A vegetarian spin on the classic Cobb salad, this autumn inspired salad has all the flavors and consistencies of the original. Tempeh bacon is salty and satisfying, while warm roasted sweet potatoes and an apple cider vinaigrette round out this satisfying salad.
Autumn Cobb Salad with Tempeh Bacon
Cobb salads are great because they’re so filling – the traditional toppings are tomatoes, bacon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, chives, roquefort cheese, and a simple red wine vinaigrette.
But, there are so many ways to make a Cobb salad your own. Here, I’ve given it an Autumn twist by adding crunchy pecans, using kale instead of traditional salad greens, drizzling with an apple cider vinegar based dressing, goat cheese instead of roquefort, and adding warm roasted sweet potatoes (although you could also meal prep this cold entirely!) All of this makes this salad warm, cozy, and refreshing.
Now, tempeh bacon. Let’s chat about tempeh bacon. It’s so easy to do, but seems daunting at first. It’s very simple and it’s meal prep friendly, so I really encourage you to give it a try. Here are some simple steps to make tempeh bacon.
How to make tempeh bacon
- Slice the tempeh into strips
- Whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, and liquid smoke to make the flavoring for the tempeh.
- Cook the tempeh in a little bit of olive oil until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the soy sauce mixture and let bubble and cook for about 3 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
- Let cool for 5 minutes on parchment paper or a plate.
It takes less than 10 minutes and the tempeh bacon can be used in so many different ways, not just here in this salad. Try it on a “BLT”, that’s my personal favorite.
And if you don’t have an issue with traditional bacon, you can easily sub that in here and ditch the tempeh bacon. You’re going to love this salad no matter how you make it!
Autumn Kale Cobb Salad with Tempeh Bacon
- For the salad:
- 1 medium sweet potato small cubed
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups chopped curly kale
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2-3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
- 2 hard boiled eggs peeled and diced
- 1 small avocado peeled, pitted, and cubed
- For the tempeh bacon:
- 4 oz tempeh half a package, sliced crosswise into ¼” thick pieces
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the sweet potato. Spritz the sweet potato with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the tempeh bacon. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh slices and cook for 3-5 minutes per side until browned.
- While tempeh cooks, stir together the water, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and garlic powder. Pour that over the cooked tempeh and stir to coat. Let cook another 2-3 minutes or until moisture is evaporated and tempeh is browned. Set aside on a plate to dry.
- Prepare the salads. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper) and set aside. Divide the kale into bowls and pour over the dressing. Toss the kale with the dressing and massage until kale softens slightly. Top the greens with walnuts (or pecans), goat cheese, eggs, avocado, and sweet potato. Crumble the tempeh bacon (or just chop it into pieces) and add to the salads. Serve.