Close-up photo of tempeh chili smothered a piece of cornbread in a grey bowl.

Vegan Tempeh Chili with Beans

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stove-top
  • Cuisine: American


A hearty and filling vegan chili that’s made with the help of smoky tempeh and your favorite beans. Ready in about 30 minutes!




2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, minced

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

6 ounces tempeh (preferably the smokey tempeh strips), finely chopped

1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 to 2 cups vegetable broth

1 ½ cups cooked pinto or kidney beans (see note)


Pepitas, for topping

Scallions, for topping

Cilantro, for topping


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the minced onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the onion is fragrant and softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  • After the onions are tender, stir in the spices and cook for yet another minute. Once the spices are fragrant, add in the tempeh. I like the tempeh to be about the same size as ground beef would be. Cook until the tempeh is cooked through, a couple of minutes (depending on the size of the tempeh)
  • Next, add in the crushed tomatoes and 1 cup vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes; just giving time for all the flavors to come together. 
  • Finally, stir in the beans and cook until hot. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve with cornbread and your favorite toppings.



I like to amp the beans up in this recipe sometimes. Feel free to double and mix up the beans. I love a combination of kidney and pinto (but black beans would work well too.)

Keywords: tempeh chili, vegan chili