This healthy vegan protein salad features high-protein ingredients such as tofu, tempeh, chickpeas and hemp seeds and is easy to make for a delicious and filling plant-based meal.

A bowl of salad with arugula, avocado, cucumber, tofu and tempeh. Slice of lemon in background.

About this Recipe

  • high-protein – this meal provides 40 grams of plant-based protein alongside 25 grams of fiber
  • dietary features – vegan, nut-free, oil-free and can be gluten-free
  • customizable – for a low-carb salad, omit chickpeas and see below for additional substitutions that can be made

Ingredient Notes

Labelled ingredients in bowls for making a vegan high-protein salad bowl.

Full ingredient list and amounts is located in the recipe card below. Here are a few helpful notes regarding specific ingredients:

  • tempeh – since we’re adding a marinade, plain tempeh is best…if you prefer you can use your favourite prepared packaged tempeh instead of adding your own marinade
  • tofu – medium, firm or extra-firm are all suitable
  • chickpeas – canned or home cooked both work great, any other bean or lentil would work here if you don’t have chickpeas, I’d suggest cooked green lentils, white kidney beans or black beans
  • hemp seeds – swap for sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) but hemp seeds provide the most protein
  • arugula – totally fine to use any other green of choice, if using kale, I’d suggest massaging it with a little olive oil to soften though

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Start with the tempeh and tofu. They can be baked at the same time but ideally you’ll marinade the tempeh for 30 minutes up to 2 hours. If you don’t have time to marinate, you can skip it or just do as long as you have time for.

  • For the tempeh, cube it, mix with the marinade ingredients, let sit then bake at 400 F for 20-30 minutes.
  • For the tofu, cube it, toss it with the listed tofu ingredients then bake for 30 minutes until browned.
Cubed tempeh mixed in a small bowl with marinade.
Cubed tofu mixed in a bowl with a soy sauce marinade.
Cubed and baked tofu and tempeh on a baking pan.

Step 3. Prepare the rest of the ingredients. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse and chop the cucumber and broccoli.

Quick Tip: I prefer to lightly steam the broccoli rather than leave it raw. To steam, bring water to a boil stovetop then use a steamer basket to steam the broccoli for 5 minutes.

Chickpeas, hemp seeds, avocado, arugula and broccoli on a counter.

Time to assemble your salad! Add everything to bowl, top with tahini and lemon and dig in!

Overhead image of bowl of salad with broccoli, cucumber, chickpeas, tofu and tempeh.
Adding a spoonful of tahini to a bowl of chickpea, broccoli, tofu, cucumber and tempeh salad.

Notes and Tips

  • Topping: I love nutritional yeast, sesame seeds, lemon, sea salt, pepper and hot sauce. For additional dressing, make my lemon tahini sauce instead of using plain tahini.
  • Breakfast: Believe it or not, this is perfect for a savoury, high-protein vegan breakfast! Start the day right with all this nutrition.
  • Tempeh: If you don’t want to do the balsamic tempeh, this almond butter marinated tempeh is amazing!
  • Low-Carb Option: For a lower-carb meal with close to the same amount of protein, omit the chickpeas.
Squeezing lemon over a bowl of green salad with tofu, tempeh and chickpeas.

Storing

  • Best enjoyed fresh but can be packed up and enjoyed the next day. When storing, add the salad greens last so they’re on top (prevents from getting soggy).
  • Tofu and tempeh can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
  • Cucumber and broccoli can be chopped and stored ahead of time for quicker assembly.
A bowl of salad with arugula, avocado, cucumber, tofu and tempeh. Slice of lemon in background.

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A bowl of salad with arugula, avocado, cucumber, tofu and tempeh. Slice of lemon in background.

Vegan Protein Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This protein-rich vegan salad packs in a whopping 40 grams of plant-based protein along with 24 grams of dietary fibre and a ton of essential vitamins and minerals. Enjoy this filling dish for a filling and energizing, savoury breakfast or lunch or dinner bowl.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Marinated Tempeh

  • one block of tempeh, cubed (approx. 250 g)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the Baked Tofu

For the Salad (per salad)

  • 1/2 cup chopped and steamed broccoli
  • 1 cup or big handful of fresh arugula
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 12 tbsp drippy tahini or 34 tbsp tahini dressing

Instructions

  1. To make the marinated tempeh, mix the marinade ingredients together in shallow dish then add the cubed tempeh. Let sit for 2 hours up to overnight then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes on a baking tray either sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with a silicone baking mat. Once it’s baked you can toss with a bit of the leftover marinade.
  2. To make the baked tofu, toss the cubed tofu with the rest of the ingredients and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until browed. You can bake it at the same time as the tempeh.
  3. To assemble the salad, add all of the salad ingredients along with baked tofu and tempeh to a bowl. Top with the tahini and finish with a spritz of fresh lemon juice and sea salt and enjoy.

Notes

The marinated tempeh and tofu make enough for 4 salads. The ingredients listed for the salad are per bowl, so be sure to double, triple or quadruple if you’re making more. If only making 1-2 salads, the extra tofu and tempeh can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

For a lower-carb salad, omit the chickpeas.

For an alternative tempeh marinade, try this almond butter marinated tempeh.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 619
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fat: 33 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49 g
  • Fiber: 24 g
  • Protein: 40 g

Keywords: vegan protein salad, vegan high-protein recipes, vegan tempeh salad

Update Note: Originally published August 24, 2018. Updated with new photos and text on August 24, 2020.