Grilled Pomegranate Molasses Tempeh

Grill season is the perfect time to whip out the pomegranate molasses.  It works so well on grilled foods, especially tempeh.  While my local natural foods store carries it, it can be a little tricky to find.  You may want to try an international foods store, or order it online.  Or if you are feeling ambitious, you can make your own pomegranate molasses. 

This recipe has been revised. In the marinade, I upped the pomegranate molasses, added white miso and soy sauce to give it more umami, and added cinnamon for complexity. I also added a step for steaming the tempeh before marinading it. Steaming tempeh helps it absorb more flavor. Overall, this recipe tastes even better than the original, and it is very easy to do, even if it takes a little patience waiting for the tempeh to marinade!

These vegan kebabs are tasty on their own, or within the pita recipe that follows.  After 4 hours of marinading in the refrigerator, it’s a quick 10-15 minutes on the grill.  I covered the grill with non-stick aluminum foil, and found that grilling was a snap.  No sticking tempeh or kebabs falling apart.  Whether you eat them alone or on a pita, the lemon garlic tahini sauce makes the perfect condiment.

If you plan to make the pita, you’re in for a real summer delight!  Fresh juicy heirloom tomatoes, grilled earthy eggplant, sour-sweet pomegranate seeds, and invigorating mint to create a memorable meal around grilled pomegranate molasses tempeh.  Let alone, the creamy lemon garlic tahini sauce drizzled over the top, maybe a little extra pomegranate molasses, and a sprinkle of sumac.  Such deliciousness!

Grilled Pomegranate Molasses Tempeh

Pomegranate Molasses Tempeh:

1 Tbsp white miso

⅓ cup warm water

1 lb (OR two 8 ounce packages) of tempeh, cubed

¼ cup pomegranate molasses

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (OR gluten free tamari)

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

Lemon Garlic Tahini Sauce:

⅓ cup tahini

¼ cup lemon juice

½-1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp water

Salt, to taste


1 small eggplant, cubed


Black pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

Olive oil, to drizzle

1 heirloom tomato, sliced

½ cup pomegranate seeds

Mint leaves

Sumac, for sprinkling – optional

4 pitas

1. Add the white miso to ⅓ cup of warm water and stir with a fork until fully dissolved. Set aside.

2. Steam the cubed tempeh for 7 minutes. While it’s steaming, start putting together the marinade.

3. In a large, fully sealable container, add the white miso-water mixture, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Whisk together.

4. When the tempeh is done steaming, add it to the pomegranate molasses marinade. Secure the lid to the fully sealable container and shake the container, so the marinade coats all the pieces. Refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 4 hours.

5. When the time is up on the tempeh marinade, skewer the tempeh. Drizzle it with a little olive oil.

6. If you are making the “Pita” recipe, you should add the eggplant to a mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and black pepper, and then, skewer the eggplant.

7. Cover the grill with non-stick aluminum foil, and grill the tempeh (and eggplant, if making the pita) skewers for ~10-15 minutes or until they are charred to your preference.

8. In a small bowl, mix everything listed under “Lemon Garlic Tahini Sauce”.  If the sauce seems too thick to you, whisk in a bit more water until it’s your desired consistency.  Taste, and adjust seasonings (more salt? more lemon?).

9. If making the pita, add the grilled tempeh, grilled eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, mint, pomegranate seeds, tempeh and eggplant to a pita. Drizzle with lemon garlic tahini sauce, and sprinkle with sumac.  Serve immediately.


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