Vegan quinoa salad with BBQ tempeh is a protein-packed meal that comes together quickly and easily. Make it today for a nutritious lunch or dinner, or meal prep it for later!
Alright my friends, now that you know the 411 on tempeh, let’s use it in a recipe! A clean out the fridge and pantry staple type of recipe! Aka BAS –> BIG A** SALADS! Haha, at least that’s what we call it.
Salads are infamous for being a light side dish. Most consider them to be a veggie necessity rather than a craveworthy, filling meal.
Not this salad, y’all!
We’re combining tempeh and quinoa to pump up the macronutrients in this power salad. Tempeh is packed with protein, fiber, b vitamins, and iron! Quinoa is right up there with it. Rich in Iron, fiber, and protein, quinoa adds in more plant based protein that’s also a complete protein. Meaning it has all 9 essential amino acids. It’s also rich in vitamin C and minerals. No one will ever know it’s vegan. Gasp!
Putting together quinoa (which is a complete protein) and barbecue tempeh is a guaranteed way to fill you up and keep you full for hours.
Not only that, but the added corn, avocado, tomatoes, and other veggies provide tons of vitamins, minerals, iron, and fiber.
It’s all served with a delicious maple bbq sauce – meaning you’ll want to eat every last bite!
What we have here is not your average salad. It’s a vegan power meal!
Ingredients in the vegan quinoa salad
The ingredients have a southwestern flare when put together that will keep you coming back for more!
- Quinoa — Cooked according to the package instructions. I make it with one cup of dry quinoa and two cups of either water or veggie broth.
- Tempeh — See my homemade tempeh recipe or use gluten-free prepared tempeh.
- Maple BBQ Sauce (see below for the recipe)
- Red Onion
- Bell Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Lettuce — I prefer romaine, but use your favorite
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil and Vinegar (optional)
Ingredients for maple BBQ sauce/marinade
The barbecue sauce is made easier by starting with a prepared base and building flavor onto it.
- Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce
- Ginger — Fresh is preferred, but ground will work.
- Maple Syrup
- Sea Salt and Pepper
How to make Barbecue Tempeh
Making bbq tempeh is a lot easier than you may think! Though tempeh can be intimidating for first-timers, once you give it a try, you’ll want to incorporate it into tons of meals. Especially if you prepare it with maple barbecue sauce!
- Slice the tempeh into 1”x2” strips or crumble by hand
- Prepare the bbq sauce by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl. If you’re short on time, you can use your favorite prepared sauce.
- Coat a medium skillet with olive or sesame oil, and heat it over medium flame.
- Add the tempeh to the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Sear the tempeh for 3-5 minutes on each side until crispy.
- Pour the bbq sauce into the skillet, covering the tempeh. Mix well.
- Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, allowing the sauce to caramelize on the tempeh.
Assembling the salad
The salad assembly is super easy – it’s just a matter of layering the prepared ingredients!
- Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once it’s cooked, fluff it with a fork and set it aside to cool.
Chop and slice the veggies
- Chop the red onion.
- Slice the bell pepper.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes.
- Chop the lettuce.
- Cook the corn kernels.
- Tear up the cilantro.
- Slice the avocado.
- Place the cool quinoa into a large bowl, or split it between two smaller bowls.
- Layer the vegetables on top of the quinoa, followed by the bbq tempeh, then the cilantro and avocado, and add salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar to taste.
Meal Prep: Make it ahead!
This quinoa and tempeh salad can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days.
I recommend layering everything except the greens (cilantro, lettuce, and avocado) before storing it in the refrigerator. You can keep the bbq tempeh separate as well. Then, just heat it up before adding it to the salad.
Right before serving, garnish with the greens, then enjoy!
What else can I make with bbq tempeh?
The tempeh is great served in this quinoa salad, but it can go way beyond that!
- Try it wrapped up in some fluffy flatbread or gluten-free tortilla.
- Make a vegan rib sandwich with it on some sliced bread with pickles and slaw.
- Serve it over grains of your choice (rice or millet are great choices).
- Enjoy it on some gluten-free crackers for a quick, protein-packed snack!
Vegan quinoa salad with BBQ tempeh is a protein-packed meal with southwest flavors. Make this salad recipe today for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
- 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water or veggie broth
- pinch of salt
- 8 ounces tempeh (gluten free), crumbled
- 1/2 c to 2/3 c maple bbq sauce or bbq sauce of choice (gluten free) – If you’re using my recipe HERE, you will need the following:
- 1/2 c gluten free BBQ sauce, 2 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (adjust to your likeness)
- sea salt an pepper to taste
- 1 small red onion, chopped.
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 to 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 3 to 4 cups chopped romaine or lettuce of choice
- 1 cup corn kernels (cooked)
- 1 cup torn fresh Cilantro
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil and vinegar to drizzle (optional)
Prepare the quinoa
- Cook quinoa according to package. I used 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. Bring the water or broth to a boil in a large saucepan. If using water, add a pinch of salt. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Reduce to medium low. Cook covered, over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.
- Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
Prepare the BBQ tempeh
- Next, prepare tempeh. Full recipe is here.
- To prepare the maple bbq sauce, combine all ingredients for sauce into a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside. If you’re short on time, you may use 1/2 cup prepared BBQ sauce of choice. I reduced the amount needed for this salad, but feel free to use up to 2/3 cup.
- Place olive oil or sesame oil in a medium size pan/skillet. Heat skillet to medium heat and place sliced or crumbled tempeh in the pan/skillet. Turn skillet to medium high and sear the tempeh 3-5 minutes on each side until crispy.
- After searing, add BBQ sauce to the pan, covering the tempeh. Mix thoroughly.
- Cook again for 2-3 minutes, coating each side to caramelize the sauce on the tempeh.
Assemble the Salad
- Toss the quinoa with your chopped vegetables (bell pepper, tomatoes, romaine, corn). Place the BBQ tempeh on top and add any extra sauce of choice. Toss again.
- Garnish with avocado, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve into bowls or plates. Serves 1 large salad or 2 smaller individual salads.
This salad can be made ahead (minus the avocado) and kept in fridge for up to 3 day. Great for meal prep as well!
- Category: salad
- Method: stove
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 3/4 c quinoa plus fixings
Keywords: vegan quinoa salad, tempeh, BBQ sauce
Alright my friends, I hope you are staying healthy and well nourished. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for anything. Or if you have questions about cooking tempeh, quinoa, etc. I’m here for ya!
Cheers to new meal ideas!