This Jamaican-inspired Jerk Tempeh Salad is my new favorite 30-minute vegan dinner.
I think (I hope) summer is finally in full swing here in Colorado, which means I’m in the mood for a meal that has a little extra tropical flair.
This is also the time of year when I want fruit all the time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.
Is there anything better than fresh fruit during summertime? I really don’t think so.
This Caribbean-inspired jerk tempeh salad is topped with sweet-and-tart mango salsa. With all the fruity, tropical vibes, this is everything I need for an ideal warm-weather meal.
How to Make Jerk Tempeh Salad
There are three main components to this dish: mango salsa, spinach salad, and, of course, tempeh.
The most time-consuming part of the mango salsa is chopping up the ingredients. Once everything is prepped, you just have to mix it all together. Easy.
The salad is also super simple. Toss spinach, cabbage, red beans, cooked rice, and cilantro. Set the bowl aside until you're ready to serve.
Finally, cook the tempeh.
Coat both sides of the tempeh in melted coconut oil and jerk seasoning. Then cook it in an oil-coated skillet for about four minutes on each side or until browned and crispy.
What is jerk seasoning?
Jerk seasoning originated in Jamaica. The exact recipe varies, but usually includes allspice and some sort of hot pepper.
The blend I used is based on a recipe from the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook (one of my all-time favorites). I use a mix of garlic powder, cayenne, thyme, salt, allspice, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed into a firm block. Often, tempeh also includes a grain like brown rice.
You can learn more about tempeh and facts about soybeans here.
Can I substitute another protein?
Jerk seasoning works for tempeh, tofu, fish, poultry, or meat. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time depending on the size and type of protein you choose.
Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
This is a good recipe for meal prep and also works well for a desk lunch if you need something packable. Just keep the salsa separate to prevent everything from getting soggy.
Are you also someone who loves fruit during summer?
Give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes!
- 1 cup diced mango (2 medium)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
- ½- inch knob ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 ¼ cup cooked red kidney beans (1 can drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup chopped green cabbage
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper
- 1 (8-ouncblock tempeh
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (plus additional to coat pan)
- 2 tablespoons jerk seasoning (store-bought or homemade — recipe below)
Stir together mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
Stir red kidney beans, baby spinach, green cabbage, cooked brown rice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
Brush both sides of the tempeh with melted coconut oil and coat with jerk seasoning.
Place tempeh block in an oil-coated skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes, or until the bottom is crisp and browned. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until the other side is crisp and browned.
Use a spatula to transfer the tempeh to a cutting board and slice into pieces.
Divide salad and tempeh pieces between plates and spoon mango salsa on top. Serve with remaining salsa if desired.
Meal prep: make the salsa, salad, and tempeh up to 2 days in advance if desired, but store mango salsa separately to prevent sogginess.
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (see note)
- 1 tablespoon dry thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Stir garlic powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, allspice, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.
Use as a seasoning for tempeh, tofu, fish, poultry, or meat.
Reduce or omit cayenne pepper for a milder flavor.
Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest.
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