tempeh taco salad

Tempeh Taco Salad

  • 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.

Keywords: tempeh taco salad