Chipotle Tempeh Sopes


Tempeh is a patty made of fermented soybeans and sometimes additions like barley, millet and rice.  It has a slight sour taste due to the fermentation.  Tempeh has a great crunchy texture which makes it a great choice as a ground meat substitute.

Sopes are thick fried masa cakes with a raised edge (to keep all the toppings on bay). Commonly sopes are topped with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese or sour cream. Yum, yum.

For this recipe I have made a spiced-filled chipotle tempeh filling.  A little heat, a little spice and some good crunch from the tempeh.  A simple mash to some pinto beans creates the perfect base for the tempeh filling.  Top with some crisp lettuce and cool tomatoes and you have a great combo of flavors.


– 1 8oz. package of tempeh;
– 2-3 cloves of garlic;
– ½ onion, chopped;
-1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped;
– 1 teaspoon of cumin;
-1 teaspoon of oregano;
– ½ teaspoon of paprika;
– 1-2 cups corn tortilla mix;
– 1 cup pinto beans;
-shredded lettuce;
– oil;
– salt;


In a small sauté pan heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.  Add garlic and chipotle.  Sauté another minute or until fragrant.


Add tempeh and crumble into small chunks.  Next add cumin, salt, oregano, paprika and pepper.  Continue cooking until tempeh browns.  Turn off heat.

tempeh filling

Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl combine tortilla mix, salt, a tablespoon of oil and warm water to form a soft, almost sticky dough.  It should be smooth but not too sticky (if it sticks to your fingers then you have to add more tortilla mix).  Form golf-size balls (about 4-8).  Flatten out, creating a bottom that is about ¼ inch thick and create a rim around the edges, creating a sope shell.  Heat about a ¼ inch of oil in a skillet until it begins to shimmer.  Gently place the sope shell, flat side down (rim side up) into oil.


Once bottom is golden brown, gently flip over to cook top part (this is the tricky part).  Cook until golden brown.  Drain on a paper towel.  Heat pinto beans in a small saucepan and mash to desired consistency (to much work? Open up a can of refried beans). Add salt as needed.  Set aside.  To assemble.  Take a sope shell and smear a good amount of beans on the surface.  Scoop tempeh on top of beans.  Sprinkle lettuce and tomato.  Add some hot sauce, if desired. GTG (good to go).

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