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Tempeh Chili

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
  • 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 has a secret ingredient: dark chocolate.



For the Chili

  • One 8-ounce package tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 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 chili flakes
  • One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 squares good quality dark chocolate like Lindt (70% cocoa or higher)
  • Avocado, cilantro, and spiced pumpkin seeds, 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 chickpea-sized bits.
  2. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, combine the tempeh with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until all the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons oil, the diced onion, pepper, and carrot, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and the tempeh is starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon each cumin and paprika, ¼ teaspoon chili 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 the beans and chickpeas, 2 cups broth, and 2 squares of chocolate. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  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.
  8. Serve the chili garnished with cilantro, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and/or the tortillas.


  • 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

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