This high protein tempeh chili with sweet potato, pinto beans, plenty of chili spice, and cocoa powder is the ultimate game day chili. Serve with quinoa, vegan yogurt, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, and cornbread.

High Protein Tempeh Chili [Vegan]




Cooking Time




For the Chili:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  •  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
  • 2 (250 grams each) packages organic tempeh, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

To Serve:

  • Cilantro
  • vegan Yogurt or sour cream
  • Pickled Jalapenos
  • Cooked quinoa, rice, or pasta
  • Cornbread


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato, bell pepper, and celery. Stir to combine, then add the spices: Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne, and cocoa. Cook 2 minutes more.
  2. Next, add the pitted dates, tempeh, pinto beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Bring to a rolling simmer, then turn down heat to just below medium and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato is fork tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and season with additional spices as desired.
  3. Serve immediately with desired accompaniments, or make ahead and reheat just before serving. The chili will become more complex in flavor the longer it sits.