Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili

In a perfect world, every man would love their veggies.

They would request green smoothies in the morning, kale chips in their lunches, and tofu stir fry for dinner.

But alas…

I am LOL.

Today, on our way home from an outing, (this was AFTER dinner), my husband asked if we could stop at McDonalds.

To get the new McRib.

The McDump…Or whatever.

One man has not been excited about the McRib coming back, as my husband was. I’m talking, literally salivating.

Despite my intentions to shove veggies down his throat, he has a place in his heart for fast foods…(which in turn are hurting his heart, it’s really quite ironic.) I figure I am not the only wifey out there, pleading with their spouses to come clean and switch green, begging them to say goodbye to the scary man dressed in a yellow jumpsuit with bright red hair.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, we live in reality.

Reality says that men(and most people in the world) love fast food, and the thought of coming home to a tasty healthy tofu stir fry really doesn’t get the average person’s taste buds dancing.

But if there is something that I have learned with the hubby, it’s that the more ‘obvious’ it is that the meal is healthy, the less likely he is going to touch it. For example, in no way shape or form would the hubby be excited about a salad topped with tofu.

Buuuuttt, this is a GiNoRmOuS But my friends, if I threw on some sick wit’ it salad dressing, yummy crunchy coated nuts, some flavored veggies, a little touch of goat cheese, and a slice of warm buttered bread…

Well then he is more likely to dig in.

Fast forward to Halloween.

Every year my family makes chili and cornbread. This year was no different, except I was going full on vegetarian chili.

My hubby was super nervous when I told him I was making chili for him and a few family members as well…In fact, I am pretty sure he told me, “Make sure it’s not a Healthy chili ok?”

I did as I always do, and ignored his suggestions by packing that chili full of veggies, and some crumbled tempeh to give it that hearty meat texture that everyone loves to have in chili.

What did everyone think?

Let’s just say their taste buds were salivating enough to eat more than one…even two helpings…

Especially when they could load their chili with cheese, avocados, bread, or chips!!

Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili

*This was done in a crockpot, but I assume could be done on the stove*


1 medium sweet onion finely diced

5-6 large cloves garlic finely diced

1 C. butternut squash cubed

2 yellow bell peppers diced

2 pkg. Tempeh Bacon chopped/diced

3 TB. Sucanat

2 cans garbanzo beans(drained and rinsed)

1 can black beans(drained and rinsed)

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 c. veggie broth

8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 TB. cornstarch dissolved in 2 TB. cold water

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. oregano

salt & pepper


1. Throw all ingredients into a crockpot. Set on high for about 3 hours, and low for about 2 hours. When the chili is done to desired consistency, turn crockpot to ‘keep warm’ until ready to eat.

This is hands down the best chili I have made so far!

And I owe a lot of it to this bad boy:


Tempeh has been my new found love for a while! It’s basically cooked and fermented soy beans formed into a little patty. The kind of Tempeh I buy usually has added grains in it too! It doesn’t have much flavor, but you can crumble it to the perfect texture to resemble meat crumbles. It gives you that hearty texture of meat, but a lot more nutrition and deliciousness! You can find it at any health food store, even Trader Joes!

For this chili I used Tempeh Bacon, which looks like this:


It has an awesome marinated smokey taste! Perfect for chili! πŸ™‚

And after our bellies were warm, we decided to take Baby Boo out for her first trick or treating experience!

Baby Boo has always been friendly with others, but I wasn’t sure how she would act going up to random doors…

Luckily, that was about as scary as the costumes got….

And door after door, Baby Boo RAN.

Apparently she had one thing in mind…

It was like christmas for her!

Especially since her papa dressed like her idol:

It turned out to be the perfect night with fun costumes, lots of laughter, and full bellies filled with goodness!

Did I mention the leftovers made a delicious chili corn bread casserole? I’ll share tomorrow friends!

Who knew a good thing could get even better?! πŸ™‚

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  1. yum! I just made ratatouille in the crock pot that looked similar but your chili looks better! Don’t you just love the crock pot?! Ugh, it’s like a gift from God. Throw all your ingredients in, leave it all day, and come home to a delicious smelling apartment and dinner ready! Love. I also don’t understand the fast food fascination. If you took guys on tour of the kitchen in those places I’d be willing to be they wouldn’t touch that crap with a ten food pole!

    • yumm! Ratatouille sounds delicious!
      And my hubby worked at KFC when he was in highschool, and he told me all the horror stories…sadly…it hasn’t stopped his love for fast food! haha I dunno…one day..

  2. This looks so so good… just need to buy some tempeh bacon! πŸ™‚

  3. All through college the crockpot was my saviour! I haven’t tried cooking with tempeh as I try to avoid meat-tasting things but this really does look good, so I might be convinced! xx

    • Yea for the crockpot! Tempeh actually doesn’t taste like meat…It really has no flavor. And the texture is a little bit chewier than meat too..But if your trying to fool meat loves, then its a perfect switch! And I like it cuz it’s not a fake processed meat substitute too! πŸ™‚

  4. this sounds fabulous cant wait for the casserole dish!

  5. That looks delicious! We just had crockpot chili for dinner last night, it’s definitely my favorite meal to do in a crockpot. I can definitely relate on the man front…while my husband isn’t a fast food guy, he is a SERIOUS meat guy and dreads it when he knows I’m cooking vegetarian. The only vegetable he will accept is broccoli, and the only way he will accept it is sauteed in its weight of olive oil and salt. I just do like they always recommend to do with kids…LOL…keep trying and don’t give up! I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • oh fun! I am glad we can relate on our silly hubby’s. And they seriously ARE like children. My hubs has learned to eat what I make thank goodness, but if he is unsure, he usually snacks a bit before dinner :-). Most of the time I just don’t tell him what I am making…lol Whatever works right? πŸ™‚

  6. I’m terrified of tempeh. This recipe is just what I need to get over my fear. Baby boo is just the cutest!

    • Don’t be afraid! πŸ™‚ I promise it is nothing scary. I was nervous at first, but I like it SO much better than tofu! It’s more heartier, and you can do so many things with it!

  7. Looks great! Luckily my hubby now prefers my Morningstar veggie crumbles chili to beef chili. We both like it better since it’s not greasy as a lot of restaurant chilis. (I’m super picky about my chili!)

    As always – Baby Boo is downright adorable!

  8. this looks so good. i love how much care you put in to the food you make for your husband and family. it sets such a great example for others!

  9. I love the idea of using tempeh in my chili! Perfect meat alternative. I’m bookmarking this one. πŸ™‚

  10. Ha … I love this… we have alot in common =)
    I’ve totally learned my lesson about telling my husband what I put in his meals!
    I just made him butternut squash enchiladas a couple of nights ago. He had no idea that there was butternut squash in the filling!
    Funny u mention the McRib… I just read on another blog that there is 70 ingredients in it… I haven’t looked it up to see if this is true but seriously… how horrible!!

    • oh don’t even get me started on the McRib…lol!
      And those hubby’s. Seriously! What they don’t know really isn’t hurting them! Sometimes, it’s helping them be better πŸ™‚ haha

  11. That looks incredibly delicious! I love chili so much. I always try to add more veggies which my hubby doesn’t seem to notice or mind, but I once put in lentils for the meat and it did not go over at all. I haven’t been able to find tempeh, but when I do I’m totally trying it! I’m super excited about the leftovers recipe, that looks awesome πŸ˜€

    • Just as a side note I wanted to say you’re inspiring me to keep trying new things on my hubby. He knows he doesn’t feel as well after eating fast food as he does anything homemade but somehow he keeps going for it. Maybe one day he’ll learn πŸ˜€ I’m slowly learning to tell him it’s vegetarian or healthy until after he’s tried it and admitted he likes it, haha.

      • haha I love ya Heidi! I think a lot of woman out there have those husbands that love their meat n potatoes and that is totally fine! We just gotta do our best to make healthy meals for them at home, and one day they will just get used to it πŸ™‚
        We just love them for them, and they have to love us for us! πŸ™‚
        But still…no McRibs for my hubby hahah!

  12. The recipe looks awesome and love that you set it and forget it πŸ™‚

    Also your pics are so pretty. I love how you cropped them and gave little peeks of the food rather than a whole big shot of it…I need to try this with my comfort food recipes. Pretty πŸ™‚

    • awe thanks! I take the pictures like that since I have ugly backgrounds that I don’t want to show haha! πŸ™‚ Lovely donuts today! They looked amazing!

  13. Oh I love a good chili cornbread casserole. I am sure you make a different more healthy version than the one I am use to so I can’t wait to see/read about it πŸ™‚

  14. So I have known I need a crockpot for sometime now, but this recipe just convinced me that I need one NOW! Looks great lady πŸ™‚

  15. chili corn bread casserole?? yum hello, that sounds amazing!! Do you think chili would freeze good?

    • Chili freezes great! I have two different kinds in my freezer as we speak! πŸ™‚ I just put it in little portions and pull them out with I am lazy and dont want to cook. πŸ™‚

  16. Boo looks SO adorable! Love seeing her standing in front of the door, just waiting. πŸ™‚
    And this chili sounds awesome! I need to try that tempeh bacon. I’ve had another brand, and it was pretty tasty, but I like the look of the one you used better. I think my hubby would totally eat this. Oh -and I read this on another blog today. It’s from Perez Hilton. You should share with your hubby:
    America seems to be lovin’ the McRib, mostly because it plays hard to get and only appears periodically, but we bet the sandwich would lose a few fans if they learned what chemicals are inside of it.

    Among the 70 ingredients you’d only find in a chemistry lab, one is BANNED from Europe and Australia as a food additive!

    Azodicarbonamide is a flour-bleaching ingredient chemical found in the McRib’s bun, which is also used to manufacture foamed plastics like in gym mats and the soles of shoes.


    Even more disturbing than knowing what else the chemical is used for, azodicarbonamide has been determined by England’s Health and Safety Executive to be a “respiratory sensitizer” that potentially contributes to asthma through occupational exposure!

  17. Oh no oh no, I never get the whole mcDonalds-thing! Or fast food-thing in general! I would much more prefere this chili πŸ˜€ It looks so yummy! Perfect for this time of the year!
    Love that Hello Kitty outfit! Cute and a little creepy at the same time πŸ™‚

  18. haha If I could only count how many times Kirk has said something similar; “you’re not going to make healthy brownies for game night tonight are you?”, “can you just make normal cookies?”, “I’ll just throw a beef hamburger patty on the grill for me and you can eat all those bean ones”, “Is there meat in this?”, “I HAD to eat lunch at McDonalds today because it was right there and I only had 5 minutes to eat- I swear.”.
    I can’t even let him go grocery shopping alone otherwise we end up with cupboards full of cheese-its, mac and cheese, and meaty chili in a can (uck!) I’ll have to make this kind of chili for him- I’m certain it’s much better than the stuff he buys to go on top of his already so healthy hot dogs:) I guess I won’t get so frustrated with him, as it sounds like most men have this in common:)

  19. ok now I need to really get a crockpot, or steal my moms haha
    that veggie chili not only looks amazing sounds perfect for a cold winter day!!

  20. Just put this into the crockpot!! Although I was a moron and saw the bacon type of tempeh and went “wait no…it shouldn’t be in strips…”, so I bought the three grain block of tempeh instead and just diced up one. Oh well! That’s what I get for not paying super close attention before heading to the grocery store…

    • Oh yum! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out! And trust me, I have made many ‘silly’ mistakes before because I NEVER read directions. πŸ™‚ You might have to add some more seasoning, since the bacon tempeh has a lot of flavor on it’s own, but then again, maybe not! πŸ™‚ let me know how it turns out Kim!! πŸ™‚

  21. I must say, I loved this recipe! I tend to be rather picky when it comes to veggy chills–but this literally knocked my socks off! I had to share with all my family and friends! It was so simple, and half of the ingredients were already in my kitchen. I was able to throw everything in the crock pot and go about my day. In addition, I loved the witty commentary. Keep up the good work girl!!

  22. stumbled across this recipe. was delish! I marinated a block of tempeh in liquid smoke and maple syrup and used pinto beans instead of chickpeas. super meaty and filling πŸ™‚


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