salad, Tempeh

Tempeh Taco Salad

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Tempeh Taco Salad

Serves 4  | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

Tempeh is a cultured soy plant protein high in vitamin B12, fiber and iron. The fermentation makes it an easier for digestion; often the issue with most soy based products. This particular recipe was inspired by Heidi Swanson of


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8-10 ounces tempeh, torn into bit size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (see chef tips)

Taco salad dressing

  • 1/3 ketchup
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 14-ounce can black beans
  • 2 medium heads romaine, chopped
  • 1-2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • A few handfuls of tortilla chips
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • To serve: lime, roasted cherry tomatoes (optional), pickled red onions (optional)

Chef Tips

For an easy taco mix combine 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon chile powder. Mix to combine. Please do your best and try to toast and grind your own spices! 

Need to avoid the tortilla chips?  Reach for some toasted pumpkin seeds or peanuts; or both! This will still give you the textural difference and provide the more optimal option.


Step 1

In a large skillet over medium high heat combine the oil and tempeh, and cook, until browned all over; about 1 minute. Transfer to a large serving bowl, add the taco seasoning, and stir well. Allow to cool in a large bowl for a bit while you make the dressing.

Step 2 (for the dressing)

Combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, and oil in a jar. Close with a lid, and shake vigorously until creamy and emulsified. Alternately, you can use a blender or hand blender.

Step 3

Just before serving, add the beans to the tempeh mixture, drizzle generously with some of the dressing, and toss well. Add the green onions, lettuce, cilantro, chips (or pumpkin seeds/peanuts), avocado, and more dressing, if you like, and gently toss again. Serve as-is, or topped with a squeeze of lime, some tomatoes, more avocado, and green onions, and herbs.