Vegan Thai Chopped Salad with Tofu
This vegan Chopped Salad with Peanut Sauce and Tofu comes together quickly if you prep the brown rice and bake the tofu ahead of time. All it takes is some chopping, blending and mixing and you have a healthy, flavourful chopped salad loaded with color and texture. This recipe is gluten-free, oil-free and can be nut-free.
For today’s satisfying and nourishing salad, think finely chopped, colorful veggies, comforting brown rice, spicy peanut sauce and crispy baked tofu. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Thai Chopped Salad
This salad is super filling, I was full for hours after eating it. It makes 4 large meal-sized portions or 6-8 smaller portions. If you don’t have time for the tofu, the salad stands just fine on its own, so feel free to leave that out or substitute it with another protein.
I love making the veggie chopped salad portion of this and storing it in the fridge (in a Glasslock container) for quick, healthy meals. With all those colors in there, you know it’s packed with feel-good nutrients. If I’m not assembling the full salad, I’ll just throw a handful of the veggie mix into other quick lunch bowls or even breakfasts.
This salad is easily customizable by:
- swapping the tofu for another protein of choice such as chickpeas, edamame or tempeh
- using another whole grain such as quinoa or whole-wheat pasta instead of brown rice
- using whatever veggies you have on hand such as zucchini, any color of bell pepper or broccoli
- using Thai basil in addition to or instead of cilantro
- swapping the sauce for my coconut almond satay sauce or miso peanut sauce
- using almond butter or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (I use almond butter)
- adding chopped cashews or peanuts
You can also just make the peanut sauce and use it as a dip for baked tofu, drizzled over noodles or brown rice, over steamed broccoli, spread in a wrap or in another Asian-inspired salad.
More Healthy Salads to Try
If you like this one, you might enjoy these too:
Vegan Chickpea Salad with Lemon Tahini Sauce // Roasted Chickpea Avocado Salad // Carrot Beet Kale Salad with Roasted Potatoes // Cold Asian Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce // Vegan Dragon Bowls with Miso GravyPrint
For the Salad
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (add up to 2 cups if desired)
- 4 cups packed, finely chopped red cabbage (green cabbage is fine too)
- 2 carrots, grated (approx. 1.5 cups)
- 1 large or 2 small red peppers, finely diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
- 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup lightly packed, chopped cilantro
- 1/2 a cucumber, diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 1/2 a medium red onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)
For the Baked Tofu
- 1 package medium, firm or extra firm tofu, cut into cubes or triangles
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
For the Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 5 tbsp natural peanut butter (75 g, sub almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (omit if you don’t want it spicy or use more if you like it spicy!)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt and pepper
- To make the tofu, toss the tofu ingredients together in a bowl then bake on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until browned and crispy, flipping once halfway through (for extra crispiness, see notes on pressing).
- To make the dressing, add all the dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, or use and immersion blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Chop all the veggies and either divide between 4 containers or bowls and top each with equal amounts of rice, tofu and peanut sauce or mix everything together in a large bowl and serve mixed. I like to plate the veggies then top with the rice, tofu and sauce.
- Serve with fresh lime, tamari and if desired, a pinch of salt and pepper.
- To press your tofu before baking, fold a dishcloth over it and place something heavy on top of it for 20-30 minutes. If you’re crunched for time, it’s not absolutely necessary but it helps to press out extra water so it can absorb more flavor and get a little crispier.
- If meal prepping this recipe, I’d suggest storing the veggies and rice in one container and keeping the sauce and tofu separate until serving, or the day you plan to eat it if you’re packing it up an individual container.
- This is also really good as a hot dish. To make it a peanut stirfry, omit the cucumber then add all the veggies and the rice to a pan, cook for 5-10 minutes then serve with the hot baked tofu and sauce.
- The veggies don’t have to be exact. If you’re missing anything, no big deal and feel free to play around with the quantities of each.