Tempeh "Chicken" Salad

"For those of you who have never tried it, tempeh is a made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed into firm cakes. It has a "nutty" and meaty texture, and, like tofu, it absorbs flavors of surrounding ingredients really well. Tempeh is a very popular "meat" alternative for vegetarian cooks. The first step in this recipe has you poach the tempeh in boiling water, which mellows out the flavor a bit, and makes it a bit more digestible. This is yet another recipe from, my favorite: The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook."
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Nourished Homestead photo by Nourished Homestead
Ready In:
4 sandwiches




  • Place the cubed tempeh in a saucepan of boiling, salted water.
  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 12 minutes, drain and set aside to cool.
  • I usually toss it in the fridge.
  • In a large bowl, combine the celery, pepper, pickle, scallion and parsley.
  • Run a knife through the cubed tempeh, just to give it a rough chop (optional, the cubes work fine too) Add chopped tempeh to the bowl, along with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon, salt and pepper.
  • Fold everything together, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.
  • This will keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • This salad goes great on wheat toast, in a pita pocket, or in a lavash wrap.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Well, I haven't had real chicken salad in ages (so I'm not going to compare) but this turned out a very delicious lunch, wrapped it in a tortilla with a little lettuce. The salad has a little crunch from the veggies and the pickle gives a little kick. I used a homemade soy mayonnaise, so had to add even more salt and pepper because it was pretty bland stuff (MY mayo, that is!) I'm sure regular mayo would have been even better, but I'm not going there! Just a note: I accidentally simmered my tempeh much longer than stated, and it turned out fine. So if anyone leaves it on the stove a little too long, all is not lost!!!
  2. Oh my gosh this was fricken fabulous!! I never know what to do with tempeh. This will absolutely be a staple recipe. Of course I did not have exactly the same ingredients (almost) and had to add some fresh minced garlic and extra extra celery. Thank you for this recipe! :)
  3. Awesome recipe! I have shared it with everyone who has tasted it. One time I could not find the tempeh I wanted and ended up buying sesame ginger tempeh. I chopped it up and browned it first, cooled it off and mixed with the rest of the ingredients in this recipe. It was fantastic. Have been making it that way ever since. Thanks for posting this recipe!
  4. Delicious! Love tempeh this way. I also used an 8oz package (the whole grain one from Trader Joe's, so good), and followed your easy directions, tweaking the amounts just a bit. I like the poaching method a lot, turned out fabulously tasty with great texture. I only had sweet gerkins around, so used them along with some dill....and of course, Veganese. Thanks Kozmic!
  5. Fan freakin tastic. Wasn't sure about the pickles and bell pepper at first, but was just delish. I used garden veggie tempeh cause that was all I had, and reduced the amounts a little bit since it was an 8oz package. This is going to be a staple for me from now on!


  1. My only criticism of this recipe is that it asks for 12 oz. of Tempeh when they usually come in 8 oz packages, so my tweak is to reduce some of the ingredients, such as mayo and mustard, and I also wrap in large leaf of romain lettuce instead of bread to be more of a "Veggie-Paleo." I also substituted pickle relish--much more convenient and just as good. Yum!
  2. Super yummy! Great in a low calorie wrap with some lettuce and tomato. Really hit the spot. Make recipe as written, except I added some Canadian Steak Seasoning and lemon pepper to the water instead of just salt. I think boiling it in veggie broth would impart nice flavors too. Thanks for sharing!!! UPDATE: This time I didn't simmer the tempeh and it still turned out super good. I also increased the celery, added lemon pepper, omitted the lemon juice, and added a little sweet pickle relish along with the dill pickle. YUM! Love this stuff.
  3. Chicken Salad? No. Delicious? Yes. Easy? Yes. Will I make it again with tempeh? You bet!<br/>I haven't tried this variation yet, but I bet substituting chicken for tempeh would make a fantastic chicken salad too.
  4. This is delicious! I love tempeh and am always trying to find new things to do with it. I used sweet relish instead of the pickles, and also sauteed/fried the tempeh with half of the scallions in some oil for a few minutes after boiling it. Then added some paprika and shredded carrots to the mix. Wonderful recipe!
  5. Like so many others, I was a tempeh "virgin" and this recipe sounded wonderful. I didn't have any red pepper or fresh parsley, and I subbed pickle relish for the chopped dill pickles, and this still turned out impressively. I used the spicy brown mustard, too. Tastes like that fancy schmancy chicken salad with the pecans in it, thanks to the nutty taste from the tempeh. Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe!


Friend me on Facebook: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/rebekah.reid" title="Rebekah Reid" target="_TOP" style="font-family: "lucida grande",tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; font-variant: normal; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #3B5998; text-decoration: none;">Rebekah Reid</a> | <a href="http://www.facebook.com/badges.php" title="Make your own badge!" target="_TOP" style="font-family: "lucida grande",tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; font-variant: normal; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #3B5998; text-decoration: none;">Create Your Badge</a><a href="http://www.facebook.com/rebekah.reid" title="Rebekah Reid" target="_TOP"><img src="http://badge.facebook.com/badge/1059979755.389.889814801.png" alt="Rebekah Reid" style="border: 0px;" /></a> Follow me on <a href="http://twitter.com/Becky_R">Twitter!</a> <a href="http://web.me.com/kozmic_blues">My Website!</a> <a href="http://beckystastyplanet.blogspot.com/">Food Blog!</a> <a href="http://gallery.mac.com/kozmic_blues">Photo Gallery!</a> Thanks for visiting my "About Me" page!! I'm Becky and I live in Providence, Rhode Island. I probably enjoy cooking more than almost anything...which is why I adore this site so much!! Nothing makes me more happy than to create a meal for family and friends to share together and ENJOY. <img src=http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:mxVQnIIYIrpqKM:http://quakeragitator.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/autism_awareness_logo3.jpg><img src=http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:AfhXhWEtLQYbVM:http://www.marriageequalityri.org/photos/shop.a1.jpg><img src=http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:iSI4l3JhSOqKPM:http://marriagerights.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/gay-pride-flag-738850.jpg><img src=http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:1J1-2O7PWW4c5M:http://www2.hawaii.edu/~mccorkhi/vegan.jpg> <img src=http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m445/mliss29/vegn%20swap/vegnswap.jpg> <img src=http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m445/mliss29/vegn%20swap/group07kiwi.jpg> <img src=http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m445/mliss29/vegnswap1/group02banana.jpg> <img src=http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m445/mliss29/vegnswap1/group12starfruit.jpg>
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes