Recipe and photos by Sarah Steffens
Tempeh makes preparing a plant-based meal incredibly easy. Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh has a nutty flavor, a dense, chewy texture, and is a great source of plant protein—and since it takes mere minutes to cook up, it’s a no-brainer addition to any meal that needs a little extra oomph. And if you’ve never thought of grilling tempeh before, it’ll become your go-to after trying it in this recipe.
Satiating and packed with all sorts of flavors, this salad will be a staple in your quick summer meal rotation; it comes together in 20 minutes flat and requires just your grill or a cast-iron pan.
You’ll start with a base of mixed greens and minced basil (which, trust us, really adds something special). From there, classic cherry tomatoes and sweet grilled peaches add pops of freshness while pistachios add a satisfying crunch, plus some protein and good-for-you fats.
Then there’s that grilled tempeh, with its crispy edges and chewy interior, to top everything off perfectly. Tossed in a mixture of melted coconut oil, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper, it adds plenty of its own flavor to the dish while contributing the punch of protein needed to make it a satisfying meal.
Of course, no salad is truly complete without dressing—and this recipe features a creative sauce made with tahini and balsamic vinegar that’s incredibly creamy and offers lots of the healthy, satiating fats that are so important on a plant-based diet. (That said, you can always swap it out for Whole30 Creamy Balsamic if you need to save some time!)
To update and adapt this recipe, feel free to use whatever salad greens you prefer, such as baby spinach, kale, or chopped Romaine lettuce. You can also swap the pistachios for chopped walnut, sliced almonds, or hemp seeds—or omit them and add some sliced avocado instead. Grilled nectarine, apricot, or plum can swap in for the peach, too!
However you slice it, this speedy salad will be a summertime staple you’ll whip up again and again. Double up the recipe to serve at backyard gatherings and make extra dressing to drizzle on veggie sides, proteins, and more.
Plant-Based Whole30 Grilled Tempeh Salad with Tahini Balsamic Sauce
Grilled Tempeh Salad with Tahini Balsamic Sauce
Balsamic Tahini Sauce
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 medium peach ,sliced
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes ,sliced
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 2 tbsp fresh basil ,minced
- 2 tbsp coconut oil ,melted
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 14 oz of plain tempeh , cut in 1×3" slices
- ADD the balsamic tahini sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well-combined and a consistent texture. Set aside.
- ADD the salad ingredients, except the sliced peaches, to a mixing bowl and toss.
- HEAT a grill or cast iron skillet medium-high heat and when hot, place the sliced peaches on the grill and let sear for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and add to the salad.
- ADD the tempeh ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss together well.
- GRILL the tempeh on the grill or in the cast-iron skillet set to medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
- ADD the grilled tempeh to the salad and toss well. Serve with balsamic tahini sauce.
- STORE any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.