This Grilled Tempeh Vegan Caesar Salad is lightened up by using a tahini-based dressing and protein-packed with marinated tempeh.
I don't know if there is anything better than a loaded caesar salad. And this one has been on my to-do list forever!
It has all of my favorite things. Crispy tempeh that has been marinated in Italian Dressing, homemade garlic croutons, chunks of avocado and a creamy tahini dressing. It is simply perfect and delicious.
If you have never worked with tempeh, here is a run-down of what it is. It is similar to tofu in that it is a soy-based protein. But it has a totally different texture and has a nutty flavor. I honestly like it wayyyyyy more than tofu. They sell it at just about any grocery store in the fridge section.
How to make the Grilled Tempeh Vegan Caesar Salad
The first thing you want to do is marinate the tempeh. The longer you marinate it, the more flavorful it will be. You'll want to do at least 30 minutes, but if you have more time, longer is better.
While the tempeh is marinating, cook up your croutons in the oven and make your dressing.
When you are ready to eat, heat up a pan on the stove and spray it with non-stick spray. Grill your tempeh until crispy on both sides.
To assemble, toss together chopped romaine and the dressing. Top it off with the croutons, avocado and the grilled tempeh. Now dig in.
This salad is simple to make, has whole food ingredients, is packed with protein and has plenty of healthy fats. I like to think of it as a guilt-free comforting salad.
Need more Caesar Salad Inspo?
Grilled Tempeh Vegan Caesar Salad
FOR THE TEMPEH
- 8 oz tempeh cut in 16-24 pieces*
- 8 oz Italian dressing
- non-stick spray
FOR THE CROUTONS
- 2 cups crusty bread I used ciabatta, cut in cubes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
FOR THE DRESSING
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 1-2 lemons juiced
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- salt & pepper to taste
- water as needed
FOR THE SALAD
- 2 heads romaine chopped
- 2 avocados chopped
- Add the tempeh pieces and the Italian dressing to a bowl, making sure all of the pieces are covered. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- While the tempeh is marinating, prepare the croutons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the bread, olive oil and garlic salt in a bowl. Toss to combine.
- Spread the bread evenly on the baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes - tossing halfway.
- Prepare the dressing by combining the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper in a bowl or mason jar. Stir to combine, adding water until desired consistency is reached.
- To cook the tempeh, heat a pan on the stove over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray and use tongs to place the tempeh in the pan (allowing the marinade to drip off).**
- Cook until the tempeh is browned on both sides (approx. 3-5 minutes per side). Remove from the pan and assemble the salad.
- Add the romaine to a large bowl and drizzle with dressing. Toss until the lettuce is coated. Top the salad with croutons, avocado and the tempeh. Serve with additional black pepper and any leftover dressing.
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