Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh

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Wood bowl filled with gluten-free vegan Thai Salad with Marinated Peanut Tempeh

Sometimes a salad can change your life. Might I suggest this is one of them?

If you’re a salad hater or think they’re for rabbits, meet my Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh. It’s saucy and vegetable-packed. Plus, it has carbs and TONS of protein (21 g / serving)! Don’t forget the saucy peanut dressing. That seals the deal.

For a quick history lesson on both tempeh and peanut sauce (hint, they’re both Indonesian-inspired!), check out our Peanut-Marinated Peanut Tempeh post.

Friends, you’re gonna want this one. Let’s do this!

Whisking sauce ingredients for Marinated Peanut Tempeh

This 30-minute recipe was inspired by a salad I love ordering at Prasad in Portland – a favorite of mine when I’m craving smoothies, juices, or über healthy eats (which is every day).

The base of this salad is a ton of vegetables, including red pepper, cabbage, onions, and carrot “noodles.” Next comes some brown rice vermicelli noodles – because carbs. I also threw in some cilantro and mint for added flavor and green power.

The star of the show is my Marinated Peanut Tempeh, which is Indonesian-inspired and we’re totally OBSESSED. I can’t stop making it. If you’re a tempeh hater, this will convert you – guaranteed.

And last but not least, the 6-ingredient peanut sauce, which marries everything together perfectly. If nut-free, sub sunflower butter – it’s so dreamy!

Big bowl filled with protein-packed vegan Thai Salad with Marinated Peanut Tempeh

I hope you all LOVE this salad! It’s:

Vegetable-packed
Crunchy
Saucy
Spicy-sweet
Super flavorful
Protein-rich (21 g protein / serving!)
Healthy
& So delicious

This would make the perfect plant-based entrée for hosting or when you need a hearty-yet-healthy entrée on the table fast. It’s a true crowd-pleaser because it’s a salad, but it’s also super hearty and it has noodles! Who would turn away a salad with pasta in it? Tell me that much.

This salad is delicious on its own, but it would pair especially well with these Collard Green Spring Rolls or my Yellow Mango Curry!

If you try this recipe, let us know by leaving a comment, rating it, and tagging a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Using wooden spoons to grab a serving of Thai Salad with Marinated Peanut Tempeh for a healthy plant-based meal

Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh

30-minute Thai- and Indonesian-inspired salad with rainbow veggies, noodles, and marinated peanut tempeh! Dress with peanut sauce for a flavorful, healthy, plant-based meal!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big bowl of our Blissed Out Thai Salad with tofu
4.91 from 87 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (entrée servings)
Course Entrée or Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indonesian-Inspired, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

SALAD

  • 6 ounces vermicelli noodles (I like brown rice noodles)
  • 2 medium whole carrots, “ribboned” with a vegetable peeler or spiralizer
  • 2 stalks green onions (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 cup loosely packed spinach (chopped)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 batch Marinated Peanut Tempeh (optional)

DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup salted creamy peanut butter, almond butter, or sunbutter (plus 1 extra Tbsp as original recipe is written)
  • 3 Tbsp gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (or sub 1 red Thai chili minced // or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake // amounts as original recipe is written)
  • 1 medium lime, juiced (yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)
  • ~1/4 cup water (to thin)

Instructions

  • Cook rice noodles according to package instructions, rinse, drain, and set aside to cool.
  • To a large serving bowl, add cooked and cooled noodles, carrots, green onions, cilantro, mint, spinach, cabbage, and red bell pepper and toss loosely to combine. Set aside.
  • Make dressing by adding peanut butter, tamari, maple syrup, chili sauce (or chili or red pepper), and lime juice to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Then add warm water a little at a time until a thick but pourable sauce is achieved.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili sauce (chili or red pepper) for heat, lime juice for acidity, or tamari for saltiness. Set aside.
  • Add 1/2 of the tempeh (optional) and 1/2 of the sauce to the salad and toss. Then top with remaining tempeh and sauce. Serve immediately. Leftovers store well in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, though best when fresh. I find that, if making ahead of time, it’s better to leave the salad undressed and store the tempeh separately.

Notes

*Serves (as original recipe is written) 3-4 as an entrée or 5-6 as a side.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with all of the dressing and the tempeh.
*Prep time does not reflect making tempeh.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 entrée servings Calories: 441 Carbohydrates: 43.3 g Protein: 21.1 g Fat: 23.7 g Saturated Fat: 4.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 887 mg Fiber: 4.8 g Sugar: 19.1 g

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  1. B says

    I wish I could post a pic! Very colourful meal.

    Enjoyed this recipe:
    Cut back a lot on the mint and threw in a little extra cabbage. I used half peanut butter and half cashew butter in the dressing .To me it’s not filling without the tempeh. Will make again.

  2. Priya says

    I’ve been looking for something veggie + protein packed to get myself back on track and this satisfied everything I was looking for! Based on what I had on hand, I substituted the spinach for kale, and red peppers+cabbage for sprouts and broccoli. The tempeh was delicious and steaming changed them completely – I’ve been missing out. I cooked this as a meal prep and it was so good, I ate it in two meals! Definitely a new staple.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Priya! Your modifications sound lovely. Thank you for sharing! xo

  3. Rani says

    I’ve been looking for more tempeh recipes, and this one is so good! Tempeh is very cheap here where it is originated, but I am getting bored with our traditional tempeh recipes. I am definitely going to make this again and again and again. So good! Thank you!

  4. Lisa Porcelli says

    This was amazing, refreshing (with all the fresh herbs) yet, hardy with the noodles and tempeh. Also, made delicious leftovers. Loved all variety of veggies too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Louisa. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  5. Suzanne says

    This was delicious! I had almost no experience with tempeh and this will now be on regular rotation. I goofed, using sweet chili sauce but I saw my error and then added garlic chili sauce, more than a tsp, I used less PB after reading some comments, and a little extra water. I also used Thai basil. The fresh lime makes it divine!

      • Stephanie says

        Delicious!!! A big hit in the house!
        Used baby kale & baby arugula in lieu of spinach. Used rice vinegar in place of line juice. Still fantastic! ❤

  6. Shea says

    The dressing AND the marinading tempeh is a bit too much PB+maple syrup. I liked the first meal, but since I had a lot of unexpected left overs, I ate it again and it was still pretty good. However, wasn’t keen on a third time because I kept remembering how “nutty” and sweet it was as a combo. I did like the sauce, on both this dish AND the tempeh marinade, but together it was a bit overwhelming. I’d like to try this sauce with a different type of marinade next time, or perhaps a different protein.

  7. Chris says

    I have made this recipe so many times and it’s amazing! The only comment I have is that if you’ve got runny peanut butter be very careful with the water in the dressing. It can get too thin. Also making substitutions is easy and fun. Tonight I used angel hair pasta and an orange bell pepper. This is one of the recipes that I used to get my fiance to love tempeh.

  8. Evie says

    I love this salad! I prefer to make it with almond butter, and instead of the tempeh I make the Minimalist Baker “baked crispy peanut tofu” (also with almond butter). Always delicious.

  9. Elise says

    Made this for dinner tonight and absolutely loved it! Do not leave out the mint – it really brightens up the entire dish. Every bite worked so well together and this is my favorite peanut dressing I’ve made!

    • Kristina says

      We enjoyed this salad several times this summer and really love it. Lots of fresh veggies and the peanut tempeh is perfectly delicious!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kristina. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  10. Cait says

    Yum!! This was such a refreshing summertime salad! I made a bunch extra with more veggies and noodles, so we kept the salad without spinach and undressed and tempeh separate for easy lunches this weekend. I freestyled and added more veggies. And that dressing is a cinch and so yummy. I doubled the chili garlic sauce since I love a little heat. Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. Kara says

    Hey Dana! I’ve made this a million times. It’s a huge hit in my home. I’m out of tempeh though. Would you recommend anything else for protein? Could I use chickpeas and marinate them the same way? Let me know if you have a better idea or existing recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think our Baked Peanut Tofu would also be good! Otherwise, maybe try the chickpeas- we aren’t sure how they will turn out though as we’ve never tried marinating them.

      • Kara says

        Thanks for the Tofu suggestion. I’m gonna try that next time. Tonight I was feeling lazy so I marinated chickpeas in place of the tempeh and cooked them following the instructions from the miso chickpea bowl recipe. They turned out perfect! Good sub if anyone doesn’t have tempeh but wants this amazing dish!

  12. Olivia says

    I’ve made this twice now and it’s the best salad I’ve ever had. Takes a bit of time to put together, but I like to meal prep a bunch for the whole week on Sunday. I play really fast and loose with the dressing composition – usually just use the end of a jar of peanut butter and mix it all up in there to save on dishes. :) I thought about skipping the mint, but so glad I didn’t. It really adds something special.

  13. Michelle says

    I made this recipe along with the tempeh about 4 times in the last week! I think it is so flavorful and fresh tasting and very filling. Very easy to make. I never really liked tempeh, but the marinated tempeh in the peanut butter is great. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Michelle. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  14. Chiara says

    This salad was really excellent. I added thinly sliced cucumbers and subbed the rice noodles for soba. I also made it with the marinated tempeh which I will definitely be making again. The tempeh had a really satisfying taste and texture. Thank you for the recipe!

  15. Patty says

    I was given a package of tempeh to try and found this recipe. It looks great but I have read that tempeh should be marinated and cooked before eating.
    I don’t like raw tofu and suspect the same is true with this. Is your recipe suggesting to make this without cooking?

  16. Sarah says

    This was amazing, thank you! Made everything as written except only quickly marinaded the tempeh and it was still delicious! Definitely a favorite :)

  17. Carole Manganaro says

    This recipe is delicious. In exchange for peanut butter, I use 1/2 tahini and 1/2 sunflower butter to avoid any peanut allergies. (I run a small vegan cafe). Instead of the tempeh I marinate Butler soy curls adding red curry paste and cocount milk. The soy curls are then baked with the marinade. This is a customer favorite.

  18. Christine says

    I absolutely love this dish, and I have made it 3-4 times. It is a lot of work if you also make the tempeh, so be prepared to be cooking/chopping for a while. I try to make a double batch so that I have plenty of leftovers, and it makes it feel like it’s worth the work. I made two changes based on preferences. First, decrease the amount of noodles (I probably use 4 ounces). For some reason 6 ounces feels like too much for me. Second, I use a green bell pepper because I don’t really like red.

  19. sandra forte says

    First time trying tempeh and I was a little worried it wasn’t going to be very nice….but we love, love, love it. This salad is absolutely delicious and so refreshing. We will be making this again.
    Thank you Dana

  20. Jenna says

    This salad is crazy good! Instant favorite. The tempeh is one of the best preparations of protein substitutes I’ve ever had!

  21. Leah says

    I found this recipe a while ago and decided to try it this evening on a whim. It’s incredible! I wanted to use up some vegetables I already had in the fridge, so I subbed the cabbage and bell pepper for kale and rainbow collard greens. I also didn’t have any tempeh so I added some chick peas. But I think the addition of the fresh mint is really what takes the flavors to the next level. (Plus I was looking for a good recipe to use up some of our potted mint plant, which grows like crazy.) I’ll definitely be making this again soon – thanks so much!!

    • Tanisha says

      This salad is one of my very favorites! So flavorful and not too hard to put together. I do have a question though – do you think the dressing could be made ahead & frozen? And, how about the tempeh? (If I marinated & cooked, then froze). Do you think that would still turn out good? You’re much more experienced than I in the kitchen, your knowledge & opinion for this would be greatly appreciated before I attempt it. Thanks! :)

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Tanisha, We’re so glad you enjoy it! Our concern with both is that the texture would be impacted. But we haven’t tried and can’t say for sure. Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It probably won’t be quite as filling, but it might be enough for an entree depending on hunger levels. Let us know if you give it a try!

  22. Kenzie says

    Thank you Dana! This is delicious!!! We were generous with the herbs and sauce and added some broccoli & baby kale. I doubled the recipe so we’d have enough for lunch tomorrow and I’m so glad I did!

  23. Anya says

    My husband just made this and it was sooooo goood. The mint smelled so good. The veggies were so crunchy. The flavor was spot on. We’ll be making this again for sure! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Paige Tamm says

      Not personally a fan of tofu or tempeh, so I added roasted chicken for protein and it was very good! I always LOVE your recipes. I impress my family every time I make one- they can’t believe vegetarian food can be so good, HA! I also love that I can always add meat because my husband is that man that HAS to have meat in every meal lol.

  24. WILL says

    The measurements for the peanut sauce are all off!!! I made this several times exactly according to the recipy and every time I’m short on sauce. I wonder if it has anything to do with me burying my face in the pan of sauce every time cuz this stuff is delicious!!!
    Easy as hell to make, doesn’t take long and jummy!

    • Mishalala says

      Hahaha! I’m not the OP but wanted to comment – I always have this problem with insufficient amounts of sauce, probably for the exact reason you mention! I just double my sauce ingredients to avoid this problem.

  25. Tracy says

    We ate this 2 nights in a row last week and making it again tonight. So gorgeous and delicious. Been vegetarian for 9 years and have never liked tempeh until now! Thank you! The only adjustment we made was to use half almond butter, half tahini in both the tempeh marinade and dressing because my gripe with peanut/almond sauces is they’re too sweet. Otherwise changed nothing. Fantastic recipe!

  26. Martha says

    Love love love this recipe! We made the tempeh too and it was so flavorful. I described it to my husband as a deconstructed spring roll, I loved the pop of the mint. We took the left overs on a road trip with us and it was the perfect salad to eat in the car. Healthy and hearty. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  27. Tina says

    This was delicious! And that dressing – yum! I’ve recently switched to plant based eating. I was a little overwhelmed at first, since I didn’t know how to cook plant based recipes or what I even liked. I’m glad I found your page. So many of the recipes I’ve tried are so good – it’s definitely made cutting meat and dairy much easier.

  28. Erin Chavez says

    This was the most delicious thing I have ever had. I could have eaten the entire thing myself. I will be making this often to keep for lunches throughout the week! And it is so beautiful too!

  29. Tanya says

    Hi Dana, I love your recipes. This one is spot on. I’m starting a small meal planing service where I would love to use different recipes, including yours. How can I do that to show full credit to you? Can I include link with your website or just specific recipe? Thanks.Tanya

  30. Karly says

    This is on the weekly rotation at my house. Love this recipe. I never liked tempeh until this recipe and now I LOVE it.

  31. Rebecca Jaeger says

    I have made this recipe a couple of times and loved it! The flavors are spot on! I would love it if you published more recipes for people following lower carb, high protein diets, or if you included suggestions on making the recipes lower carb :)