Vegan Tempeh Chili Recipe

Tempeh chili - vegetarian and vegan
Vegetarian chili photo by Jonelle Weaver / Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (35)

Homemade vegetarian chili with both tempeh and beans means this chili recipe packs a powerful protein boost and has a satisfying texture.

I kept this tempeh chili recipe vegan, but you could always top it off with cheese and sour cream, if you'd like, or, if you're like me, you'll probably douse the top with plenty of nutritional yeast. Because the tempeh simmers so long in this recipe, there's no need to pre-simmer it, as with most tempeh recipes.

Like making homemade vegetarian chili recipes? Vegetarian chili is simple, friendly to your wallet and easy to prepare in bulk for a large family. It's one of my favorite easy vegetarian dinner ideas. For more vegetarian and vegan chill recipes to try, see also: More homemade vegetarian chili recipes.

Note that because this recipe calls for soy sauce it is not gluten-free. Further, some types of tempeh are made from grains which include gluten, while other varieties are gluten-free. Swap out the soy sauce and make sure your tempeh is gluten-free if you're preparing this chili for anyone with a wheat or gluten sensitivity. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, diced
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced green chilis
  • 1 15 -ounce can kidney beans or chili beans
  • 1 8 -ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Optional: 1 small can corn
  • Optional: fresh cilantro to garnish

How to Make It

  1. Using one tablespoon of olive oil, sautee the tempeh until it is  lightly golden brown, about 3-5 minutes, then add in the add soy sauce, and sautee for another minute or two, until the soy sauce is sticky and dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a large soup or stock pot, sautee the onions, garlic and bell peppers in the remaining olive oil until just barely soft.
  3. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients, except cilantro and including the tempeh.
  1. Allow to simmer for at least twenty minutes and up to forty minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding a bit more liquid as needed.
  2. Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh minced cilantro.

Makes 6 servings tempeh chili.

Nutritional information, per serving:
Calories: 399
Total Fat: 10.0g, 15% daily value (based on a 2000 calorie diet) Saturated Fat: 1.7g, 8% Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%
Sodium: 200mg, 8%
Total Carbohydrates: 56.9g, 19%
Dietary Fiber: 13.8g, 55%
Sugars: 5.5g
Protein: 24.7g
Vitamin A 40%, Vitamin C 103%, Calcium 13%, Iron 36%
Nutrition Grade: A