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Chili con Tempeh

One day it feels like Spring, the next it feels more like Winter again. One day I’m posting salad recipes and today I’m back to warm, comforing foods like chili.

This is my vegan take on Chili con Carne but instead of meat, crumbled tempeh is browned to give it that same “beefy” texture. The vegetables you add are up to you. I usually add whatever I have in the fridge and this time it was zucchini and green beans. Take the spice level up or down according to your taste. That’s one of the nice things about dishes like chili – you can really personalize them and make them your own.

My Chili con Tempeh recipe is a special request from the most special person I know. I hope it warms his body to even a fraction of how warm his heart is. Enjoy!

Chili con Tempeh


8 oz. tempeh
2 Tbs. safflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, any color, chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup green beans, chopped
1-4 oz. can green chiles
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tbs. paprika
1-28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1-15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
Vegan sour cream, cheddar shreds, for garnish (optional)


Cut the tempeh into chunks and pulse in a food processor until it has a coarse meal texture.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the tempeh, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and cook until the tempeh has browned and crisped up a bit, about 10 minutes.

Add the onions and garlic to the tempeh and cook them until the onions have softened. Add the bell peppers, carrots, zucchini and green beans to the pan and cook for 5 more minutes. Mix in the green chiles and then add the spices to the pan, stirring the mixture to incorporate the spices throughout.

Stir in the tomatoes and the beans. Add the broth or water. Stir well and scrape up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and simmer for at least 15 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will deepen.

Before serving, test that the spices are to your liking and adjust, if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and scallions. Serve with vegan sour cream, cheese shreds and/or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

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2 Responses to Chili con Tempeh

  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook April 13, 2012 at 5:14 am #

    Mmm I make something really similar to this and your version looks so tasty! I need to try putting green beans in chili!


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