Tempeh Chili

Tempeh Chili That’s Super Easy and Delicious

If you’ve never cooked with tempeh before, you are not alone. My college son had to show me how to make this Tempeh Chili recipe! He has learned to cook inexpensive, tasty dishes on his student budget. One of his professors at school gave the students this recipe to prove that you don’t have to give up flavor to be vegan. Get ready to wow your meat loving family on Meatless Monday.

My son made this for our family and I must say I am now going to add this to my repertoire of recipes. Maybe the college bills haven’t paid off yet but we’re moving in the right direction! Move aside ramen noodles because this Tempeh Chili was super yummy and super cheap. How cheap? Depending on where you shop, you can feed the whole family for $5-10.

What is Tempeh?

Like tofu, tempeh is a soy protein. The difference is that tempeh is made from fermented soybeans instead of tofu, which is made from condensed soy milk. If you don’t like tofu’s springy consistency and lack of flavor, tempeh may be the better plant based protein for you. Tempeh is nutty in taste and much more dense. That’s why tempeh is perfect in a chili recipe because it’s a replacement for the protein and texture of meat in chili.

Buying Tempeh for Your Chili Recipe

One of the best places to get tempeh is from Trader Joe’s. This package is less than $2. If you don’t live near Trader Joe’s, try Whole Foods, your grocery store, or you can buy tempeh on Amazon.


Tempeh Chili Recipe

Tempeh Chili


  • 2 whole potatoes sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 8 oz. package package tempeh
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can kidneys beans rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn sautéed we used Trader Joes fire roasted corn


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Put chopped potatoes on cookie sheet and season with olive oil and garlic salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Shake cookie sheet 10 minutes after you put in oven to bake evenly.

  3. In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes in a little olive oil.

  4. Chop tempeh and add it to the pot for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

  5. Then add celery, pepper, and spices. Cook until celery softens.

  6. Add tomato sauce, rinsed beans, corn and water. If more water is needed add by 1/4 cup at a time to desired consistency.

  7. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  8. Serve over roasted potatoes. Add whatever toppings you like such as shredded cheese or sour cream (unless keeping vegan), chopped green onions, avocado or Tabasco.

Hope you love this delicious recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to put them in the comments. If you make the recipe, please review it and let us know how it went for you.

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