Vegan Tempeh "Chicken" Salad Recipe

Vegetarian tempeh chicken salad on a bed of lettuce
Vegan tempeh chicken salad on a bed of lettuce. Photo by J. Hackett
Ratings (4)
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: about 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
250 Calories
23g Fat
5g Carbs
7g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A vegetarian "chicken" salad recipe made with tempeh as a vegetarian and vegan chicken substitute. Make it vegan by using and egg-free and dairy-free vegan mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise; all of the other ingredients are completely vegan. Another option? To turn this tempeh salad into a simple curried tempeh chicken salad, add in a handful of raisins and slivered almonds and increase the amount of curry, perhaps adding a bit more salt as well. 

Just like a regular chicken salad recipe, this vegetarian tempeh chicken salad recipe is one of those recipes that will do best made ahead of time, so it has plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator, allowing the tempeh to soak up all the flavors.

If you're not convinced that this is the perfect vegetarian chicken salad recipe, you might be interested in trying out this easy chicken salad recipe, made with vegetarian chicken deli slices, mayonnaise, relish and fresh dill. If you like cooking with tempeh, ​here's even more tempeh recipes to try. 


  • 1 package tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Water for boiling the tempeh
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. onion, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • Optional: dash of cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. The first step in preparing this vegan tempeh chicken salad recipe is to prepare the tempeh, since, just like real chicken, it needs to be cooked first and it can't be used raw, even though it will eventually be served chilled.

  2. To prepare your tempeh, bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot or large skillet and add the cut tempeh. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Drain all of the water.

  3. Next, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tempeh and fry the tempeh in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to cook the tempeh on all sides. Once the tempeh is cooked, remove the pan from heat and allow to cool.

  4. Once the tempeh has cooled, In a large bowl, combine the cooled tempeh with the mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise, the lemon juice, onion, celery, dried parsley, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine well and make sure that the mayonnaise is evenly coating the tempeh.

  5. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings or add a bit more salt and pepper to taste, if you'd like. 

  6. Enjoy your tempeh chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, between two lightly toasted pieces of bread or stuffed into a pita bread for a pocket pita sandwich.

Looking for the perfect salad recipe? You'll find it amongst these dozens of healthy salad recipes, including green salads, pasta salads, bean salads and more.