Baked Tempeh Salad with Honey Chipotle Dressing

Baked Tempeh Salad with Honey Chipotle Dressing | A Couple Cooks

Baked Tempeh Salad with Honey Chipotle Dressing | A Couple Cooks

When we started eating mainly vegetarian, we held a popular misconception: eating no meat = eating meat substitutes. Luckily, we came to find it was perfectly doable to eat a vegetable-based diet that was free from fake sausage or tofu hot dogs. Our protein sources come mainly from beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, cheese, and dairy, and it’s fairly easy to get the recommended daily amount.

One unique protein-rich vegetable product we’ve grown to love is tempeh. Similar to tofu, it’s made from soybeans, but it’s a whole soybean product, which gives it a firmer texture. It may seem a little bit “hippy vegetarian-ish”, but with some spices or a tasty marinade, it can make for a delicious entree that even a meat-lover can appreciate. (Another favorite in that category: our best Lemon Tahini Sauce.)

Alex had the idea of chopping the tempeh into cubes, roasting it tossed with cornmeal and olive oil, and serving it over a salad of crispy vegetables. We paired it with a creamy honey chipotle dressing made with a yogurt base. The flavors and textures worked together marvelously, and it’s the picture of health in a bowl. We ate it for several days straight because it was so tasty – and we felt glowingly healthy afterwards.

Amalfi Coast | A Couple Cooks

Now, enough about tempeh – we have some news: we’re going to Italy and Greece! After a long winter, we needed something to look forward to. We’ve decided to take a little trip, first to the Greek island of Santorini, where we’ll meet my sister and dear childhood friend, and then to Italy where we’ll repeat our honeymoon in Rome and the Amalfi Coast (above is a photo from Capri we took on our honeymoon 7 years ago.). The Mediterranean is one of our favorite places in the world, and we can’t wait to share all about it with you when we return.

Feel free to follow along real-time with our adventures on Instagram! In the meantime, we have some fabulous guest posters lined up while we’re away.


Crispy Tempeh Salad with Honey Chipotle Dressing

1 Star (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4


Use a yogurt with a thin consistency instead of a thick texture (like Greek yogurt); a thin consistency makes it easily pourable. Since this recipe uses only the adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers, you can freeze the peppers for later use.


  • 2 8-ounce packages tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces salad greens (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • ½ red cabbage
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek; we used Traders Point Creamery yogurt, which has a thin, pourable consistency)
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (enough for 1 tablespoon adobo sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven the 425°F.
  2. Cut the tempeh into thirds lengthwise, then into bite-sized cubes. In a bowl, mix the tempeh with 2 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt, stirring until thoroughly combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the tempeh pieces, then place it in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, stirring once.
  3. Meanwhile, wash all vegetables. Thinly slice the cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, and green onions. If necessary, thaw the corn.
  4. For the dressing, mix together 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix to combine; add a small amount of water if the dressing is not pourable.
  5. To serve, place the salad greens in a large bowl, then top with vegetables and warm tempeh pieces. Drizzle with honey chipotle dressing.


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    May 20, 2014 at 5:39 am

    I adore tempeh and completely agree meat substitutes are not necessary. What a great idea to coat the tempeh in cornmeal and roast it! Your vacation sounds amazing. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    May 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

    I am totally drooling over this! I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I eat a primarily plant-based diet and absolutely adore tempeh. Have a wonderful time in Italy and Greece! :)

  • Reply
    May 20, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I think we should stop ourselves from using the word substitute at all when not using meat. It makes it sound like the beans, or the tempeh, or the tofu are second-rate. I wonder if that’s why people don’t even want to try tofu. It’s billed as a substitute for meat and gives the impression we are only eating it because we have to! I agree tofu hot dogs and the like are a poor choice usually, but that’s because they are a processed food. But if you like them for your memorial day picnic, don’t look at them as a substitute. They are just your dinner!

    Safe, wonderful travels!!

  • Reply
    molly yeh
    May 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

    ohmygoooodnessss have sooo much fun on your trip!!!! i am alllllll kinds of jealous!!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I love the idea of making crispy tempeh croutons! So fun! I can get pretty sick of tempeh, even though we don’t eat it too often, so this will be a fun recipe to try. Have a BLAST on your trip. I am so excited for you two and also quite jealous. :) It’s going to be amazing!! Can’t wait to see photos!

  • Reply
    Lisa Cohen
    May 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

    This salad looks great. I’m always looking for ways to try to get myself to eat and like tempeh (LOL!). Making them into crispy croutons sounds like an interesting thing that I’m going to have to try! Thank you. Have a great time on your trip.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    You are going to have such an amazing trip (and co-incidentally, we almost ended up in Santorini next week but decided to go for Sardinia instead. Would have been crazy to bump into you there!).

  • Reply
    Katie @ Produce on Parade
    May 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Love tempeh! What a grand idea! So excited for your adventures in Greece, that’s going to be an amazing trip! I’ve never been that way before.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    May 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Baked tempeh?! COOL! This salad looks perfect!

  • Reply
    Rosie @The Porridge Pot
    May 21, 2014 at 5:15 am

    This looks and sounds amazing, I need to try this! Shame I have to sub in tofu – I can’t get any tempeh round here :(

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Beautiful and tasty salad.
    I love it.

  • Reply
    Valentina @Hortus
    May 22, 2014 at 7:14 am

    GUYS. I am still so bummed we won’t get to meet in Italy. You’ll have a blast in Europe though – I’ll be stalking your Instagram! :D

    You know, I hate all kinds of meat substitutes, but I once tried grilled tempeh at the Smorgasburg market in NY and just loved it. I never bought it from a store, as I doubt it would taste as interesting…but I might consider trying it again – just to see how the boxed one tastes like!
    Is there something that could go well here instead of the adobo sauce? I realize this is a bit of a pointless question, but there’s no way I’ll ever find it here.

    Safe travels guys! And most of all, eat well!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    This was wonderful. To save time I used pre chopped matchstick carrots and a bag of broccoli slaw instead of cabbage. Then used the same technique on a can of chickpeas in addition to tempeh. A salad full of crunch and flavor!

  • Reply
    Libby Lizarraga
    March 14, 2015 at 7:30 am

    The salad is great! The dressings taste too much cumin with chipotle adobo does not need it. I am chipotle’s lover.

    Great recipes in your website.


  • Reply
    Meg C.
    June 29, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Is there anyway I can substitute the tempeh with tofu and use the same recipe? This looks delicious and I definitely want to make it for dinner tonight!

    • Reply
      June 29, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Hi! Yes, tempeh should work fine!

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