This one-pot vegan tempeh chili is easy to make, packed with plant-based protein, and full of flavor! It’s a healthy vegetarian chili recipe made with pantry staples – including kidney beans, black beans, vegetables, and spices. Enjoy it with cashew sour cream, avocado, and corn tortilla chips for the ultimate weeknight dinner. It will be a new go-to meal in your household!

two bowls filled with vegan tempeh chili beside a bamboo fork and bowls of cilantro, corn, and cashew sour cream

I could never, ever, ever grow tired of chili! In my home, a week isn’t complete without making chili at least once. There are a few reasons I adore vegan and vegetarian chili. For starters, it’s easy to make and totally adaptable. You can pretty much throw together any vegetables and beans in your pantry. Once paired with tomatoes and spices, you’ll have a simple, delicious, nutritious pot of chili ready to enjoy within an hour. Plus, is it just me or does chili always feel like a warm and cozy hug in a bowl? I always feel like I’m eating “comfort food” when I make chili, but it’s actually incredibly healthy.

This vegan tempeh chili is:

  • Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free
  • An easy one pot recipe
  • Packed with plant-based protein
  • Hearty and full of flavor
  • Comforting, filling, and satisfying
  • Great for weeknight dinners and meal prep
  • Made with wholesome, healthy ingredients
  • Best enjoyed with tasty toppings of your choosing
a metal spoon scooping into a bowl of vegan tempeh chili with sour cream, cilantro, and avocado

What ingredients are in tempeh vegetarian chili?

  • Tempeh: What sets this particular vegan chili recipe apart from others is the fact that it contains tempeh. Tempeh, which is made from fermented soybeans, is jam-packed with plant protein.
  • Kidney beans: Kidney beans are high in folate, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese.
  • Black beans: Rich in iron, calcium, copper, and zinc, black beans have been shown to help maintain healthy bones and lower blood pressure.
  • Corn: Corn contains B vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Vegetables: You can add any vegetables of your choosing to this tempeh chili recipe. Personally, I prefer chopped carrots and bell peppers. However, green peas, celery, zucchini, sweet potato, and butternut squash are all great options.
  • Tomatoes: In particular, diced tomatoes and tomato paste are used. They provide flavor and the base of the chili.
  • Onion and garlic: I’m a firm believer that a savory meal isn’t complete without onion or garlic! We’re adding both to this chili for maximum flavor.
  • Coconut sugar: Just a dash of sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. If you don’t have coconut sugar, feel free to use regular cane sugar.
  • Spices: I love chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, and salt, but you can adjust the spices to your own liking.
diced tomatoes, carrots, corn, black beans, soy protein, kidney beans, onion, garlic, and spices in small white bowls

How to make the best vegan tempeh chili

See the recipe card below for the full ingredients list and instructions.

Start by warming the oil and onion in a large stock pot. Sauté for five minutes, then add the garlic, tempeh, vegetables, and spices. Mix the ingredients together and cook for another five minutes, stirring frequently.

Next, add the beans, corn, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and coconut sugar. Mix ingredients together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. After, serve the vegan tempeh chili with your favorite toppings. See serving recommendations below!

two bowls of vegan tempeh chili surrounded by bowls of cilantro, corn, and cashew sour cream

What is tempeh?

If you’re newer to the vegan and vegetarian diet, you may be wondering what tempeh is. Simply put, tempeh is cooked and fermented soybeans. It’s sold in a block (similar to tofu) and can be sliced, chopped, or crumbled. Due to the fermentation process, tempeh tastes salty and savory. It’s packed with protein, making it a wonderful meat replacement for vegans and vegetarians!

What toppings go on chili?

I’m a firm believer that chili isn’t complete without toppings! What toppings are good on this vegan tempeh chili, you ask? Here are some of my favorite options:

  • Vegan cashew sour cream
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Shredded vegan cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Green onion
  • Diced jalapeño
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Red pepper flakes

What can you eat with chili?

In need of something delicious to serve alongside chili? Go with classic cornbread, a fresh salad, pasta shells, or baked potatoes. For a fun twist, make a chili burrito by wrapping it in a whole wheat tortilla (this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy leftovers the following day!).

vegetarian tempeh chili topped with cashew sour cream, avocado, and cilantro

More vegan and vegetarian chili recipes:

More healthy vegan dinner recipes:

If you try this Vegan Tempeh Chili, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!

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two bowls filled with vegan tempeh chili beside a bamboo fork and bowls of cilantro, corn, and cashew sour cream

Vegan Tempeh Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan tempeh chili recipe is easy, healthy, and packed with plant-based protein! It’s a comforting one pot meal for fall and winter seasons. This vegetarian chili is made with black beans, kidney beans, vegetables, and spices. You can make it in a crockpot or on the stovetop. This weeknight dinner is great for busy families and a crowd! #chili #tempeh #chilirecipe #onepotmeals #vegan #vegandinner #veganrecipes #meatless #blackbeans 


Units Scale

Tempeh Chili

  • 1 tbsp oil (olive, avocado, or vegetable)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 block tempeh, crumbled
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables* (See Notes)
  • 2.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14oz can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

For Serving (optional)

  • Cashew sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Corn tortilla chips


  1. Warm oil and diced onion in a large stock pot. Sauté onions for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add minced garlic, crumbled tempeh, chopped vegetables of choice, chili powder, cumin, salt, smoked paprika, and chipotle powder. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add kidney beans, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and coconut sugar. Mix ingredients together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Serve chili with vegan cashew sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and/or corn tortilla chips.


  • *You can use any vegetables of your choosing. I recommend carrot and bell peppers, but other options include green peas, celery, zucchini, sweet potato, and butternut squash.
  • Feel free to adjust the spices to your own liking.
  • To crumble tempeh, simply rip apart the tempeh block over the stock pot. It will crumble and act as the “meat” in this chili recipe.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 412
  • Sugar: 18g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 63g
  • Fiber: 21g
  • Protein: 23g

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