This protein-packed blackened tempeh salad is loaded with flavor from the seasoned and roasted tempeh. The orange tahini dressing cuts the spice and adds a nice creamy component to the salad.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of salads and I love making meal-sized salads.

Plant-powered salad with blackened tempeh over fresh romaine with quinoa, red onion, bell pepper, avocado and a creamy orange tahini dressing.

This blackened tempeh salad is absolutely delicious and has all the components I look for when building a meal-sized salad:

  • lots of veggies (romaine, onion, bell pepper)
  • a good source of plant based protein (tempeh + quinoa)
  • smart carbs (quinoa)  — You can check out my round up of quinoa salad recipes.
  • satisfaction factor (lots of flavor, different textures + a large serving size)
Blackened Tempeh Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing

How to Make Blackened Tempeh

I love making blackened tempeh because it requires no marinating which I inevitably always forget to do in advance. Cut the tempeh in cubes and toss with your blackening spice: maple syrup, paprika, oregano, oil, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Blackening usually involves coating protein in a spice mixture and cooking in a cast-iron skillet, but I kept this recipe a bit more hands-off by roasting the spiced tempeh. Spread coated tempeh in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet or a baking stone. The roasting process only takes about 20 minutes and the tempeh comes out of the oven warm and crisp — perfect for topping a romaine based salad.

Blackened tempeh on a baking sheet.

Blackened Tempeh Salad

To balance out the spicy blackened flavor of the tempeh, I added fresh avocado slices and made a tahini dressing with a hint of orange juice and zest. The dressing is thick, creamy and a lovely compliment to the salad. I just love tahini dressings so much and this orange tahini combo is totally rocking my world.

I’ve used the leftover dressing for several salads since making this one and I’m hooked. For whatever reason I’ve never thought to add orange to a tahini dressing. 

Blackened Tempeh Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing

If you try this blackened tempeh salad please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting us know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers. 

Blackened Tempeh Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing

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Blackened tempeh salad with yellow pepper and microgreens. Dressing in a glass cup in the background.

Blackened Tempeh Salad

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2


Plant-powered blackened tempeh salad with fresh romaine, quinoa, red onion, bell pepper, avocado and a creamy orange tahini dressing.


Blackened Tempeh Salad

  • 1 package (8 oz) tempeh, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Orange Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice + 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 Tablespoons water, if necessary


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss tempeh with maple syrup, paprika, oregano, oil, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Spread coated tempeh in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet or a baking stone. Add sheet to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until browned and crunchy. Flip tempeh once around the 8 minute mark. Remove from oven.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients into a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Add a little water to thin the dressing if needed.
  3. Prep salads by layering half of the romaine, quinoa, bell pepper, onion, avocado and blackened tempeh in two separate bowls. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and serve.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Prep
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe + drizzle of dressing
  • Calories: 525
  • Sugar: 19g
  • Fat: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 25g

Keywords: blackened tempeh

More Tempeh Recipes You’ll Love:

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Recipe rating

    1. Allie
      July 22, 2019 AT 4:28 pm

      Hi Brittany – this recipe looks so good! Sadly, the link is no longer active, can you post the recipe or at least the dressing? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 22, 2019 AT 5:55 pm

        Oh, thank you so much for letting me know. Just posted the recipe here so you can access it. 🙂

        1. Allison Buttarazzi
          July 23, 2019 AT 8:11 pm

          Thanks! Can’t wait to make this for lunch next week!

    2. Shannon
      June 16, 2016 AT 12:44 pm

      That dressing looks so good!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 16, 2016 AT 11:32 pm

        Thank you Shannon. It’s delish!

    3. Emilie @ Emilie Eats
      June 15, 2016 AT 11:52 pm

      I love to have one big salad a day! Usually for lunch, because they fill me up so well until dinner. Tempeh is one of my must-have add ins. This orange tahini dressing sounds AH-mazing!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 16, 2016 AT 11:33 pm

        Me too!! I love having one big salad a day too. You should join the challenge in July. 🙂

    4. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
      June 15, 2016 AT 8:51 pm

      Great salad. I am a huge fan of salads. Definitely must try blackened tempeh.

    5. Amanda
      June 15, 2016 AT 7:56 pm

      I love the idea of a salad a day challenge! I think having a shopping list (or even just salad ingredient ideas) and dressing recipes would be great!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 16, 2016 AT 11:33 pm

        Awesome! Thank you for the suggestions, Amanda. I’m excited. 🙂

    6. Christine @ Run Plant Based
      June 15, 2016 AT 6:56 pm

      I am a huge tempeh fan and this sounds wonderful, great summer treat. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 16, 2016 AT 11:34 pm

        Thank you, Christine.

    7. AGS
      June 15, 2016 AT 1:59 pm

      That salad looks amazing! And yes, our smoke detector makes every stove-top blackening a major event.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2016 AT 3:19 pm

        Hehe! I’m glad to hear it’s not just us!! 🙂

    8. Kori
      June 15, 2016 AT 11:49 am

      I haven’t eaten tempeh in so long, but Lightlife has always been one of my favorite brands! This salad looks amazing, and the dressing sounds incredible.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2016 AT 3:20 pm

        Same here, Kori. It’s the only tempeh I buy and use! I hope you get a chance to try the salad.

    9. shashi at runninsrilankan
      June 15, 2016 AT 10:22 am

      I’m so loving the “Salad-a-day” challenge – and am so loving that blackened tempeh – I’ve had tempeh many ways but never blackened! YUM!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2016 AT 3:21 pm

        Yay!! I hope you’ll join the challenge next month, Shashi. 🙂

    10. Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish
      June 15, 2016 AT 9:19 am

      Love your tips for making a meal-sized salad! And you already know how I feel about quinoa 🙂 This salad looks delish. SUPER YUMMATOLA!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2016 AT 3:22 pm

        Yes!!! It’s so good and the quinoa is perfect on it. You’d love it. 🙂

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