With BLT season upon us, now is the perfect time to whip up this simple vegetarian tempeh BLT pasta salad! In this satisfying dish, fusilli pasta is tossed with tomatoes, lettuce or kale, celery, cucumber, and lemony, herbaceous Greek yogurt dressing before being topped off with tempeh “bacon.” It’s the perfect weeknight dinner, and it would also be great to bring to a potluck.
Serves 6 as a main.
Tempeh BLT Pasta Salad
-2 tablespoons tamari
-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon maple syrup
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1 (240 gram) block of tempeh
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for frying
Creamy Greek Yogurt Herb Dressing
-1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
-1 cup fresh basil or parsley (or a combination)
-1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
-1 tablespoon capers
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-1/4 cup shredded Pecorino cheese
-2 garlic cloves
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-5 cups uncooked rotini or fusilli
-3 celery ribs, chopped
-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
-1 cup diced cucumber
-1 head of lettuce or 1 bunch of kale, finely chopped
-1 avocado, sliced (optional)
- Make the tempeh bacon: Steam the whole block of tempeh for three minutes in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. This helps to open up the tempeh’s pores and allows it to absorb more of the flavour from the marinade. Once cool enough to handle, cut the tempeh into fairly thin slices.
- In a shallow baking dish or glass container, whisk together the tamari, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and smoked paprika. Add the tempeh and turn to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.
- To cook the tempeh bacon, warm the oil over medium heat. Once it shimmers, add the tempeh in an even layer. (You’ll probably need to work in two or three batches.) Cook for three minutes per side.
- Make the dressing: In a blender, combine the Greek yogurt, herbs, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, capers, salt, pepper, Pecorino, garlic, and oil. Blend until smooth and pour into a jar.
- Make the salad: Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and let cool for a few minutes. If using kale, stir into the warm pasta. If not, let the pasta cool completely before adding everything else. Transfer the pasta into a salad bowl and toss it with the celery, tomatoes, cucumber, and lettuce. Add desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. Top with the tempeh bacon and enjoy!
For more great recipe inspiration head to Up Beet Kitchen