Blackened Tempeh Salad

This protein-packed blackened tempeh salad is loaded with flavor from the seasoned and roasted tempeh. The orange tahini dressing cuts the spice and adds a nice creamy component to the salad.

I’m a huge fan of making meal-sized salads and it’s always fun to utilize plant-based protein options, like tempeh!

Salad topped with blackened tempeh, peppers, onions, avocado and quinoa.

Components For Meal-Sized Salads

This blackened tempeh salad is absolutely delicious and has all the components I look for when building a meal-sized salad (ps: check out my full guide for how to build a healthy meal-sized salad):

  • lots of veggies – romaine, onion and bell pepper.
  • a good source of plant-based protein – tempeh and quinoa.
  • smart carbs – quinoa is the base. You can check out my round up of quinoa salad recipes.
  • healthy fats – avocado for some healthy fat and added creaminess.
  • satisfaction factor – lots of flavor, different textures and a large serving size!
Lettuce, quinoa, avocado, bell pepper, tempeh, maple syrup, tahini dressing, red onion, spices and avocado oil measured out to make a blackened tempeh salad.

Here’s What You Need

  • tempeh – I love Lightlife tempeh. It’s organic, GMO-free and easy to find at mainstream stores. Remove from the package and slice into strips before coating in the seasoning and roasting. If you don’t need this salad to be vegan, blackened chicken would be a delicious protein substitute for the tempeh. Follow the instructions in my blackened chicken salad for how to prep the chicken.
  • blackened seasoning – you’ll coat the tempeh in a mixture of pure maple syrup, paprika, oregano leaves, cayenne pepper, avocado oil and sea salt.
  • romaine lettuce – the base of this salad! Romaine is a super mild green that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients but you can swap for any leafy green you have on hand if needed.
  • quinoa – add extra protein, flavor and healthy carbohydrates with cooked quinoa! Check out my full post on how to cook quinoa. Instead of quinoa, you can totally swap in another grain like farro or rice.
  • orange bell pepper – I love the subtle sweetness bell pepper adds to the salad. Any color bell pepper works!
  • red onion – add a little zest and crunch with sliced red onion!
  • avocado – add healthy fats and a little creaminess with sliced avocado.
  • orange tahini dressing – a delicious mixture of tahini, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mined garlic, dijon mustard and sea salt. Craving a different dressing? Here are some of my other faves that would pair well with this salad: turmeric tahini dressing, garlic tahini dressing and lemon vinaigrette dressing.
tip!Prep the blackened tempeh, quinoa and dressing ahead of time for super quick assembly when you're ready to eat!
Slices of baked blackened tempeh on a sheet pan.

How to Make Blackened Tempeh

I love making blackened tempeh because it requires no marinating which I inevitably always forget to do in advance. Cut the tempeh into strips and toss with your blackenedseasoning: maple syrup, paprika, oregano, oil, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Blackening usually involves coating protein in a spice mixture and cooking in a cast-iron skillet, but I kept this recipe a bit more hands-off by roasting the spiced tempeh.

Next, spread coated tempeh in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a baking stone. The roasting process only takes about 20 minutes and the tempeh comes out of the oven warm and crisp — perfect for topping a romaine-based salad.

Salad topped with blackened tempeh, tahini dressing, peppers, onions, avocado and quinoa.

How to Prep This Salad

Start by making your citrus tahini dressing. Then bake your blackened tempeh. While the tempeh cooks, chop your lettuce and veggies. You’ll also want to cook your quinoa if you haven’t done so already.

Grab three plates or bowl and add romaine lettuce. Add the quinoa, onion, bell pepper, blackened tempeh and drizzle on the dressing.

More Tempeh Recipes You’ll Love

Blackened Tempeh Salad

5 from 3 votes
Plant-powered blackened tempeh salad with fresh romaine, quinoa, red onion, bell pepper, avocado and a creamy orange tahini dressing.
Salad topped with blackened tempeh, tahini dressing, peppers, onions, avocado and quinoa.
Print RecipePin Recipe
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 30minutes
Servings 3


Blackened Tempeh

  • 18 oz packagetempeh, cut into thin strips
  • 2Tablespoonspure maple syrup
  • ½Tablespoonpaprika
  • ½Tablespoonfresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1teaspoonavocado oil
  • 2teaspoonscayenne pepper
  • ½teaspoonsea salt


  • 4cupschopped romaine lettuce
  • 1cupcooked quinoa
  • ½orange bell pepper, sliced thin
  • ¼cupred onion, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Citrus Tahini Dressing

  • ¼cuptahini
  • ¼cupfresh orange juice + ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 2Tablespoonsapple cider vinegar
  • 1-2teaspoonsmaple syrup
  • 2teaspoonsminced garlic
  • 2teaspoonsdijon mustard
  • ¼teaspoonsea salt
  • 1-2Tablespoonswater, if necessary


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss tempeh with maple syrup, paprika, oregano, oil, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Spread coated tempeh in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet or a baking stone. Add sheet to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until browned and crunchy. Flip tempeh once around the 8 minute mark. Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa if you haven't already. ⅓ cup dry quinoa cooked with ⅔ cup water will result in 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Once cooked, set aside and allow quinoa to cool.
  • Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Add a little water to thin the dressing if needed.
  • Prep salads by layering 1/3 of the romaine, quinoa, bell pepper, onion, avocado and blackened tempeh in three separate bowls. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and serve.



Serving: 1/3 of recipe without dressingCalories: 478kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 25gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 20mgPotassium: 1171mgFiber: 24gSugar: 12g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blackened tempeh
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Recipe Rating

    1. Ann
      November 21, 2021 AT 8:51 pm

      5 stars
      I made this tonight & followed the recipe to the letter except for the onions. DELICIOUS! I’m glad I’ll be eating this for the next couple of nights 🤗

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 22, 2021 AT 10:25 am

        Woo!! So pumped to hear this recipe was a hit, Ann. Thanks so much for trying it out and coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Cynthia
      April 14, 2021 AT 9:04 pm

      Wow! This salad is so great and satisfying!! The blackened tempeh is genius-sweet, spicy and crunchy! And the dressing is amazing-the orange flavor with the tempeh is spot on; the tahini makes it nice and creamy. I added more OJ instead of H2O to kick up the flavor, and used roasted golden beets instead of the pepper because I love their sweetness. My new fave! Thanks, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 15, 2021 AT 10:04 am

        Yay! So glad this salad was a hit, Cynthia! Thanks for making it and leaving a review.

    3. Allie
      July 22, 2019 AT 4:28 pm

      Hi Brittany – this recipe looks so good! Sadly, the link is no longer active, can you post the recipe or at least the dressing? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 22, 2019 AT 5:55 pm

        Oh, thank you so much for letting me know. Just posted the recipe here so you can access it. 🙂

        1. Allison Buttarazzi
          July 23, 2019 AT 8:11 pm

          Thanks! Can’t wait to make this for lunch next week!

    4. Shannon
      June 16, 2016 AT 12:44 pm

      That dressing looks so good!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 16, 2016 AT 11:32 pm

        Thank you Shannon. It’s delish!

    5. Emilie @ Emilie Eats
      June 15, 2016 AT 11:52 pm

      I love to have one big salad a day! Usually for lunch, because they fill me up so well until dinner. Tempeh is one of my must-have add ins. This orange tahini dressing sounds AH-mazing!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 16, 2016 AT 11:33 pm

        Me too!! I love having one big salad a day too. You should join the challenge in July. 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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