This Thai-inspired peanut tempeh noodle salad is comprised of tempeh baked in peanut sauce, mango, peppers, cucumber, and rice noodles tossed in coconut-lime-cilantro dressing! The perfect minimal fuss dinner for hot weather.
The other evening, I was watching “Jamie Oliver’s 15-Minute Meals” while making dinner. I love the show, not only for the recipe inspiration it provides, but for how easy he makes cooking look (to say nothing of how badly I want his kitchen!!!). The irony of it all is that in the amount of time that it took me to prepare one relatively simple dinner, he had made three of his 15-minute meals. Ha! You might think that, given all the recipes I create, I am an efficient cook, but I actually take my own sweet time in the kitchen. By the end of the day, I’m usually pretty tired and not moving all that fast. That’s why I love one-bowl meals such as the one I’m about to share!
Now allow me to introduce to you the summer salad of your dreams: Rice noodles tossed in lime-coconut-cilantro dressing. Crunchy bell peppers and cucumber. Sweet, juicy mango. Rich and satisfying peanut sauce-baked tempeh. In this Thai-inspired main dish salad, these components come together for the ultimate heat wave dinner!
It’s still incredibly hot in Ottawa (I mean 40+ degrees Celsius with the humidex hot), which means most of our meals have been low-fuss or no-fuss. The Vegan Snack Board has been a mainstay, as have meal-sized salads.
This salad is an adaptation of one of the earlier recipes I developed for the blog: Thai Peanut Tempeh Kale Salad. I wanted to make it heartier, so I swapped out the kale for rice noodles, which are tossed in a creamy yet fresh-tasting coconut milk, lime, cilantro, and mint dressing. The noodles are then topped with diced mango and cucumber, sliced peppers, and tempeh that’s been marinated and then baked in a homemade peanut sauce.
Ingredients you’ll need
For the dressing:
- Cilantro, mint, lime juice, coconut milk, garlic, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and hemp hearts.
For the peanut tempeh:
- Tempeh, peanut butter, lime juice, tamari, sriracha or hot sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and water.
For the rest of the salad:
- Rice noodles (or soba noodles), red pepper, cucumber, and mango.
Step by step instructions
- Start by preparing the tempeh, since it’s best if it marinates for some time before baking. Chop the tempeh into cubes and steam it for a couple of minutes to open up its “pores.” (This helps it absorb the marinade.) Mix up the peanut sauce by whisking together peanut butter, lime juice, tamari, sriracha, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and water in a bowl. Place the steamed, cubed tempeh in a square baking dish and pour the peanut sauce over top. Toss to evenly coat all of the cubes in peanut sauce. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- After the tempeh has marinated, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and carefully spoon out the tempeh cubes onto it. Reserve the remaining peanut sauce to serve with the salad. Bake the tempeh at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
- While the tempeh is baking, prepare the dressing. Place coconut milk, lime juice, maple syrup, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and hemp in a blender and blend until smooth. Note that the dressing is quite thin/runny- this is normal.
- Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package and slice/chop the pepper, cucumber, and mango.
- To assemble the salad, place the rice noodles in a salad bowl and pour about half of the coconut lime dressing over top. Toss to coat and arrange the tempeh, peppers, mango, and cucumber on top. Drizzle remaining peanut sauce over the tempeh and serve.
- If allergic to peanuts, use sunflower seed butter or tahini in the peanut sauce.
- If allergic to soy, forego the tempeh and use 1-2 cups of cooked black beans or adzuki beans in its place. Simply add the cooked beans to the salad and drizzle peanut sauce over top.
looking for more vegan recipes with tempeh? Try these:
- Spring Abundance Bowls with Maple Balsamic Tempeh
- Thai Peanut Tempeh Kale Salad
- Sweet and Sour Tempeh Meatballs
I hope you love this Thai-inspired peanut tempeh noodle salad! If you make it, let me know how you enjoyed it by leaving a comment and rating below. And if you post a photo to Instagram, be sure to tag @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen so that I can feature it in my stories!
A fabulous meal-sized salad with rice noodles, peanut-baked tempeh, mango, vegetables, and coconut lime cilantro mint dressing.
Peanut Baked Tempeh
- 1 (8-oz) block of tempeh, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup natural smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ½ tbsp tamari
- 1 ½ tbsp sriracha, or to taste
- 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp water
Coconut Lime Cilantro Dressing
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ cup hemp hearts (also called hulled hemp seeds)
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups fresh cilantro (some stems are fine)
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
For the Salad
- 250 grams rice noodles or soba noodles
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ an English cucumber, diced
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
- The tempeh needs to marinate for at least 30 minutes for best flavour, so prepare it first. Place the cubed tempeh in a steamer basket on the stove and steam for a couple of minutes, to allow the pores to open up and absorb more of the marinade. Meanwhile, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, tamari, sriracha, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and water in a small bowl. Place the steamed tempeh in a square dish and pour the peanut sauce over top. Toss to evenly coat the tempeh cubes, cover, and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- After the tempeh has marinated, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Carefully scoop the tempeh cubes onto the baking sheet, reserving the marinade to drizzle over the salad later.
- Bake the tempeh for 20 minutes. During baking, the tempeh develops a crisp outer layer that’s totally addictive. It’s a delicious snack in its own right!
- While the tempeh is baking, make the coconut lime cilantro dressing: Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and cover until ready to serve.
- Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package.
- To assemble the salad, place the cooked noodles in a large bowl and drizzle with about half of the coconut dressing. Toss to coat. Top with the peppers, cucumber, mango, and peanut tempeh. Drizzle the tempeh with additional peanut sauce. Toss again, if desired, or leave everything as is (as I did in the photos) for a more artistic presentation.
- Serve extra coconut lime dressing at the table so that people can add more as desired.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Supper, Main Dish, Meal-Sized Salad
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Thai Peanut Tempeh Noodle Salad, Coconut Lime Cilantro Dressing