Tempeh Cashew Curry “Chicken” Salad

January 15, 2014

First, I want to apologize. I originally made this “chicken” salad back in August and have made it many times since then. The reason it hasn’t made an appearance yet is because I immediately inhale it before Josh can take pictures. Honestly, probably before I even assembled a decent looking sandwich. At least half goes directly into my mouth, no bread, no lettuce, no nothing.

Tempeh Cashew Curry "Chicken" Salad

Don’t let tempeh scare you away. I know it can look pretty terrifying, but it really doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so it works pretty well in this salad with so many flavors. If I keep up the honesty from earlier, I should tell you I’ve never had real chicken salad. I’ve tried lots of recipes for vegetarian chicken salad, but they’re almost always made from processed, frozen fake chicken. Nothing against those items — I eat them on occasion — but I have thyroid issues and over processed soy can impact thyroid function. Tempeh is made from fermented soy beans (again, don’t be scared!) which for some sciencey reason is better for thyroid health.

Tempeh Cashew Curry "Chicken" Salad

If you’re an actual, real chicken eater and happen to make this, I’d love to know how it stacks up. Josh super hates celery and curry powder, so I didn’t get a real answer from him. The nonfat Greek yogurt probably rubbed him the wrong way, too. I like to eat the tempeh salad on a wheat croissant or rolled up in lettuce. I think it’d also be delicious in a pita.

Tempeh Cashew Curry “Chicken” Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

  • 8 oz (1 block) tempeh
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • ⅛ tsp thyme
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • ⅜ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ – ¾ tsp curry powder, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 tbsp. cashews, roughly chopped (see note)
  • 6 – 8 tbsp. mayo (light, vegan, or regular) or nonfat Greek yogurt (see note), more to taste

  1. Cut the tempeh into strips and then roughly chop or crumble to resemble shredded chicken or chicken chunks.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning — if I’m making this for just myself, I might go as high as ½ tsp garlic and 1 tsp curry powder.
  3. Serve a sandwich, lettuce wrap, or over a green salad.

Roasted or raw cashews can be used. If using raw cashews, stir in just before eating (or sprinkle over individual portions when serving), as raw cashews may get mushy. Using salted or unsalted will impact how much additional salt you’ll want to add.
I used a mix of nonfat Greek yogurt and low fat mayo in the nutritional estimate.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 205 Fat: 10 Carbohydrates: 13 Fiber: 1 Protein: 15

Tagged with:

    Tempeh, Lettuce, and Tomato | Hidden Fruits and Veggies Aug 18, 2014

    […] vegetables on it, so I could tell myself it’s healthy.  It also has tempeh, which is like my favorite thing to put on sandwiches ever, and yet for some reason I hardly ever work with it/eat it.  When I made this tempeh bacon, I […]

    Erin @ The Speckled Palate Jan 16, 2014

    So… I’ve never had or tried tempeh before, but this recipe sounds like something that would be a good introduction to it, as I love everything that’s added to that ingredient. Definitely gonna save this for later.

    Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

    Ashley Jan 16, 2014

    I’d use real chicken for mine, but the flavors here look great! 🙂

    Em @ Love A Latte Jan 16, 2014

    I know I would love this!!!!!!!! I get something like it at a cafe by me, but making it at home would be much better 🙂

      Kelly Jan 16, 2014

      Em, I’m jealous that you have such great options! Making things like this at home are pretty much my only option, but I’m okay with that — then I can add extra celery and ton of curry powder 😀

    cleaneatingveggiegirl Jan 15, 2014

    You KNOW this is one that I am definitely going to try out! I can’t wait :).

    DessertForTwo Jan 15, 2014

    This looks like a great lunch! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    Reba-Not So Perfect Life Jan 15, 2014

    I’m sitting eating breakfast looking at this…. Wish I could skip to lunchtime! I love tempeh. One of my favorite recipes is tempeh buffalo fingers.

      Kelly Jan 15, 2014

      Yeahh, Reba? I’m going to need a link to that recipe. Tempeh buffalo fingers sound SO tasty. Plus, Josh is always crying for more buffalo sauce in his life.