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Tempeh Chili

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex
  • Diet: Vegan


This smoky tempeh chili is loaded with black beans, chickpeas, and one secret ingredient: dark chocolate.



For the Chili

  • One 8-ounce package of soy tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups pre-cooked beans)
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups pre-cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 squares good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
  • Avocado, cilantro, spiced pumpkin seeds, and/or tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

For the Tortilla Crisps (optional)

  • 4 taco-size corn tortillas
  • About 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of fine sea salt


  1. Using your hands, crumble the tempeh into small bits that resemble ground meat.
  2. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine the tempeh and soy sauce with 1/2 cup water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the oil, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and the tempeh is starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste, and cook for 30 seconds more.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and stir to deglaze the pot. Then add all the beans, broth, and chocolate, and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
  5. While the chili simmers, make the tortilla crisps (optional). Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  6. Place a tortilla on a cutting board and lightly brush both sides with oil. Place another tortilla on top of the greased one and brush the top with oil, and continue stacking and brushing all tortillas. Slice the stacked tortillas into 1/3-inch strips.
  7. Transfer strips to a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until the tortillas are lightly brown and crispy, tossing once halfway through cooking, about 15 minutes.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of the recipe (w/o toppings)
  • Calories: 290
  • Fat: 11.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.1 g
  • Fiber: 8.8 g
  • Protein: 16 g

Keywords: tempeh, vegan, chili, beans