll half.
  • Devour.


*If you don’t have the oil from the sundried tomatoes, you can use ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves.