Tempeh Chili

February 15, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: A thick, hearty, satisfying pot of chili that is 100 percent meatless. Gena Hamshaw

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hrs


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, grated on the largest setting of a box grater, or crumbled finely
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pureed tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup green onions or scallions, chopped
In This Recipe


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cook for a few minutes, and then add the tempeh. Cook till the tempeh begins to brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the green pepper and celery and cook till they're tender, another 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Continue cooking another two minutes.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients, along with half a cup of water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chili is fragrant, warm, and the flavors have come together (25 to 30 minutes). Add more water as needed, if the chili becomes too thick. Serve, sprinkled with green onion or scallions.

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Reviews (12) Questions (0)

12 Reviews

Shruti July 25, 2017
I cooked the dried beans in Instant Pot and used the bean stock instead of water for added flavor. The dish turned out great. It's protein packed and I'll cook it again. :)
Daya D. January 12, 2017
I used some tamari and some salt. I think tamari gives a nice flavor. Smoked paprika would be a good addition too! Maybe 1/2 tsp. I also used much more (maybe 20 oz) tomatoes
deb November 1, 2015
delicious. I substituted black beans for kidney and added more tomato sauce than called for. Def. making again. My first tempeh dalliance!
Linda April 16, 2015
My first time cooking with tempeh. I love this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. It was delicious.
Marsha G. February 9, 2015
This needed more salt and more chili powder than the recipe called for. I added approximately an additional 1/2 t. of each. I also used the entire 8 oz. can of tomato sauce instead of just 1/2 cup. It's not the most attractive dish. It tasted okay, edible but not fantastic.
Erin C. January 22, 2015
I made this chunkier by adding chopped chayote and carrots and using chopped sweet onion and diced tomatoes. YUM.
Joanna August 15, 2014
I didn't add the tempeh, substituting thick slices of mushrooms instead. This is, by far, the best chili recipe I have ever tried. The celery adds a great crunch and it's just the right amount of heat. Love it! It's going to be a family favorite from now on.
Noah March 6, 2014
This was excellent. I would make it again. I used red onion and red pepper because that's what I had on hand.
Azra February 22, 2014
If i wanted to add ground beef how much?
Marsha G. February 9, 2015
An eight-ounce package of anything is half a pound, so I would use half a pound of ground beef.
susan G. February 20, 2014
Chili powder -- ground chiles or the blend of chiles and herbs?
Marsha G. February 9, 2015
I used the blend of chilies and herbs.