Tempeh Chili Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Make Ahead

by: Gena Hamshaw



2 Ratings

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4 to 6

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Author Notes

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

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoonsolive 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 cuppureed 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 teaspooncumin
  • 2 teaspoonschili powder
  • 1 teaspoonsea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cupgreen onions or scallions, chopped
  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.


  • Stew
  • Chili
  • American
  • Celery
  • Vegetable
  • Green Onion/Scallion
  • Bean
  • Tempeh
  • Make Ahead
  • One-Pot Wonders
  • Fall
  • Memorial Day

Popular on Food52

15 Reviews

Cheryl January 1, 2024

Have made several times. I appreciate how easily it comes together and how nutritious it is. It hits the spot!

Alina April 18, 2020

I can’t stop eating it! I’m moving in about two weeks so I’m trying to use whatever I have in my fridge/freezer/cupboards. I cooked kidney beans in the instant pot and used the water they were cooked in, used Morningstar crumbles, lots of garlic, and the TJ’s taco seasoning. Holly cow! I’m going to finish this and go back for more.

Margo S. January 19, 2020

There is a brand of smoked tempeh that is sold in strips and has a "barbequed" or "bacony" flavor. I think that would be great in this recipe.

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.

Tempeh Chili Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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