Crisp lettuce wedges, vegan blue cheese dressing and smoky coconut bacon make this vegan wedge salad the perfect option for a quick summer meal.
I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a salad girl, but summer is finally here, and I’m starting to gravitate towards lighter meals. In my mind, the perfect salad goes far beyond green leaves, slices of pale tomatoes and cucumber rounds.
The best salads are rooted in an understanding that the green leafies are just a delivery mechanism for rich creamy dressings, tangy cheese and crispy bits. So what better salad to kick off the summer than a vegan wedge salad?
A classic wedge salad is usually made with generous wedges of iceberg lettuce, but I’ve given this vegan version a little twist and used baby gem instead. I’ve kept the twists coming and topped my lettuce wedges with smoky coconut bacon (the crispy in this salad story) and made a vegan blue cheese dressing through the magic of cashew nuts and vegan feta cheese.
This vegan wedge salad is perfect served family-style on large platters for summer BBQs and outdoor feasting or quick meals when your priority is to be anywhere but inside in the kitchen.
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
This is a quick, easy meal with a 20 minute turnaround time. If you forgot to soak the cashew nuts, submerge them in boiling water for 20minutes, prep all your other elements and make the salad dressing last.
The vegan feta I used gives the dressing a very convincing blue cheese edge, so head to the notes for recommendations and substitutes.
I’ve included all the notes for this vegan wedge salad recipe at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
For the coconut bacon
- 1 Tbsp. tamari
- 1 ¼ tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- 30g / 1oz coconut flakes
For the dressing
- 60g / 2.12oz cashew nuts, soaked in water for 4-24hrs
- 120g / 4.23oz water
- 100g / 3.53 vegan feta or soft vegan cheese, divided
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp. dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
For the salad
- 2 heads of little gem lettuce, cut into wedges
- 175g / 6.17oz cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ red onion, very finely diced
- A small handful of chives, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Combine the tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke and smoked paprika in a bowl and mix well. Add the coconut flakes to the marinade and toss until they are well coated.
Transfer the coconut flakes to the baking tray, arranging them in an even layer. Toast in the oven for 4-5mins, give the tray a good shake and return to the oven for another 4-5mins (they burn easily, so keep a close eye on them).
Add 60g of the vegan cheese (save the rest for serving) and the remaining ingredients for the dressing to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Place the lettuce wedges on plates or a serving platter, drizzle with dressing and top with the onion, tomatoes, coconut bacon, remaining vegan cheese and chives. Season to taste.
NOTES: Vegan Wedge Salad
I used the Violife vegan Greek Block. It has the texture somewhere between feta and cream cheese and gives this dressing its distinct blue cheese edge. If you can’t find this specific brand, you could try your favourite vegan cream cheese, vegan feta or even vegan blue cheese if you can get your hands on some.
For this vegan version of a wedge salad, I’ve used two baby gem lettuces but if you prefer a classic wedge salad use half a head of iceberg lettuce cut into two large wedges or if romaine is more your vibe cut one large head into four wedges.