Low Carb Gluten Free Vegan Corned Tempeh & Cabbage

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Growing up near Boston with an Irish Catholic mother meant that every St. Patrick’s Day, we ate corned beef and cabbage. Yes, I know this isn’t a traditional Irish dish, but it’s certainly become an Irish-American classic, and it’s what many of us here stateside remember when we think of Paddy’s Day. So, this year when I polled all of you on Instagram to see if you would be interested in a St. Patrick’s Day dish, I knew I would end up making a vegan keto corned “beef” and cabbage.

Being that this is a meat-free food blog, you’ve probably already discerned that we won’t be using actual beef. And because I don’t eat any gluten (for the preservation of my gut and immune system), this is a gluten-free low carb vegan
“corned beef.” So sadly, seitan – the most obvious choice here – is taking a back seat to tempeh.

If you’re soy-free, by all means, use seitan here instead. The recipe itself is pretty simple, but it is a bit time-consuming. Absolutely nothing at all like the original dish (so, no need to brine a brisket for 10 days and then roast it for a whole day), but still more work than just sticking a frozen pizza into the oven.

What were your St. Paddy’s day traditions growing up? I’d love to hear about them in the comments – food related, or not!

Gluten Free Low Carb Vegan Corned "Beef" & Cabbage | Meat Free Keto - This corned tempeh is great with cabbage or in a gluten free vegan reuben!

Notes on Making Gluten Free Vegan Corned Tempeh & Cabbage

  • A big part of this recipe is marinating the tempeh. Otherwise, you just have “normal tasting tempeh and cabbage,” which while tasty, doesn’t really capture the spirit of the dish.
  • I use onion powder because it’s easier to control for carbs than a real onion, but you could use real onion here instead. Just keep in mind that the carb count will be higher!
  • Like I mentioned above – if you can eat gluten, then seitan will have a meatier texture. If you don’t want to use seitan or tempeh, tofu will work as well.
  • The “corned beef” marinade is basically an amalgamation of a ton of corned beef recipes I found out there. I tried to make it as simple as possible, with ingredients that you likely already have. No need to run to the store for a spice you’re only going to use once!
  • You have two options with the tempeh – marinate and cook it in a slow cooker in log form, or slice it up and then marinate and cook it. The benefit of cutting it up is that you can cut the time down by a LOT. No need to marinate overnight and then cook for a few hours if you slice it up. 🙂
  • If you by some miracle have pickling spices in your cupboard, then you can use 1 tbsp of that in lieu of the cloves, ginger, garlic, onion, coriander, and mustard.
  • Similarly, if you have bouillion, then use 1 cube and 1 cup of water instead of the broth. This is actually what I tend to do,
  • This gluten free vegan corned tempeh recipe makes for a delicious accompaniment to cabbage, or an awesome filling for a vegetarian reuben.
  • So, obviously not all of the marinade will be consumed, so I accounted for about 1/4 of the carbs from the marinade in the final recipe. This is definitely an overestimation, but I prefer that to underestimating!
  • To increase the fat, I would recommend adding an extra 1-2 tbsp of olive oil while cooking.
Gluten Free Low Carb Vegan Corned "Beef" & Cabbage | Meat Free Keto - This corned tempeh is great with cabbage or in a gluten free vegan reuben!

Gluten Free Vegan Keto Corned Tempeh & Cabbage

Print Recipe
This gluten free vegan corned tempeh recipe makes for a delicious accompaniment to cabbage, or an awesome filling for a vegetarian reuben.
Course dinner
Cuisine vegan keto
Servings 4 servings
Calories 181


For the Corned Tempeh

  • 1 package 8 oz, 227g tempeh
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or 1 cup water and bouillon of choice
  • 1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp mustard I used a spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Cabbage

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot sliced into half moons
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Whisk together all marinade ingredients and prepare the tempeh . You have two options here. Option 1 is that you can put the whole log in a zip-top bag, pour in the marinade, seal the bag and let it do its thing in the fridge overnight and then slice it. Option 2 is to slice the tempeh, put it in a sealable container, cover it in the marinade and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours.
  • To cook the tempeh, place the slices at the bottom of a dutch oven and cover with the marinade. Simmer for about 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Remove the tempeh from the dutch oven and set aside. Pour out the marinade and rinse out the pot.
  • Place the dutch oven back on medium-low heat, and pour in the olive oil. Toss in the onion powder, carrots and cabbage and cover. Check back every few minutes to stir the cabbage. If the cabbage starts sticking to the pan, pour in a few tablespoons of water and stir everything around. This will help it cook as well.
  • Once the cabbage and carrots are pretty soft, lower the heat pretty much all the way. Place the tempeh on top of the cabbage and cover the dutch oven. Let this cook on low for another 10-15 minutes, until the cabbage is completely soft and wilted.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.4g | Protein: 12.3g | Fat: 10g

Join the Conversation

  1. Thank you for this recipe! I used Pumpfu , sliced and marinated overnight, instead of Tempeh (or Seitan). The “corned” flavor is subtle, but it’s there and the whole dish came out delicious and satisfying.

    1. Liz Author says:

      I’m so happy to hear this, Shari!!!

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