Crumbled tempeh makes a hearty, almost meatlike addition to this zesty chili. Tip: Chile peppers contain oils that can irritate your skin and eyes. Wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with them.

If gluten is a concern, be sure to look for tempeh that is labeled as gluten-free, as cross-contamination can be an issue.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 1 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile (see tip in recipe intro)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled (1½ cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (1½ cups)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste


  • In a large saucepan cook onion, bell peppers, jalapeño, and garlic over medium 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Stir in the next nine ingredients (through oregano) and 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender and chili thickens. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt.

Comments (13)

(5 from 8 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Very tasty- great flavors and texture. Prepared just as directed.


Thinking about making this…could I freeze some portions?

Garth Helgesen

Next time I will saute the tempeh in with the onions,peppers, garlic and spices so it can absorb the combined flavors. Tempeh is a little on the bland side and needs a little booster.


Absolutely fantastic recipe!! I used smoked paprika instead of regular and I think that paired so well with the tempeh! Can’t recommend this enough! It says it makes 6 portions - I did the math and that’s about 202 calories per serving. One serving is a bit small, so I divided it out into 4.5 servings and served with warm bread.

Rosemary Pepe

I know it makes six cups, but what would one serving be? Would it be one cup?

Orysia Maria Makhobey

Hi Rachel, we all hope your healing process is coming along. Just want to mention again that my husband loves all your recipes. I make two different meals. I'm a vegetarian and my husband likes to get into all your recipes. I'm sooo happy for this. I'm thrilled with your chili recipe, thank you and others that I eat. Your the best. OrysiaMaria God Bless You.


What are the nutrition numbers on this dish

Shauna Ihle

This was amazing! Be sure to let it simmer for the 30-40 mins at the end - the flavors get more intense. I was pleasantly surprised.


Could you do this in slow cooker?

James Clowers

Tempeh can be a pain to acquire in my area. Was wondering if I used an extra firm tofu if the results would be the same?


I have made this with extra firm tofu and it was still delish! I found it best to bake the tofu first - slice into 1/2 thick slices, bake 350 for 15 then flip, repeat.

Sue Stell

I've made this a couple of times...easy, fast and VERY good. I added a garlic tempeh. 5 stars!!


Excellent flavor. Swapped out kidney beans for black beans (personal preference).

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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