clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
tempeh taco salad

Tempeh Taco Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 large salads 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Tossed
  • Cuisine: Salad


This Tempeh Taco Salad is loaded with plant-based protein and the cilantro lime dressing adds lots of bright, tangy, flavor. Switch up your salads with this easy twist on a classic.



Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • ½ cup cashews (soaked for 4 hours- see note for quick soak method)
  • ½ bundle of cilantro, stems trimmed (about 1/2 cup leaves, roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 34 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Tempeh Taco “Meat”

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 package of tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Salad Ingredients

  • 8 cups chopped romaine
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved


To make the dressing:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, cilantro, olive oil, water, lime juice, and garlic powder.
  2. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. You may need to add 2 additional tablespoons of water, to ensure a smooth consistency.
  4. Add salt to taste.

To make the tempeh taco meat:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the crumbled tempeh and continue to cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir until the tempeh is evenly coated with the paste.
  4. Add the cumin, garlic, onion, and soy sauce and continue to cook for 3 minutes until the tempeh is browned.

To make the salad:

  1. Combine the lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes in a large bowl.
  2. Top with tempeh “meat” and drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine.


No time to soak your cashews? Place the cashews in a large bowl. Cover with 2 cups of boiling water and cover the dish with a plate. Let sit for 30 minutes until cashews have softened. You’ll need a strong blender or food processor to achieve a smooth dressing with this shorter-soak method.