Chili Con Tempeh Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Chili Con Tempeh

Cooking the tempeh separately from the liquid infuses it with flavor without overpowering the chili with spices.



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2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
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2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
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5 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp.), divided
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2 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
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1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces (1 cup)
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1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
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1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
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1 6-oz. can tomato paste
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2 tsp. ground cumin
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2 tsp. dried oregano
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1 ½ tsp. chili powder, divided
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2 8-oz. pkgs. tempeh
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½ tsp. red pepper flakes
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1 12-oz. bottle dark amber beer
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2 tsp. maple syrup
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½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped


1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and 1 Tbs. garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add celery, bell pepper, and jalapeño, and sauté 5 minutes more, or until bell pepper is crisp-tender.

2. Meanwhile, purée tomatoes and juice in blender or food processor until smooth. Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 2 cups water to onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Pulse tempeh, red pepper flakes, remaining 2 tsp. garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp. chili powder in food processor or blender until crumbly. Season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh mixture, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir beer, maple syrup, and tempeh mixture into tomato mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes more, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Fold in cilantro.

Nutrition Information: 

13 g
Total Fat: 
10 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
21 g
0 mg
574 mg
3 g
7 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

I added pasta and kidney beans and vegan cheese for a cheesey chili mac that was SUPER good!

Just made this for my dinner. I found it easy to make and very tasty to eat. Ruth.

I've used this recipe as the basis for my chili a number of times. It has a nicely balanced flavor and includes that vital ingredient - beer - that I've long believed is essential to good vegetarian chili. It also lends itself easily to variation.

Im an Indonesian where TEMPE (the correct spell) originally come from :) and this recipe is interesting since we dont usually cooked it like you did but i'll give it a try

Veggie chili recipe