When I’m in the mood for a vegan creation to put on top of bread, my go-to is usually my beloved chickpea sunflower tuna salad. But move over chickpeas, there’s a new salad in town! This tempeh salad is inspired by a deli salad that I discovered at a local food co-op during my travels last summer. I loved it sooooo much that I ate it every single day the whole week we were in town, and vowed to recreate it when I got home.
This tempeh salad has all the flavor and texture elements that make me swoon. It’s savory, garlicky, earthy, briney from the mustard and dill pickles, crunchy from the red onion and celery, and creamy from the vegan mayo. Try it in a sandwich or as a toast-topper, or on top of a bed of salad greens. I won’t pretend I don’t also just eat it straight with a spoon out of a bowl.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh happens when a mushroom-like fungus and a legume love each other very much, and they produce a yummy, fermented bean cake called tempeh.
Tempeh is a fermented food with a firm, pleasant texture and a subtle nutty flavor. It is high in protein, fiber, and contains active enzymes that aid in digestion, just like other fermented and cultured foods such as yogurt or sauerkraut. The FDA considers tempeh a converted food, meaning that after fermentation the legume and the fungi are no longer recognized, it becomes a new whole food!
Much less processed than tofu and other meat alternatives, tempeh is quickly becoming a trendy and widely available superfood. It can be used in a wide variety of dishes and types of cuisine. Tempeh originated in Indonesia where it is a protein staple, but it is becoming more and more popular in the U.S.
Where Do You Buy Tempeh?
These days, tempeh is easy to find in any major grocery store. It’s usually near the tofu or natural foods section. You can also always find it at food co-ops and natural food stores. Local tempeh producers are becoming more common at farmers markets too, keep an eye out! There’s nothing like fresh tempeh. One of these days I’ll learn how to make my own, I’m told it’s fun and easy!
More Tasty Tempeh Recipes You’ll Love
- 15-Minute Tempeh Tacos (Vegan!)
- Creamy Breakfast Polenta w/ Tempeh Crumbles
- What is Tempeh? + How to Cook It
- Tempeh Breakfast Hash w/ Creamy Herb Sauce
- Tempeh Reuben Bowl w/ Sauerkraut & Thousand Island
- Easy BBQ Tempeh & 5-Minute Slaw
If you make this tempeh salad, leave a star rating or comment below! Your feedback is so helpful to me and other readers. You can also tag me in your meal pics on Instagram @katiesconsciouskitchen, or join my free private facebook group to share your creations and inspire others! I love to see what you all are making.
The BEST Tempeh Salad
- 1 package tempeh, 8 oz, diced finely or crumbled
- 2 tbsp red onion, finely minced
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 stalk celery, finely minced
- 1 tbsp dill pickles, minced, or dill pickle relish
- 2 tbsp fresh italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp veganaise, or mayo of choice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, very finely minced
- 1/2 tsp tamari, or soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Finely dice the tempeh and add it to a skillet over medium heat along with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
- Fry the tempeh for 7-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until nicely browned.
- Remove from the heat and add a splash of soy sauce or tamari to the tempeh, tossing in the hot pan to coat. This adds color and savory, umami flavor. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Toss the rest of the ingredients with the tempeh and enjoy on toast, a bed of greens, crackers, or on a sandwich.
- This salad keeps well in the fridge in a sealed container for a day or so.