Vegan Tempeh Chili

This tempeh chili is a hearty meatless dinner that’s vegan and gluten free – and healthy too!

This tempeh chili is a hearty meatless dinner that's vegan and gluten free - and healthy too!

I think I need to rename my blog “Chelsea’s Chili Kitchen”.

I always aim to post a variety of different recipes, but over the years I just keep on coming back to chili. First there was my adaptation of my mom’s white bean and chicken chili. And while I wouldn’t dare to call it better than my mom’s, I will say that my dad will only eat my version… I’m just sayin’!

Next I posted my basic vegan chili that’s another staple for me in the winter months. I still make this recipe, although these days I tend to omit the mushrooms and use a second can of diced tomatoes instead of the tomato sauce.

And then there was my turkey, black bean, and sweet potato chili, which is easily my favourite of the three!

But now I think I have a new favourite: this vegan tempeh chili. It’s entirely plant-based, but the tempeh gives it such a heartiness that you will almost think it contains meat. It’s been the perfect warming dinner for these past few chilly weeks!

This tempeh chili is a hearty meatless dinner that's vegan and gluten free - and healthy too!

Vegan Tempeh Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A meatless chili made with tempeh and beans. Vegan, gluten free, nut free.
Yield: 5-6 servings
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 250 g package of plain tempeh, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ¾ cub water or vegetable broth
  • 2 796-ml cans of diced tomatoes
  • 540 ml can of kidney beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a large pot, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Lower heat and add diced onion, letting it cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the green pepper and garlic.
  2. Continue cooking over low heat (so as not to burn the garlic) until green pepper has softened, then add the block of crumbled tempeh (it should be crumbled to resemble ground meat) and spices.
  3. Stir to coat everything in the spices and then cook for 2-3 minutes to bring out the flavours of the spices.
  4. Pour in the water or vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and corn. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes or longer. Add salt to taste.

This tempeh chili is a hearty meatless dinner that's vegan and gluten free - and healthy too!

Bloggers: have you posted multiple variations of any dishes?

What’s your favourite kind of chili?

This tempeh chili recipe is linked up with Healthy Vegan Fridays over at Hello Veggy’s blog. Go check it out for tons of other vegan recipes made by other bloggers!


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30 Responses to Vegan Tempeh Chili

  1. haha i can’t ever get enough chili! i def don’t make it enough and when i do i love loading it up with beans (duh) and veggies!

  2. I love chilis with a ton of veggies and actually just made my first tempeh chili last year. Tempeh is seriously such an awesome addition that I’m so glad I decided to try! This looks super yummy. Love the addition of avo on the top! Did you she OSG’s chili post? I put that on my list for my meals next week!

  3. I have nearly all the ingredients for this and I can’t wait to make it! Thanks for sharing Chels!

  4. Chili is one of my favs during the winter months! It’s perfect comfort food! Tempeh is something I have yet to try cooking with. I really need to change that because this dish looks awfully tasty!

    • Chelsea

      Tempeh is a bit intimidating to cook with at first, but it is sooo good! I also really recommend it marinated in soy sauce + sesame oil + rice vinegar + garlic and then pan fried. So tasty!

  5. I actually love tempeh chili! I made a version last year in the slow cooker with sweet potatoes but obviously lost the recipe (story of my life). I’l have to replace it with this!

  6. Chili is definitely necessary with how damn cold it’s been this winter…but I think I only have one recipe for it. I’ll have to play around and make up a new version! ;-)

  7. Chili is one of the best cold weather meals around! It’s hearty and warms you right up. My favorite is Joe’s because it’s so freaking good and uses chocolate ;) but I also love how versatile chili is…you can throw just about anything in and it works!

  8. And I now officially NEED to add tempeh to my next batch of chili…yum!!

  9. I think you need to write a post on ‘how to handle legumes consistently without suffering stomach pains’ lol.

    • Chelsea

      HAHA! Maybe I will.

      But for now, here are my tips: Drink lots of water with them. Eat them regularly so your digestive system adapts to them. Buy Eden Organics canned beans, which are soaked in kombu (which apparently helps reduce the GI effects of eating legumes).

  10. I love chili, so I’ll take as many versions as you are willing to make! I have so many different ways of making tacos (taco bowls, casseroles, with turkey, with salsa, etc.) – we all have our signature foods!

  11. I can definitely relate to feeling like I need to branch out with my recipes — can we say dessert overload? :lol: I should probably start with making more chilis, since I think they’re basically the perfect comfort food in the winter months. But can you believe that I’ve never tried tempeh before? I keep meaning to, but I honestly have no idea how to use it. I just might have to save this recipe for a chilly day. So basically like… today :lol:

    • Chelsea

      Hmm some of the comments on this post are making me think I should do a post about cooking with tempeh. Cooked the right way, it can be so good!

  12. Hey, you can never go wrong with chili! It’s so versatile! Love it! I have to say, I could use a venture into the whiter world of chili so thanks for linking back to your old recipe!

    And me? Post multiple variations of the same dish?! NEVER! ;)

  13. Chelsea’s Chili Kitchen? I’d be perfectly fine with that. The fact that I just posted another vegan chili [with Brussels sprouts] goes to show I honestly believe there can never be too many chili recipes. Or variations on stews of any kind.
    If tempeh wasn’t so hard to get around here – I actually just asked my mum to try and get some for me while she’s in Berlin as I need it for a tester recipe – I’d give your chili a try right now. Maybe once I’m back living in a city myself and can find another package.

    • Chelsea

      That’s too bad that tempeh is so hard to find where you live! It’s not too hard to find around here, but you definitely can’t buy it in normal grocery stores – I always have to make a separate trip to the health food store to get it.

  14. These pictures are beautiful Chelsea! Light box in action? ;)

    Tempeh chilli is awesome, my favourite is one of Isa Chandra’s that I always go back to. I’ll definitely give this one a try next time though!

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  16. I personally love all of your chilli recipes or just chilli in general so keep posting them! A nice bowl of Texas chilli will always have my heart but I love experimenting with ingredients like tempeh!

  17. My chili is also a work in progress. My pumpkin one is my favourite, though. Tempeh sounds like a great sub for the TVP. I will have to try yours next. :)

  18. I don’t blame you! Chili is a staple in the winter months especially with Canada’s cold weather. I love that a pot can last a week, or even several if you freeze it. Cant’ say I’ve ever tried tempeh in chili before so I may have to test your recipe this reading week! I much prefer vegetarian options to ground beef but I’m flexible in terms of the vegetables I throw in! I really enjoyed adding sweet potato to my mix last time but onions, mushrooms, green peppers and chickpeas are always essentials.

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