Tempeh Chili

Some days just call for chili. And whether you're cozying up on a crisp autumn day or cheering on your favorite football team – this plant-based, vegetarian chili will satisfy herbivores and carnivores alike. Here, tempeh (a fermented, probiotic soybean product with a meat-like texture) takes the place of your traditional protein. Plus, with the addition of garlic, onions, and beans – this dish is packed with prebiotics. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces tempeh, diced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 ounces canned sliced green chilies
  • 15 ounces canned kidney beans
  • 8 ounces canned diced tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a medium pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the tempeh until it is lightly golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. 
  2. Add in the soy sauce and sauté for another minute or two until the sauce is sticky and dissolved. 
  3. In a large saucepot, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, and peppers until just barely soft. 
  4. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients, including your tempeh. 
  5. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to achieve your desired thickness. 

If you’re struggling with digestive distress, Virtua’s board-certified gastroenterologists can help with the most advanced treatment options. Find a Virtua GI near you and schedule an appointment today.

Updated September 21, 2021

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