Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing

I was asked by an eblast reader to health-up her favorite taco salad. I was up for the challenge, but first I had to consider for a moment what makes a taco salad unhealthy?

Tempeh Taco Salad with Avocado Cream

I came to the conclusion that it boils down to composition. Oftentimes, and especially in restaurants, there’s too much of the not so good stuff and not enough of the healthy stuff. What’s interesting (and annoying) about this is that restaurants think that’s what we want. They think we want it loaded with meat, cheese, sour cream and dressing and we could care less about the greens, beans, veggies and tomatoes. I don’t know about you, but I’m just the opposite. I hate ordering a salad where the focus is on the meat and cheese and the veggies are basically just condiments thrown in for good measure. I want a salad that’s piled high with greens and veggies. That other stuff is just fluff.

Healthy Tempeh Taco Salad

This easy to make salad is great if you love taco flavor! The base is a huge handful of baby spinach atop a bed of Romaine lettuce. Then it’s piled high with cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, and black beans. I sprinkled the top with fancy shredded cheddar (I only used about a tablespoon) and about 5 sliced olives. Then I topped it with about 5-6 sprouted tortilla chips and drizzled on just enough avocado-Greek-yogurt-lime-cilantro dressing.

Tempeh Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado dressing

You might  be wondering what about the meat? Well, that’s not meat, folks. That’s tempeh. I steamed, crumbled, and sauteed tempeh with my favorite Trader Joe’s taco seasoning. Tempeh is fermented soybean and it’s great for your gut health (it’s also pretty yummy if you make it right).

This is how I made your typical taco salad just a little bit healthier: 

  • added baby spinach
  • switched out ground meat for crumbled tempeh
  • used less cheese
  • used less chips
  • used a moderate amount of healthy dressing

“Healthing it up” is pretty simple and something you can easily do yourself with any salad.

Healthy Tempeh Taco Recipe with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing. Made with Greek yogurt. Super delicious, healthy and easy to make recipe for quick weeknight meal!

Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing

Yield: 1 serving

Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing


  • 1 package Tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 big handful baby spinach
  • 2 big handfuls Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/2 cup roasted corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 black olives, sliced
  • 5 Tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon fancy shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • dash water


  1. Steam tempeh in a steamer basket for about 10 minutes until soft. Heat a small saute pan with olive oil. Crumble steamed tempeh with hands into pan. Add taco seasoning and a tablespoon or so of water. Stir until well combined. Set aside in small bowl. To a blender add the avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt and garlic powder. Blend until well combined and taste for seasoning. Add a little water if too thick. In a salad bowl, add greens, tempeh, and remaining salad ingredients. Top with salad dressing. You will have dressing and tempeh left over for another salad tomorrow!

12 replies
  1. katie
    katie says:

    I just haven’t gotten on the tempeh bandwagon yet….but with this recipe I’m going to give it another go. Looks delicious and love the post.

  2. Linda Richmond
    Linda Richmond says:

    Looks great! Is there a brand of pre-roasted corn that you buy? Or Do you roast it yourself?

  3. Linda Richmond
    Linda Richmond says:

    Great recipe!!! I made this tonight and it was phenomenal! I used kidney beans instead of black beans and forgot to steam the tempeh before sautéing so it was a little crispy. But still good. Also, I may have used a little too much dressing than I should have, (oops) but to me it tasted exactly like taco salad from back in the 1980s only Better! I served it “deconstructed” with each salad ingredient in a separate little bowl so my picky kiddos could build their own salad at the table using only what they wanted. It was a huge hit!! It’s rare to find something the whole family is willing to eat. Thx for sharing!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Whether in the form of edamame, tofu, or tempeh, soybeans are a great source of vegetarian protein and Omega-3s. I love edamame for a satisfying snack that has enough protein and fiber to keep me full between meals, but my favorite way to eat soybeans is tempeh. Tempeh not only gives you a serving of plant-based protein and omega-3s, it’s also a fermented food, providing probiotics that are great for gut health. Some of my all-time favorite recipes are made with tempeh, including my Skillet Tempeh Enchiladas and Tempeh Taco Salad. […]

  2. […] Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing […]

  3. […] minutes before crumbling it into a pan with some seasoning. Then I can add it to salads (like this taco salad), chili, soups and any dish I would normally use ground […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *