Home » Type » Soups + Stews » Vegan Chili Recipes » THE ULTIMATE TEMPEH CHILI

THE ULTIMATE TEMPEH CHILI

The Ultimate Tempeh Chili is loaded with protein, fiber and flavor! My favorite tempeh chili recipe is made with a secret ingredient – vegan beer –  for the BEST vegan chili recipe! Includes stovetop and slow cooker methods.

top down view of a serving of vegan tempeh chili in a bowl with spoon.

Ultimate Tempeh Chili

I have been wanting to do a tempeh chili for a while now, and with the temperatures steadily on the decline here in So Cal it’s the perfect time of year to bring a new chili to the vegan chili recipe collection.

Tempeh makes for a great addition to any chili giving it an extra hearty feel and enhancing the protein & fiber content. With almost 20 grams of protein per 100 grams (about 3.5 oz.) of tempeh, along with protein rich beans, you’ve got yourself a great high protein chili to keep you feeling full while meeting your daily protein requirements easily.

Since trying to incorporate an extra dose of protein into my diet lately, without having to use protein powders, this tempeh chili has been on my weekly rotation. Please do note that tempeh is a soy product, and although it is a ‘good’ soy product for you, unlike some, it is best in moderation – once or twice a week is fine.

Full of flavor, this really is the ULTIMATE tempeh chili and is an easy one-pot recipe that’s fairly simple. It’s easily customizable and can be made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker.

side by side photo of vegan beer in a bottle and glass

Add Beer To Chili For Depth and Flavor!

I did include a bottle of dark beer and loved the depth and flavor it added. This Negra Modelo is perfect for cooking with and it’s vegan friendly! This can be optional but well worth the added flavor and rounds out the chili beautifully, making it one of the best chili’s I’ve ever had!

You could also try a chocolate stout like Boatswain Chocolate Stout, which is also vegan friendly. Whatever liquids you choose, just be sure it equals about 2 cups.

The alcohol, for the most part, will burn off while simmering, leaving the delicate characteristics behind. If your looking to minimize the alcohol content, take a look at the Alcohol Burn Off Rate Chart to find how long you should simmer your chili.

If you’ve never made chili with beer before I recommend trying it, at least once!

side by side photos showing the process of making tempeh chili.

How To Make Tempeh Chili

Making tempeh chili is super easy and requires a few simple steps using the stovetop or slow cooker. All you need to chop is the onion and garlic, and the rest is easy as can be! See the recipe card below for full instructions.

  • Stovetop: In a large dutch oven, heat oil and saute the onion for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (shown above), bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (shown below). Chili will thicken upon standing.
  • Slow Cooker: Add the ingredients to the bowl of your slow cooker, ending with the liquids. Cook on LOW for 6 – 8 hours or HIGH  for 3 – 4 hours. Chili will thicken as it cools.

Serve with sliced green onions and dollop of vegan sour cream. It pairs perfectly with Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins or Sweet Chia Cornbread!

top down view of dutch oven with freshly made tempeh chili.

How Long Will Leftovers Last?

Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. It makes a great meal prep for the week with vegan cornbread or jalapeno cornbread muffins on the side.

Can You Freeze Chili?

Yes, it freezes wonderfully for up to 2 – 3 months! My favorite ways to freeze chili is in individual portion sizes using freezer safe containers. Then when I want to cozy up with a bowl of warm chili I can just pull it from the freezer and warm it up. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers.

More Recipes You’ll Love

side angle view of a serving of vegan tempeh chili in a bowl with spoon.

If you try this tempeh chili recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

THE ULTIMATE TEMPEH CHILI

Tempeh chili is an easy one-pot meal that’s hearty, protein packed and one of my favorite chili recipes to date. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 generously 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (8 oz.) 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 (14oz.) sweet corn, drained, optional
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced mild green chilies or 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/21 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle (8oz.) dark beer (Negra Modelo 1 bottle = 1 1/2 cups) plus 1/2 cup additional water or 2 cups water

Optional garnish:

Instructions

Stovetop: 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 and dark beer/water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Chili will thicken upon cooling.

Slow Cooker: Add the ingredients to the bowl of your slow cooker, ending with the liquids. Cook on LOW for 6 – 8 hours or HIGH  for 3 – 4 hours. Chili will thicken as it cools.

Serve with optional garnish. Also, pairs perfectly with Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins or Sweet Chia Cornbread!

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 – 6, kept in airtight container. To store longer, store in the freezer with freezer safe containers for 2 – 3 months.

NOTES:

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. It’s just 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 if you added too much heat from the chipotle, try adding a teaspoon or so of cocoa/cacao powder or organic sugar.

UPDATED: This recipe was updated in Sept. 2019 with new photos and helpful tips. The only changes made to the recipe was adding a can of sweet corn. Since so many who commented on the recipe added it, I thought I would do the same. It’s delicious, but optional!

UPDATED: This Ultimate Tempeh Chili was originally posted in November 2013, and has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in September 2019. The only changes made to the recipe was adding a can of sweet corn. Since so many who commented on the recipe added it, I thought I would do the same. It’s delicious, but optional!

FOLLOW TSV on FacebookInstagramPinterest or RSS for more healthy & delicious vegan food!

31 Comments

  1. Michelle Stone says:

    Fantastic recipe! I added some mushroom and spinach! Everyone LOVED the meal, it was filling, hearty and delicious and even the meat eaters in my family loved it.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Wonderful! I love your additions, they sound so good. Thank you for the inspiration and feedback. Happy Holidays! :)

  2. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

    I’m so happy you loved this recipe! I love your idea of more tempeh, chipotle and letting it simmer a little longer if you can! I also love the idea of adding corn, that little bit of sweetness will be so good with the chipotle and other spice flavors…oh my, I must try it soon. It’s just too hot for chili right now here in So Cal. lol

    Thank you so much for sharing. Cheers :)

  3. czech beer too strong for this, it ruined it :(

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So sorry to hear to that, but good to know. Hope you try again with a lighter beer and perfect results. :)

  4. Kelly Misegadis says:

    Really, really enjoyed this. Followed the recipe, only substituting the mild green chilis with the Adobo peppers I had on hand instead. I did use the beer. Will be making this in the future!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay! So glad you loved this Kelly! I love the idea of using adobe peppers…love my heat and will have to try it out soon. Yummy. Cheers :)

  5. I LOVE corn! That and the cacao powder along with everything else was so good I can imagine! Great sub ins!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oops, forgot to say I added corn as well.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It has been in the -30's where I live and having this Tempeh Chili to eat all week was delicious and just what I was craving. I will be making more this weekend to see me through the week. I used a GF beer and it was great! Thank you so much!

    1. That is mighty cold! I'm so glad this chili has helped keep you feeling warm and good! A GF beer is perfect…I'll have to look into that myself! Enjoy the chili and stay warm. Cheers :)

  8. Love the beer addition here. Can't wait to try this!

  9. The Yogi Vegetarian says:

    This looks delish- although I will be leaving out the beer. I often add a little cocoa powder to chillis- do you think that would work here?

  10. I will be making this very soon! Yum!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating