Peanut Tempeh Slaw

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This tempeh slaw is an easy, high protein salad made with crunchy veggies, hearty tempeh, and a creamy peanut sauce.

Peanut tempeh slaw is perfect for a light lunch or dinner side. It’s crunchy, saucy, flavorful, easy to make, and can be prepped in advance to save time during a busy work day. I’ve been making this salad every week because I just can’t get enough!

Key Ingredients

  • Tempeh A good source of plant-based protein (about 50g in an 8 ounce block!), tempeh makes this salad hearty and satisfying. If you don’t like tempeh, see the FAQ below for other high protein substitutes.
  • Peanut Butter For creamy, nutty flavor. I recommend a natural peanut butter that is just made from peanuts (and maybe salt).
  • Crunchy Veggies Here I used cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and green onions. Make sure they are shredded/thinly sliced so they aren’t too tough to chew.
  • Cilantro For a little extra herby flavor, but you can omit if you don’t like cilantro or try another herb like mint.

Tips for Success

Steam tempeh Steaming tempeh helps open up its pores, making it easier for tempeh to absorb flavors. Tempeh is very bland on its own with a slightly bitter undertone, so you really want to season it properly.

Marinate tempeh After steaming the tempeh, we marinate it in a peanut sauce so it can soak up the flavors. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but you can also prep it the day before.

Switch up the ingredients Red cabbage, bell peppers, snow peas, snap peas, celery, corn, and roasted peanuts would be delicious as well! You can also swap out some of the veggies for noodles. And if you like spice, feel free to add a teaspoon of chili sauce to the dressing.

peanut tempeh salad in a bowl with chopsticks

Peanut Tempeh Slaw FAQ

What can I use instead of tempeh?
You can use half a block (about 8 ounces) of extra firm tofu, or one full block and double the marinade ingredients. If using tofu, you can skip the steaming step and go straight to marinating. You may need to bake the tofu for longer (12-15 minutes each side).
Or if you’d like an extra quick meal, you can skip the marinating/baking process entirely and just add edamame to the salad.

What can I use instead of peanut butter?
Almond butter would be a tasty substitute. For a nut-free option I would recommend Chinese or Japanese sesame paste which is made from toasted sesame seeds. If you can’t access this, you can try tahini or sunflower seed butter.

Is this gluten-free?
Yes, this tempeh slaw is gluten-free if you use tamari or another gluten-free soy sauce alternative.

Can I make tempeh slaw ahead of time?
Yes! In fact, I often like to make it a few hours before serving to really allow the flavors to mesh. Keep in mind that watery veggies (like cucumbers, tomatoes) will release liquid as the salad sits (especially once mixed with dressing). If you are adding lettuce to the slaw, add it just before serving as the lettuce will start to wilt once mixed with dressing.

peanut tempeh salad close up

More Hearty Salads

If you make this peanut tempeh slaw, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

Peanut Tempeh Slaw

This tempeh slaw is an easy, high protein lunch made with crunchy veggies, hearty tempeh, and a creamy peanut sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Asian, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings 3


Peanut Tempeh

  • 1 block (8 oz) tempeh, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari**1, low sodium if desired
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp water


  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce or tamari**1, low sodium if desired
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • tsp black pepper


  • 2 ½ cups cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, julienned
  • 1 carrot, shredded or julienned
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped


  • Steam tempeh: Place tempeh in a microwave-safe container with a tablespoon of water. Cover and microwave for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool, leaving the cover slightly open to allow some steam to escape (but don't uncover completely or the tempeh can dry out).
  • Marinate tempeh: Mix together the tempeh marinade in a large container. Add tempeh and mix until all the tempeh pieces are coated in the sauce. Marinate the tempeh for at least 30 minutes. If marinating for longer (multiple hours), place in the fridge.
  • Bake tempeh: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat*.
  • Spread tempeh pieces out on baking tray, making sure they aren't touching. Bake for 8 minutes, then flip the tempeh pieces and bake another 8 minutes or until browned.
  • Make dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake to combine.
  • Make salad: Add vegetables and tempeh to a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over and toss until well combined.


1) Use tamari for gluten-free.

Nutrition per serving: 290 kcal | 11g fat | 2g sat fat | 28g carbs | 2g added sugar | 9.5g fiber | 22g protein | 812mg sodium

*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!

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