The Ultimate Tempeh Chili


  • 1 8oz. package tempeh (I used this three grain tempeh), crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or 1/4 cup water, for sauteing
  • 1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced fire roasted tomatoes and juices or 3 cups fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced mild green chilies or 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, optional
  • Salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle dark beer (Negra Modelo 1 bottle = 1 1/2 cups) plus 1/2 cup additional water or 2 cups water
  • scallions, for garnish

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat your oil/water over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, spices and tempeh and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add beans, tomatoes, green chili/bell pepper and dark beer/water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour.This would be fantastic with a dollop of this Basic Cashew Sour Cream or Lime-Cilantro Cashew ‘Sour Cream’. Serve with green onions and/or cilantro as well.

Serves 4 to 6.


Mix the beans up however you like using all of one type or your favorite combination. If you would rather use only 2 cans of beans, that’s great too! I like adding more ingredients as it makes the chili go further. If using your own cooked beans you’ll need about 4 1/2 cups.

Feel free to use 2 packages tempeh instead of just 1. At times I like the extra dose of protein the tempeh adds and will double the amount making for an extra hearty chili. So good!

For those who do not care for the taste of tempeh, I recommend making this a day ahead so the flavors really meld into the tempeh masking most of its natural flavor. Or try using the three grain tempeh as its flavor is not as strong.

If you find you added to much heat from the chipotle, try adding a teaspoon or so of cocoa/cacao powder or organic sugar.


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