Tempeh, Date, & Olive Marbella. Oil-free.


Tempeh Marbella An Unrefined Vegan

The first time I ate this dish – with chicken and prunes instead of tempeh and dates – I was blown away by the flavors from this seemingly strange combination of ingredients.  Prunes and olives?!  Who came up with that nutty idea?  Whoever it was: nice going!  Sweet, salty, earthy, comforting, and savory – everything you ask for in a main dish.

I shared this oil-free Tempeh, Date, & Olive Marbella with Tastespotting for their National Medjool Date Day celebration on February 4.


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Oil-free Tempeh, Date, & Olive Marbella

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  • Author: Annie
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 1440
  • Yield: 4 1x


Tangy, complex flavors meld together in this cozy and comforting main dish.


  • 2, 8 ounce packages tempeh, cut in half
  • 1012 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari or liquid aminos
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers with a small amount of juice
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 10 ounces fresh greens (such as kale and/or spinach)
  • cooked brown rice, enough for 4 servings


  1. Fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and place the tempeh halves so that they are covered with water.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer the tempeh for 10 minutes.  Remove and drain the tempeh.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large baking pan, combine garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, vegetable broth, tamari, water, dates, olives, capers, and black pepper.  Stir to combine.  Cut the tempeh into small, bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl, stirring to coat the tempeh with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.  Pour the orange juice and white wine into the bowl with the tempeh and marinade.  Bake the tempeh for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The tempeh should start to brown at the edges.  Add more vegetable broth if needed – you want a little juice in there.
  4. Meanwhile, steam up a batch of brown rice and steam or sauté the greens.
  5. Serve the tempeh over the rice and greens; garnish with parsley and orange slices, if desired.


Tempeh Marbella An Unrefined Vegan

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30 thoughts on “Tempeh, Date, & Olive Marbella. Oil-free.

  1. rebeccajanearmstrong

    OH MY GOODNESS! its like you delved into the furthest part of my mind and created a recipe that will most likely be my favourite meal ever! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Loving the makeover too xxxx

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I loved this dish back in the day! Salt, sweet, tangy…amazing. Why it only just occurred to me to recreate is puzzling :-).

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I love it, too – the texture, that slightly sour flavor, and of course its versatility. Throw in olives and I’m a happy girl.

  2. coconutandberries

    I would love this! Beyond the fact that I adore anything tempeh I love the sweet and salty thing going on here. I’ve used prunes in tagines and a really tasty lentil, vegan sausage and prune stew. Love how they melt into the dish when they’re cooked down. Dates are just as good, if not better though.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Ooh, that lentil stew sounds delicious! Any chance the recipe is on your blog :-)?? I agree – something about sweet/salty – good stuff!

  3. tearoomdelights

    Olives and dates? I would never have thought of that but I can sort of imagine how it might work with the salty and the sweet and those textures together. I didn’t know there was a day for dates and I think I might celebrate by….eating some dates. Any excuse!

  4. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat

    This sounds so delicious! I adore dates and olives. What a great way to give some pizazz to tempeh! I always default to my boring seared tempeh and need some new recipes to shake things up. This is the perfect recipe! Thank you! (Are you proud of me? I found the comment bubble! Ha!)

  5. celestedimilla

    There’s a national date day for real? That’s a kick! They should have made it on Valentine’s Day so you could make a date dish for your date (okay, that was a really bad joke!). Anyway, I’m glad to hear that there is a Mejool date day – I love those suckers. This dish looks like a keeper, I’m gonna try it. Celeste 🙂

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