This healthy vegan tempeh salad recipe is hearty enough for dinner and can be turned into a wrap. It’s made with crispy Cajun tempeh, kale, avocado, radishes, pickled onions, and a creamy vegan Cajun Ranch Dressing!

 vegan tempeh salad in a bowl.

Nothing supports inner peace more than letting go.

Jung Pueblo

This hearty vegan Tempeh Salad recipe is packed full of flavor and protein! Loaded up with crispy cajun tempeh, nutritious kale, avocado, radishes, pickled onions, and sprouts, all tossed in the most delicious vegan cajun ranch dressing. YUM!

For heartier appetites, you could toss it all together and fold it into a warm tortilla, and create a satisfying wrap. A delicious high-protein vegan meal!

Why You’ll Love This!

  1. Versatile! Enjoy as a salad, wrap, or as a bowl with quinoa, rice, or cauliflower rice.
  2. Healthy! Vegan, high protein & gluten-free. And packed with nutrients! The dressing is low in calories and fat. A cup of tempeh offers 31g of protein.
  3. Incredibly delicious dressing! Easy-to-make, dairy-free, nut-free, this creamy cajun-spiced vegan ranch dressing is delish!

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a vegan “patty or cake” made from fermented soybeans.  It is very high in protein and calcium and low in fat – with a very textured, nutty flavor. It’s very firm and doesn’t easily crumble like tofu. Many vegetarian and vegan recipes use tempeh as a meat substitute and it holds up well.

Tempeh can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores (near the tofu).

Tempeh Salad Ingredients

ingredients for blackened tempeh salad laid out - blackened tempeh in cast iron, cajun ranch dressing, avocado, cajun spice, lacinato kale, radishes.
  • Tempeh block: Buy 8-ounce “original” tempeh and use organic, non-GMO if you can!
  • Vegan ranch dressingOr sub your favorite store-bought ranch dressing. But you won’t believe how low in calories and fat this version is! Plus, it’s so easy make.
  • Cajun spice blend: use store-bought or make your own cajun seasoning here!
  • Lacinato kale: Or sub 3 cups pre-shredded kale for easier prepping.
  • Lemon zest: From 1/2 a lemon for sweet, citrusy flavor that complements the kale.
  • Radishes: Or sub cucumber slices or ribbons.
  • Scallion: Sharp, peppery flavor that adds some extra depth to this salad or wrap.
  • Avocado: A creamy contrast in texture to the crunchy kale and crispy tempeh.
  • Pickled onions: Optional, but adds sweet, tangy flavor with a little bite.
  • Cilantro leaves: Optional, but adds citrusy, pepper, pungent flavor.
  • Optional add-ons: Sprouts or microgreens, cooked quinoa, large whole wheat tortillas, sauerkraut.

How to Make Tempeh Salad

Step 1: Make the cajun ranch dressing. Stir cajun spice into our vegan ranch dressing recipe. Start with a little, taste, and add more if desired. You want it to be bold!

vegan cajun ranch dressing in small jar with spoon next to bowl with cajun spices.

Step 2: Make the tempeh. Slice the tempeh and place it into a pan with enough water to cover it. Season the water with soy sauce, smoked paprika and salt. Let simmer 8-10 minutes to soften texture and reduce bitterness.

slicing tempeh.

Remove from pan, drain liquid, coat both sides with 2-3 tbs cajun spice rub. Pan-sear the spiced tempeh in a little olive oil over medium heat, until crispy on both sides.

blackened cajun tempeh in cast iron skillet.

Step 3: Make the salad. Remove thick stems from the kale, then stack leaves and cut into ribbons.

shredded tempeh in a bowl.

Place in a bowl with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, a generous pinch salt (1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt), and lemon zest. Massage with your fingers until tender.

Step 4: Toss the salad. Add radishes, scallion, pickled onion, and avocado. Toss with some of the cajun ranch dressing.

Cajun tempeh salad with kale and avocado.

Step 5: Make a salad or wrap. Either divide the salad among bowls and top with the blacked tempeh, or wrap it all up in warm, whole wheat tortillas.

wheat wraps stacked with toothpick, made with cajun spiced blackened tempeh, avocado, and kale in creamy cajun ranch dressing.

Serve with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and cracked black pepper if you’d like!

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve as a salad, as a wrap with a warm, whole wheat tortilla, or as a grain bowl, over quinoa, rice, farro, or any other type of whole grain.
  • Use extra dressing as a dip! You’ll likely have extra Cajun Ranch Dressing. It makes a tasty dip for raw, crunchy veggies.
  • Change up the greens: You can serve with your favorite type of lettuce, though we really like kale with this! Crunchy romaine or arugula are other great options.
  • Cut tempeh into cubes: If you prefer, you can dice the tempeh! This works if serving a salad or bowl.
  • Crisp up the wraps: If you want an extra crispy wrap, once assembled, place the wrap back on the pan over medium-high heat for just a minute. Some of the seasoning will rub onto the wrap and make it extra flavorful!


The blackened tempeh and the cajun ranch dressing will keep up to 4-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container, perfect for making ahead!

 tempeh salad in a bowl with a fork.


How long does this keep for?

The salad is sturdy enough that it will keep for the next day. I don’t recommend storing for longer than 1 day. You can always make the dressing in advance though, as it will store in the fridge for longer. Store in a jar, sealed with a lid, for 7-10 days.

Do I have to simmer the tempeh?

Yes! This step is crucial for reducing bitterness and softening the texture of tempeh. If you skip this step, the tempeh may have an undesirable bitter flavor.

Can I bake the tempeh instead?

While you can bake the seasoned tempeh on a baking sheet in the oven (spray with olive oil), we feel that pan-searing is the easiest option and gives it that amazing crispy texture.

More Tempeh recipes You Might Like

Hope you enjoy this tasty high-protein tempeh salad!

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Tempeh Salad

Tempeh Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 13 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine| Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: Salad, wrap, Vegan Entree
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun, vegan, gluten-free
  • Diet: Vegan


This healthy vegan tempeh salad recipe is hearty enough for dinner and can be turned into a wrap. It’s made with cajun blackened tempeh, kale, avocado, radishes, pickled onions, and a creamy vegan Cajun Ranch Dressing!



Cajun Vegan Ranch Dressing

  • 1/31/2 cup vegan ranch dressing (or sub your favorite store-bought ranch)
  • 1/21 teaspoon cajun spice blend (or sub 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)

Blackened Tempeh:


  • 46 leaves of lacinato kale, tough stems removed ( or use 3 cups pre-shredded kale )
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • pinch salt,
  • lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 radishes, sliced (or sub cucumber slices… or ribbons are nice)
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickled onions (optional)
  • cilantro leaves (optional)
  • Optional additions: sunflower sprouts or microgreens, large whole wheat tortillas


  1. Make the dressing: Make our Vegan Ranch Dressing,  then stir the cajun spice into the dressing, starting conservatively. Taste, and add more to taste. You want it bold!
  2. Prepare the tempeh: Slice the tempeh into ¼ inch slices ( or 3/4 inch cubes) and place in a large saute pan.  Add just enough water to cover it, along with soy sauce, paprika, and salt.  Bring to a simmer for 8-10 minutes to help soften and reduce bitterness.  Drain and wipe out the pan. Coat the tempeh in cajun spice. Heat olive oil in the same pan, and sear the tempeh until crispy and golden on each side. Set aside. 
  3. Make the salad: Stack the kale (removing any thick stems) and cut into thin ribbons. Place in a bowl and add a teaspoon of olive oil ( just enough to barely coat), a generous pinch salt and the lemon zest. Massage with your fingers until tender.
  4. Add the radishes, scallions, cilanro, pickled onion and avocado. Toss with some of the cajun Ranch dressing, enough to coat. Taste and adjust salt and lemon. 
  5. Divide the dressed salad among 2-3 bowls and top with the blackened tempeh and sprouts.


  • To make this into a wrap, warm extra large wholewheat tortillas, pile in the dressed salad along with the tempeh and sprouts and wrap up like a burrito. Cut in half if you like.
  • The dressing will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.


  • Serving Size: 2 large salads ( without dressing)
  • Calories: 422
  • Sugar: 3.7 g
  • Sodium: 611.5 mg
  • Fat: 27.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.6 g
  • Fiber: 17.2 g
  • Protein: 25.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. This was fantastic!!! This was my first time making and trying tempeh and it was delicious! So much flavor and filling. I used my homemade blackening seasoning and store-bought ranch.

  2. I’m an omnivore and I was blown away by how delicious this was!!!!! Yummmm!!! And so easy, too!!!! If you like savory, you gotta try this!

  3. This recipe is so fantastic! I’m so glad I discovered your site.. Your flavors are rocking. <3

  4. Too many ads and popups. Couldnt take it anymore. Bogged down my computer and was too distracting. Had to go to another site.

  5. This was my first vegan recipe and I (along with my husband and three year old) absolutely loved it! The only adjustment I would make is a little less garlic in the ranch dressing. I also added a bit of soy sauce after simmering the tempeh and before cooking it in the spices. Otherwise, superb and now part of our permanent family recipe rotation. Thank you!

  6. Made this tonight. The only difference I didn’t have the Cajun spice. So I made a blend with smoked paprika thyme oregano garlic powder cayenne. I only had extra firm tofu for the vegan ranch and everything was super tasty all together. Will be making this again. Thank you

  7. I absolutely LOVE this recipe. So great for leftovers and easy to substitute other veggies in if you dont have all of the ingredients the recipe calls for. Incredibly, my boyfriend even enjoyed it and he is not a fan of tempeh at all. I did start skipping the added cajun seasoning mixed in with the ranch to reduce the spiciness.

  8. I was skeptical about this because I have tried tempeh in the past & couldn’t acquire a taste for it. This was so delicious! Thank you!

    1. thanks Lori and glad you gave it a go. I’m not a huge fan of Tempeh either, but I thought this turned out pretty good too!

  9. I followed the recipe exactly and wasn’t disappointed, this was a totally delicious flavour bomb, the vegan ranch dressing was yummy over the tempeh and the pickled onions were well worth the extra few minutes as they add an unexpected kick of flavour. Even the kale was delicious, the massage with the lemon and olive oil actually made it quite palatable ? Overall a really interesting and creative dish, I love tempeh so this will be a regular,

  10. I often fear the texture of tofu and keeps me from trying to convince my family to eat it. Let’s face it, if I’m skeptical, so will my three year old. The tempeh looks more like something I can be brave with! I am not vegan (though I have been in the past) but I do like to reduce how many meals each week include meat. Thanks for sharing!

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