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Southwestern Tempeh Salad (High Protein & Plant Based)

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Want to eat better, but not sure where to start? A hearty tempeh salad is a great option!

I'll be honest, it took me a while to give tempeh a chance. I didn't like the look of it, and it took a while to cook it to my "liking." But now it has become a weekly staple in my meal prep and I have gotten pretty creative with the ways I make it. You will too!

So, what is tempeh? It's a super-nutritious, fermented form of tofu. It contains prebiotic fiber, which improves digestions and reduces inflammation. It's high in calcium and magnesium which are essential for bone health as we age. And, they are essential for muscle contraction (exercise). Tempeh is also a great source of iron, which aids in converting foods into energy.

The greatest benefit of tempeh is that it is one of the highest sources of plant based PROTEIN! A half block of tempeh (about 8 slices) will give you about 20g of protein and about 14g of carbohydrates (7g of which being fiber). These are excellent macronutrient ratios for a plant based protein source. With most plant based proteins, you'd have to eat about 50g of carbs to get just 10g of protein. You're looking at eating 300 cals and getting only 10g of protein??? That's just not worth it when you're eating in a caloric deficit. I have a blog post that provides a little more insight on calories & macros for fat loss. You can find it here.

Now... on to the recipe (Serves 4)!


2 blocks of tempeh cut into 16 slices

2 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. grapeseed oil (for pan)

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. coriander or dried cilantro


Juice of 1 lime

1/4 c. water

1/2 cup scallion (green onion)

1 chipotle pepper in adobo

1 c. spinach

1 clove garlic


2 bunches Green Leaf lettuce, chopped

2 c. chopped spinach 1/2 large cucumber cut into quarter triangles

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 medium avocado (8 slices)

2 scallions (green onions)

4 tbsp shredded cheese (1 tbsp. per salad)

Garnish with salsa and a few chips if you like!


  1. Heat 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil in a skillet.

  2. Cut blocks of tempeh into 16 slices. Cut down middle to split into two blocks, then cut down the middle of the four blocks, then cut down the middle of the eight blocks.

  3. Place tempeh slices in a bowl and add olive oil and spices. Place a plate/top over the bowl and shake gently.

  4. Saute tempeh in skillet for five minutes per side (I use this skillet).

  5. While tempeh is cooking, add juice of lime, water, spanish (yellow) onion, poblano pepper, garlic clove, cilantro, salt, and pepper to blender (I use this one). Blend until smooth, add more water to get texture you prefer.

  6. For the salad, add chopped green leaf lettuce and chopped spinach to a bowl with a couple tablespoons of salad dressing and toss.

  7. Top salad with chopped cucumber, plum tomatoes, avocados, scallions, tempeh, and cheese.

  8. Drizzle another couple tablespoons of dressing on top and serve!


1. Cast Iron Skillet Accessories

2. Cast Iron Skillet

3. Mixing Bowls with Lid

4. Nutribullet Rx Blender


Serving Size: 4

Calories per serving: 401

Macros per serving: 25g protein | 30g carbohydrates | 21g Fat (13g Fiber)

**NOTE: Salsa & chips not included in calories & macros**

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