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This is the perfect meatless chili, packed with fiber and protein. Rich, hearty, vegan and gluten-free.
It’s no secret that I’m a big chili fan– I’ve got a dozen vegan chili recipes on my website, and this one features a protein-packed version made with tempeh.
If you haven’t had tempeh before, it’s meaty like tofu but has a much more toothsome texture that’s perfect in chili.
If you like hearty chilis, you are going to love this one. I wanted to create a vegan chili that wasn’t the typical meatless type. Especially as I already have a vegan chili made with TVP, one made with bulgur wheat, and a 3-bean vegan chili.
This tempeh chili isn’t packed with vegetables and that’s on purpose. Instead, it’s got chunks of tempeh, beans and lots of spices. That’s it. This is the perfect chili to scoop up with my vegan cornbread or serve over noodles, Cincinnati style.
See below for more details and tips for success, or scroll down for the full recipe below.
You can use other chili peppers instead of Anaheim; I just like the flavor of Anaheim chili peppers best in this recipe.
The creamy white beans pair perfectly with the spice of this tempeh chili, but if you don’t want to use white beans, then you can use kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans instead.
This tempeh chili is vegan as written, but to make it a vegetarian chili then you can add in toppings like shredded cheese or sour cream. Of course, you can also keep the dairy-free versions of these. My current favorite dairy-free cheese is Violife. Their pepperjack shreds are perfect on this chili bowl.
Place the peppers on a sheet pan and place underneath a preheated broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil, turning with tongs, until lightly charred, then place in a bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes. Uncover and scrape away the charred skin, then cut the peppers in half and remove and discard the seeds, stems, and membranes.
Place the chilis into a blender and puree until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
In a large soup pan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onion, garlic, and salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Crumble the tempeh, add along with the spices, and cook until fragrant and the tempeh is crispy about 10 minutes. Stir often so the tempeh doesn’t stick.
Deglaze the pot by adding the vegetable broth and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in the reserved pureed chiles and beans and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook until chili is thick, and flavors have developed about 1-2 hours.
Remove from heat and serve with any desired toppings.
The key is crumbling the tempeh fine; I use a box grater to get this done. Then, I lightly fry the tempeh in oil to give it good body and flavor. Once you’re done, the tempeh should be golden brown and almost crispy before stirred into the other ingredients.
For the perfect amount of spice, I learned this trick from Food Network. Broil chili peppers (I opted for Anaheim chilis) until blackened and the skins easily slip off. Then, puree with cilantro. This spicy base pairs perfectly with hearty beans and tempeh. It’s also a great way to adjust the heat. If you want more, choose spicier chilis. If you want less, choose mild ones.
I know I call for a lot of chili powder here, it’s not a typo. I can’t get enough of Penzey’s chili powder, but use your favorite brand. If you’re using a super spicy powder, then you might want to put in a little, taste and then gradually add some more. Can’t wait for you to try this one!
If you try this tempeh chili recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
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Tempeh Chili! This is the perfect meatless chili, packed with fiber and protein. Rich, hearty, vegan and gluten-free.
Recipe adapted from Guy Fieri
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