Tempeh Sandwich with Chipotle Cashew Aioli

A vegan sandwich with simple ingredients and packed with a flavorful cashew aioli

I love a good sandwich. It’s easy to prep, it’s convenient enough to take on-the-go, and it is one of my favorite picnic foods! 

Like any other food, you can be creative in loading a sandwich with just about anything. But the secret to a good sandwich – in my opinion – is a good slice of bread and flavorful condiments. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a little mayo and mustard but sometimes it’s fun to switch it up. Take for example this creamy chipotle aioli made exclusively from cashews. It’s so good and nutritious! With the leftovers, you can use it as a spread for veggie wraps and it’s actually a great dipping sauce for chips.

Besides the tasty cashew aioli spread, the highlight of this sandwich is tempeh (pronounced TEM-pay). Tempeh is made from fermented cooked soybeans made into a cake form. It has a hearty and nutty flavor and a great advantage is that you don’t have to press it like you do with tofu to remove some of the moisture. Just cut it up any way you want it or crumble it and you’re ready to go! Tempeh is also a great plant-protein and provides fiber, calcium, and B vitamins. You can find tempeh at your local grocery store in the natural or vegan refrigerated section.

Now, if you’ve skimmed through the ingredients by now, don’t be intimidated. The process of it all is pretty simple.  I like my sandwich to have a little bit of a crunch and adding a couple of slices of cucumber and radishes does the trick without taking away from the flavors of the cashew aioli or tempeh.   

Let us know if you make this sandwich by using the hashtag #nutritiousvida on Instagram!

Tempeh Sandwich with Chipotle Cashew Aioli

Serves: 3 - 5 sandwiches
Total Time: 20 - 30 minutes


Chipotle Cashew Aioli

  • ¾ cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice of one lime (or 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice)
  • 8 teaspoons of filtered water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tempeh Slices

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 8oz package of tempeh

Sandwich Toppings (All)

  • 2 slices of bread per sandwich (I like Dave’s Killer Bread)
  • 4-6 slices of tempeh
  • Cashew aioli on each slice
  • Cucumber slices
  • Radish slices
  • Tomato slices
  • Clover sprouts (or any of your favorite type of sprouts)
  • Butter lettuce


Chipotle Cashew Aioli

  1. Place the cashews in a container and pour enough filtered water to cover. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Tempeh Slices

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and spices.

  2. Cut tempeh into slices (yields about 20 slices).

  3. Add tempeh to mixing bowl and coat well with spices.

  4. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add tempeh and cook on each side for about 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.



  1. Toast bread (if desired) and spread cashew aioli to each slice.

  2. Add and layer with toppings and tempeh slices.