Tempeh Chili

I grew up loving my mom’s chili but like most chili it has meat in it.  This my adaptation of the timeless comfort food!

This recipe calls for tempeh and if you are new to vegan cooking you might be asking, “what is that?”  Tempeh (pronounced like temp-ay) is a soy product that you can find near the tofu at the supermarket.  It looks a bit odd, but it is very versatile and packs 31g of protein per cup!  One of the most important things to know about cooking with tempeh is that when you buy it in the store it is fully cooked, but it is VERY important (seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is) to simmer it first otherwise it will taste bitter and not absorb the flavor of the dish!

After you have simmered the tempeh this dish falls together very easily and quickly.  Saute the the veggies and tempeh with seasonings and then combine with remaining ingredients in a crock pot on medium/low.

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Allow to continue cooking for 4-8 hours (the longer you allow it to cook the more the flavors will combine).  Serve with green onion and cilantro garnish.


*Leftovers tip: This makes 6 servings easy!  Since there are only two of us, we like to make a second meal out of the leftovers by serving the chili with some frozen veggies and elbow noodles or a baked potato for an easy after-gym meal.

Tempeh Chili


  • 1 8 oz package of tempeh
  • 1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can black beans,
  • 1 14.5 oz can cannellini (white) beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 jalepenos, seeded
  • 5-12 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 tsp. jalepeno salt
  • 1.5 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash (or other salt free seasoning)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1-3 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1/4 c. green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cilantro, chopped


1. Simmer tempeh (see above)
2. Chop onion and saute in pan until slightly translucent (adding 1 tbsp. of vegetable broth or water at a time to prevent sticking). Add garlic, cook for another minute. Crumble in tempeh (just break it up with your fingers as you put it into the pan). Add half of all of the seasonings and stir.
3. Chop bell peppers and jalepeno(s) and add to the pan. Cook for 2-4 minutes.
4. Drain and rinse the 3 cans of beans and put in crock pot.  Slightly drain the can of tomatoes and add to crock pot.  Add in the ingredients from the pan along with remaining seasonings (and nutritional yeast if using). Stir and cover. Cook 4-8 hours on medium or low, respectively.
5. Top with sliced green onion and cilantro.
*See note above for leftovers idea

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