Queso Tempeh Taco Salad

Even though it’s a salad, taco salad is usually a far cry from a healthy dish. Its main ingredients typically include fried tortillas, taco meat, and cheese, which all come together to create a calorie-, sodium-, and saturated fat-loaded entree. We made a few tweaks to fix this problem. Our new and improved taco salad is a nutrient-dense, fiber-loaded entree with all the savory flavors intact.


Vegan Tempeh Taco Salad


We love the tempeh taco meat in this recipe because it’s so versatile. I’ve put it in tacos, burritos, on our Mile High Nachos, in quesadillas.. really whatever Mexican-style dish you like. If you don’t want to mess with pulling all the spices out and measuring them, I’ve found that taco or fajita seasoning does the trick almost as well.

You can also use taco or fajita seasoning in place of the spices in the queso. If you do this I’d recommend also including the turmeric, not only because of its amazing health benefits (read about that here), but also because it gives it that nice yellow cheesy color.


Tempeh Taco Meat in Skillet

Vegan Tempeh Taco Salad

Plant-Based Queso Tempeh Taco Salad

A vegan/plant-based taco salad that is a nutrient-dense, fiber-loaded entree with all those yummy, savory flavors intact. 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Dairy-Free Queso, Salad, Taco Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


Tortilla Chips

Dairy-Free Queso Dressing

Tempeh Taco "Meat"

All Other Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1/2 cup black beans cooked, rinsed
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 avocado diced


Tortilla Chips

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  • Slice tortillas into ~1/2" x 2" strips. Arrange strips on a baking sheet. Make sure to not overlap them. Bake for 20 minutes, or until starting to brown. Watch these carefully as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and leave oven on.

Dairy-Free Queso Dressing

  • Place all queso ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides periodically.

Tempeh Taco "Meat"

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Using your hands, break the tempeh up into small pieces and add it to the pan. Cook until it begin to brown, which should take about 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Add all the tempeh taco meat spices and stir to coat the tempeh evenly. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to prevent sticking to pan. Continue to cook until tempeh is crispy on the edges. This should take approximately 10 - 12 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally.


  • Place lettuce in bowl followed by beans, tomato, avocado, pickled jalapenos and tempeh taco meat. Drizzle and toss queso to coat everything evenly. Sprinkle tortilla strips on top. 


Strapped for time? Wanting to simplify things? Use taco or fajita seasoning in place of the seasonings in the queso dressing and in the tempeh taco meat. 
I usually have some tempeh taco meat and queso leftover. I recommend using it for tacos, burritos, quesadillas or nachos!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @whollyplantsblog on Instagram and hashtag it #whollyplants


Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating