Today's recipe? It's all the things you love about a taco, in salad form. Tempeh taco salad - crushed tortilla chips bring the crunch, black beans and crumbled tempeh coated with taco seasoning brings the substance, and a strong, smoked paprika-apple cider dressing pulls everything together. It's a meal in itself, and most of the components can be prepared ahead of time, making this salad a good option for weeknight dinners and potlucks. You can see how it comes together in the taco salad how-to video below. Enjoy!
Taco Salad Variations
As I mention in the video, I like to tweak this salad throughout the seasons. Cherry tomatoes (raw or roasted) or grilled zucchini are great in summer, roasted squash or mushrooms are great in the fall. Basically, if you start with the bean & tempeh base, plus the romaine and dressing, you can build and adjust from there - a big dollop of guacamole is always good.
There are so many great salads in the archives, so be sure to poke around. I love this Genius Kale Salad, this Sriracha Rainbow Noodle Salad, these Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps, and this Grilled Wedge Salad. Also, here's where you can find the list of all past salad recipes. Enjoy!
I really enjoy tempeh in this taco salad (and so many other ways!). If you're tempeh-curious and looking to try a couple recipes that are absolutely delicious, here are my picks. Don't skip this Spicy Tempeh Crumble Bowl inspired by Andrea Nguyen, I make it a few times a month, and it's incredible. I also love this Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh, and of course, another vote for the Lettuce Wraps.
Vegan Tempeh Taco Salad
To keep this salad vegan use coconut nectar or maple syrup as the sweetener, and feel free to sweeten to taste - ketchups vary in sweetness, so that's a variable. If you are gluten-free, seek a GF brand of tempeh. And, if you think you're tempeh adverse, you might want to try the same recipe, swapping in 2 cups of chopped chickpeas in place of the crumbled tempeh.
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin coconut or olive oil
- 8 ounces tempeh
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar, maple syrup, or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/3 cup organic sunflower oil
- 14- ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 15 black olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, sliced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 - 2 cups tortilla chips
- 1 avocado, sliced
- to serve, optional; cherry tomatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, lime, pickled red onions
In a large skillet over medium high heat combine the oil and tempeh, and cook, until browned. Transfer to a large serving bowl, add the taco seasoning, and stir well. Allow to cool for a bit while you make the dressing.
Combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, sweetener, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, and oil in a jar. Close with a lid, and shake vigorously until creamy and emulsified. Alternately, you can use a blender or hand blender.
Just before serving, add the beans, and black olives to the tempeh mixture, drizzle generously with some of the dressing, and toss well. Add the green onions, lettuce, cilantro, chips, avocado, and more dressing, if you like, and gently toss again. Serve as-is, or topped with a squeeze of lime, some tomatoes, more avocado, and green onions, and herbs.